Ski helmets are continuing to grow in popularity on the mountain and for good reason. The ski helmets on the market are technologically advanced and do a great job keeping skiers safe on the slopes.
The modern helmets also look awesome so more and more riders are adding these to their alpine gear.
We’re continuing to learn how the long-term side effects of concussions can impact our lives, so ski helmets are a great way of making sure that your head stays protected. Like all ski gear, some brands and models deliver more than others and for something as important as a helmet it’s good to know as much as possible.
That’s why I got you covered to learn about the best ski helmets to prevent concussions on the market today!
Top Pick | Oakley Mod 5 with MIPS Liner
Oakley is known for great ski goggles, but they are also one of the top contenders in the helmet market. The Oakley Mod models burst on to the scene at the winter Olympics when we saw athletes from all over the world rocking this sweet helmet.
There are other similar helmets to the Mod 5 on the market, but Oakley comes in slightly cheaper than other top of the line models which solidifies the top spot on the list.
This helmet is built to protect your head for a very long time. It’s extremely durable and even though it’s slightly heavier than other market models, Oakley did a great job distributing this weight throughout the helmet making it barely noticeable.
When you discuss concussion prevention, Oakley has taken extra steps to ensure skier and rider safety. The shell is built with ABS hard shell material which Oakley claims is like a second skull for impact protection.
The MIPS liner is another added layer of protection. This is optional, but when talking concussion prevention, it’s a great upgrade because it’s a liner that moves independently from the shell to lessen brain impact.
The Mod 5 also comes with a BOA fit system which allows you to custom fit the helmet tightness to your liking.
The Mod 5 includes a lot of protective measures, but this does come with a slight reduction in ventilation ability. The helmet does keep your head warm, but breathability wasn’t as good as other top of the line ski helmets even though it didn’t fall too short.
When we consider concussion prevention though, the Mod 5 takes home the top spot. This is a great helmet and should give you an added layer of confidence to explore the backcountry or push the pace on the frontside.
Budget Option | GIRO Ledge MIPS
The GIRO Ledge MIPS is a great budget choice when picking a helmet that helps prevent concussions. The MIPS liner, which is also featured in the Mod 5, is a lifesaving design for all skiers and riders.
Getting a budget helmet with MIPS is a market premium and should grab your attention. No other helmets on the market deliver like the GIRO Ledge so this model should be considered when you’re looking for a helmet.
MIPS comes at a cost and because this is a budget helmet, it does lack in other categories despite delivering in safety. Before we get into that, lets discuss the features that come with the helmet.
It comes with a goggle strap, a fit system that is manageable for a decent fit, and removeable ear pads. For me, removeable ear pads are a plus because I like wearing a beanie under my helmet and this helps with comfort for that look.
It’s got a skate design so extreme shredders will fall in love with the look and GIRO offers a lot of colors.
Unfortunately, this helmet doesn’t fit as naturally as other budget helmets and the material on the inside isn’t as comfortable as I would’ve hoped.
This helmet secured top budget pick because it can compete in the safety department with top priced models for a fraction of the price.
Best Helmet for Kids | GIRO Launch MIPS
GIRO really does pride themselves on safety and that’s why they include MIPS in most of their helmet designs. Finding a youth helmet with MIPS isn’t easy to do, but when we talk about kids there’s a lot of other factors to consider.
Kids fall a lot and are often reckless on the mountain, so safety is a parent’s primary concern. This is the safest youth helmet on the market in my opinion.
It has a tough polycarbonate shell and GIRO’s construction fuses this with the inside protective liner which allows for breathability, protection, and comfort.
Kids want to stay cool on the mountain and this helmet has superior ventilation for a youth model. It also has a dial fitting system which is easy to adjust so your child can fix their helmet easily on their own which will maken your family day run smooth.
Kids also want to look stylish on the slopes and the GIRO Launch looks like a helmet for a little shredder. They have a variety of neon colors that come in a matte finish. Your kids will love it and you’ll be able to locate them easily if you let them ski ahead.
The one negative with this helmet is the price point. It’s an expensive helmet for a child, but it delivers when talking about concussion prevention so it’s a clear winner of the best youth ski helmet for my list.
Runner Up | Smith Vantage MIPS
The Smith Vantage MIPS can throw punches with the Mod 5. It’s a very similar model and lives up to the hype in every category that you’d want in a helmet. The reason it falls just short on my list is because it’s slightly more expensive than the Mod 5.
The Smith Vantage is winner when it comes to concussion prevention. The shell is constructed with Honeycomb Aerocore technology as well as the MIPS integrated liner. This is first class in the safety department.
The Smith helmet also shines in comfortability. It’s light and is actually easy to forget that it’s even on your head. This is a testament to the soft liner that they have implemented in this helmet.
The ventilation on this helmet can’t be beat. It has 21 total air vents which is 13 more than the Oakley Mod 5. This eliminates stale air and heat being trapped in your helmet which will lead to added comfort on the mountain.
The Vantage is equipped with a BOA system which is standard for top model helmets, but it’s still important to note and a great selling point that Smith highlights.
The style of this helmet isn’t my first choice, but lots of skier love the vibe of the Smith Vantage.
There isn’t a lot of bad in this helmet. I know if you purchase it you will love it for a very long time. Its price point is steep though and Oakley is doing it just as well for a better price. If ventilation is your number one concern though, this is the helmet that you should buy.
Although, I’m focusing on concussion prevention and the Mod 5 is just as capable in that area as the Vantage which puts this model as a close runner up.
What to Look for When Choosing a Helmet?
From color to style, there are some helmet qualities that really are a personal choice. Despite this, I believe there are some areas that we all should look for when choosing a helmet.
The helmets on this list are my favorite, but if you don’t think any of these styles would be best for you, here’s what you should try to find in your next ski helmet.
MIPS Protection System
If you noticed a theme throughout this review, every helmet I listed had a MIPS protection system. This is a deal breaker for me, and I will not wear a helmet that doesn’t have this protective system.
MIPS stands for multi-directional Impact Protection System. For certain impacts, the MIPS system can reduce harmful forces transmitted to the brain. MIPS a pioneering helmet protection addition and it’s an added safety measure in some helmets.
MIPS comes with a price increase in helmets, but I believe in this system, so it doesn’t bother me when I buy a helmet.
I believe that you can never be too careful on the slopes and MIPS gives me confidence that I can push myself on tough terrain.
This isn’t a necessary feature, but more helmets are adding MIPS to their models so definitely consider checking out a helmet with this added safety measure.
Comfort, Warmth, and Breathability
Obviously, protection doesn’t mean much if our head isn’t comfortable. When looking for a helmet, you need to find one that you can wear for a full day on the slopes. That means it keeps you warm, but cool at the same time and it doesn’t strain your body.
If you can forget that you’re wearing a helmet, it’s a great choice. A great liner adds comfort and extra ventilation allows you to stay cool when you’re working hard on the mountain.
Breathability is measured by how many vents are on a helmet. Not everyone needs a lot of vents to stay cool so comfort comes down to a personal choice.
You also don’t want a helmet that’s too heavy because that will be a chore to wear all day long. You need to find a sweet spot between lightness and protection for an epic fit.
I can’t tell you what helmet will feel good on your head, but I can tell you that you want one that you won’t mind wearing on the chair lift, in the trails, or when you’re shredding a frontside groomer.
Your helmet choice can change depending on your goggle style. You want a helmet that supports your specific goggles because this can be uncomfortable if they don’t pair well.
Every helmet says they have great goggle integration, but I recommend trying goggles on with the helmet to make sure it’s a smooth fit before you make any purchase.
Goggles squeezing against your eyes can often be worse than a helmet that doesn’t fit just right.
There’s a lot of helmets on the market and they all offer different features. Some have removable ear pads and others have audio capability. These are all smaller additions, but I think a helmet’s primary function should be safety followed by comfort.
Use those two categories first to eliminate outliers and then factor in the minor features that you’d want in a helmet.
If you do that, I know you’ll be one happy skier no matter what terrain you choose to tackle.
See you on the slopes!