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Ski helmets are vitally important to comfort and safety while skiing. Here we pick our best for the season ahead.

Best ski helmets

Ski helmets are one of the bits of gear you’ll want to pick up earlier rather than later in your skiing career, as they’re relatively easy to travel with and add considerable comfort to a ski trip.

While all ski helmets offer protection from minor impacts and falls, some offer more than others, with the relatively new ‘MIPS’ standard helping to protect against rotational forces in a fall.

Aside from the protection element, it’s wise to look for helmets that offer good ventilation and ideally a removable liner so it can be washed before storage at the end of a trip or the season. Although most brands ensure that helmets and goggles are compatible, it’s worth checking the fit if you’re mixing brands, as a poor goggle/helmet combination can be enormously annoying.

What is a MIPS ski helmet?

Multi-directional Impact Protection System (MIPS) sounds vaguely impressive, and the underlying safety enhancement is indeed so. While ‘normal’ helmets help protect against impacts, they do little to protect against any other head injuries.

The big benefit is that MIPS helps to prevent rotational injuries to the brain in the event of an accident, which are a big concern among medics, as the shearing forces involved can cause extensive damage to the brain and neural connections. In practice, the system allows a small amount of movement between the inner and outer liners of the helmet, which is unnoticeable in use, but might be a lifesaver in an incident.

If you’re in the market for a new helmet - which is probably why you’re here - it’s well worth considering MIPS-rated helmets as a first choice, although not all new models offer a MIPS version.

Best ski helmets 2022-2023

Best ski helmet for snowboarders and skiers

Oakley MOD 5 ski helmet

Oakley Mod 5 Ski Helmet

Oakley makes great goggles and sunnies, which lends kudos to the company’s ability to make decent helmets. The all-new, premium MOD5 (MIPS) looks the part, delivering style and substance in one hit. Importantly, this model has the increased protection of the MIPS system, which is designed to reduce dangerous rotational forces caused by angled impacts to the head, as well as the easy-fit BOA adjustment system and a magnetic buckle that allows easy operation wearing ski gloves, a fact that’ll save you from embarrassment when you forget and put your gloves on first.

Arguably most importantly, a combination of a removable Polartec Power Grid liner and customisable ventilation ensures you stay fog-free and classy in most situations, as well as being able to close off ventilation when it gets too nippy.

Buy Oakley Mod 5: £185 at Amazon 

Buy Oakley Mod 5: £220 at Ellis Brigham 

 

 

Best ski helmet for all-mountain use

Salomon MTN Lab ski helmet

Salomon MTN Lab helmet

Salomon have made a series of strong environmental statements with the MTN Lab helmet, not least using recycled materials in the build, as well as natural and biodegradable merino wool. Arguably the biggest sustainability play is the fact that the MTN Lab is rated for use for alpine, mountaineering and biking, making it something of an allrounder for mountain lovers. This potentially cuts waste from the multiple lids you’d otherwise need, as well as reduces faff when travelling.

Aside from that, the MTN Lab features a removable liner - and a lighter weight summer one as well - good ventilation and a custom dial system for a good fit. Another key feature is the headlamp fitting, so those alpine starts (and epic late finishes) can be done safely and without additional fuss.

Buy Salomon MTN Lab: £171.12 at Amazon 

Buy Salomon MTN Lab: £160 at Ellis Brigham 

 

 

Best ski helmet for ski tourers

Giro Grid Spherical ski helmet

Giro Grid Spherical Helmet

The Grid hits two key areas for ski tourers and backcountry folk of all stripes - it’s lightweight at 400 grams, and has excellent adjustable ventilation to handle the inevitable changes in cardio. This is down to the Thermostat control slider, which can easily be operated with gloves on, while fogging is minimised by the Stack Ventilation vents.

More widely, the Grid has the latest protection in the shape of MIPS Spherical technology, which allows the outer liner to rotate around the inner liner in the event of an accident, reducing rotational energy. Available in eight stylish, matt, colourways, there’s also a glove-friendly magnetic closure to minimise fumbling around.

Buy Giro Grid Spherical: £152.75 at Amazon 

 

Best ski helmet for closet racers

Bolle V-Ryft Pure ski helmet

Bolle V Ryft Pure

Sometimes just looking the part is enough to enjoy the benefits, and this race-inspired helmet looks all that - as well as being practical to a certain degree. The huge benefit here - apart from not being able to drop your goggles - is that the inbuilt visor will really not fog up unless severely mistreated. It also looks cool, and Instagram will almost definitely approve of the two interchangeable visors or a photochromic lens option.

Bolle isn’t a newcomer ski brand either, so the basics are all taken care of too, not least the AVID progressive EPS for improved safety, masses of ventilation (six vents) to suit the weather, and a tried-and-tested, glove friendly Click-To-Fit System.

Buy Bolle V-Ryft Pure: £190 at Amazon

Buy Bolle V Ryft Pure: £160.61 at AlpineTrek 

 

 

Best ski helmet for backcountry safety

POC Obex BC MIPS Ski Helmet

POC Obex BC MIPS

The Obex ski helmet takes snow safety up several notches by adding a couple of extra layers of technology to the mix. There’s a MIPS system, as well as a clever hybrid shell design that blends a robust ABS top section with an EPS liner and stronger-than-steel aramid panels, all of which combine to keep weight down but protection high.

There’s a built-in RECCO Avalanche Rescue Reflector, which is an excellent idea, and even more techno, there’s a ‘twICEme’ NFC Medical ID chip, that’ll enable first responders to read your medical history immediately with a smartphone, even if you’re not up to talking. A final tech benefit is that the company’s Aid Communication Ear Pads (sold separately) are compatible, which allows a smartphone to be connected for easy access to communications - and tunes.

Buy POC Obex MIPS: £230 at Ellis Brigham 

 

 

Best ski helmet for kids

Smith Scout Jr. MIPS Helmet

Smith Scout Jr MIPS

Children are tough on clothes and accessories, so springing for durable quality is a sensible scheme, as well as the most sustainable one. The ABS hardshell of the Scout Jr. ski helmet will shrug off minor carelessness with aplomb, but the MIPS impact protection is present and ready to mitigate more serious incidents if required. The fit is designed to accommodate differently-sized (and growing) heads, and a whopping eight vents ensure ventilation is as good as possible.

The removable ‘bombshell’ ear pads can be removed when temperatures rise, and the safety rating covers bike use too, making even more ethical and economic sense.

Buy Smith Scout Jr MIPS: £96.89 at Amazon 

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