Any way you look at it, a helmet is an essential accessory in the modern world of snowsports and the Salomon Icon² Air Helmet is a worthy companion out on the slopes. It's designed for piste skiing, and is sleek, unfussy and available in either black or white.
We tested the white version, which has an attractive navy blue interior. The only thing we would say is that because it's white and has a matte finish, it does mark easily. After just a week of wear, there are scuffmarks and dirty patches both on the outer shell and on the faux-leather accents on the outside of the earflaps. Maybe go for black if you're prone to knocking your gear about.
The interior is an 'Advancedskin' and 'Activedry' fabric to keep the inside warm and dry, and it did its job well. There are also faux-fur sections lining the earflaps and chinstrap for added comfort, and the entire interior is removable and washable. The earflaps themselves are padded, comfortable and kept our ears warm without impairing hearing. You can even wear earrings comfortably.
One thing we really liked about this helmet is the 'Custom Air' fit feature. Instead of the more common 'twist and clinch' method of tightening, the Icon² Air has an inflatable pouch that sits at the back of the head. You put the helmet on and pump up the pouch by compressing a section at the back of the helmet until you get the perfect fit, and then press a different button to deflate. It's entirely customizable and holds its shape well.
Luckily, we didn't have occasion to test the protective abilities of this helmet out on the mountain, but it's made with an EPS 4D foam liner that Salomon claims can absorb more shock than any other liner on the market. It should also mean that the shock would be absorbed no matter the angle of impact.
It's easy to control temperature and ventilation with adjustable vents on the top of the helmet. We also liked that the mechanism on the back to anchor goggles is a loop of elastic around a hook instead of the more common popper. This makes it a lot easier to remove the goggles while wearing bulky gloves. It also comes with a handy nylon bag for storage and protection, and is extremely light and easy to travel with at just 370g.