In this side-by-side product review, German Helmets leads you through everything you need to know in order to pick the Cool Snowboard Helmets for your specific needs and type of snowboarding.
We’ll take a look at what makes the best snowboard helmet for the money and what to avoid. Also see How To Choose The Best Snowboard Helmet later in the article. What is the best snowboard helmet for you?
Top 10 Cool Snowboard Helmet Brands
1. Smith Optics Unisex Adult Vantage Snowboard Helmet
If you’ve never spent a ton of time on the mountain then let me tell you – the Smith Vantage is one of the most popular and common sights on snowboarders around the world.
This Smith snowboard helmet has taken the snowboarding world by storm over the last several years for a few reasons.
It’s an adjustable helmet system which means the protective exterior shell sits on top of an isolated suspension which can be adjusted to fit your head perfectly.
There’s a single ratchet adjustment located at the back of the helmet which can be easily adjusted on the fly. You’ll still need to measure yourself though as the adjustments are limited.
Smith makes this helmet in about two dozen variations of color and design. That way there’s sure to be something for everyone’s snowboarding styles which I love!
It’s ready to be integrated with Skullcandy Bluetooth speakers which fit right into the removable earpieces of the helmet.
Best For: Snowboarders with round-shaped heads looking for the ultimate helmet system.
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2. OutdoorMaster KELVIN Ski Helmet – with ASTM Certified Safety, 9 Options – for Men, Women & Youth
OutdoorMaster wants to give you what you are looking for!
Style, safety, and unbeatable value were combined to offer you the ski helmet you’ve been looking for.
We all look for the ideal helmet that has all the aspects we want, with looks and safety being two of the most important. That ideal helmet is what we want to offer you – of course, while staying true to our commitment to offering the best possible value.
Choose your style today and be ready to conquer your next crispy, clear, snow-filled day in the slopes.
Stay safe. Look good.
To determine the correct size, wrap the measuring tape around the widest part of the head and take the measurement at the forehead.
To get the most accurate measure, have a friend help with this.
- S: 48 – 52cm (19 – 20.5 inches)
- M: 52 – 58cm (20.5 – 23 inches)
- L: 56 – 61cm (22 – 24 inches)
- Weight: 1.3 pounds
- Product Dimensions: 11.42 x 9.06 x 9.06 inches
- Packing Dimensions: 11.81 x 9.84 x 9.84 inches
- Material: EPS
- Package includes:
- 1 x OutdoorMaster Ski Helmet
3. Giro Seam – Coolest Looking Snowboard Helmets
Giro has been supplying the snowboarding community for years and is definitely one of the best helmets brands you can rely on to protect you during your rides. Available in almost any color you could desire to fit your other skiing equipment, Giro’s helmet is best for someone who wants a versatile line of choices. The sizes vary as much as the colors and the helmet comes in 4 standard ones. The helmet is fitted with x-static anti-bacterial padding to ensure you won’t get any nasty incidents for as long as you will be using the product.
The helmet will keep you warm but will also allow for a transfer of air with the 12 small vents that it has installed; you won’t be sweating in this helmet and you won’t be freezing your head either! The best combination of the two to allow for a worry-free experience on the slopes. It’s easy to adjust, which is a plus when you quickly need to tweak the size during your training sessions.
The snowboard helmet also fits best with goggles and doesn’t pose any annoying protrusions! It’s also light-weight and boasts a very attractive design.
- Appealing design
- Comfy and easy to adjust
4. Smith Holt – Top Rated in Snow Sport Helmets
The Smith Holt helmet is not only a helmet made for the slopes: The included pad kit allows you to switch from winter to summer use — perfect for biking and skateboarding. You can also independently control the amount of venting between the front and top vents on the helmet, and its AirEvac system ensures proper airflow that not only keeps your head dry but your goggles fog-free as well. While Smith goggles will have the best fit, buyers report it works well with many non-Smith brands as well.
The Holt’s molded ABS shell is extraordinarily resistant to dings and scratches. It provides superior protection from injury to your head, and an optional Skullcandy audio system can be added to the helmet so you don’t have to worry about losing your headphones on the slopes. Smith offers a lifetime warranty on this helmet against defects in the materials and manufacture, too.
5. Giro Range Snowboard Helmet
Giro is my helmet of choice for one main reason. While Smith helmets tend to fit round-shaped heads, Giro snowboard helmets tend to fit heads that are a bit longer front to back.
For me, this is the perfect size and shape helmet to accommodate my big old brain bucket. This helmet packs an updated feature that’s new to the world of snowboarding helmet technology.
MIPS systems, like the one in the Giro Range, allow the shell of the helmet to move independently of the suspension.
There’s a layer of movable padding which reduces torque and torsion on impact, helping to increase the overall safety of the helmet.
Features of the Giro Range Snowboard Helmet:
Construction: MIPS – Multi-Directional Impact Protection System, Articulating Hard Shell construction, Low-profile design
Fit System: Conform Fit System
Ventilation: Thermostat Control Adjustable Venting, Stack Ventilation
Features: vPOV camera mount included, Fidlock® magnetic buckle closure, XT2 ® anti-odor padding, Compatible with all Giro aftermarket audio systems by Outdoor Tech, Seamless
Compatibility with all Giro goggles
Certification: CE EN1077
Giro helmets are compatible with Giro audio systems, but you’ll usually find that you can fit just about any standard helmet audio system in them without trouble.
I do love the easy to use vent adjustment located top center. A row of raised ridges can be slid back and forward to open or close the ventilation.
Overall these helmets are among the best available. The upgraded easy-clip magnetic chin strap is a nice touch on a great helmet!
Best For: Snowboarders with longer heads looking for bleeding-edge tech!
6. DEMON UNITED Phantom Helmet with Audio and Snow Supra Goggle
Keep your dome protected with the Demon Phantom ski and snowboard helmet. Tested to the max, this ski helmet will keep you safe with the ABS shell and cool with multiple vents. Our new contrasting design is available in a variety of matte colors to match your winter sports getup. This helmet also comes with built-in AUDIO, just plug in your phone and rock out! This package also comes with Demon’s Supra Snow Goggle. The Supra Goggle is a fully vented, UV protected, adjustable strap, mirrored lens, and includes a bag and travel protective case! At Demon, we strive to provide you top quality snowboard gear and protection at a reasonable price, and the Phantom snowboard helmet is no exception
Safety is our #1 concern at Demon, and that is why the Demon Phantom ski and snowboard helmet will keep you riding strong with both CE and ASTM certification. Made with a tough shell and a comfortable liner, you won’t be disappointed with this helmet
Certified ASTM and CE Snowsports helmet, padded neck, enclosed ears, adjustable chin strap, vented with air holes
Integrated Audio speakers, listen to music and shred!- Just add the phone! Comes with 3.5mm jack. Just add your adaptor to fit any phone
Includes Demon Supra goggles! Anti-fog, UV protective, dual venting, adjustable strap, bag, and protective case
SIZE Measure Head Circumference: XS (47-52 cm) SM (52-55 cm) MD (55-58 cm) LG (58-61 cm) XL (61-64 cm)
7. Bern Watts EPS Snow Helmet
One helmet to rule them all. An exception to what we said earlier, the Bern Watts EPS Snow Helmet is the fully CE certified, original visor helmet that offers style, comfort, and protection for when you’re riding on a bike, skateboard, snowboard, or wakeboard. Evolved from the original Bern Baker Helmet, this helmet features the same fit and style but includes a series of vents on top and back of the helmet to keep you cool running laps in the park or during easy spring riding conditions.
The helmet’s best feature is how highly customizable it is. Bern Helmets are compatible with Summer or Winter liners (this model has one that is included). They also come with audio liners for music that can be changed easily with a quick pull of the velcro. If you’re a very active action-sports athlete, you’ll only need this helmet and a few upgrades to keep you protected year-round.
8. Bern Watts EPS Adjustable
Bern’s helmet is another leading product on the market and has a reputation of 5-star reviews all around. Whether you are a beginner or intermediate rider, this snowboard helmet will keep you protected from any bumps and bruises you could sustain during this dangerous winter sport. Bern has a certain feature that makes this product stand out, and that is the ‘seasonal upgrade’. You can pick a specific color from the list and then customize your helmet according to the weather, which is the perfect addition for someone who snowboards all year round.
The helmet can also be customized with a bike light; if you are snowboarding in less than satisfactory conditions, this could be a life-saver. Made to sustain high-impact collisions with hard ice, roads or pavements, you can be sure this helmet will keep you covered if you ever fall into any trouble. It also has a visor, which is a good addition if you end up on a snowboard when the sun is high. The helmet isn’t heavy and is rather lightly built while still conserving its durability and sturdiness. It’s easily adjustable and won’t leave you fiddling on the side of the slopes when your friends are riding down and having fun!
- Compatible with bike lights
9. Oakley MOD 5
Oakley makes some of our favorite ski goggles, but the company only recently jumped into the helmet game with the MOD series. From the current collection, we prefer their top-end “5,” which has panels of tough ABS plastic for extra protection and adjustable ventilation. Further, its unique Modular Brim System (MBS) does a nice job eliminating the dreaded gaper gap by including two brim sizes (small and large). It’s not a perfect answer—it favors Oakley brand goggles above others—but the option to swap out the brim makes it the most universal solution on the market in 2020.
The rest of the MOD 5 is typical Oakley quality. The helmet feels light on your head and comes with premium features like a magnetic chinstrap, Boa dial at the back, and removable liner. The ventilation design does rely on a chimney-like effect—drawing air up through the goggle and out the top—which means it can’t dump heat as quickly as a helmet like the Smith Vantage above. We also found that the liner is a little less cushioned and the cutout ear pads make it difficult to wear headphones. But these complaints aren’t deal breakers for most folks, and the design is very solid overall. The MOD 5 is available with or without MIPS.
- Creative removable brim design for a good goggle fit.
- Not our favorite earpad design.
Helmet Safety: MIPS and More
Tasked with keeping you safe from hard impacts on the hill, all helmets on our list have a non-motorized snow sports safety certification from US-based ASTM International. Despite the construction differences referenced above, all follow a basic design with a hardshell exterior and foam interior to absorb some of the impacts. There are helmets with additional certifications, like the Salomon MTN Lab (mountaineering) and Bern Watts EPS (biking), but all are considered a safe choice for skiing and snowboarding, although careful reading of the certification only establishes their intent to keep you safe at low speeds. The onus is still, as it should be, on the user to ski or snowboard within your limits.
In an effort to increase safety, additional technologies have hit the market including POC’s SPIN system, but none has been so universally adopted as the MIPS liner. In short, the technology is designed to reduce potential damage to the brain in angled impacts (Giro describes it as “certain impacts”) through a liner that moves independently from the outer shell. We’ve taken the time to remove our MIPS liners and it’s impressively simple: there’s one thin plastic layer that connects to the helmet with a few small tabs.
Beyond the formidable research that has gone into MIPS and comparable technologies, the beauty of the designs is that they have essentially no impact on comfort or the profile of the helmet. As such, you see MIPS being adopted on anything from a premium $260 Smith Vantage all the way down to a $90 Giro Ledge.
Some helmets we’ve tested do appear to fit slightly smaller as a result, but otherwise, the impact is negligible. How often MIPS technology is a safety benefit is difficult to quantify and we haven’t found any solid evidence-based research, but all indications point to it being a nice extra safety measure to protect your head (how much that’s worth is up to you). For more information on MIPS, we’ve found the technology page of the MIPS website to be a helpful resource.
Weight and Bulk
Within their specific construction type—ABS, in-mold, or hybrid in-mold—most ski helmets weigh approximately the same. For our medium-sized helmets we tested, that’s 14 to 16 ounces for in-mold, 17 to 19 ounces for hybrid, and 20+ for ABS. And between categories, there are noticeable differences in how they feel—in-mold and hybrid helmets are less prone to feeling heavy during a long day on the hill.
However, simply putting a helmet on a scale won’t tell you the whole story of how it feels on your head. Good padding and a snug but comfortable fit can easily make up the difference of a couple of ounces. It’s one of many reasons we love the Smith Vantage. It’s not the lightest, but you’ll quickly forget its there.
The bulkiness of a helmet plays into this perception of weight. Cheap helmets made with a basic ABS construction are thick and feel cumbersome. The Anon Raider was the worst offender from our list, but it’s still much better than even cheaper helmet options (and it’s no coincidence that no helmets under $70 made the cut). In contrast, our top picks all have a low-profile fit and don’t feel like you’re hauling around a heavy appendage.
The most important thing to remember when choosing a helmet is sizing. While people sometimes complain about snug-fitting helmets, that’s what you want. A loose helmet can cause injury as the inner foam liner needs to touch your head with no or very little space in between. You’ll need to get a measurement (in centimeters) of your head — the sizes of helmets are based on this.
We also strongly recommend MIPS technology if you can afford it, and especially if you plan to ski or ride more aggressively. As we mentioned previously, rotational motion still occurs in non-MIPS helmets, which exacerbate an injury. The technology works to prevent that from happening, which lessens the injury and may prevent an injury that a standard helmet cannot. Thank you to read my review in Germen Helmet, see you soon.