The 8 Best Ski Helmets of 2020

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The Rundown

Best Overall: Smith Optics Quantum Ski Helmet at Amazon

"All of the integrated technology makes this ski helmet reliable in practically any condition."

Best Value: Giro Ledge Ski Helmet at Amazon

"This affordable ski helmet marries with most goggle brands and meets safety standards."

Best for Kids: Giro Crue Kids Ski Helmet at Amazon

"Giro delivers a stylish ski helmet with fun colors, but it doesn't cut corners on performance."

Best for Racing: POC Skull Orbic X Spin at Amazon

"Designed with racers in mind, this ski helmet can stand up to the most extreme impacts."

Best for Touring: Salomon MTN Lab Ski Helmet at Backcountry

"Meets the safety standards for both alpine skiing and climbing, with active ventilation and heat exhaust."

Best for Freeriding: Sweet Protection Switcher MIPS Helmet at Amazon

"The magnetic chin buckle has a turn-dial adjustment so you can easily make fit changes on the fly."

Best for All-Mountain Skiing: Scott Symbol 2 Plus D at Amazon

"Works anywhere you might want to ski."

Best Design: Oakley MOD1 MIPS at Oakley

"Delivers premium functionality without the flash."

Whether you’re a skiing newbie or a seasoned slope veteran, wearing a ski helmet is a no-brainer. They protect the most vulnerable part of your body from serious injury—and these days, technology has made most styles so comfortable and lightweight that you almost won’t notice they’re there. Features to look out for include MIPS (an innovative protection system that defends your brain against angled impacts); adjustable ventilation, and a customizable fit.

Read on to learn more about the best ski helmets available. 

Our Top Picks

01 of 08

Best Overall: Smith Optics Quantum Ski Helmet

Giro Seam Snow Helmet
Courtesy of Amazon

With the Quantum helmet from Smith Optics, you really get what you pay for—it’s one of the more expensive ski helmets on the market, but all of the integrated technology makes it reliable in practically any condition. Smith uses their proprietary Koroyd, a material of thermal-welded tubes arranged in a honeycomb pattern, which crush upon impact to rapidly decelerate energy and soften the blow. This technology also allows for ample breathability without decreasing protection and partners with MIPS system layering for top-of-line energy absorption, along with an adjustable Boa FS360 fit system to dial in a custom, comfortable fit.

The breathability is further reinforced with AirEvac ventilation to keep your goggles fog-free, while a total of 22 vents help control the heat or air things out with a few controls. The Nanosilver lining won’t retain body odors, and the magnetic Fidlock buckle on the adjustable strap can be operated with one hand. The removable earpads are also compatible with Outdoor Tech’s Bluetooth speaker system (sold separately), and color options range from the subdued (gray, white, blue, and a mellow red rock) to the loud (matte yellow and matte orange).

02 of 08

Best Value: Giro Ledge Ski Helmet

Designed with a skate helmet-inspired profile and tailor-made for park and resort riding, the affordable Giro Ledge boasts an Auto Loc 2 system for a dialed fit, removable earpads to cool things down, and fixed vents at the temple, top, and back for airflow. It meets CE EN1077 certification safety standards, utilizing a hard-shell outer with a comfortable EPS foam liner. Best of all, the helmet marries with most goggle brands, held in place with a removable retainer that avoids the dreaded “gaper gap” (the space between the goggle’s top rim and the helmet’s brim). Its stack vent technology at the center also assures a fog-free ride when things heat up.

03 of 08

Best for Kids: Giro Crue Kids Ski Helmet

For kids looking to ski, Giro's Crue ski helmet delivers a stylish, lightweight ski helmet with fun colors, yet it doesn’t cut corners on performance or comfort. It employs an elastomeric attachment system that manages the effects of rotational accelerations on impact thanks to ultra-thin, multi-directional absorption sections integrated into an elastic layer. The durable hard-shell outer features a strategically arranged vent system to channel warm air from the goggles that avoid fogging and keeps the little ones comfortable.

04 of 08

Best for Racing: POC Skull Orbic X Spin

Racing at top speeds means you need a helmet that can stand up to the most extreme impacts, and the Skull Orbix X Spin ski helmet delivers that at a relatively affordable price point. POC tapped their pro-team athletes and medical experts to build out a “whole helmet” concept, employing their SPIN internal shearing pad that uses pockets of silicone at key points of potential impact, as well as a hard shell ABS outer layer and an advanced, multi-layer EPP liner that’s thicker in strategic zones that are more susceptible to repetitive forces. The ear chambers have also been designed with racers in mind to improve balance and hearing, and is compatible with POC’s Maxilla break-away hard shell chin guard. There are no vents here, and though the helmet runs large, the integrated chin strap assures a tight fit without shifting.

Continue to 5 of 8 below.
05 of 08

Best for Touring: Salomon MTN Lab Ski Helmet

Salomon MTN Lab

 Courtesy of backcountry.com

Ski touring requires a helmet that’s light and airy without sacrificing protection, and the Salomon MTN Lab provides all the safety you need in a helmet that weighs just less than 13 ounces. The helmet is certified to meet the standards for both alpine skiing and climbing, with active ventilation that maximizes airflow and heat exhaust to keep you cool and your goggles fog-free, along with built-in channels in the liner and a thermal control system. Merino wool in the liner also absorbs sweat without odor retention. The helmet comes with an extra summer liner for year-long alpine pursuits, with 3D earpads that are audio-system compatible. The included helmet bag easily attaches to your pack for when you’re skinning in the backcountry, and it also boasts an integrated retainer for your headlamp.

06 of 08

Best for Freeriding: Sweet Protection Switcher MIPS Helmet

Freeriders tend to reinvent the slopes as they charge the bumps, trees, and drops that other resort skiers tend to avoid. The best bet is a helmet that keeps you cool when you’re running hot or heats up when waiting for the path to clear, like the Sweet Protection Switcher. The helmet is well-protected, thanks to MIPS technology and a combination of in-mold and hardshell construction. A network of 22 one-hand-adjustable vents makes it ideal for achieving the perfect comfort level, with a proprietary magnetic chin buckle and turn-dial adjustment to make fit changes on the fly while wearing gloves. It’s also audio-system compatible and fits well with all goggles.

07 of 08

Best for All-Mountain Skiing: Scott Symbol 2 Plus D

The gold-medal winner at ISPO, Europe’s biggest winter sports network, the Symbol 2 Plus D from Scott works anywhere you might want to ski, from big drops to slalom runs to forays into the side country. It includes full MIPS protection alongside special inserts that utilizes “intelligent” molecules that flow with you as you ski but lock together on impact to protect you from high-, medium-, and low-energy impacts. A dual active venting system is controlled by two, easy-to-operate sliders at the top and bottom of the helmet to help fine-tune ventilation that keeps temperatures regulated and your goggles clear. In terms of audio compatibility, the helmet boasts 360-degree PS ear pads that don’t muffle ambient sounds, which further enhances its safety-forward features.

08 of 08

Best Design: Oakley MOD1 MIPS

Oakley MOD1 MIPS

 Courtesy of Oakley

Oakley’s recently revamped ski helmet line leans heavily into the simplistic and low-profile, including the skateboard helmet-inspired MOD1. The helmet delivers premium functionality without the flash, with features like MIPS integration, a magnetic Fidlock buckle, a removable liner and earpads, and Boa’s 360 Fit system. As with lower-priced helmets, the venting is fixed on the MOD1, configured to allow hot air to escape from the top of the helmet to prevent overheating and goggle fogging, along with additional brim and goggle venting. With a minimalistic look, the helmet only includes four modest color options, including white, gray, and black.

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