Welcome to a special Buyer’s Guide feature from FREESKIER. Here’s a close-up look at the best ski-specific helmets & goggles of 2020. Can’t get enough gear? Click here to explore the entire 2020 Buyer’s Guide.
Oakley MOD1 & Fall Line XL
Harking on the classic style of skate helmets, Oakley is debuting the MOD1 infused with a slew of proprietary design elements to make this fresh lid function as well as it looks. Fixed ventilation on the top of the helmet as well as the brim allows hot air to escape, preventing goggle fog. A BOA system perfects the helmet-to-noggin’ fit with the twist of a dial and MIPS integration helps keep your brain safe and sound.
Expanding its successful Fall Line series, Oakley is introducing a bigger, badder brother with the Fall Line XL. This extra-large cylindrical goggle provides a wide-as-hell peripheral view and utilizes the brand’s PRIZM lens technology–designed to maximize contrast and enhance visibility in a variety of conditions–so you won’t miss a damn thing on the slopes, even if it’s a near white-out. The streamlined frame of the Fall Line XL is also designed to seamlessly integrate with Oakley helmets, including the MOD1, for a sleek and sophisticated look.
Dragon Alliance is at the top of its game heading into this winter and the PXV, with its toric, contrast-enhancing lens, is the superstar of its starting lineup. Plenty of venting to prevent fogging and a baker’s dozen of lens colors and strap styles—check out that lurking shark, above— enhance the goggle’s frameless, clean aesthetic. Bottom line: Dragon’s PXV is a FREESKIER-favorite.
POC Obex BC SPIN & Opsin Clarity
POC is implementing backcountry-focused technology into its Obex BC SPIN helmet. Employing all of the same safety features as the Obex SPIN–EPS foam liner for shock absorption, size adjustment system for the perfect fit and the brand’s patent-pending SPIN technology for oblique impacts–POC takes it one step further with this bucket by using a near field communication (NFC) chip for first responders to refer to during emergencies. Using an app called My Ice Info, search and rescue teams can efficiently look up your medical information via this chip to better treat you on the spot.
Brand-new to POC’s goggle lineup is the Opsin Clarity. This goggle features POC’s contrast-boosting Clarity lens with a cylindrical shape for a wide field of view and crystal clear line of sight. Available with three different lenses–sunny, partly sunny and cloudy–this TPU-frame goggle is built for medium to small faces and seamlessly integrates with the Obex BC SPIN helmet.
Spect Eyewear Magnetron
Spect Eyewear—a seasoned veteran overseas, but a rookie in the North American market—introduces its Magnetron goggle designed in conjunction with Red Bull. This spherical offering comes standard with two lenses and anti-fog, anti-scratch and water-repellent coatings ensuring longevity and performance. Most notably, a magnetic quick-release system will have you changing lenses in a flash and its strap design will certainly give you wings.
Giro Stellar MIPS & Eave
The stars aligned for the designers over at Giro when they made the Stellar MIPS as part of their Women’s Series of brain buckets. This low-profile, hard-shell helmet is the optimal mix of style and safety. Conform Fit Technology–a two-piece outer shell that hugs the head–means you can dial in the exact fit of the entire helmet with a single twist. And you can ski hard knowing the integrated MIPS technology has your brain covered in case of an impact. Adjustable vents give you full control of air flow and a magnetic buckle makes for easy latching, even with gloves or mitts on, or pocket bacon grease on your fingers.
Ladies, you’ll be doing a double take in the reflection of the gondola window wearing the Giro Eave goggles. One of the brand’s most flattering models to date, the Infinity lens design seamlessly connects the lens to the frame, making it appear as though it’s a sexy, frameless goggle. A magnetic quick-change lens system makes for easy swapping between the high-light and low-light lenses, each utilizing VIVID technology for a boost in contrast and depth perception.
Spy Optic Legacy
Wrapping 25 years of inspiration and independent optic expertise into a timeless goggle offering, SPY has implemented a low profile and amazingly wide field of view into the Legacy. Featuring the brand’s signature color- , contrast- and mood-enhancing HD+ technology and a secure quick-change lens system, these gogs are everything you want in a sleek, reliable, stunning package.
Sweet Protection Switcher MIPS & Interstellar
The Switcher MIPS helmet was created for hard-charging skiers who don’t want to compromise between protection and comfort. Twenty-two adjustable vents are controlled with a single, low-profile dial on the back of the lid so you can keep your cool when the day starts heating up. By utilizing a hybrid in-mold/hard shell with MIPS technology, this bucket will keep your brain safely swaddled when something unexpected hits.
Sweet Protection is entering the realm of optics to complement the brand’s trusted lineup of helmets for the 2019-20 season. Sporting the first-ever sculpted toric goggle lens, the geometry of the Interstellar’s lens is fine-tuned to make it more rigid than your average lens and withstand hard impacts. Utilizing Sweet’s Retina Illumination Grading technology, which focuses on increasing contrast and depth perception in low light, we assure you won’t miss any snow-sharks lurking under the surface.
Zeal Portal XL
Zeal’s Portal XL sports a spherical lens featuring the brand’s patented quick-change lens system and rimless, frameless styling. These portals to ocular orgasm provide an outrageous field of view and will give you jet-pilot style while you’re cruising at top speed. Colorado born-and-bred—just like FREESKIER—it’s easy to give Zeal two thumbs up.
Julbo Hal & Cyrius
A long-standing leader in the protective eyewear category, Julbo is expanding its ski product offerings to helmets for 2020. The Hal is a 450-gram, low profile in-mold helmet that promotes comfort and good looks on the mountain. Its strategically designed “peak” shaped brim promotes seamless integration with Julbo’s goggles, ensuring you have the best possible airflow… and look fantastic, of course. An active venting system, along with a BOA dial to hyper tune the fit of this bucket, play a key role for all-day comfort, keeping you cool when you start to get a little hot-headed and dry when the skies decide to open up.
When you’re flying down big-mountain faces and weaving through trees, your line of sight can’t be compromised. Julbo has been designing and developing performance eyewear for mountain athletes for over 130 years and the brand’s expertise culminates in the Cyrius goggle. With a cylindrical double-lens construction, vented frames and an anti-fog coating, these puppies provide a triple-team against annoying fog. Julbo’s REACTIV photochromic lens also automatically adjusts its tint to the conditions outside, negating the need to carry a spare lens with you, clearing room for a lift beer, or two, in your pocket.