Featured Image: Tamara Susa
Welcome to a special Buyer’s Guide feature from FREESKIER. Here’s a close-up look at the best ski helmets of the year. Click here to explore the entire 2021 FREESKIER Buyer’s Guide.
Light on your wallet, even lighter on your head. The Vida opts for strategically placed, energy-absorbing Koroyd cylinders that uniformly collapse during a collision—they cave in, your skull doesn’t—combined with MIPS to protect against concussion-causing rotational forces. The Vida is an ideal backcountry brain bucket, with all the fixings: easy-adjust venting, a sturdy, in-mold one-piece build, antimicrobial liner and seamless integration with Smith goggles.
Spy+ Galactic Mips
The Galactic distributes its dome-saving defenses through a kick-ass ABS shell and MIPS brain protection system. But this lid is all about street-inspired style and even comes bundled with two brim options for personalization. The Snug Life fit system keeps it secure, passive vents ensure there’s airflow circulating around your dome and audio-compatible earpads will have you rockin’ while you’re out battling that kinked rail for your next video part.
Pret Refuge X
Pret’s sole focus is ski helmets and its products are fine-tuned for freeriders everywhere. This season, we’re putting the spotlight on the Refuge X, the warmest fully stocked helmet in Pret’s collection. No nonsense multi shell in-mold construction and MIPS technology provide coveted safeguarding while the RCS dial-fit knob, one-touch adjustable venting, stank-muting X-Static liner and easy-to-snap Fidlock buckle fall right into place. Brain freeze has met its match.
Scott Couloir Freeride
Taking cues from the ski- and mountaineering-certified Couloir Mountain helmet, the Couloir Freeride is a warmer and more comfortable option. Blending head-sav-ing, in-mold construction with EPS foam, your dome gets the protection it needs while thoughtful, backcoun-try-focused features like a headlamp fixation and streamlined passive vents offer no-frills performance. The lightweight liner can also be removed so you can catch a better breeze during that spring corn harvest.
Anon Windham Wavecel
Anon is bringing some new safety tech to its top-of-the-line helmets this year. Coined WaveCel, it acts as a crumple zone between your skull and the ground, using a bounty of shock absorbers to distribute the energy of impact away from your noggin. WaveCel is available on three Anon models this season; the Windham is the freeride-inspired version featuring an injection-molded ABS shell, comfortable, one-hand-adjustable BOA fit system and cozy Polartec liner.
Oakley Mod1 Pro
Helmets are bound to take some dings and dents. To combat the marks of everyday use and prolong the life of your helmet, Oakley introduces the Mod1 Pro. With an updated Dura-Matter shell fused with an EPS foam liner, it’s more durable against scrapes and scratches while maintaining the low-profile, skate-styled design that made its predecessor—the Mod1—so popular. Fixed vents, Polartec Power Grid liner/earpads and a Fidlock chinstrap ensure it’s ready for all-mountain dominance.
Sweet Protection Trooper 2Vi
Rocking the latest iteration of the Trooper will have you feeling battle-ready and primed to send. The big news here is Sweet’s 2Vi safety tech that pieces together the precision-made shell, shock absorbing liner and two layers of MIPS (more MIPS!) so that the helmet feels completely impenetrable. Sweet’s designers didn’t skimp on features and this bucket comes with a Fidlock buckle, one-dial fit system and a “goggle garage” that promotes a fog-free ride.
Bollé RYFT Evo
You probably remember the Bollé RYFT for its speedy style and epic venting capabilities, and you can read more about it via the Deep Dive on the next page. But, here, we’re focusing on the all-new RYFT Evo, which provides that same hair-in-the-wind airflow and MIPS protection in a more affordable package. Featuring a removable liner, and BOA fit system, buying the RYFT Evo is like picking a Porsche over a Ferrari—you’ll still go fast, but don’t have to pay a premium.
Giro Grid Spherical
Protection sans bulk—the low-profile Grid is engineered to feel like you’re not even wearing a helmet. About the same weight as a can of soda, it offers a full spread of features, including proprietary Spherical Technology (developed in collaboration with MIPS) to protect your brain from rotational forces, a dial-fit system, active venting and a Polartec Power Grid liner to keep you cool and snug. Even better, it seamlessly integrates with all Giro goggles for a precise fit.
POC Meninx RS MIPS
POC’s all-new Meninx RS is one of those helmets that actually feels like sturdy equipment, not some plastic accessory to be tossed in the back of the truck. Masked by simple styling, the two-part ABS shell offers double the protection: there’s an EPS foam liner atop the head and tougher-to-crack EPP foam around it. Although it’s not the lightest option for the backcountry, the embedded Recco reflector and NFC Medical ID chip are thoughtful inclusions in case of an emergency.
Bollé first entered the winter market in 1960 with the introduction of its ski-specific eyewear, offering snow sliders protection from both harmful UV rays as well as snow and other debris we often encounter on the mountain. For nearly 50 years, the French brand focused solely on eyewear protection, until 2007, when Bollé introduced its very first ski helmet. In the 14 years since, Bollé has become a leader in creative and innovative product design for ski helmets and that dedication culminates in the brand’s popular RYFT helmet. Read the full review in our Deep Dive on the Bollé RYFT.