There’s no feeling in the world that matches the thrill of zipping down powdery white snowy slopes with out-of-the-world views. Skiing, as enthralling an activity as it is, is also a responsible one. So, you need to be outfitted with the best gear to keep you safe, protected, and warm out on the slopes. Of them all, perhaps a ski helmet is the most important, especially if you have a larger head than the ‘norm!’ The best ski helmets for big heads aren’t any different in terms of designs and features – they’re just ergonomically larger.
There are a few things you need to know before we get on with our list of large ski helmets. To begin with, a majority of the ‘XL’ sized helmets are available in just color – black. Moreover, the market for big helmets is largely dominated by just two brands, Giro and Smith, with a couple of others tossed into the mix. Nevertheless, we’ve compiled a useful list as a starting point for getting you the ideal ski helmet for your head. To that end, here are the 13 best ski helmets fr big heads.
How To Choose The Best Ski Helmet For Big Heads?
Now, if you’re getting ready to ride the slopes of the Best Ski Resorts In Vermont, then the last thing you can be is uncomfortable. You need to be as protected and comfortable in your gear as you can get, and that includes your helmet. And just like there are specific Ski Boots For Wide Feet, there are helmets for larger heads like yours too. So, how should you look for large-sized helmets? Moreover, what are the other must-haves in a ski helmet? Read on.
Getting the size right
Finding the right-sized helmet is mostly about measuring your head correctly. To begin with, wrap a soft measuring tape around 1 inch above your ears and eyebrows around your head. Most large adult helmets are sized between 59 and 63 cm (23.2-24.8 inches), while the extra-large ones measure more than 63 cm. Next, you need to try the helmet on, and ideally, it should feel snug and not move. Moreover, there should be no extra space between your head and the helmet, and neither should it be too tight.
Finally, you need to do the shake test with the helmet on your head. If it shakes separately from your head or moves on its own, then it’s too big. And no, buckling the helmet won’t help. All it’ll do is just keep it on your head, not better the fit.
Even when you’re looking for ski helmets for big heads, you need to watch out for MIPS (Multi-directional Impact Protection System). This scientifically-designed extra layer is very helpful in times of collisions since it helps reduce the rotational forces to your head. So, in case you were to fall off your skis, a MIPS helmet will move and absorb any shock energy, taking the stress and impact off of your brain.
Ventilation and other things
Whether you’re a novice or an advanced skier, your helmet needs to keep you warm out there on the slopes. To that end, you need to check how good the ventilation system on the helmet is. Preferably, the vents need to be flexible and adjustable, especially if you’re going to be doing summer skiing too when the sun will beat down on you. Last but not the least, you need to check the weight and bulk of the helmet, and whether they’re compatible with goggles or not.
Sweet Protection Igniter II MIPS
The ultra-lightweight Sweet Protection Igniter II MIPS is one of the best ski helmets for big heads. Its XL/XXL size suits heads with a circumference of more than 63 cm (24.8 inches). The helmet is made from the brand’s signature ABS superlight shell technology, keeping the weight under 1.1lbs. The highly-ventilated helmet features passive vents at the top and active ones in the front, leaving your head cool and your goggles fog-free. Moreover, the goggle strap is easy and simple to use even with gloves on. The Occigrip fit adjustment system is possibly its most impressive aspect. Once it’s dialed in, it remains in place, while the ear pads offer warmth sans sacrificing hearing. Finally, even the chin strap is highly adjustable with gloved hands and sans any dangling straps.
Going further, the Igniter II is even audio-ready. You can buy the audio chips separately as additional gear. With every detail of this helmet well-thought-out, the Igniter II justifies its price tag.
- The XL/XXL size is also available in blue, and not just black and white.
- Removable ear pads, compatible with audio.
- Adjustable ventilation system.
- Very good fit for goggles.
- MIPS makes the size smaller, so even those fitting in the L/XL category might want to go in for XL/XXL one.
Now the Salomon Brigade is one of the best huge helmets for large heads. Its XL size is ideal for heads measuring 62-64 cm (24.4-25.1 inches), while its XXL size is for heads even larger than that! The slick safety helmet has been around for a while, but its newest version is the best yet. It packs safety and style together and protects your head against impacts in one incredibly lightweight package. With adjustable ventilation, you can alter the airflow to stay fog-free and comfy. Moreover, you can even remove and wash the liner, making it great for those long runs in the summer. Finally, it even has integrated summer pads to keep you cool when the sun beats down on the slopes.
The combination of an injected ABS shell and an EPS4D liner absorbs energy on impact while staying durable at the same time. An integrated custom dial provides a comfy and precise fit. The highlight is the removable earpads that are audio-compatible. Rounding up everything is an included helmet storage bag.
- Removable liner and audio-compatible earpads.
- Chip strap padding keeps a comfy fit.
- Excellent fitting.
- XL and XXL sizes are available in just one color.
Smith Gage Helmet
The slopestyle-worthy Smith Gage Helmet is one of the best ski helmets for big heads. In fact, its XL size fits heads with circumferences as large as 63-67 cm (24.8-26.3 inches)! The unexpectedly smooth and sleek helmet is durable and strong with an ABS Bombshell construction. It ensures optimal comfort thanks to its 12-vents adjustable system that allows you to regulate airflow according to the weather. The standout is the self-adjusting Lifestyle Fit system that ensures a custom fit, no matter the size and shape of your head. Besides being beanie-compatible, the Gage helmet also features a removable goggle lock, should you feel the need to use other ones.
Above all, the design of the helmet is all about making you feel and look great on the slopes without having to compromise on the size of it. Right from the aesthetic brim and earpads to the removable goggle clip, the helmet keeps harsh elements out and you comfortable on the slopes.
- Self-adjusting Lifestyle-Fit system.
- Adjustable venting system
- All-season use.
- Removable goggle lock.
- MIPS shoots the price up.
Smith Aspect MIPS Helmet
With an XL size option for heads measuring 63-67 cm (24.8-26.3 inches), it’s no wonder that the Smith Aspect MIPS Helmet is so popular. It brings classic style with proven function and fit and enduring value all together in one package. The helmet features the MIPS technology, which is excellent for absorbing shocks on impact. An in-mold construction makes the helmet extremely lightweight. On the other hand, the dial fit system and the climate-controlled AirEvac 2 ventilation make it as custom-fitted and comfortable as affordable.
There are many other things to like about the Smith Aspect MIPS helmet, including the padded chip strap that keeps chafing at bay. Moreover, the goggle clip keeps even your goggles in place, ensuring that they don’t flay around when you zip down the slopes. Finally, the helmet is even audio-system compatible, as the earpads feature zippers for you to pump your music.
- Audio-system compatible.
- Comfortable, lightweight, and affordable.
- Adjustable, climate-controlled ventilation system.
- Virtually none.
Giro Nine Helmet
Besides being one of the best ski helmets for big heads, the Giro Nine Helmet offers the best bang for your buck. It’s one of those excellent basic helmets that get the job done, just like the high-end ones, but sans pizzaz and flash. The best part? Its XL size is ideal for large heads, measuring between 62.5 and 64.8 cm (24.6-25.5 inches). The inner fit system ensures a customized, comfy fit, while the thick and soft ear pads lend warmth. The 12-vent adjustable system keeps your head cool in summers and warm in winters and doesn’t leave you sweaty. What’s more, it’s incredibly lightweight and weighs all of 15.4 oz (436.5 g)! So, it also makes an excellent Ski Helmet For Women.
Besides the MIPS system that protects your head during impacts, the highlight of the Giro Nine MIPS is the helmet’s goggles integration. The goggles clip keeps the strap in place in the rear, while a frontal ledge allows your goggles to cozy up and stay. Moreover, the two vents on the ledge help keep the airflow through and the goggles fog-free. It’s no surprise that this is one of the Best Ski Helmets For Beginners.
- Covers all bases.
- Great value-for-money.
- Not innovative.
Smith Maze Helmet
With an XL size measuring between 63 and 67 cm (24.8-26.3 inches), it’s no wonder why the Smith Maze MIPS Helmet is so popular with skiers with large heads. It comes from the brand’s long line of trusted ski helmets designed with style and simplicity in mind. Since it’s simple and lightweight both, it’s a great option for both resort and backcountry riding. It’ll fit you well, whether you wear it with or without a beanie, complete with rearrangeable and removable foam pads for a nicer fit. Despite not having an adjustable vent system, the removable earpieces add to its versatility.
Apart from being one of the lightest helmets out there, the Maze’s design is no-frills and yet clean and non-bulky at the same time. Plus, it’s compatible with a whole lot of goggles, complete with a goggle clip to keep them in place. The most unique aspect about this helmet, besides a smattering of colors, is that you can even wear the goggles inside the helmet, rather than outside.
- Its XL sizes are available in colors like white and forest green.
- Reasonably priced.
- Size adjustment might feel tricky to some.
Smith Sequel Helmet
The Smith Sequel Helmet is one of the lightest best ski helmets for big heads. You might think that its XL size, which fits heads with circumferences of 63-67 cm (24.8-26.3 inches) might make it noticeable, but that’s not the case. The Sequel is hardly noticeable due to its lightweight construction. The helmet melds timeless Smith designs with ultra-light hybrid shell construction technology to keep it lightweight and simple. The snug earpads provide warmth on a cold day, while the ventilation system offers excellent airflow on a hot one. The best part? The fit is true-to-size, leaving no goggle gap and offering lots of coverage around the ears.
What’s more, you’ll love the many colors that the Smith Sequel offers, although it’s a bit difficult to find anything apart from black and white in the XL size. Despite that, the elastic goggle-strap retainer at the rear and an affordable price point make the Smith Sequel an excellent buy.
- Earpads keep you warm and snug.
- The ventilation system provides great airflow.
- Some users reported a bit of a sizing issue.
Giro Seam Helmet
If you have a large, albeit oval-shaped head, then the Giro Seam Helmet is for you. It’s perfect for those whose heads’ circumference measures more than 62.5 cm (24.6 inches). What’s excellent is that although it fits those with intermediate to longer oval heads better, its wheeled adjustment system helps fit slightly different head shapes too! The helmet seals out even the harshest of drafts, snow, and wind with compatible goggles in place. Since the earpieces are fixed, they cradle the ears, keeping you warm. Moreover, the Seam is compatible with not just Giro goggles, but goggles from other brands as well.
The helmet’s in-mold construction, combined with the plush foam liner makes it impact-absorbing and durable both. What’s more, the Stack Vent located over the goggles’ central vent, keeps them fog-free and leaves your field of vision open. Besides the flexible base pad, the padded adjustable chin strap keeps the helmet firmly on your head as you zip down the slopes.
- Ideal for longer, oval heads.
- Earpieces are non-removable.
Smith Variance Helmet
The Variance from Smith is one of the best ski helmets for big heads and has been a longstanding favorite with skiing aficionados. Its XL size fits heads with a circumference of 63-67 cm (24.8-26.3 inches). And although the Variance is designed to fit rounder heads better, it fits different-shaped heads too thanks to the BOA adjustment system. With 18 (some of them adjustable) vents, the helmet regulates airflow when warm and keeps your head warm when it’s cold outside. Despite being slightly heavy, the streamlined and stylish shape is what will tip it in your favor.
Apart from it featuring the MIPS technology, the earpads on the Variance hug your cheeks well, not letting in even a small draft of air. Plus, the Nanosilver performance liner feels plush and soft against your head and face. Apart from being compatible with a whole range of goggles, the helmet’s removable earpads are even audio-compatible with disk-shaped devices.
- Excellent ventilation.
Smith Vantage Helmet
If style along with a large size is what you’re going for, then you can’t get a helmet better than the Smith Vantage MIPS Helmet. The helmet’s XL size fits heads with a circumference of 63-67 cm (24.8-26.3 inches). By simply holding this helmet, you can make out its durable and top-of-the-line construction, which makes it worth every cent. The MIPS technology, combined with the hybrid construction and easy BOA adjustment system makes for the perfect fit sans skimping on protection. Moreover, the goggle-helmet interface is excellent, and the overall fit is easy to adjust even with gloves and works on a range of head sizes and shapes.
The adjustable ventilation system is the highlight of the Vantage, making it the perfect choice on both cold and hot days. On hotter days, it provides excellent airflow while on colder days, it keeps the ears warm. Above all, the trim and sleek design with nice and clean lines make it one of the most stylish helmets out there. Overall, the Smith Vantage is also considered one of the Best Ski Helmets for Men too.
- Compatible with most goggles.
- Stylish and functional.
- Adjustable ventilation system
- Warm and comfortable.
Protective? Check. MIPS? Check. Reasonably priced? Check! The Giro Ledge MIPS Helmet is one of the best ski helmets for big heads in more ways than one. To begin with, its XL size fits heads with a circumference of 62.5-65 cm (24.6-25.5 inches). Secondly, it’s simple yet skater and minimalist feel make this a great helmet to wear and feel. Finally, it comes equipped with MIPS technology, and even then costs less than $100! The earpieces on the Ledge are fit enough to offer warmth and comfortable for wearing for long durations. The Auto Loc 2, despite being a bit tricky to use, is adept at finding a fit ideal for you.
Although the vents on the helmet are fixed wide open, the addition of the removable earpieces leaves them ideal to be worn on both warm and cold days. Moreover, the helmet integrates seamlessly with not just Giro goggles but with other brands too, doing away with the dreaded goggle gap. For a top-of-the-line helmet, the Giro delivers, and how!
- Simple and sleek design.
- Fixed vents.
Sweet Protection Grimnir II TE MIPS
If you’re worried about protecting your ‘large’ head, then look no further than the Sweet Protection Grimnir II TE MIPS Helmet. The helmet is akin to having a second skull, only stronger. A carbon-fiber-reinforced polymer shell, combined with a shock-absorbing polystyrene liner, provides incredible rigidity and strength-to-weight ratio. Moreover, the OcciGrip system at the rear ensures an excellent fit, albeit you might have to spend some time finding the right one.
Apart from the above, the Grimnir II TE has a host of very likable secondary features. To begin with, its ear pads and liners are both washable and removable. Plus, the 26-vent adjustable system keeps your head cool and warm in different climates. If you’re a video enthusiast, then you should know that it has an embedded mount for Contour and GoPro cameras – one of the very few in the market. Finally, even with the camera, the helmet can take on the full impact of a crash sans hurting you. All this, with an L/XL size that measures 59-61 cm (23.2-24 inches).
- Excellent protection.
- Adjustable vent system.
- Embedded mount for Contour/GoPro cameras.
- The sizing system is a bit tricky to manage with gloved hands.
POC Receptor Bug
The POC Receptor Bug is one of the most unique ski helmets for big heads. It’s one-of-a-kind due to its distinctive and durable injection-molded construction that also has a ventilation system. This is not present in any other injection-molded ski helmet. What’s more, it fits rounder heads well and more snugly than other XXL-sized helmets. Finally, its XXL size fits heads with a circumference of 61-62 cm (24-24.4 inches).
There’s a lot more to like about the POC Receptor Bug helmet. It boasts a smooth and comfy foam and fabric lining and well-insulating earpieces. The standout quality is the ventilation system which, as we mentioned earlier, is rare for an injection-molded helmet. The helmet features dual shell layers with offset vents, keeping the head cool in summers and warm in winters. Finally, the helmet is extremely well integrated with POC goggles, allowing you to ski your way to glory.
- Skater-style helmet.
- Adjustable ventilation system.
- Excellent liner and foam.
- Very heavy, but that’s because of the injection molding that provides additional protection.