Skiing is an activity that has only grown in popularity since it first began. Today, countless ardent skiers and adrenaline junkies throng to the best ski resorts in the world. Also, everyone wants to ride down slopes looking at their chicest and trendiest best. However, all efforts go down the drain if you don’t have a ski helmet on, as it is essential for avoiding having fatal accidents. In fact, a majority of ski resorts won’t let you out on the slopes without you having a helmet on. Notwithstanding your skiing ability level, investing in some good ski helmets is no joke. The best ski helmets for men today are not just safer, but lighter and highly advanced as compared to earlier.
Today, there are myriad manufacturers that produce high-quality, high-performance ski helmets. So, we’ve sifted through tons of excellent ski helmets to bring you the 13 best ski helmets for men.
How To Choose The Best Ski Helmets For Men?
Just like alpine ski boots, there are specific things to look out for while investing in a new helmet for yourself. Right from technologies to construction methods, they’re listed below.
Short for Multi-directional Impact Protection System, MIPS is a scientifically-designed additional layer to be fitted into helmets. In times of crashes, it helps lessen the rotational forces to your head. When you fall off your snowboard or skis, you’re most likely to fall at an angle. When helmets don’t have MIPS, they’ll rotate with your head and have a potentially damaging effect on your brain. MIPS helmets move up to 15 mm when they suffer an impact. Thus, they end up absorbing more of the shock energy and take the stress off your brain. That said, watch out as not all helmet manufacturers have adopted MIPS.
Chin Strap & Fastening
A helmet’s snug fit is assured by the chin strap. If you’re wearing thick snowboard or ski gloves, then fastening the strap can be tricky. To counter that, chin straps are turning versatile. Today, most clasps are magnetic and can be operated single-handedly and without looking.
Adjustment and Fitting
It goes without saying that ski helmets are truly effective only if they fit extremely well. So, you might need to try on a few before finding one that works for you. And, a lot of it depends on the helmet’s adjustment system. Usually, ski helmets sizes are such – S/M, M/L, etc. for catering to a variety of head sizes. Also, they have inner adjustable layers for securing them in place. Some manufacturers have BOA fit systems, while others have in-house systems. We also have a list of 13 Best Ski Helmets for Kids in case you’re looking for one.
Finally, we come to the in-mold construction. It’s a type of building method where inner foam layers are fused directly to the outer helmet layers. Some manufacturers also refer to it as co-molded construction, but they all mean the same thing. In-mold helmets are popular because they’re robust, tough, keep your head cool, improve airflow, and are highly resistant to cracks.
At $75, the Smith Holt is a true budget offering and one of the most favorite ski helmets for men. The helmet is a textbook in smart design, and deftly avoids the offputting, bulky mushroom look that’s usually associated with helmets. To begin with, what we love about the Smith-Holt is the adjustment system. It’s not just a dial adjuster, but also features a stretchy elasticized band at the back to fit your head. Comfort and warmth and paramount, and the foam lends added warmth and thickness.
Moreover, the helmet isn’t made only for the slopes. It features a pad kit that allows you to switch to use it during summers! So, you can even use it for skateboarding and biking. Plus, you can also discretely control the venting between the top and front vents. That, coupled with the AirEvac system assures not only proper airflow but also keeps your goggles fog-free.
- Value for money.
- Excellent design.
- If you’re up the mountain a lot, then it makes sense to upgrade to a premium helmet.
Oakley Mod 3
Oakley might have just missed the mark with Mod 1, but it more than makes up for it with the Oakley Mod 3. The brand might be associated with optics and eyewear, but their recent foray into extreme sports is in no way an amateur one. If you’re better than a novice skier but haven’t quite reached the expert level, then the Mod 3 is perfect for you.
As all Oakley Mod helmets do, the Mod 3 also features the brand’s patented “Modular Brim System.” The nifty system allows changing the brim size at the helmet’s front to organically make space for whatever goggles you might be wearing. What’s more, the clever ventilation system channels air from beneath your goggles and comes out atop the helmet. It not only keeps the goggles mist-free but also keeps your head cool. If that wasn’t enough, it has a durable, robust, and tough exterior made from a combination of In-Mold and ABS. That, coupled with the effective MIPS system ensures complete and effective protection of your head. Fidlock magnetic buckles make strapping it on and getting it off an easy, one-handed operation. Finally, the BOA Fit system is perfect for making size adjustments.
- Available in seven colors.
- BOA adjustment system.
- MIPS system for complete protection.
- Fidlock magnetic buckles easy to handle.
- Virtually none.
Smith Vantage MIPS
The Smith Vantage might be the most expensive of all helmets you’d come across, but it’s also far superior to any other helmet in the market. One of the best ski helmets for men, the Smith vantage impresses like no other ski helmet will. The attention to detail and the high quality is as clear as daylight. If fact, you might even forget that you have a helmet on your head after all.
The first thing to notice about the helmet is the easy-to-adjust Boa dial for fit, the excellent head coverage, and supportive yet soft liner. It’s also lightweight and comfortable at the same time. It boasts one of the best ventilation systems in helmets, with a total of 21 vents. That’s at least 10-13 vents more than the best helmets in this class. They can be easily customized via two separate sliders. Besides this, the Vantage has a whole lot of other bells and whistles when it comes to safety. The highlight is the distinguishing honeycomb Aerocore construction and MIPS liner that better energy absorption during crashes. All this is packaged and integrated beautifully into a low-profile design.
To summarize, even with a high price tag of $260, the universally capable and comfortable helmet is worth every penny.
- Available in 3 colors and designs.
- It has everything – looks, safety, performance, and comfort.
- Very pricey.
POC Obex SPIN
The Sweden-based POC brand has built a standing around safety and toughness since its inception way back in 2005. The POC Obex Spin is, without doubt, the brand’s most well-rounded helmet to date. The award-winning helmet integrates the brand’s signature SPIN technology, which is POC’s variant of MIPS liner, which results in an angled impact. All this is wrapped up into a beautiful, competitively-priced, and lightweight package that is hard to beat.
The best part of this helmet is the simplicity of its design. It employs cushioned pads that blend seamlessly into the lining. The ventilation panels are adjustable, allowing less or more air to be let in. The system works best with the brand’s goggles, thanks to the interior adjustment system. It allows you to not change out the pads and yet enjoy a snug fit. The adjustable fit system also ensures that the helmet sits evenly around your head. Rounding out the features are POC’s signature clean styling and the robust ABS shell. At a reasonable price point of $200, the Obex Spin is a premium safety helmet that you can’t go wrong with.
- Adjustable (11 vents).
- Well-integrated safety features.
- Solid construction.
- A bit on the heavy side.
- Only the top three vents are adjustable.
Giro Ledge MIPS
The brand Giro integrated the MIPS technology into their helmets quite earlier on. Hence, their 2020 helmet lineup features lots of MIPS designs. Of them all, the Giro Ledge MIPS is an absolute standout. If its MIPS safety feature doesn’t convince you, then maybe its $90 price tag will. At this price point, it’s the most affordable ski helmet with the MIPS angled impact safety feature. That’s what makes it such a good buy.
Even if this doesn’t all the trimmings of a fanciful helmet, there’s enough to keep skiers happy and safe. For one, there’s a very user-friendly adjustment system. Secondly, the ear pads are removable, making this a summer-use helmet too. Also, the goggle retainer hook around back is handy as hell. The helmet’s clean, skate-inspired designs and robust hard-shell are protective in case of crashes. Plus, they come in a gamut of fun colors, so you won’t have to stick a mundane black one on your head. Moreover, the Ledge has an advantage over most helmets with the inclusion of MIPS for merely $20 extra. What’s more, if you have an oval-shaped head, then the Giro Ledge will work well.
So, whether you’re a season-long tripper or a casual rider, you should definitely check out the Ledge MIPS, which is a proven budget choice.
- The best MIPS helmet for less than $100.
- Falls short on the comfort end as compared to its rivals.
Bern Watts EPS Thin Shell
Bern has been perfecting ski helmets for more than 15 years. The Bern Watts EPS Thin Shell is one of its most iconic helmets and is an absolute winner for its spot-on comfort. Its competitive and value-for-money $100 price point makes it one of the best ski helmets for men.
There’s nothing about the Watts that you won’t like. It slides easily on to your head and adjusts handily due to the twisting Boa system. Since it’s certified for both seasons, it offers two-in-one compatibility. So, you can easily fit in a summer liner and use it for biking in the offseason. The hybrid ABS construction is robust and comfortable, even though it limits the number of vents that lie on the helmet. It even has a moisture-wicking default liner. What’s more, the brand’s signature Crank Fit Dial system makes adjusting easy and quick. Finally, medium-fit goggles will work like a charm and make the Bern Watts a solid value product.
- Good looks.
- Very comfortable.
- Vents are non-adjustable.
Oakley Mod 5
As we said earlier, Oakley might be new to the helmet game, but it’s in no way a novice. The Mod series is perhaps their best offerings, and the Oakley Mod 5 sits at the top-end of the lineup. The highlight of this freeride helmet is the unique, eponymous Modular Brim System. The removable brims eliminate the dreaded gaps by allowing you to change the brim size. Obviously, it depends on what kind of goggles you’re wearing, but the option to swap brims makes it one of 2020s most universal helmets. Coming to its construction, the helmet features a robust ABS plastic build for adjustable ventilation and additional protection. Its integrated ventilation system sucks up air via the brim from the goggles to remove the fogginess and regulate temperature.
The rest of the Mod 5 is archetypal Oakley quality. The magnetic chinstrap and Boa tightening system make the helmet feel lightweight on your head. The MIPS layer and cushy removable liner offer extra shock absorption. Plus, the helmet is available both with MIPS and without MIPS. Finally, it has a plethora of extra features; think a removable goggle band, removable ear pads, and an overall solid design.
- Removable brim design is creative.
- Excellent goggle fit.
- The ear pad design is not the best.
Salomon MTN Lab
The Salomon MTN Lab is a special helmet. It’s not only rated for both ascension use and downhill skiing but is also a backcountry standout. With a featherlight weight of 13.3 ounces (0.3 kg), the helmet is easily one of the lightest skiing helmets in the market. And that too, this is its medium-sized one equipped with a heavier winter liner! So, you can not only wear it all day but it can even be attached to a pack when not in use.
One of the strongest plus points of the MTN Lab is the ventilation system. It features 12 enormous cutouts scattered across the sides and the top of the helmet. Even then, the MTN Lab skimp on features. For one, it integrates extremely well with goggles of other brands. Secondly, there are two merino wool liners included along with it. These include a winter-weight one and a lightweight one, and both are cozy and soft. Finally, it features an easy-to-use adjustment dial at the back. Although the minimalist padding works better in extremely cold conditions, it works well in the alpine even on heavy snow days.
- Good for both climbing and skiing.
- Super lightweight.
- Vents are fixed.
Anon is Burton Snowboards’ sister brand and initially started out as a goggle manufacturer. Today, Burton makes helmets under the Anon brand, one of whose best is the Anon Prime. In fact, Anon claims that the Prime helmet is the most capable and comfortable helmet on the mountain. It’s what makes it an excellent choice for ski helmets for men.
There are a lot of reasons why Anon makes this claim. For one, the helmet has an in-shell BOA fit adjustment system for secure and yet easy adjustments to size. The 50-50 hybrid construction features a protective and long-lasting top layer. When that’s melded with a lightweight bottom, it offers breathability where you need it and protection in the areas that matter. Finally, for a price point of $120-150, the helmet even features the MIPS protection against angled impact. What’s more, if you need assistance after an accident, it even has an ICEdot Emergency ID that stores your medical and contact information. So, you can be found easily by rescue teams and can be immediately attended too. Finally, the Fidlock magnetic buckle can be fastened single-handedly and a whopping 23 adjustable vents ensure amazing airflow.
- Available in 11 colors.
- 23 adjustable vents.
- BOA fit system.
- None, really.
Sweet Protection Grimnir II TE
It’s evident right from the outset that the Sweet Protection Grimnir II TE isn’t your run-of-the-mill ski helmet. Well, for one, the ski helmet coasts a whopping $350! That’s an easy $50 more than the second-most expensive helmet on this list. However, what makes it singular is its shell that’s constructed from gleaming carbon fiber. The strong build is what ensures the helmet’s pro-level performance and incredible strength and robustness. What’s more, the “Natural Carbon” color that passes for black is especially impressive.
Aside from its freeride/all-mountain design, the helmet also features MIPS with an EPS foam to absorb and disperse impact in case of crashes. Plus, the OcciGrip fit adjustment gives a wonderfully customized fit. Finally, it even has a moisture-wicking washable liner and easy-to-mount camera mounts. In the end, the Griminir TE is a niche product perfect for you if you intend to hit huge mountain lines with a lot of exposure.
- Carbon fiber build.
- Super expensive.
From the able stable of the venerable K2 brand comes the K2 Diversion. With plush padding and a lightweight feel, the Diversion is one of the most favorite ski helmets for men in 2020. The helmet has a laundry list of features that make it so singularly amazing. Firstly, its 50-50 hybrid build offers an excellent practical balance between the top hard-shall and the in-mold construction at the sides. The cozy, warm, full-wrap liner lends warmth even in the coldest of atmospheres. The adjustable system can be handled even if you’re wearing gloves. Besides, you’ll love all the vents at the top and front of the helmet, which ensures excellent airflow all around and make it a good summer pick too. Finally, it weighs just less than 16 ounces (0.45 kg) and is one of the lighter helmets in the market.
However, the most distinctive feature of the K2 Diversion is the included audio system, which provides good quality sound, if not the best. The attached cable makes it easy to use too. If you don’t fancy the audio system, it’s removable too. Plus, it drives the price down to $160.
- Comfy padding.
- Low-profile fit.
- The included audio system drives the price up.
Pret Cynic X
If you’re looking for a good helmet in the $150 range, you’re inundated with choices from a host of brands. Clearly, choosing one is an exercise in prioritizing. If your must-haves include an adjustable fit and liner comfort, then the Pret Cynic X is a nice choice. It’s one of the best ski helmets for men under the $200 price point.
There’s a lot to like about the Pret Cynic X. The helmet is off to a great start with a wool-blend liner, which makes it one of the most comfortable interiors for less than $200. Although it doesn’t have the Boa design, its fit system is easy to use. Even though its ventilation isn’t adjustable, its 12-vent fixed system with a few open/close interior flaps regulates temperature well. The in-mold build keeps the weight in check at less than a pound (0.45 kg) for the medium-sized pick. Plus, the helmet also has additional sturdiness thanks to well-placed polycarbonate panels that thicken the shell sections. Finally, even though appearance is subjective, you’ll definitely like Pret Cynic’s design.
- Fun and chic styling.
- Comfy liner.
- Vents are non-adjustable.
Smith Quantum MIPS
If you’re looking for a maximum protection helmet with just about every available feature under the sun, then the Smith Quantum MIPS is the best you can get. The brand makes helmets for just about every kind of snowboarder and skier. The range-topping Quantum MIPS is one of the best ski helmets you can find for men. The helmet is tailormade for you if you’re looking to tackling those ambitious mountain lines. The helmet’s arsenal is full of safety features. These include the MIPS liner, which is a plus point for angled impact in case of crashes. It also has extra protection at the back of the head with an ABS plastic strip. Ultimately, it also has an energy-absorbing Aerocore build that extends to the full shell, unlike other helmets from Smith.
As expected from the brand, the Quantum MIPS is greatly comfortable with a highly-adjustable Boa system and just the perfect amount of padding. Furthermore, the adjustable ventilation allows you to stay comfortable in almost all temperatures.
- Premium comfort and protection.
- Very expensive at $300.