What’s your favorite part of snowboarding? No doubt, it’s coordinating your outfit.
The best snowboard helmets are the ones that keep you safe, and as much as you don’t think that they’re necessary, you should never go snowboarding or skiing without them.
Why You Should Wear the Best Snowboard Helmets
Before anything else though, let’s talk about why you need to wear a helmet when you’re out snowboarding.
While this may sound self-explanatory to some people, you’d be surprised at the amount of frequent snowboarders who don’t think that helmets are important.
But they are, and you’ll find multiple convincing reasons below.
1. Minimal injury risk
Research shows that wearing even a simple and basic snowboard helmet can reduce the wearer’s risk of head injury by as much as 35%.
At the same time, wearing a snowboard helmet can help you avoid developing neck problems and injuries, even if it’s a small crash.
2. Warmer head
Snowboarding might be a physical activity, but there’s nothing warm about being out and about in the snow.
Even if you’re already wearing layers of clothing, your head might not be as protected and as warmed up as the rest of your body. That’s still not ideal.
In addition to protecting your head from injury, hearing a snowboard helmet can help keep your head warm and cozy while you’re out snowboarding.
What do you think is more expensive? A snowboard helmet or a trip to the hospital?
Between the costs of admission and the cost of buying even a simple and standard snowboard helmet, it’s an easy question to answer.
4. Carve in style
Some people don’t like wearing snowboard helmets because they don’t think that it looks good. However, the problem with most people is that they don’t spend enough time shopping around for snowboard helmets that are paired with a specific pair of googles.
A quick Google search will show you how stylish snowboard helmets can be if you choose them right.
Some snowboard helmets aren’t just simple helmets. Some come with built-in speakers that let you blast music directly to your ears from your phone.
Meanwhile, others come with vents and action camera holders.
Fair warning, if you’re new to snowboarding, we don’t recommend choosing snowboard helmets with tons of accessories.
This is because you should be focusing on what you’re doing first and foremost.
What are the Best Snowboard Helmets Available Today?
|Retrospec Traverse H2 2-in-1 Convertible Helmet with 10 Vents||Prime||Buy Now|
|K2 Route Ski Helmet, White, Small||Prime||Buy Now|
|Pret Cynic X Helmet 2020 - Medium/Team Black||Prime||Buy Now|
|Smith Optics Quantum MIPS Snow Helmet (Large, Matte Cloudgrey Charcoal)||Prime||Buy Now|
|Salomon MTN LAB, Black, Small||Prime||Buy Now|
|BERN - Summer Watts EPS Helmet, Matte Black, Medium||Prime||Buy Now|
|Oakley Mod5 Snow Helmet, Matte Black, Large||Prime||Buy Now|
|Sweet Protection Grimnir II TE MIPS Ski and Snowboard Helmet, Natural Carbon, Medium/Large||Prime||Buy Now|
Now that we have already established the importance of using snowboard helmets, it’s time that we move on to our round-up of the top snowboard helmets.
1. Retrospec H2
You don’t always need all of the bells and whistles. What’s important is that you keep your head protected when you’re out snowboarding and skiing. That’s exactly what Retrospec H2 is.
This snowboard helmet is equipped with a shock-absorbent EPS interior and an adjustable dial. The former is responsible for providing full protection for your head.
Meanwhile, the adjustable dial is responsible for making sure that the helmet fits comfortably on your head.
But that’s not the best part about this snowboard helmet. Nor is the fact that the helmet comes in 8 different colors. This is because this snowboard helmet’s main selling point is that you can transform it into a cycling helmet.
All you need to do is to remove the foam inserts, and that’s it. You’re essentially getting two pieces of safety equipment in one with this snowboard helmet.
- Also doubles as a cycling helmet
- Shock-absorbent EPS interior
- Adjustable dial
- Fairly basic protection
2. K2 Route
If you want full-on, full-year protection, the K2 Route is an excellent investment. We say full-year because it’s bike-certified.
This means that you can use while snowboarding and skiing, as well as when you go biking during the warmer months of the year.
What makes the Route even more of an attractive buy is that you can customize it all you want. You can remove the headlamp clips, ear pads, as well as google clips if you want.
You can even adjust the fit through the Boa dial-fit system to make it easier to find the most comfortable way of wearing the Route on your hand.
The Route is also equipped with plenty of small holes. They’re mostly responsible for reducing the weight of the helmet.
At the same time, they help add ventilation. Not to mention, the stretchy waterproof cover helps cover the holes for winter-time use.
- Fully adjustable Boa dial-fit system
- Relatively high listed price
- Comfort is a known issue
3. Pret Cynic X
Pret is far from being one of the biggest names in the snowboarding industry, even in helmets. However, they make some quality products with unique designs. The Pret Cynic X is a good example of this.
The Cynic X sports a unique two-tone design that will make you stand out. This isn’t just a good thing because of style. This is also good because having a different-looking helmet makes you easier to spot when you’re out snowboarding, which can help save you in terms of emergency situations.
Also, the wool-blend liner is considered by many as one of the softest in snowboard helmets ever.
For added safety, Pret used the MIPS system and added polycarbonate panels for the Cynic X. This ensures that your head is well protected at all times.
- Unique two-tone detailing
- Wool-blend liner for maximum comfort
- MIPS technology for added safety
- Ventilation lacks adjustment options
4. Smith Optics Quantum
Many consider Smith Optics as the premiere manufacturer when it comes to snowboard helmets, and with products such as Quantum, it’s not hard to see why.
The Quantum is a top-of-the-line helmet and it shows. The number of vents it has is proof enough that it’s not a product that won’t come for a low price, but at the same time, how nice and cool (or warm) you feel will more than make up for the asking price.
Not to mention, the BOA wheel is easily adjustable. Working together with the MIPS technology, as well as the Koroyd construction, the Quantum is both comfortable and safe.
Other notable features include a magnetic buckle system, a hybrid SL shell construction, and exoskeleton zonal-impact protection.
- AEROCORE construction
- Outdoor Tech Audio systems
- Wayfinder finger strap system with Fidlock
- Innovative Exoskeleton design
- High asking price
5. Salomon MTN Lab
Built specifically for backcountry use, the Salomon MTN Lab sports features that are aimed specifically for the braver and more advanced riders out there.
This includes a headlamp retainer so you don’t have to worry about your headlamp wiggling about during early morning runs, as well as a washable inner liner and a summer version of the same liner.
Perhaps the best part about the MTN Lab though is that it weighs a lot less than most snowboard helmets.
Weighing just 12 ounce, you’ll barely feel the MTN Lab on your own. But at the same time, because of its solid construction and generous amounts of vent, you’ll be thankful that you’re wearing it when you’re out riding, and especially when you get into a crash.
- Attractive price point
- Vents for days
- Fixed and non-adjustable vents
- Sizing is tricky
6. BERN Watts
The successor to the original BERN Baker, the BERN Watts is a visor helmet that can be used pretty much anywhere and at anytime. This includes when you’re biking, riding your skateboard, wakeboard, and even when you’re out snowboarding.
It also comes with full CE certification for added peace of mind, with multiple vents at the top and the back for added comfort, regardless of the weather.
What makes the BERN Watts such a good buy is how versatile and customizable it is.
We’ve already mentioned that you can use the BERN Watts pretty much at any sport. However, what we did not mention is that you can customize the fit and comfort as well.
You can use Summer or Winter liners, depending on the weather. It also has audio liners that you can change in just a few seconds using velcro.
For all-year-round protection at a reasonably affordable price, the BERN Watts is hard to beat.
- Full CE certification
- Multi-sport use
- Highly customizable feature set
- Plain aesthetics
- Lacks race-style and sporty features
7. Oakley Mod 5
Recent entrants to the snowboard helmet market, Oakley has taken no time trying to establish themselves as one of the top dogs. But then again, you can’t really blame the market for responding so positively, especially with releases such as the Oakley Mod 5.
Oakley’s top-of-the-line snowboard helmet comes with adjustable ventilation and multiple panels of tough ABS plastic, ensuring both comfort and protection. It also uses the Modular Brim System, otherwise known as MBS, to make it easier to swap out brims.
The system comes especially handy if you’re using Oakley-brand goggles, which are just as worthy of an investment as this snowboard helmet.
Moving on, the Mod 5 maintains the quality that Oakley is known for, including the lightweight and solid mix of high-end features.
This includes the removable liner, the adjustable Boa dial, as well as the magnetic chinstrap.
- Option to choose from with MIPS and without MIPS
- Bevvy of premium features
- Tough ABS plastic for added protection
- Modular Brim System
- Ventilation design can’t dump heat or cold as quickly as expected
- Cutout ear pads make wearing headphones difficult
8. Sweet Protection Grimnir II TE
For those who want the absolute best that money can buy, the Sweet Protection Grimnir II TE has few equals.
Sure, it’s pricey, but that’s expected from a product with a handmade carbon fiber shell that creates multi-direction protection to make sure that your head is as safe and as sound as any head can be when you’re out snowboarding.
If you hit the backcountry a lot, or the big mountains, and you take a lot of hits, the Grimnir II TE’s carbon fiber build is perfect for you.
Unfortunately, the Grimnir II TE is a niche product. It just doesn’t appeal to everybody.
But for those who the Grimnir II TE does appeal to, it can be relatively difficult to find something that offers the same amount of safety that it does.
- Occigrip turn-dial adjustment mechanism
- Shock-absorbing Impact Shield inserts and multi-directional Impact Protection System technology
- Handmade carbon fiber shell
- There hasn’t been enough study done showing that carbon fiber shells are more durable and provide more protection compared to other materials
Should Women Wear Different Snowboard Helmets?
Majority of the best snowboard helmets on the market are unisex. This means that both men and women can wear them.
However, snow helmets specific for women also exist. They’re built differently to unisex and men’s snowboard helmets because of their smaller fit, among other things.
Unlike other women’s-specific snow gear though, the technology in both men and women’s snowboard helmets remain the same. There’s no difference in pricing either.
Basically, what we’re saying is, for female riders, what’s important is that you find a snowboard helmet that fits your head just right and has the necessary amount of features that you need.
It doesn’t matter if it’s a unisex or women’s-specific snowboard helmet.
Are Snowboard Helmets and Ski Helmets the Same?
There’s really no difference between snowboard helmets and ski helmets. They’re essentially the same.
It’s just that some manufacturers choose to label theirs differently.
Either way, you can use ski helmets and snowboard helmets interchangeably.
How Long do the Best Snowboard Helmets Last?
Generally, the best snowboard helmets can only last for five years at most. Spending just a teeny bit more and the material tends to degrade.
This is why expensive snowboard helmets are often described as impractical.
Another factor to consider when to replace your snowboard helmet is if you got into a nasty collision recently. Even if it doesn’t have a visible dent, the material and integrity of the snowboard helmet might already be compromised, especially the shell and the lining.
This means that it won’t provide you with as good of protection as a brand-new helmet.
As you can see, wearing a snowboard helmet is important. It’s also just as important to make sure that your money is well-spent.
Having read through our guide, you’ve now learned why you should wear a snowboard helmet, how long snowboard helmets last, if there’s a difference between men’s and women’s snowboard helmets, and finally, what the best snowboard helmets are.
So, what are you waiting for? Keep your head safe and have fun shredding!