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Best Snowboarding Helmets 2017

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Snowboarding helmets can be a controversial topic but one that I fall strongly on the ‘pro helmet’ side of the fence. I’ve personally been wearing a lid since I set foot on a board and have been so thankful for my brain cushion on many many occasions.

Due to this, I wanted to get the word out about the latest and greatest snowboarding helmets for the 2016/2017 season. Below you will find some product reviews from my favourite new helmets to help you choose your new lid. If you find this guide useful you can thank me when you catch your heel edge and smack your head on an early morning icy run, or just share it with your friends!

I’ll jump right into the reviews for those that already know how to buy a helmet, but if you’re unsure, please check out our helmet buyers guide below the product reviews.

Scott Apic Plus

The Apic Plus is light weight and durable helmet that contains MIPS tech which allows the helmet to rotate on glancing impact to reduce the chance of brain injury. Constructed with ABS Hardshell and EPS liner including the MRAS System, this Helmet is well made and fits nicely.
Scott Apic Plus Helmet 2017

Anon - Rodan

This helmet is great for ventilation as it features vents on the front and back to draw air in and circulate around your head to keep you cool. Obviously a great option if you have Anon goggles. Also features a BOA system to ensure you get a perfect fitted allows you to increase the size to fit a beanie under if required. Reviewers also inform us that the Outdoor Tech Bluetooth headphones fit in the ear pads well.

Anon Rodan 2017

Picture Hubber 3.0

This revolutionary helmet is made from 100% recycled/natural materials so you can protect our winters and protect your head in one purchase. The shell is made from corn, the liner is recycled car dashboards, earpads from recycled polyester such as plastic bottles! How awesome is that. The down side to this is you are probably paying a small premium but one that we feel is worth it as without snow there would be no snowboarding! Protect our winters people!

Picture Hubber 3.0

Giro Ledge

The Ledge is designed for street and park riding but will also be at home anywhere on the mountain. Being very customisable the Ledge allows riders to adjust various elements to ensure the perfect fit and style. The removable goggle retainer and earpods are examples of this.
Unfortunately despite its customisable features the Ledge does not contain the BOA system as found on some other models. Also some people have found this isn’t the best option for Zeal goggles.
Overall this is an affordable and solid helmet that will keep you safe and warm on the hill.
Giro Ledge 2017

How to buy a snowboard Helmet?

There are a few essential things to consider when buying a helmet to ensure you pick the right one for you.

A quick run down of these topics are:

  1. Comfort
  2. Protection
  3. Size / fit
  4. Weight
  5. Air vents
  6. Beanie compatibility
  7. Warmth
  8. Style
  9. Goggle compatibility
In more detail…


Protection

  • The level of protection you get from your helmet is fairly consistent across the major brands so its recommend that you stick to fairly well known brands unless a new brand is endorsed (though make sure to question motivations with this) by an experienced rider. Eg if Xavier De Le Rue was endorsing a helmet I’d be open to considering it as a good choice.
  • If you don’t know who Xavier de la Rue is, check this out, you won’t be disappointed..
  • Protection is obviously the main feature of a helmet as this is the whole point of them; looking good, keeping warm, a place for stickers, these are all secondary purposes.
  • There is a range of tech and features available on the market and yes you can get some higher levels of protection for paying higher prices but my advice is, if your sticking mainly to the pistes then a mid range helmet is going to be a good choice. However, if you are bombing down Alaskan backcountry then a more expensive option may be the way to go.


Comfort

  • No matter how expensive or feature filled a helmet is, it won’t protect you if its not comfortable enough for you to wear it.
  • Make sure you consider comfort, obviously everyone’s head shape is slightly different so its best to try on a helmet to know what fits best but obviously this isn’t always doable if you don’t live near a decent snowboard shop, so order a couple online and give them a try. Its worth investing a little bit of time and money in a good helmet to avoid any issues down the road.
  • Tips for choosing a comfortable helmet include:
    • Size and fit – try a couple of options to find the most comfortable one
    • Consider how you are going to wear it, with beanie and goggles under neither, goggles over the top, beanie under and goggles over, etc. As detailed below, most helmets have a degree of customisation to help you find a good fit so take some time to try a few ways to wear it as you might change your mind on how you want to wear it. Eg on the mountain you will want goggles but in a snow dome these aren’t usually required so you may need to add in some more foam inserts to make it comfortable again.


Size / Fit

  • Similar to comfort, making sure you have the correct size helmet is key. The last thing you want is a helmet that is too small and gives you a headache by the end of the day. Or one thats too large and slips off as soon as you need it. Catching a toe edge generates more force than Darth Vader so its best your helmet fits well and doesn’t desert you when you need it most.


Weight

  • Probably a more minor factor for most people but if you can get a lighter helmet there are a few benefits including less stress on your neck especially when you are falling as any extra weight can add more force to your crash.
  • Other benefits may be less weight when trying inverted tricks such as flips etc
  • less weight to travel with


Air vents

  • Most canon ball style helmets have a couple of vents at the front and a back but some have a few more on top to help keep you cool. This is usually a minor consideration for me when choosing a helmet as I will just take it off for a chair lift ride if I get too hot. However if you wear a beanie under your helmet having some vents can help to keep your head from getting too sweaty
  • Some helmets, particularly the more technical designs will have vents have the ability to be opened or closed to help you stay the correct temperature.


Warmth

  • Though you’d be hard pressed to find a modern snowboard helmet that wasn’t warm, its something to consider, you don’t want to have chilly ears and therefore hate wearing your helmet to the point that you leave it at home. Most helmets these days have removable ear pads and foam inserts that can allow you to wear a beanie under your helmet if you’d prefer this. Yet most of the time when wearing a helmet with ear pads your ears are perfectly warm anyway.
  • The vents are something to consider as well, although they may look like they would let your head get cold, this has never been an issue for myself or anyone I’ve met. Helmets generally will keep your head as warm as you like, provided you get the correct fitting one.


Beanie Compatibility 

  • This relates to the warmth, style and comfort sections of this guide as its become more popular in the last few years to wear a beanie under your helmet.
  • The origins of this are unclear but my feeling is, like most trends in snowboarding, it was originally done by some pros and has now been adopted by the idolising masses. I definitely fall into this category.
  • I believe the reason they did this was during competition riding they are forced to wear a helmet, yet would rather wear it as little as possible so being able to wear a beanie and goggles usual and then chuck a helmet on over the top for their runs was the most convenient solution.
  • Regardless of the origins, this can be a more comfortable way to wear a helmet, though its mainly personal preference.
  • Some draw backs to this style is that it makes taking your goggles off to clean or de-steam them a little more tricky. Top Tip for this is to clip your helmet chin strap to the bar of a chair lift when your on the way up, to free up your hands and stop you from dropping the helmet. Extra tip…. loop your glove strings through the strap too so you don’t drop those either.
  • Most modern helmets are beanie compatible as the foam inserts are removable to make way for the beanie under neither, though this can take a bit of experimentation to get right.
  • Make sure the helmet is comfortable and fits well so it doesn’t slip off when you catch your toe edge!


Style

Ski Helmets vs Snowboard Helmets

  • There isn’t much difference between a ski helmet and a snowboarding helmet however style is one thing that might sway your decision. Snowboarders tend to stick to the traditional canon ball look or canon ball with a small peak on the front. These tend to be fairly plain and are often one solid colour, usually black. One reason for this is we often like to personalise them with various stickers.
  • NB the peak ads no extra protection etc, its purely a style feature.
  • Skiers will do the same but its quite common to find them wearing lids that appear to have more inspiration taken from cycling helmets. SOme call these technical helmets, or a technical design. There’s no real reason for this but one guess is that its so they can have more vents in the top and I think some skiers main aim is to be a quick as possible so the more streamlined shape could help with this, particularly with ski racers.
  • Freestyle skiers on the other hand tend to be more similar to snowboarders in their style choices, so canon ball with stickers.
  • There is a lot of cross over in styles between skiers and snowboarders but those are some trends I’ve noticed.
  • And the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter what the helmet looks like as long as you like it, and you can deal with some abuse from your mates if you’ve bought something a bit out there!
  • Pro Tip, buy something fairly generic then it won’t easily go out of style and you can keep wearing it for a few years. You can always customise it with rad stickers (but my advice is don’t go mad and cover the whole thing, can look a bit naff)


Goggle Compatibility

  • The Gorby gap, noob gap, mind the gap, etc – this is the gap between your helmet and your goggles. Pro tip, don’t have one! This is a major faux pas in the snowsports world and a giant flashing billboard that you don’t know what your doing. The way to avoid this is to try on your new helmet with your goggles to check they fit well with each other. If ordering online check out some reviews to see what others are saying about this. Its usually possible to find someone who has the same combo as you.
  • Often buying a helmet from the same manufacturer as your goggles is a good way to ensure they fit well together, though this isn’t always the case.

So there you have it, those are our key elemets to buying a snowboard helmet. Let us know in the comments below if you have any questions on this and we will do our best to help.

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