The process of putting together your snowboarding gear can be quite a hassle. Appropriate snowboarding gear is essential to your comfort and safety when skiing, and a snowboarding helmet should remain constant. Other than keeping you warm when snowboarding, a helmet also protects your head from impact. However, if you have a snowboarding helmet with the wrong fit, it is as useless as not wearing any helmet at all, if not more dangerous.
To find the best snowboarding helmet fit, you should first measure your head’s circumference and use the measurement to find the most suitable size. Wear the helmet and perform the shake test to feel how it fits. The snowboarding helmet should feel snug around your head. Continue reading the article to get more details on how to choose the best ski helmet fit.
How to measure your head and determine your snowboard helmet size
The snowboard helmet fit depends on the size of the helmet, the space between your goggles, the helmet, and the chin strap. We also recommend trying different types of snowboarding helmets before deciding on one. When going for helmet shopping, always carry your ski goggles to get the correct fit when you have the full heard gear.
1. Measure the circumference of your head
You will need to measure the size of your head to compare to the helmet size chart of the brand of snow helmet you’re buying. Use a soft tape measure and place one end in the middle of your forehead, just above the eyebrows and ears. Tightly run the tape measure around the back of your head, all the way to the starting point, making sure the tape measure is level. Note down the measurement for later reference.
2. Find the helmet size.
Refer to the circumference you got from the first step and compare it to the helmet. Keep in mind that different brands may have slight differences in their helmet size charts. In most size charts, the circumference in centimeters and inches are grouped into adult and kid helmets and then into small, medium, and large sizes.
3. Check the fit
Once you pick out your size, you will have to wear the helmet to determine its fit. The best helmet fit should feel snug all around your head. It shouldn’t compress your head, but also, your head shouldn’t move inside the helmet. Here are other factors that may affect the helmet’s fit.
- Wear your ski goggles and ensure no space between the edge of your helmet and the top of your goggles.
- The padding of the ski helmet should be flush against the surface of the head. The back edge of the helmet should fall around the hairline. If it reaches the nape of the neck, then it’s too big.
- The front of the helmet should not sit too high or too low on your forehead. It should be low enough to protect your forehead but high enough that it doesn’t obstruct your vision. It should sit about one inch above your eyebrows.
4. Shake test
The shake test confirms if the helmet will come loose when skiing. With the helmet and the ski goggles on, center the chin straps under the chin and fasten them. Ensure it fits snug. It should be tight enough that the helmet doesn’t come off on impact but loose enough to allow you to chew, talk, and does not choke. Hold the helmet with your hands and try to move it back and forth and side to side;
- If this movement tags on the skin on the forehead without the helmet moving, then it fits snug. If the helmet shakes on its own and moves around your head, then it is too big.
- If the helmet feels too tight or does not fit all the way in, then it’s too small. The helmet should not be constricting at all and should be comfortable enough to wear all day.
Some companies have a fine-tuning system that can make minor adjustments to the padding for a better fit. Make sure to use this system before making the final decision on the helmet fit.
Are MIPS helmets worth it?
MIPS helmets are worth it as they add protection to a regular certified snowboarding helmet. MIPS is an acronym for Multi-Directional Impact Protection System. MIPS is a snowboarding helmet technology that prevents rotational impacts to the head by providing helmets with padding that rotates on impact. This rotating padding allows the helmet to slide and reduce trauma to the brain from angled impact. Helmet manufacturers place the MIPS padding between the liner and the user’s head, offering the snowboarder more side-to-side protection.
Typically, a snowboarder reaches an average speed of 25 to 35 miles per hour. Assuming this snowboarder falls and hits their head, the fall will create a rotational motion in your brain, causing brain injuries. The MIPS low friction layer wallows the head to move 10-15mm in all directions inside the helmet to reduce the rotational motion of the brain.
The best snowboarding/ski helmets
Snowboarding helmets come in various shapes and features, but the essential part is how safe it fits. Below is our buying guide for some of our favorite snowboarding helmets to choose from.
1. Giro Ledge MIPS Snow helmet
Giro is one of the earliest companies to adopt the MIPS technology for their snowboard helmet line. Its ABS shell makes it sturdy and durable for heavy use. It is the most affordable snow helmet on our list, with a sturdy ABS shell that makes it as sturdy and durable as the more expensive helmets.
- Weight: 4 Ounces
- Helmet construction: In-mold
- ABS shell
- Removable ear pads
- Compatibility with all Giro goggles
- Inner material: Expanded polystyrene (EPS)
- It has a variety of colors and sizes
- Fit adjustment system
- It is no comfortable to wear all day as other pricier options.
2. Atomic Revent+ AMID
The Atomic Revent+ Amid stands out in the professional skiing helmet section. It comes with a hybrid in-mold construction for a mix of comfort and toughness. It has a hollow core that best suits users with rounder head shapes.
- Weight: 1 lb. 7 oz.
- AMID (similar to MIPS)
- Adjustable ventilation
- Hybrid construction; the top is an ABS hard shell, and the underside is an in-mold construction
- Fairly priced
- It has higher impact protection than industry standards
- AMID (similar to MIPS)
- It is excellent for mountain riding.
- It has a narrow fit.
- Its availability is limited, especially in the US.
Check price here
3. Smith Vantage MIPS
The Smith Vantage Snowboarding helmet is our overall favorite. It has excellent features that combine safety, comfort, performance, and aesthetics. The Smith Vantage is also a multi-purpose snow sports helmet that is equally lightweight and compact. Its fit adjustment system is the most accurate and allows a broad spectrum fit. It boasts a 21 adjustable vent system that makes it comfortable to wear in cold and warmer seasons.
- Weight: 1 lb. 1.5 oz.
- Helmet construction: Hybrid
- Shell material: Koroyd
- Vents: 21 (adjustable)
- Aerocore construction
- MIPS liner
- It has the best comfort and safety features.
- Safety features are very adjustable.
- The actual sizes of the helmets are slightly smaller than their size charts.
Wrapping it up
Falling in snow may seem harmless, but if you’re moving at a speed of 25-35 miles per hour, the rotational force of impact will feel like a 3000-pound weight on your head. Whatever new technology or fancy features and accessories your helmet may have, the most important thing is that it should fit you properly. A helmet with a proper fit and a MIPS lining is more likely to keep you safe and reduces the risk of head injuries.
Check this too: Best Snowboard Impact Shorts