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Home > Gear Guides > Ski Helmets and Snowboard Helmets

Ski Helmet and Snowboard Helmet Buying Guide

Are all ski helmets and snowboard helmets created more-or-less equal? We think not. Beyond looking good, let’s take a peek at what features you should keep an eye out for when buying your next winter helmet — so you don’t end up denting that pretty head of yours.

Choose from the following:
How to Fit a Helmet
Sizing Chart
Helmet Basics
Helmet Styles

How to Fit a Ski or Snowboard Helmet

Your ski or snowboard helmet needs to be comfortable and well fitting. Here’s the 1-2-3 to get the right sized helmet. You’ll need to measure the circumference of your head, know your hat size, or know both. If you measure your head, simply wrap a tape measure around from ear-to-ear. Write down the number, and order away.

Sizing Chart

cm inches hat size
48 18 7/8 6
49 19 3/8 6 1/8
50 19 5/8 6 1/4
51 20 6 3/8
52 20 1/2 6 1/2
53 20 7/8 6 5/8
54 21 1/4 6 3/4
55 21 5/8 6 7/8
56 22 7
57 22 3/8 7 1/8
58 22 3/4 7 1/4
59 23 1/4 7 3/8
60 23 5/8 7 1/2
61 24 7 5/8
62 24 3/8 7 3/4

Helmet Basics

  • Ventilation — Generally, you’ll want a helmet that has vents for air. The only exception might be if you’re skiing in extremely cold or extremely wet conditions.
  • Shell — A polycarbonate exterior is often used to protect your head on impacts, but there are all manner of composite materials a builder might use to create a lighter and more exciting helmet, and a more exciting price tag as well.
  • Interior — You’ll want to look for helmets that have considered not just the protection of your head, but also its comfort. Additional interior linings can help with fit and comfort, and even wick moisture away from the head.

Helmet Styles

  • Full Shell — This style covers the entire head and provides complete protection to the entire head.
  • Soft Shell or Partial Shell — These are smaller helmets designed to be lighter and less cumbersome, while still protecting the back of the head.
  • Competition — Designed to take serious impacts, and may even include jaw protectors.
  • Youth — Should have the same features as adult helmets, but may also have removable/changeable liners that can give your child a few seasons of growth without have to trade-up for a bigger helmet.

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