Choosing the Right Helmet

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We asked one of the helmet manufacturers to help us help you select the right helmet. This is their contribution: You've finally decided to take the plunge and join the ranks of hard capped souls out on the slopes. Now comes the difficult part. So many helmets! Start by taking a look at the various styles of helmets and compare them to your personal style preferences. Are you a free spirited, free headed, free heeler? Maybe the half helmet or short style would be the most desirable for you. Competitive skier ­ Do you find yourself in the coin-op or NASTAR course every chance you get? Are you running gates on a consistent basis? Do you spend your weekends trekking off to races across your region? Hereıs where to look for a racing helmet. Just looking for function, full head coverage, and good looks? Try a full coverage helmet. Temperature control an issue? Go for one of the new vented helmets ­ usually available in half or full coverage helmets. Once youıve decided on the style that you like, itıs time to find a brand that fits your head and your budget. Start with a helmet that suits your head size. For sizing, most helmets are done in metric sizing ­ a tape measure around your head, just above your temples will give you an accurate idea of the circumference of your melon. Editors note: See our Sizing Guide. for more detail. Also, obviously it is not possible to try on a helmet in an online store. If you haven't already tried one on, see our 30 day money back guarantee. You can return it if it doesn't feel right. When properly sized, a helmet should not pinch, create hot spots, or pressure points on your head. It should rest solidly on your head, snug enough that when you rock it back and forth it doesnıt fall over your eyes ­ or off the back of your head! It should not be so tight that you get headaches, or feel your hair being yanked when you shake your head. Your goggles or eyewear should fit comfortably inside the face opening, and the ear wells should be aligned with your ears for the best sound reception. Most helmets on the market today have many features to add to your comfort and safety. Look for a helmet with a quick drying, or wicking liner and an easy, but secure closure system. Helmets that are compatible with a particular goggle can be beneficial as well, to add comfort. A helmet with a goggle clip on the back can aid in retaining your goggles, should they slip off ­ saving a costly investment in new goggles. Adjustable venting adds to the cost but if you like to control your environment, look for adjustable venting. Once you have purchased your new lid, itıs time to hit the slopes. Many first time helmet wearers are surprised by the comfort and security that they feel when wearing a helmet. Remember to ski with your usual level of caution ­ similar to a seatbelt, a helmet is protection, not prevention of possible accidents. And Snowshack's thoughts: Logic suggests that more shell means more protection however we have yet to see a study that confirms this. Ski/snowboard helmets have to go through the same set of tests (drop, puncture, crash, etc.) in order to gain certification and again I don't know of separate tests for each shell design. So, the best I am aware of is that they would be equally safe for trail skiing. Woods skiing may require additional protection for the jaw and cheek area. Advantage to full shell - more protection? (see above), slightly warmer Advantage to 3/4 shell - many 3/4 shell helmets have removable ear flaps so when temps rise the ear flaps can be removed so it isn't so warm. Please click on your back button to return where you were.