Here at MSC, we're all about safety on the mountain, and when it comes to protecting yourself, there's nothing more important than your head. Gone are the days where wearing a helmet is seen as 'uncool', with head protection being a rising concern for snowboarders year after year. Plus, there are some pretty sweet designs on the market at the moment, and maybe this has lead to the change of mind, but whatever it is, there's no harm in that.
We hear it all the time here in store, "what's the difference between all these helmets?" or, "can you suggest a helmet that's right for me?", but in reality it's really quite simple. With all helmets, it definitely helps to try before you buy. And no, this does not mean running head first into a brick wall while wearing one! The main difference when it comes to helmets is a) sizing, and b) fit. A good thing to note when trying on helmets is goggle compatibility. We always suggest bringing your goggles with you when looking for a helmet, as certain goggles will fit better with certain helmets, depending on your head shape. We want to avoid that dreaded 'gaper gap' where possible.
So, how to choose the right helmet. Let's keep this as short and simple as possible, starting with the most important factor...
1. Protection - There is not one helmet in the shop that doesn't meet the required safety standards. BUT, and there's always a but, a helmet that doesn't fit properly can become unsafe.
2. Size - For a helmet to work properly, it needs to be the correct size. A loose bucket can easily come off in a fall, so what was the purpose of wearing one in the first place? Check the manufacturer’s size guide when researching your purchase, and be sure to try it on before you use it. Some of the helmets out there have a dial on the back, which is ideal for getting that perfect fit! If you're shopping online, make sure to read up on the description for all the finer details.
3. Venting - If you're someone who really works up a sweat, look for a helmet with air vents.
4. Ear Padding - Alternatively, if you're someone who gets cold easily, look for a helmet with extra padding around the ears. In most cases, these ear pads will be removable, so you can take them out if need be.
5. Goggle Clips - Most helmets will come finished with a goggle clip. These are key if you choose to wear your goggles over your helmet. (Take this from someone who has lost a pair of goggles when falling down head first, without their goggles secured in the helmet!)
6. Moisture Wicking Liner - Moisture wicking fabrics are great for drawing sweat away from the skin, and better yet, they can be washed!
7. Audio - This is more of a luxury, rather than an essential. We currently have only a handful of helmets with built in audio, which you can shop here. Alternatively, you can purchase speakers that fit inside the ear pads of your helmet, or if you want to save yourself a few dollars, a set of regular ear phones will still fit nicely in your ears, even when wearing a helmet.