Snowboarding is awesome, hitting the snow, shredding the powder, and racing downhill just makes for a perfect day with friends and family. But, regardless of how skilled you are, wipeouts will inevitably happen, and while snow might seem fluffy, it doesn’t always equate to a soft landing. Indeed, for those situations, you’ll want to find the best proper protective equipment to tackle the job, especially if it involves protecting your head.
Indeed, wearing a trusty helmet will protect you from any potential traumatic brain injuries (nobody wants these trust us). Still, how do you find the best one for you? Well, we did the research so you wouldn’t have to, now sit back, relax, grab a drink and read up on the best snowboarding helmets in the market!
Top 8 Best Snowboarding Helmets 2020
Smith Vantage MIPS
Oakley Mod 5
Smith Maze MIPS
Best Basic Model
Best Full Face
Pret Luxe X
Best Women’s Specific
Best Kid’s Snowboarding Helmet
Best Soft Shell
Demon Phantom W
Best Integrated Audio on a Budget
1. Smith Vantage MIPS – Editor’s Choice
Easily the best snowboarding helmet in town, and the top choice of any serious snowboarder out there, the Smith Vantage MIPS totally rocks. This helmet features a hybrid shell that blends the durability of hardshell with the lightweight traits of an in-mold construction.
Additionally, the design of the Vantage has plenty of nifty advantages, such as the Aerocore construction, which allows for better airflow, temperature control, and anti-fogging capabilities. It also allows the helmet to handle impacts better.
Are you worried about the ears getting cold? Worry no longer, as the AirEvac ventilation and Dual Regulators allows you to control the temperature and airflow inside the helmet. Finally, the BOA FS360 Fit System lets you adjust the fit of your helmet, just the way you like it!
- Tough and Comfortable
- Plenty of features
- Wear and tear weighs heavily after prolonged use
2. Oakley Mod 5 – Runner-Up
For those who want awesome performance without spending completely emptying their budget, Oakley’s Mod 5 is definitely for you! This awesome helmet is a fantastic choice for those looking to make the most out of their day with some high-performance gear!
Oakley is known for their fantastic sunglasses, but snowboarders will also recognize the name from great goggles and snowboarding gear, their helmets are in similar quality to both of these high-end products.
Lightweight and comfortable, the Mod 5 has some awesome, yet simple technology backing its notoriety, such as the magnetic chinstrap and removable liner (for those who love wearing balaclavas and even beanies on their heads without sacrificing protection).
An adjustable visor for goggles means you don’t have to stick to their brand in order to find a pair that works well together, and with adjustable venting, you’ll be able to manage the temperature and airflow within the helmet easily.
- Excellent features
- Cheaper than other high-end models
- Runs slightly small
3. Smith Maze MIPS – Best Basic Model
Lightweight, Simplistic, and easy to use, this dependable helmet comes to you once again from Smith! The Maze doesn’t have all of those complicated bells and whistles that other more expensive models have, but it’s because it doesn’t need them.
What a helmet does need though is durability and strength and this is where it truly shines, as it’s in-mold profile features a polycarbonate shell and EPS liner to protect you even in the craziest of falls. Furthermore, this is the same design that makes it extremely lightweight, preventing it from weighing you down when you’re catching some major air. Which is something that you’ll also be able to control thanks to it’s Airflow Climate Control system (basically a set of vents that allow air to flow inside and heat to escape)
- Great Price
- Excellent protection
- It’s not compatible with all types of goggles
4. Ruroc RG1-X – Best Full Face
If safety is your main concern, the Ruroc RG1-X is your best option. This full-face helmet is definitely the best of its kind, giving you a nice warm feeling of safety while shredding any slope.
Designed with protection in mind this helmet has numerous features that are specifically made to keep your face and head protected from anything that might happen. Two key features are the high impact mask, and MagLoc goggles, which keep your chin and eyes protected. The lens themselves are coated with anti-fog technology to avoid reducing your visibility.
However, if you’re concerned with comfort, and worried about how the RG1-X might not be the easiest to wear, fear not as it is padded with an EPS Liner! Still not convinced, you can detach the facemask in case it feels a little bit too restrictive.
- Super Protective and Durable
- Great Features
- Hidden ventilation channels for airflow
- Can get hot and sweaty during intense sessions
5. Pret Luxe X Helmet – Best Women’s Specific
Women who want a helmet that specifically designed for their heads, look no further than the Pret Luxe X Snowboarding Helmet! This fantastic piece of hardware features plenty of nifty features that help you make the most out of your day at the mountains!
One of the coolest aspects of the X is its fully adjustable ventilation system that allows the user to be in full control of the airflow that moves throughout the helmet. Still feeling warm, then worry not as the RCS Fit System allows you to adjust the fit easily with simple turns of the dial!
Are you interested in listening to music while riding downhill? The ear pads are specifically crafted with small pockets to fit most earbuds (keeping some restrictions in mind of course)!
- Easy to Adjust and put on
- Favored by Rescue Teams for its protectiveness and ease of use
- Can feel awkward depending on the shape of your head
6. Giro Launch – Best Kid’s Snowboarding Helmet
The absolute best choice for your little boarders has to be Giro’s Launch! This helmet comes offers top-notch protection balanced with some cool features that are sure to please any snowboarding kid.
Lightweight and durable, it’s built to last, and with its integrated Form Fit System, you can easily adjust it to your child’s head as they grow. A fixed ventilation system keeps the cold air flowing and the heat escaping thanks to the Super Cool Venting as well!
But, if your child is more worried about attaching some goggles and listening to some music while snowboarding, ease their concerns with the knowledge that the Giro Launch is compatible with most audio systems and the Giro line of protective eyewear.
- Built for performance
- Great Price
7. Giro Combyn – Best Soft Shell
Are you a beginner, that’s looking to try out snow related sports and activities without investing too heavily? Then look no further than the Giro Combyn, a soft-shell helmet that’s perfect for newbies looking to get their feet wet in the snow!
A simplistic, yet elegant design allows the user to look stylish and fashionable while at the slopes. Yet, its lightweight build and ventilation ensure they stay comfortable and cool during their shredding time!
Nevertheless, if you’re worried about the soft-shell construction risking your safety, worry not, as it’s built to handle impacts and redirect their energy well, which is perfect for those all too common falls that happen to beginners.
- Super Lightweight
- Perfect Companion for Beginners
- Not as protective when it comes to serious impacts.
8. Demon Phantom W/ Brainteaser Audio – Best Integrated Audio on a Budget
Awesome protection AND integrated audio systems? Where do I sign up? Well, with Demon’s The Phantom of course! This helmet is a fantastic package deal that has fantastic features as well as built-in audio.
Made with a tough shell, and a variety of colors, you won’t be disappointed by the Phantom. Certified by the ASTM, and made with sweet liner, you’re not sacrificing any bit of comfort while riding downhill as you listen to your favorite jam! All you have to do is plug in that auxiliary cord to whatever audio device you own and rock it as you shred the powder.
It’s also lightweight and fairly ventilated, ensuring you can stay in the mountains for a long time without getting worn out and exhausted due to the heat.
Overall, this snowboarding helmet is a great addition for someone who wants to rock out in the slopes without having to spend too much cash!
- Great integrated audio
- Lightweight and versatile
- Fantastic Price
- The Included Aux Cable isn’t the best quality
Things to Consider Before Purchasing a Snowboard Helmet (Buyer’s Guide)
Surprisingly, there’s quite a few things you should consider before making a purchase, below we have a small breakdown of each one.
1. Construction of the Helmet
There are three primary types of helmet construction, but they all share one thing. Every helmet is designed to handle a single significant impact, once you are involved in one, you’ll have to replace it. This is something we will reiterate throughout our guide, basically once you see cracks or a collapse in the inner portion of the snowboard helmet, you’ll know it’s time to replace it.
The construction types:
- ABS Injection-Molded Shell: A strong shell crafted with ABS plastic and glued to EPS foam, it’s heavier and more protective than the others types.
- In-Mold: A thin outer shell made with lightweight polycarbonates and attached to a foam liner. They’re built to absorb shocks, and with that in mind, you’ll find they won’t bounce as much when wiping out. Significantly harder impacts will cause them to collapse onto themselves.
- Soft Shell: soft foam cushions your head, with hard foam forming the outer layer to absorb impacts. These are better at handling smaller impacts in larger quantities than a single strong blow.
2. Types of Helmets
- Full Face Helmet: Offering the most coverage of your head/face, this helmet provides protection around your jawline, and if you include balaclavas and goggles, you’ll actually protect your entire face.
- Full Shell: Covering your whole head and ears with hard shell, they’re not as popular as other types of helmets, but they’re good for racers and tricksters who love performing on the slopes. Children and even first time riders can benefit from the added protection these helmets have to offer.
- Half Shell: Definitely the most popular type of helmet for snowboarders and skiers, these cover your head with a hard shell, and ears with a soft one. They’re comfortable and lightweight, striking a perfect blend of comfort and protection.
Measuring your head is a simple task that can be done alone, but it’s best if someone helps you out.
The best way to measure it is as follows:
Grab a measuring tape, center the beginning an inch above your eyebrows, and go around your head. This is the area where your helmet will sit. Measurements for helmets (snowboarding or otherwise) are typically done in centimeters so also keep that in mind.
Once you know your measurements, find your size here:
- Small = 51-55 cm
- Medium = 55-59 cm
- Large = 59-63 cm
- X-Large = 63-67 cm
Nowadays, snowboarding helmets come with a plethora of options that are available for users who want to get more out of their helmets. You can always look at the list of features on the item/product page to find out what they have before making any purchases too.
A quick list and explanation of these is as follows:
- Adjustable fit: Wheel or dial that allows the wearer to adjust the helmet to their head.
- Removable padding: useful for riders who want to wear beanies or hats, this feature gives them extra space.
- Ventilation: air vents to allow the flow of air and the escape of heat, you can also find helmets with adjustable vents, which is useful for situations where the weather is erratic.
- Air fit: a headband located inside the helmet that inflates or deflates in order to contort to your head.
- Audio systems: single link, dual link, and Bluetooth link audio systems for a variety of purposes or just listening to music.
- Camera Mounts: Perfect for those who like to record their snowboarding trips with Go-Pros and other cameras.
- Multi-Directional Impact Protection System: Helmets that can protect you from impacts that happen at an angle (a majority these days use the system).
- Detachable Liner: Easily removed liner in order to facilitate cleaning the helmet.
While these are some awesome features, keep in mind that they will inevitably increase the overall costs of helmets and some can be ignored altogether if you’re on a budget. They might make wearing a helmet fun, but since one single major impact can be all it takes to break it, don’t go investing all your savings into one, unless you’re certain of your skills.
Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q)
Can I use other types of helmets for snowboarding?
No, that is one of the worst mistakes you can make out on the slopes. Specifically because snowboarding helmets are designed to protect you from the types of falls and wipeouts, you’ll experience in the mountains. Now, also keep in mind that snowboard helmets are also designed with goggles in mind, which you’ll inevitably end up using while there too.
How many types of snowboard helmets are there?
- Full Face
- Half Shell
- Full Shell
You can read more about these in our simplified buyers guide above.
What does CE EN and ASTM Mean?
CE EN is the European organization that ensures helmets are meeting the standards upon which they are designed. Now it’s important to note these are for a single impact only. Once you get one serious wipeout, you’ll have to get rid of the helmet and get a new one.
ASTM is the American organization that does the same as the CE EN. They run simulations on the helmets to demonstrate how well they handle a single serious impact and then award it a certification based on how well it does. Once again, if you have one serious wipeout, you’ll have to replace the helmet with a new one.
What kind of features come with snowboard helmets these days?
Quite a few, they are listed below:
- Customizable fitting
- Single Link, Dual Link, and Bluetooth Link audio systems
- Brims and visors
- Fixed or Adjustable ventilation
Should I wear a balaclava or an under helmet hat with my snowboard helmet?
That’s strictly a preference thing, and you’ll have to account for the additional space that they will take when measuring your helmet if you are going for the beanie/hat.
What are the primary benefits of snowboard helmets?
Aside from the basic protection, it all boils down to the fact that helmets seriously reduce the damage caused by strong impacts and significantly minimizes the chances of receiving a traumatic brain injury.
Nothing ruins a snowboarding day worse than leaving the slopes with a traumatic brain injury. After all, you’re going to the mountains to have an awesome day, not to end up with a life altering injury. For that reason, alone you should always wear a helmet. These snazzy and stylish pieces of gear do an awesome job at keeping you safe and protected while at the trails. However, just buying any old regular helmet will not suffice; you need the cream of the crop. That’s why you’re here, and now that you’re armed with the knowledge, getting the right one should be easy, right?
Now, get out there, buy yourself the best one, and keep your brain safe and sound from any potentially life altering injuries. After all, what is your mind if not your soul? So keep it safe and protected!