Ski Helmets - Buyers Guide

Helmets are an essential part of your day to day time on the ski hill. They are crucial in keeping your head safe and warm and help your goggles fit and function perfectly. Gone are the days of struggling with a wet beanie whilst skiing here in Australia, a Helmet will help keep you much more warm and comfortable on those miserable weather days.

Sizing and Fit

In order to get your size, measure the circumference of your head just above the eyebrows. This cm measurement will translate to a size on each brands size chart. If you measure your head and the value sits in a gap between two sizes with a certain brand it will likely be hard to get either size to fit you correctly.

In addition to size, Heads also vary greatly in shape and roundness. Helmet makers recognise this and often offer different fits in each model or offer certain models in multiple fits. The current trend is to delineate these different styles as Oval fit or Round fit, though Oval Fit helmets are often not specified in name. Round Fit helmets are also widely known as Asian Fit, as it matches the predominate head shape in Asia.

As a starting point, we find that Oval shaped heads are more popular amongst the Caucasian population and Round head shapes are more common in people of Asian Descent. Though it is far from a hard and fast rule and a bit of trial and error is often necessary to dial in the right fit.

Helmets are limited in function by how they fit your head. Head knocks while skiing can be quite forceful and shouldn't be able to dislodge your helmet. Wearing a helmet that is too big can reduce its ability to protect your head. 

On the flip side, a Helmet that is too small won't sit correctly on the head in the first place. If it looks or feels like it is sitting too high on your head or if there are pressure points, its likely too small or the wrong fit for your head.

Ski Helmet Features

The main features to look for in Ski Helmets are MIPS, Ventilation, and Adjustability. 

MIPS, Multi-Directional Impact Protection System, is a technology added to helmets that aims to reduce rotational motion to the brain in a crash. Research is showing that oblique types of impacts with rotational motion are more detrimental to the brain than direct impacts. MIPS is in almost every helmet we sell, and unless you are on an extreme budget, is definitely top of the list to look out for.

Ventilation can be important here in Australia where it is often quite warm. Helmets with active, adjustable ventilation allow you to control the amount of airflow through the helmet. Fixed ventilation means there is still airflow, but you can't adjust it with the flick of a switch. 

Most Helmets have size adjustability built in, most commonly in the form of a dial. This allows you to dial in the fit of your helmet to improve comfort and safety. As well as adjust it out a little if you intend on wearing a Balaclava for a little extra warmth.

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Ski Helmets Glossary

MIPS stands for Multi-directional Impact Protection System. It is a safety feature integrated into some ski helmets designed to provide additional brain protection during angled impacts. The MIPS system addresses how most ski accidents occur—not just through direct, vertical impacts but through various angles which are more common during falls or collisions on slopes.

The MIPS technology involves a low-friction layer inside the helmet which allows the outer shell to slide relative to the head. This sliding motion occurs during an angled impact, which helps to reduce the rotational forces that otherwise could be transferred to the brain. These rotational forces are associated with severe brain injuries and concussions, making MIPS an important advancement in helmet safety.

Exclusive to Smith Helmets, Koroyd is an innovative safety material to enhance impact absorption and ventilation. Composed of thermally welded, miniature tubes that form a honeycomb-like structure, Koroyd is engineered to crush uniformly upon impact, thereby reducing the trauma to the brain during a collision.

The unique structure of Koroyd is designed to absorb energy efficiently upon impact. When subjected to a force, the cores of Koroyd collapse in a controlled manner, decelerating the energy from the impact and reducing the overall force transmitted to the head. This helps to mitigate the risk of concussions and other impact-related injuries.

Exclusive to Anon Helmets, WaveCel is a cutting-edge safety technology aimed at providing superior head protection. It is a collapsible cellular structure that lines the inside of the helmet, designed to cushion the head and absorb impact forces during a collision. This innovative material is the result of extensive research and collaboration between biomechanical engineers and neurosurgeons to create a helmet technology that can help reduce the likelihood of concussion.

WaveCel works through a three-step process to protect the brain in the event of an impact:

  1. Flexion: Upon impact, the WaveCel material flexes to absorb initial energy.
  2. Crumpling: After flexing, it crumples like a car bumper at the point of impact, which helps to further dissipate the energy.
  3. Glide: Finally, WaveCel glides to redirect energy away from the head, reducing rotational forces that can cause brain injuries.

This combination of responses helps to significantly lower the forces transmitted to the brain, which are often responsible for concussions and other traumatic brain injuries.

In-mold is a lightweight helmet construction. This method involves fusing the helmet's outer shell and its inner shock-absorbing liner in a single molding process. The result is a lightweight, integrated structure that provides superior protection.

Benefits of In-Mold helmets include:

  1. Lightweight: Helmets made with in-mold construction are significantly lighter. This reduction in weight enhances the comfort of the helmet.
  2. Improved Ventilation: This construction method allows for better and more integrated ventilation systems. Vents can be precisely formed in both the outer shell and the EPS liner, improving airflow.
  3. Sleeker Design: The outer layer of In-Mold helmets is thinner than other constructions allowing the helmets to be smaller and lower profile.

Hardshell construction is a robust helmet construction that offers enhanced durability and protection. This method involves a distinct assembly process where the outer shell is made separately and then attached to the inner liner, typically using adhesive. The outer shell is usually crafted from high-impact plastics like ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene), known for its strength and resistance to impacts and abrasions.

Benefits of Hardshell Helmets include:

  1. Enhanced Durability: Hardshell helmets are particularly resistant to penetration and abrasion, making them ideal aggressive skiing where falls and collisions are more frequent. This includes Race, Park and Freeride skiing.
  2. Cost-Effective: Generally, hardshell helmets are less expensive to produce than those using in-mold construction. This allows companies to offer quality helmets at lower price points.
  3. Longevity: The hardness of the hard outer shell improves resistance to smaller knocks that may render an In-mold helmet unsafe. This is why we recommend Hardshell helmets for most kids, they typically don't take care of their gear as much.

Hybrid construction typically uses in-mold technology to bond a lightweight polycarbonate shell with an EPS liner for the main section of the helmet, ensuring a reduced weight and a sleek design. Additionally, it incorporates sections of hardshell material, usually ABS plastic, in critical areas that are prone to higher impacts and abrasion, such as the top or back of the helmet. This dual-approach allows the helmet to offer comprehensive protection: the in-mold parts provide overall lightness and comfort, while the hardshell parts enhance durability and impact resistance.

Benefits of Hybrid construction include:

  1. Enhanced Protection: Hybrid helmets offer superior protection by combining the shock absorption capabilities of EPS foam with the puncture resistance of hardshell materials in key areas.
  2. Lightweight Design: By using in-mold construction for the majority of the helmet, the overall weight is kept low, enhancing the wearer's comfort and reducing neck fatigue during long skiing sessions.
  3. Durability: The strategic placement of hardshell components ensures that the helmet can withstand repeated impacts.
  4. Ventilation: Hybrid construction allows designers to create better-optimized ventilation systems that can adjust to changing temperatures and activity levels, keeping the skier comfortable throughout the day.
  5. Aesthetic Flexibility: This construction method offers more design flexibility, allowing for a range of styles and features that can appeal to different tastes and needs.

Fidlock refers to a type of fastening technology commonly used in ski helmets as a replacement for the chinstrap buckle. Fidlock buckles use a unique combination of magnetic and mechanical locking mechanisms to deliver an innovative closure system that provides both security and ease of use.

Ski helmets employ various types of foam materials, each selected for its specific properties to enhance safety, comfort, and performance. Understanding the different foams can help skiers choose the right helmet for their needs. Here’s an explanation of the most common types of foams used in ski helmets:

Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) is the most widely used foam in ski helmets due to its effective impact-absorbing properties. When a helmet with EPS foam is subjected to an impact, the foam compresses and dissipates the energy, reducing the amount transferred to the wearer's head.

  • Properties: EPS is lightweight, rigid, and effective at absorbing single high-impact collisions.
  • Limitations: Once compressed by an impact, EPS does not rebound to its original form, meaning helmets with this foam are typically designed for single-impact use before replacement is necessary.

Expanded Polypropylene (EPP) is similar to EPS but differs in its resilience; EPP can recover its shape and retain its protective properties after multiple impacts.

  • Properties: EPP is slightly heavier and more flexible than EPS. It offers durable, multi-impact protection and is generally more expensive.
  • Limitations: EPP is a heavier foam than EPS and requires more foam to reach the level of safety. EPP helmets are typically bigger, bulkier, and heavier than EPS counterparts and hence are typically confined to Hardshell construction and Racing and Freestyle applications.

Helmet & Goggle Compatibility

Fitting your Helmet to your Goggles is the best way to optimise the anti-fog of your goggles. As well as minimise any cold spots on your face by not introducing the dreaded gaper gap.

Aim to look for a Goggle that is approximately the right width of the helmet opening and the contour matches the lip of the helmet.

Whilst most helmets are pretty good with most goggles these days. Brands work hard to optimize their set ups together, most of the time you will have the best luck matching your Helmet Brand to the corresponding Goggle.

On many Helmets we add the Goggle that we think fits best as an accessory product. We also offer a package inventive to purchase them together, just add them to the cart and watch the savings come in.

Ski Helmet FAQs

As much as the cool kids and pros do, you shouldn't. It can negatively impact the way the Helmet protects you.

If you often get cold with a helmet on, a thin merino balaclava or beanie in addition to the helmets inner can add a lot of warmth.

There are some models where the inner/earpads can be removed with the intention of being replaced with a beanie. If you are going to do it, these models are the easiest to do it safely.

Brands and Experts suggest replacing your helmet at least every 3-5 Years regardless of use, crashes or visible wear. This is due to often invisible material wear within the helmet potentially jepardizing your protection.

You should also replace your helmet with any major impact. Especially impacts large enough to leave a dent or scratch to the outer surface.

Kids helmets are especially prone to being dropped and may be of compromised safety if they are dropped from a moderate height, like a table. Its for this reason we recommend Hardshell helmets for kids as they are more resistant to damage, though still need to be replaced with age or visible damage.

We find recreational skiers typically prefer In-Mold helmets. They are lighter and often have higher end features.

Pro & Athlete level skiers, racers, kids, and park skiers typically lean towards Hardshell helmets due to their extra durability and resistance to smaller repeated impacts, such as hitting race gates.

Hybrid shells, typically only found in high end models, offer the best of both worlds. They are lighter than Hard Shells, but still have the added impact resistance in key areas.

We find there are more cons than pros to the Visor style helmets vs a standard Helmet/Goggle Combo. Though some people love them and they are insanely popular in parts of Europe.


  • OTG Compatibility
  • Stylish (if thats your jam)
  • Flawless Helmet/Goggle Integration


  • Wet weather performance
  • Availability of replacement lenses
  • Storage - not recommended to leave goggles in the drying room
  • Crash replacement of helmet requires new goggles

Functionally, almost nothing.

Some Brands still offer Mens & Ladies specific models, though it is trending to range helmets as unisex and many brands all of them are.

For models which have Mens & Womens models, often the only difference is the inner is a fuzzier material, providing a negligible amount more warmth to the ladies model. As well as the womens models being offered in smaller sizes & alternate colours.

Key Helmet Styles

"I want the cheapest good helmet I can get"

These helmets are the best bang for buck at lower price points. They are a little limited on features but they don't skimp on important safety attributes. Cheaper than this we find the sacrifices aren't worth the savings.

Giro Ledge MIPS Asian Fit Ski Helmet-Medium-Matte

Giro Ledge MIPS

The most popular Helmet amongst Park riders. The Giro Ledge is a Hardshell that is comfortable, durable and safe. It opts to go without all the bells and whistles to keep it from costing a bomb.

Giro Ledge MIPS Ski Helmet

Oakley MOD 1 MIPS

The Oakley MOD1 MIPS is a lightweight helmet that is stacked with features in a classic skate inspired helmet shape. With Fidlock, BOA adjustment, MIPS and a universal fit it really is amazing value.

Oakley MOD 1 MIPS
Oakley MOD1 Pro MIPS Ski

"I want the most feature packed helmet without breaking the bank"

Featuring adjustable ventilation, adjustable sizing, MIPS in lightweight and great fitting packages. These helmets are our top sellers in store.

Giro Neo MIPS Asian Fit Ski Helmet-Small-Matte Black-Asian

Giro Neo MIPS

The Giro Neo MIPS has been our single most popular helmet in the store since its release. It has a great combination of fit, features, and style that once it goes on a head it rarely comes off.

Giro Neo MIPS Ski Helmet


The POC Obex MIPS is one of the more affordable Hybrid construction helmets with MIPS and adjustable everything. It is also one of POC's most universal fits that matches up amazingly with most head shapes.

POC Obex MIPS Ski Helmet
POC Obex MIPS Wide Fit Ski Helmet-X Small / Small-Matte Uranium

"I want the best helmet money can buy"

Sweet Protection typically take the cake when it comes to top end helmets. Their top end models leave nothing on the table when it comes to safety, fit and features.

Sweet Protection Trooper 2Vi MIPS Ski

Sweet Protection Trooper 2vi MIPS

The Trooper 2vi is the result of Sweet Protection building a comfortable, soft earred, freeride helmet without any compromise on safety. Not even any major ventilation was allowed due to its reduction of puncture resistance.

Sweet Protection Trooper 2Vi MIPS Ski Helmet

Sweet Protection Switcher MIPS

The Switcher takes a ton of what Sweet Protection learnt about safety whilst building the Trooper and adds in a few comfort oriented features. The vents available in the helmet are all specially reinforced to maintain as much protection as possible and are operated by a minimal dial on the back of the head

Sweet Protection Switcher MIPS Ski Helmet
Sweet Protection Switcher MIPS Ski Helmet-Small / Medium-Dirt