Best Snowboarding Helmets to Buy in 2020

Other, Reviews, Snow

The thrill of snowboarding is hard to beat. Your breath turns to mist as it hits the crisp air. Your goggles cut the glare from the fields of white as you look around you. The double-diamond run awaits. You had your gear ready before you even started. Boots? Check. Jacket? Check. Bindings? Check. Helmet? Oops…

Your helmet is an essential part of a snowboarder’s basic gear.

But how do you know what to get? There’s a staggering variety out there, some better than others. Before you commit to a particular piece of gear, you ought to know what you’re looking for, and that’s what this guide is for.

What You Need To Know

This is a rundown of some of the things you need to take into account before buying a snowboarding helmet.

Material

At the end of the day, you’ll need to plunk some money down to protect your head from the mountain. Therefore, you’ll want to take manufacturing techniques into account. Does the liner move around in your snowboarding helmet, or is the padding glued to an ultra-hard shell? Or maybe the shell is made of polycarbonate. Do you want a thin outer shell or something more drastic? There are many options to choose from, and we’ll cover what each helmet offers in the reviews.

Ventilation

The more vents on a helmet, the more air will pass through it and keep your head cool. If you’re someone who gets cold easily and is planning to wear a hat under your helmet, that’ll affect your decision.

Comfort

There’s no point in style, safety, or much of anything else if your helmet doesn’t fit right. The majority of helmets these days use a liner to protect your precious dome. It’s made out of what is called EPS foam, short for expanded polystyrene. You’ll be seeing that term a lot. It’s a material used as insulation in a wide variety of things, from insulation in buildings to beanbag filling.

Safety

The flip side of comfort is safety. Your helmet could fit like a glove, but it won’t do a bit of good if it doesn’t protect your noggin from a knocking. The standards to look for are EN1077 and ASTM F2040. EN1077 is a European standard for snow accessory safety, ASTM F2040 is the U.S. standard.

Cost

The cost of helmets varies widely, depending on what you’re looking for. And sometimes, more money doesn’t mean a better helmet. And sometimes more money means a few extra features — it also means you’ll have to ask yourself how much those features are worth to you.

Now that we’ve given you an idea of what to look for, here’s our top 10 list:

Top 10 Best Snowboarding Helmets 2020

1. Best Overall Snowboard Helmet: WILDHORN DRIFT SNOW HELMET

Why we like it: It’s a premium example of a solid snowboarding helmet.

Editor’s Rating:

Overview

The best item on our list is also nearly the most expensive. But you get the most bang for your buck. If you don’t trust us, trust Ashley Caldwell, World Champion Freestyle Aerialist, the only woman skier ever to land a quadruple-twisting triple backflip. It’s lighter than helmets from other brands. It’s got a goggle strap so you can be sure your eyewear stays on. One advantage it has over its other competitors is the comfortable chinstrap. And its sleek design makes it a stylish choice as you hit the slopes.

Safety

Meets ASTM F2040 and EN1077 standards, so you know you’re well-protected.

Comfort

The Wildhorn Drift has a plush lining on the inside to make sure you aren’t rubbing your head at the end of the day. It also has 13 vents to make sure your head stays cool.

Audio Compatible?

Not only do they have earpads, but they also sell Wildhorn Alta Bluetooth helmet-compatible earphones.

Ease of Use

Rather than fiddle with your helmet all day, you can hit the slopes faster with their patented Fine Tune Adjustment system to make sure your helmet fits just right.

Pros
  • Vent system keeps your head cool
  • Easily adjustable size
  • Stylish comfort that won’t make you feel like a Funko Pop doll with an oversized head
Cons
  • More expensive than other brands

2. Best Budget Snowboard Helmet: AKASO SNOWBOARD HELMET

Why we like it: The feature set is about as good as the Wildhorn Drift topping our list, and it’s a pretty good budget option. AKASO is one of those trusted brands. It pops up on best of lists for a reason — it’s just a solid choice.

Editor’s Rating:

Overview

If you’re ready to hit the slopes, this snowboard helmet offers great features without thinning your wallet too much — it’s around $20+ cheaper than other mid-range brands. It’s got a good feature set for the price. Adjustable vents, a good amount of padding, and it’s easily re-sizable, too.

Safety

Meets safety certifications.

Comfort

It’s not only well-padded, but it’s also lighter than many other helmets. You could wear this all day and forget you have it on.

Audio Compatible?

It doesn’t have any audio-ready features.

Ease of Use

The dial in the back lets you easily adjust the size of your helmet for the best fit.

Pros
  • Affordable
  • Vent system keeps your head cool
  • Adjustable size
Cons
  • No audio-ready features

3. Best Premium Snowboard Helmet: SMITH OPTICS MAZE HELMET

Why we like it: It’s a solid, well-constructed helmet from a brand we trust. It also has a stylish, modern look that we love. Smith has been around for a long time and has earned its reputation.

Editor’s Rating:

Overview

If you’re looking for a good, reliable brand, look no further than Smith. This is a solid minimalist helmet. Lightweight, injection-molded, and simple. It’s has a no-frills aesthetic with a clean shape. The eye-catching colors are another feature that you’ll like. It does run a little on the expensive side considering the lack of options.

Safety

It uses in-mold construction, so you know it’s fairly sturdy.

Comfort

There’s no adjustment system, like the first two items on our list. You can re-arrange the pads, but it does tend to favor round head shapes. The fixed vents mean you’ll probably want a beanie. When ordering, you have a range of sizes to choose from, which varies the price by quite a lot.

Audio Compatible?

Yes, a pair of Bluetooth in-helmet speakers should do the trick.

Ease of Use

Not as easy as other brands. The fixed vents mean you’ll have to figure out your best option for staying warm. And you won’t be adjusting the size on the go.

Pros
  • Sleek and stylish
  • Lightweight
  • Removable goggle lock
Cons
  • The size is non-adjustable

4. VELAZZIO VALIANT SKI HELMET, SNOWBOARD HELMET

Why we like it: If you’re looking for a good budget helmet, the Velazzio Valiant is a good bet. The features are awesome. Not only does it have a fleece lining, it’s got rigorously tested safety ratings. And you can listen to your own tunes as you shred.

Editor’s Rating:

Overview

The VELAZZIO Valiant Ski Helmet has EPS foam lining and ABS shell, so you can be sure that your head will be protected. It’s got built-in audio compatibility, so you can rock out to your favorite tunes when you’re on the slopes. The earmuffs are nice and warm. A goggle clip ensures your goggles will stay on in case you end up munching snow on the slopes.

Safety

An ABS shell and EPS foam should absorb any impacts.

Comfort

As long as it fits, it should keep you toasty and warm.

Audio Compatible?

Definitely. The earpads were built with that in mind, though you’ll have to purchase a headset separately.

Ease of Use

The goggle clip is a nice feature, but you’ll have to adjust the Velazzio Valiant manually to make it fit.

Pros
  • Padded, washable fleece lining.
  • ABS shell and EPS foam.
  • Has space for earphones.
Cons
  • Non-adjustable sizing.

5. TURBOSKE SKI HELMET, SNOWBOARD HELMET

Why we like it: Like the AKASO , it’s the best bet for the budget-conscious buyer. It’s one of the highest-rated helmets on Amazon. Plus, it has some features that rival the more expensive helmets.

Editor’s Rating:

Overview

An extremely affordable option, this is a feature-rich helmet that won’t break the bank. It’s got an adjustable sizing dial, adjustable vents to make sure you stay warm without being stifled, and it’s up to safety standards. The external cap is made of strong ABS material.

Safety

The Turboske has been certified with ASTM and EN1077 safety standards.

Comfort

This one isn’t as comfortable as some models out there, but it does the job. It does have adjustable venting, though, which is a definite plus. It also has a size adjustment dial as an extra perk.

Audio Compatible?

The only thing this helmet doesn’t seem to have.

Ease of Use

The sizing dial is a nice touch, as are the adjustable vents. It means that you can adjust things on the fly.

Pros
  • Affordable
  • Has a sizing dial
  • Adjustable venting
Cons
  • Not as comfortable as it could be
  • No audio system support

6. Most Comfortable Snowboard Helmet: JETBLAZE SKI HELMET, SNOW SPORTS HELMET

Why we like it: Another budget helmet, with features to rival its competitors. It’s super-comfy, has an adjustment dial, and won’t weigh down your head.

Editor’s Rating:

Overview

The JetBlaze is probably the most comfortable helmet on our list. It has more padding than the Giro and adjusts to fit your head just right. Not only that, but there are also adjustable air vents to keep the temperature just right. The helmet is quite lightweight, but the company didn’t skimp on protection. The price is competitive as well.

Safety

Fully complies with EN1077 and ASTM safety certified standards.

Comfort

The JetBlaze has plenty of padding to meet your needs.

Audio Compatible?

Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like it was designed with audio in mind.

Ease of Use

With a goggle clip and a dial to adjust the sizing, this helmet will be ready for the slopes when you are.

Pros
  • Adjustable vents
  • Size adjustable dial
  • Comfortable and soft
Cons
  • No built-in audio compatibility

7. GIRO LEDGE SNOW HELMET

Why we like it: The earpieces are more securely attached than the Holt. The earpieces also make it easier to hear things because they’re thinner.

Editor’s Rating:

Overview

This is a comfortable helmet with good ventilation. It has a built-in self-adjusting tension strap with three different positions. It looks a little less stylish than other models, but it gets the job done. For the features. The Giro Ledge seems more made for slimmer heads, so keep that in mind when you’re buying.

Safety

Uses ABS hardshell construction, connecting the shell to the EPS liner.

Comfort

It doesn’t have a dial for size adjustment, but rather a system of straps and bands. These take a little getting used to.

Audio Compatible?

Yes. Giro Outdoor Tech speakers in particular work well with this helmet. The earpads are compatible with most audio systems.

Ease of Use

Easy enough to use, but you can’t really size it on the fly. The fit takes some time get right.

Pros
  • Comfortable
  • Stylish
  • Good Ventilation
Cons
  • Sizing can take time to get just right

8. Smith Optics Holt

Why we like it: Smith is a trusted brand, with many different styles of helmets available. This is a good deal for a mid-range helmet. It’s multi-use, so you can use it as a skateboard helmet as well.

Editor’s Rating:

Overview

Stylish, lightweight, high-impact shell with dent resistance. The warm earpads can be removed for washing, as can the breathable interior liner. The snowboard helmet has front and rear venting, to keep you as warm or as cool as you need.

Safety

It’s been tested, and is ASTM F 2040, CE EN 1077:2007 Class B, and CPSC certified

Comfort

You do have air vents to keep you warm or cool, as desired. But the ability to size the helmet might have been nice.

Audio Compatible?

Yes, there’s a Skullcandy audio system available for the Smith Holt helmet. But it’s sold separately.

Ease of Use

The venting system works well.

Pros
  • Stylish
  • Lightweight
  • Removable pads for summer use
Cons
  • No adjustable sizing

9. OUTDOORMASTER KELVIN SKI HELMET

Why we like it: Looks and safety are concerns, and the Outdoormaster Kelvin delivers on both of both fronts.

Editor’s Rating:

Overview

Super-affordable, lightweight, and solid, this helmet should fit your needs. It not only has excellent construction, but it’s also got 14 individual vents. It has a dial to size it to your head, but the fine-tuning needed some work. It has 9 different color combinations in a matte finish. It is equipped with reinforced ABS and an EPS core.

Safety

Reinforced ABS and shock-absorbing EPS make this a safe bet.

Comfort

There are sizing issues. While it does have a dial, it’s not that easy to use, nor is it very precise.

Audio Compatible?

It doesn’t support an audio system.

Ease of Use

While the ventilation system is okay, the sizing dial is not really up to snuff.

Pros
  • Solid construction
  • 14 vents
  • 9 different color combos
Cons
  • Sizing issues

10. RETROSPEC TRAVERSE H1 SKI & SNOWBOARD HELMET

Why we like it: There’s a lot to like about it, like the price, the goggle clip, the plush interior, adjustable fit, and the venting system. Not to mention the removable earmuffs for dual-use in the summer.

Editor’s Rating:

Overview

With an ABS exterior and EPS interior, you’ll find yourself well protected. It’s got removable plush earmuffs well. And it’s got 10 vents to keep yourself as warm or as cool as you want as long as you’re on the slopes. It’s got an adjustable fit elastic strap system, as well. If you want stylish, it comes in 14 different colors. The real issue with this helmet is you can’t use it with different types of goggles except the brand’s own.

Safety

With a solid ABS shell and an EPS shock-absorbing inner core, it should protect you well.

Comfort

It has detachable earmuffs and an EPS lined interior, so the Retrospec Traverse H1 is quite comfy with an adjustable fit and adjustable vents.

Audio Compatible?

There’s no built-in audio capability.

Ease of Use

Not really able to adjust things on the fly. You’ll want to ensure your helmet fits comfortably before you hit those runs.

Pros
  • 14 different colors
  • Adjustable fit
  • Solid ABS construction
Cons
  • Not compatible with competitor’s goggles

Buyer’s Guide

Here are the things you need to consider when buying a snowboard helmet.

Fit

If your helmet doesn’t fit, then that’s not good. Fit is king, especially when it comes to the slopes. If your helmet is too tight or too loose, that can throw you off. Worse, if it’s too loose then it won’t protect you as well as it should. You don’t want your head rattling around inside your helmet.

Adjustability

Adjustability goes hand in hand with fit. Because while some helmets are made for different head shapes, being able to adjust your helmet on the fly can really help. Most helmets have a dial that lets you loosen things up if you have a headache, or tighten it up when you’re going to tackle that challenging run.

Impact Protection

Here’s where it gets a little complex. It all comes down to how the helmet is constructed. Most snowboard helmets are what is known as Injection Molded — hard ABS plastic (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) and an EPS foam liner glued inside. Some are built using MIPS, where the inner liner moves and reduces head movement in case of an impact. Newer snowboard helmets are made from an in-mold design. That’s a polycarbonate shell with an EPS liner. Strong shell, lightweight. Hybrid designs are the latest and greatest thing. That combines ABS and in-mold. It’s expensive, but it’s stronger than vanilla in-mold.

Ventilation

You don’t want sweat plastering your hair down in front of your face. That’s where vents on the helmet are helpful. Adjustable vents, even better. Static ones, not so much. Being able to adjust the airflow inside your helmet, and do it easily, are big considerations. If you can’t, it might break your concentration as sweat is pouring down your face. It might even fog up your goggles, which is doubly dangerous. Most of the snowboard helmets on our list sport this feature, including the Giro Ledge, the Retrospec Traverse H1, and the AKASO.

Sound Systems

There’s no feeling quite like hitting that crisp snow with an awesome playlist. And if it’s important to you, audio support is a feature you should definitely look for. And once you find a helmet you like, you have a host of other choices to make when it comes to the headgear itself. There’s top-of-the-head, over-the-ear, wrap-around, in-ear, and in-helmet headphones. In-helmet is probably the best option to minimize injuries.

Value

For some, money is no object. But even if you have money coming out of your ears, you still don’t like getting ripped off. You want the best value possible. And that’s where our list can help you. You should have a list of features you’re looking for. And when you find something that ticks all the boxes, that’s the one you should grab. But you also want to make sure it’s something you can afford. Luckily for you, we’ve got you covered there, too. We made sure to include a number of helmets that hit every price point.

Style

To some, this is all-important in their quest for the perfect snowboarding helmet. You don’t want to look awkward as you thrash through the snow. It’s also the most subjective category. You might want a bright, standout color, or maybe a sleeker fit. A few of these snowboarding helmets come in patterns, and you might want decals, too.

Hopefully, we’ve given you enough to go on. There’s quite a bit to take into account, but you should be better prepared when you buy a snowboarding helmet. As a final message, remember, when you take a serious tumble in your helmet, you’re supposed to replace it. If everything’s working properly, your helmet absorbs the impact, which could cause cracks and micro-fissures. That makes the helmet less reliable and less safe in the future, and you don’t want that.

Good luck out there, wherever you choose to go boarding!