Gear
Gear Guy
Q:

Is there one helmet suitable for multiple sports?

Can you help me in my quest to find a multi-sport helmet? I looking for one helmet that I can use for a variety of sports such as cycling, skiing, climbing, sledding, skydiving, and any other activities that require a brain bucket. As my wife is on first-ne terms with the UPS man, it seems prudent to find one helmet that does it all. Bill Buffalo, New York

A: Well, any old helmet can work for all those sports. But nothing is going to work perfectly, for one simple reason: Ventilation. You want a bunch of ventilation for bicycling, for instance, but you really don't for skiing. And skydiving helmets—you really pursue that? Why?—are evolving into full-face rigs, which aren't much use for anything else.

Bell Furio


I will say that Italian outfit Kong makes a helmet called the Scarab (www.kong.it) that's billed as an all-sport helmet and might cover a fair amount of ground in that regard, but at $148 it costs twice what many single-sport helmets cost. For instance, you'd be money ahead to buy a Bell Furio ($60; www.bellbikehelmets.com) for cycling, then throw in a climbing helmet such as Petzl's Ecrin Roc ($84; www.petzl.com). The Petzl could also work for skydiving and sledding. Maybe even for skiing, although for that you might want to get a K2 Clutch ($59; www.k2skis.com). And those are retail prices—you can shop around at places such as Sierratradingpost.com and probably punch your ticket with helmets at 30 percent off.

And if your wife objects, well, ask her this: What is your skull worth? $100? $200? More? I shouldn't think keeping your brain intact would be a budget line item.

Check out Outside Online's Gear Blog for a review of the Uvex Wing RS bike helmet.

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