Protect your noggin.
BEST FOR: Looking like Evel Knievel
Despite lacking a ratcheting fit system, the Mashman (from $150) felt snug on a variety of heads. Sparse venting—just thin slits at the forehead and back—and a full-coverage design means it runs hot if you’re charging hard. But testers were too in love with the vintage, motorcycle-inspired style to care.
BEST FOR: Minimalists
Six adjustable air vents on the top plus two slits on the forehead sucked heat out of the Synergy without letting in drafts. At just over a pound it’s a featherweight, and the minimalist feel is enhanced by a low-profile cut. Bonus: meshes with most goggles. $110, bolle.com
BEST FOR: Going Uphill Fast
A staggering number of vents—59 in all—make the Route ($150) the lightest (three-quarters of a pound), most breathable helmet we’ve ever tested. The vents can’t be closed, but you can pull on the included waterproof-breathable nylon sheath (pictured) to trap heat. Bonus: it’s airy enough (and safety certified) to double as a cycling helmet.
Marker Phoenix OTIS
BEST FOR: Safety and Comfort
Oversize, cold-resistant pads at the forehead, temples, and back of the head—the spots at highest risk in a crash—lend the Phoenix ($189) a bit of a bobblehead look, but paired with Marker’s three-point, dial-in fit system, they also make the OTIS the most comfortable helmet here.
POC Fornix BC MIPS J. Jones Edition
BEST FOR: The Backcountry
POC worked with snowboard god Jeremy Jones to construct this remarkably lightweight (one pound) and burly lid. A low-friction layer between the shell and your head allows the pads to rotate on impact, reducing forces on your head. Ten large vents help keep things cool. $220, pocsports.com
BEST FOR: Understated Style
With a low-profile, perfectly sized brim, the Camber ($130) has just the right amount of steeze. A dial-fit system ratcheted tight without creating pressure spots. Internal venting channels in the liner are engineered to carry warm air away from your goggles, reducing fogging.