The 6 Best Helmets of Winter 2012

Pro-Tec B2 Snow

Pro-Tec B2 Snow helmet    Photo: Courtesy of Pro-Tec

Pro-Tec B2 Snow Helmet

Every other helmet here is designed to withstand just one signinficant blow, after which you should replace it. The B2 Snow is different, with multiple-impact rebounding foam under the shell that can reconstitute after a ringer, making it a smart choice for the most fearless skier in the family. Other than that, it's a low-budget value helmet—15 fixed vents, no fit adjustment, no audio, and a simple rubber goggle keeper.

TAGS: BUDGET FRIENDLY, PARK RAT

Bern Baker Helmet

Bern Baker
Bern Baker   Photo: Courtesy of Bern

Inspired by Nascar helmets, Bern slapped a carbon-fiber shell onto its classic all-season (skate, cycle, snow-sport) lid—dropping the weight by 25 percent. The lack of vents means it's best in colder climes, although you can swap out the thick winter liner for the thin summer one (included). Only bummer: no dial for micro-adjusting fit.

TAGS: MULTISPORT, LIGHTWEIGHT

Smith Transport Helmet

Smith Transport
Smith Transport helmet   Photo: Courtesy of Smith

The best fully featured new bucket we tested. There's no better micro-adjusting fit system than the Boa cable running around the Transport's rim, which is easy to ratchet even with mittens. The shutters for the ten vents slid smoothly even after a season of smashing the helmet around.

TAGS: BEST FIT, CLOSABLE VENTS

Scott Rove Helmet

Scott Rove
Scott Rove helmet   Photo: Courtesy of Scott

With fat and fuzzy chin-strap padding, removable and recessed ear pads, a washable liner, an easy-to-adjust fit system, and a slew of closeable vents up top, the Rove is about as user-friendly as you'll find. The only odd thing: removing the brim requires a screwdriver.

TAGS: BIG BRIM, FIXED VENTS

Giro Surface S Helmet

Giro Surface S
Giro Surface S helmet   Photo: Courtesy of Giro

Just the basics here. Giro's new value helmet has the great fit, adjustability, and goggle-compatibility of its top-shelf brothers, but without the higher-end features like closable vents. The only shortcuts that bugged us: the chin strap is cheaply padded, and the unpadded buckle can end up in an awkward place on your jaw.

TAGS: GREAT FIT, VISOR BRIM

Salomon Allium 10 Custom Air Helmet

Salomon Allium 10 Custom Air
Salomon Allium 10 Custom Air helmet   Photo: Courtesy of Salomon

The Allium's style is more Warren Miller than TGR, but we were sold on the fit, the impressive airflow through six sealable vents, and the moisture-release port on top. Testers also loved that a few pumps of the Allium's bladder were all it took to nail the fit. The locking strap holder means goggles won't slip off, though futzing with it requires removing the helmet.

TAGS: AIR PUMP, SIDE-BUCKLE CHIN STRAP

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