The Best Helmets of 2016
Safety comes first
These six brain buckets manage to look slick and feel great, all while offering state-of-the-art protection.
Giro Range MIPS
Best For: Oddly Shaped Noggins
Giro developed a unique ratcheting system that lets wearers adjust both the exterior shell and the interior liner for a custom fit. Result: the Range is the most comfortable helmet here. Well-placed vents and mesh ear pads make the whole package plenty breathable.
Best For: Season-Long Use
Our favorite helmet of the test, thanks to a slick, low-profile design that’s packed with smart features, including grooves along the sides to hold goggles in place and a versatile two-part venting system that kept us happy in temperatures ranging from 25 to 60 degrees.
Sweet Protection Igniter MIPS
Best For: Spring Conditions
The Igniter is one of the lightest (1.2 pounds), airiest (26 vents) lids on this page, ideal for warm resort days and long backcountry adventures. It also works with more goggles than any other helmet we tested. Our only gripe: the top vents don’t close, so it isn’t warm enough for cold days.
Best For: Bold Style
Sleek motorcycle-inspired lines meet high on-snow performance in the Saint. With only ten vents, it’s the least breathable helmet we tested, but what it lacks in temperature control it more than makes up for with its stunning good looks and comfortable fit. Note: the Saint runs small, so be sure to size it up.
Best For: The Park
POC developed this ultimate park-rat helmet with input from pro freestyle skier and Olympian Aaron Blunck. The multi-impact Auric, meant to be worn over a beanie and goggles, covers the wearer’s ears and temples with a hard shell, boosting protection without adding much weight. “Feels like a skate helmet—in a very good way,” one tester raved.
Best For: Warmth at Speed
So you like to mach down groomers on below-freezing days? This is your lid. The plush, furlike liner kept our noggins cozy, while the adjustment system in back let us dial in fit all the way around our temples, preventing cold air from creeping in. It gets extra style points for the classy, understated two-tone coloring.