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Which snowboard helmet is best?

Snowboarding is a great way to get outside and enjoy some exercise during months of dreary winter weather. However, snowboarding, like all action sports, has an element of danger that can pose risks to more than just yourself if not properly addressed. 

Safety should be everyone’s first priority when snowboarding, and that starts with protecting one of your most valuable assets: your head. Sadly, choosing the wrong helmet may actually cause a headache rather than prevent one. If you’re looking to get something that sacrifices nothing when it comes to function or form, consider the Smith Optics Level snow helmet

What to know before you buy a snowboard helmet

Shock absorption 

While all helmets offer shock absorption, they are not all equal. EPS foam is a common material used in budget and mid-tier helmets that provides great protection, but weighs quite a bit. Higher-end helmet manufacturers such as Smith Optics have unique designs that offer industry leading protection for your cranium. The Level helmet has a honeycomb construction in between the reinforced shell that drastically reduces energy transfer from the point of impact to your head. 


Beyond looks, choosing the right style of helmet is an important part of getting one that works for you. Consider the climate where you ride most frequently. If it’s often bright and sunny, you may want a helmet with a small visor to provide increased sun protection. On the other hand, if you live in an area that’s regularly overcast, consider a helmet without a visor so you don’t lose visibility in low-light  conditions. Furthermore, there are all-in-one helmet options that cover your face and have integrated goggles if you’re looking for a one-stop shop solution. 


Not all helmets are equally adjustable. If you’re investing in a helmet for long-term use, consider purchasing one with the Boa wheel that can tighten the entire internal harness. If you’re purchasing a helmet for infrequent use or a growing person, it’s likely not worth your money to invest in adjustable features beyond a flexible chin strap. 

What to look for in a quality snowboard helmet

MIPS technology 

MIPS stands for Multi-directional Impact Protection System and is the newest addition to the helmet industry. While MIPS is certainly a luxurious feature, it’s designed to mimic the natural protection system your body uses to keep the brain safe. Top quality helmets will have MIPS technology in addition to EPS foam or another form of shock absorption. 

Climate control features

While helmets don’t offer climate control like your car does, you’d  be surprised how much of an impact adjustable vents have. High-quality helmets will offer numerous vents, as well as the ability to adjust their level of openness in order to target the right level of airflow. 

Lightweight construction

Good quality helmets strike a balance between price, comfort and protection. While EPS foam is a good way to get cheap protection, it weighs a lot and can become uncomfortable over an extended period of use. Companies like Smith, who use a partially hollow Aerocore construction, invest in making their helmets lightweight and therefore more comfortable. 

How much you can expect to spend on a snowboard helmet

Entry level snowboard helmets that offer basic protective technology cost around $40 while higher-end models with the latest innovations can cost more than $200.

Snowboard helmet FAQ

Is there a difference between snowboarding and ski helmets?

A. There is no difference between traditional ski and snowboard helmets outside of how they’re marketed. 

How do you determine which size is right? 

A. Unfortunately, there isn’t industry standard sizing. To find your size, you need to take a measuring tape to the widest part of your head and compare that measurement with the sizes on the product description or company page. It’s always wise to choose a helmet with ample adjustability.

What’s the best snowboard helmet to buy?

Top snowboard helmet

Smith Optics Level snow helmet

Smith Optics Level Snow Helmet

What you need to know: This helmet protects the most important part of your body with the latest and greatest in technology, performance and style. 

What you’ll love: Featuring an advanced MIPS protection system, as well as patented Zonal Koroyd energy absorption, this helmet offers industry leading safety features. It also has a proprietary, adjustable AirEvac ventilation system that integrates with all smith goggles and works with the XT2 antimicrobial lining to keep your head cool and clean. Plus, this helmet is compatible with all sorts of awesome accessories like optional integrated headphones. 

What you should consider: Although your noggin is priceless, this helmet certainly isn’t. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top snowboard helmet for the money

PHZ. snowboard helmet

PHZ. Snowboard Helmet

What you need to know: This helmet offers great protection at an incredible price and is ideal for anyone making their first trip or learning how to ride. 

What you’ll love: Although this helmet is cheap, it’s certainly not poor quality. This helmet has the industry standard safety certifications and even has a premium boa size adjustment wheel. It also has 16 individual air vents and cozy fleece lining that will keep your head warm in all the right places. 

What you should consider: Because this helmet uses EPS foam, it’s quite heavy. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

OutdoorMaster Kelvin snowboard helmet

OutdoorMaster Kelvin Snowboard Helmet

What you need to know: The Kelvin snowboard helmet uses advanced EPS shock absorption technology to protect your head and looks great while doing it. 

What you’ll love: This helmet offers all the bells and whistles a premium helmet does without the cost. With over 13 colors to choose from and an excellent shock absorption system, this helmet delivers good looks and great protection at all times. Plus, it has 14 strategically placed air vents to help keep your head cool and goggles clear. 

What you should consider: This helmet is bulkier than similar models. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

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William Briskin writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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