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How to Choose Snowboarding and Skiing Helmets

Links to Choosing Snowboarding and Skiing Helmets
Helmet ConstructionSafety Standards
Helmet FitAdditional Features


Protective headgear is a vital piece of equipment for participating in snow sport activities. Properly constructed and fit helmets will provide the rider with the safest and most optimal mountain ride.

Helmet Construction:

There are two typical formats of helmet construction:

Hard Shell

  • Consists of a cushioned inside and plastic outer shell that are glued together
  • Typically made with ABS plastic capable of absorbing heavier impact
  • Heavier in weight
  • Inner liner made with EPS (Expanded Polystyrene) designed to absorb impact during falls

In-Mold Construction

  • Consists of the inside and shell of a helmet that are molded together as one piece
  • Outer layer consists of harder plastic capable of absorbing heavier impact
  • Lighter in weight than hard shell construction
  • Inner liner made with EPS designed to absorb impact during falls

Helmet Fit:

A helmet that's too small will be uncomfortable and provide inadequate coverage, while a helmet that's too large will slide around, become a distraction and not properly protect the rider.


  • Helmets are sized in centimeters (cm). To find your size, simply wrap a measuring tape around the circumference of your head just above the eyebrows. This number is your helmet size.

Fitting Systems


  • Adjusts helmet fit with a sliding clip mechanism on the back of the helmet


  • Adjusts helmet fit with a dial mechanism located on the end of back of the helmet


  • If the style doesn't have a specific fit system, the box will include adjustable padding to fit to your head.


  • Take some time to adjust the chin straps to ensure the fit will be snug enough to keep the helmet in position throughout the day.

Chin Straps

  • The chin strap should be tightened so it rests underneath your chin, but you're still able to open your mouth.

Safety standards:

Standards are set for helmets in order for them to be used on the mountain. All helmets available at DICK's Sporting Goods will have passed the ASTM F2040 Standard Tests or CE 1077B Standard Tests. Both of which are performance requirement tests for recreational snow sports helmets that use impact protection standards. Most helmets meet the requirements of both standards.

Snow sport helmet safety and impact requirements are similar to those of bicycle helmets—they must pass both an impact-drop test and a chin-strap retention test in order to be sold to users. Both standard tests are acceptable requirements for all helmet safety.

Additional Features:

Most helmets come with additional features along with the shell and lining you have chosen. Below is a list of common added features:


  • Provide riders with steady airflow and increased comfort based on preference and riding style
  • Adjustable to adapt to changing conditions and can keep the rider cool during warmer weather
  • Helps with anti-fogging in goggles and visors by allowing air flow

Non-ventilated helmets are also available.

  • Well suited for wet, snowy, or extremely cold climates.


  • Built-in feature on the front of many helmets that can help to cut overhead glare and offer enhanced facial protection in wet or windy weather.

Goggle Clips and Helmet Compatibility

  • Located on the back of the helmet
  • Keeps goggles in place while riding
  • A key to proper fit is to ensure that there is no gap between the top of the goggle and the front of the helmet. Eliminating this gap will provide will provide more safety for the user as well as provide more comfort by protecting them from elements.

Removable Pads

  • Multi-purpose helmets come with removable ear pads so the helmet can be used for other non-motorized recreational sports like skateboarding and roller-blading.
  • It's important to make sure multi-purpose helmets meet the safety standards of all sports you will use them for.

Audio Systems

  • Some helmets incorporate headphone compatibility inside the helmet along with a plug for connecting your personal music player. Most helmets do not come with headphones in the purchase package.