Burton RED Helmets Review

27 Feb

red logo

Product Description:

I distinctly remember seeing a lot of Burton clothing growing up in Southern California.  There definitely was (is?) a big boarding culture with Big Bear and Mammoth close by, but I don’t remember seeing any other snowboarding company’s logos on my classmates’ jackets, t-shirts, and hats.

Burton Snowboards is a company with many different brands, with their most popular probably being Burton snowboards.  In addition to lifestyle clothing and surfboards, they market and sell helmet and protective gear under their RED brand.  With RED, you have a choice of 9 men’s helmets, 6 women’s helmets, and 3 youth’s helmets.

The outer shells of RED helmets are either polycarbonate or ABS, pretty standard in the industry.  They all have a soft inner lining, and many have extra features like air filled headbands for a better fit or removable pads for comfort.

American Alternative Review:

Burton pretty much legitimized snowboarding as a sport.  They convinced the first ski resorts in the US to open their lifts to snowboarders, and they sponsored the first snowboarding competitions.   If you enjoy snowboarding, then you should give a little thanks to Jake Burton Carpenter, the founder of the company.

Jake and his wife have been the major shareholders in Burton since its founding in 1977 in Vermont.  Now, the Burlington-based company is a titan in the snowboarding business, with between 40%-70% of industry wide snowboarding related sales.  Burton owns about 10 brands, with RED focusing on protective gear like helmets and guards.  Late in 2012, they announced a restructuring of their company that would move helmets and protective gear under their respected Anon brand.  Burton would still make some RED branded helmets, but only on a limited basis.

Burton has been able to confirm that all manufacturing of RED helmets happens in China, but the R&D happens in Vermont.  Burton has a new 10,000 square foot research facility in Burlington where concepts can go from design to testing in 24 hours (that’s pretty sweet).  We love all the development that Burton does in the US, but we wish they could do manufacturing here.  In fact, they used to make snowboards in Vermont until they moved manufacturing to Austria in 2010.  It just didn’t make financial sense to continue manufacturing them in America.

1.5/5 stars

There are still a large selection of RED helmets on the market.  You can check them out before they all become branded Anon: a higher end helmet, a medium priced helmet, and a medium priced women’s helmet.

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