Snow Helmets Recap

14 Mar

helmet recap

No snow helmet we found scored more than 1.5 stars, which was pretty surprising.  We thought that since snow helmets are somewhat simple products that don’t require too much labor to manufacture, and since they’re pretty bulky to ship across oceans, we would be able to find a company that manufactures domestically.  Unfortunately, that was not the case.

helmet signThis doesn’t mean you shouldn’t buy and use a snow helmet next time you’re out snowboarding or skiing.  These things can save your life!  Our goal here is to help you make the most informed purchase you can.

Of the helmets we reviewed, we have a 3-way tie for most American-made, each coming in with 1.5/5 stars: RED, K-2, and Giro.  All these companies do their R&D in the country and they are still US-based, but they all do their manufacturing and sourcing in China.  RED is part of Burton, still owned by its American founders.  K-2 is owned by the public company Jarden and traded on the NYSE.  And Giro is part of a company owned by a US private equity firm.  All three companies offer helmets in many style at various prices, so you should be able to find something you like that fits in your budget.

Helmets made by Smith Optics scores 1/5 stars.  Smith also does its R&D in America and manufactures in China, but it is owned by an Italian company.

Most helmets are injection molded out of common plastics like ABS, polycarbonate, and foams of various sorts.  While there is some labor involved in decorating the helmets and assembling all the straps and cushions, I didn’t think it would be too difficult to manufacture a snow helmet in America.  Since no company does it, it seems like the financials just don’t make sense.

Here’s a list of the snow helmets we reviewed:

Smith Optics Helmets

Giro Helmets

K-2 Helmets

RED Helmets

Hope everyone is enjoying the snow season!  Be safe out there and wear a helmet!

On a side note, I had never heard the term “snow helmet” until starting research for this.  I had only heard the terms “snowboarding helmet” or “skiing helmets”, but it makes sense to have an all-encompassing term.  I learned something new!

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