This is a review of the best ski touring helmet.
Hi, I’m Nick, I’ve been backcountry skiing for years and have tried several different helmets over my career as a skier. Today I am working with Aspen, an experienced NZSIA certified level 2 and kids cert ski instructor to help you find the best ski touring helmet.
We believe that the best ski touring helmet for you will be a lightweight and well-ventilated model that is comfortable to wear for both when skinning up and skiing down the mountain.
I’ve done all of the work researching so that you can make the right choice for a great ski season of backcountry riding.
My top pick is the Smith Vantage MIPS Men’s Helmet, a great touring helmet that combines safety, performance and comfort in a lightweight model.
So let’s get started and find you the best ski touring helmet!
Best Ski Touring Helmets Reviewed
Here are my top picks for the best ski touring helmets:
- Best for: Overall
- Key features: Easy-to-adjust fit, soft and supportive liner, lots of ventilation
- Construction: Multiple color options, weighs 17.7 oz
- Cost: $$$
The Smith Vantage helmet is everything a skier needs in an all-around helmet. The Vantage has a great balance of performance, comfort, safety, and all-mountain features that make it my top pick for both backcountry touring and resort skiing.
With a hybrid shell system construction, MIPS protection system, and BOA fitting system, the Vantage stays comfortable and secure on the skier’s head without sacrificing safety and protection. Removable ear pads are helpful for warm spring days and long ascents, while the rear strap system holds goggles securely all day long.
Ventilation is very important for a touring helmet, and the Vantage more than meets the skier’s needs with 21 vents placed all around the helmet. A dual regulator climate control system allows the skier to open and close two sets of vents for maximum customization, allowing perfect modulation even on the coldest and warmest days out.
Overall I love the design and weight of this helmet, as it is very easy to forget you’re even wearing it. At 17.7 oz it is lightweight enough for most ski touring activities, although some skiers doing multi-day trips may need a lighter helmet. Be aware that the sizing on this helmet can run small, so it’s best to buy a size larger than your usual size.
This is my top pick for the best ski touring helmet if you’re ready to invest in a helmet that will serve you for lots of different styles of skiing over multiple years. There is a downside of this helmet though, it’s a bit more expensive than other helmets in the current market.
- Best for: Budget
- Key features: Lightweight in-mold shell, adjustable fit liner and vent system
- Construction: Multiple colors options, weighs 14.08 oz
- Cost: $
The Smith Mission helmet packs lots of premium features into an affordable price point, making for a helmet that is light enough for backcountry touring and can also perform well for resort use.
Constructed of an in-mold shell design with Aerocore, MIPS, and Koroyd technology that makes for a very safe yet lightweight design, this is a touring helmet that will keep you safe in challenging conditions.
The AirEvac ventilation system has 14 vents that can be adjusted from the top of the helmet. Smith’s adjustable fit system can be accessed with a deal on the rear of the helmet, allowing adjustment without removing the helmet. With bulky gloves, however, this adjustment wheel can be hard to tighten or loosen in icy conditions.
Overall this is a very comfortable and light helmet that provides plenty of premium features for a good price. Be aware of the color you choose, as the matte colors used for the outer shell are more likely to show marks and scratches.
I love this helmet for the versatility, safety and comfort it provides at a good price point however as a long-term, multi-season product it would not be my top pick. A good lightweight helmet for the casual touring skier not yet ready to invest in a more expensive, longer-lasting helmet.
- Best for: Safety
- Key features: Advanced safety features, adjustable vents, dial fit system
- Construction: Available in 6 colors, weighs 21.5 oz
- Cost: $
The Giro Ratio is a great helmet for the touring skier who is looking for a lightweight, low-priced helmet that doesn’t sacrifice safety for the price. With a sleek design that mimics many of the features found on many higher-priced helmets, the Giro is a great helmet that is ideal for the occasional skier looking to try out touring on a budget.
The design of the helmet combines an injection molded shell with a MIPS system layered beneath a hard foam liner, providing safety and a sturdy package that provides great protection for falls. The In Form Fit system allows users to adjust the fit of the helmet easily with the use of a wheel on the rear of the helmet, and the overall fit for most head sizes is good.
Like many more expensive and advanced helmets, the Giro has a ventilation system that can be adjusted with a sliding knob. Googles fit securely below the brim in the front of the helmet and are held in the rear with a firm elastic strap.
While it may not have the number of vents or customization for goggle systems that other helmets do, the Giro still offers great options for a low price.
The Giro does run a bit heavier than the two recommended helmets, but this is to be expected when it costs a third of the price. Some other features that skiers may find lacking include the hard inner liner, which can prove to be uncomfortable for some skiers but retains warmth well.
Overall, this is a great value helmet for the new-to-touring skier who isn’t concerned about weight and will likely be backcountry skiing less than 30 days a season.
Best Ski Touring Helmets – What To Consider?
Take into account the following factors before purchasing the helmet.
The best ski touring helmet is the helmet you don’t even realize is on your head. Fit, shape and the ability to adjust and tighten your helmet’s fit on the fly are very important factors in finding the best ski touring helmet. A comfortable liner that doesn’t hug too tightly yet provides good protection is also beneficial.
Moreso than resort helmets, the best ski touring helmets need to adjust to rapidly changing conditions in the backcountry. This means keeping you warm on the coldest mornings while also adjusting to afternoon and spring warmth.
For most helmets this is achieved by the quality of the liner, but also can be affected by the overall design of the shell and ear flaps, which can be removable.
Ventilation systems have changed rapidly in the past decade, allowing for skiers to adjust the amount of air coming into and heat escaping their helmets from the head on the fly.
While often it is better to have more vents than fewer vents, consider helmets with multiple sets of vents, as this can be useful in finding the perfect balance of breathability and comfort, especially in the backcountry.
Light helmets make for an easier skin up the mountain, but some helmets will sacrifice durability for weight. Again, like with comfort, the best ski touring helmet is the helmet you don’t realize you are wearing. For some skiers, this may mean a very light helmet, but for others, weight may not be a factor.
One of the most frustrating parts of purchasing a new helmet is finding that the helmet does not fit or accommodate the ski goggles you own. Look for helmets with universal fits that secure goggles with a durable and tight-fitting lock mechanism.
The Smith Vantage MIPS is my choice for the best overall ski touring helmet. It is super safe, comfortable and comes with great ventilation. This is a helmet you want to wear for the whole season.
We love all options recommended in this article, simply pick the one suits your need the most and you will be happy with them during your backcountry tours!