When it comes to your head, there’s no chance worth taking. That’s why 70 percent of people skiing and snowboarding are sporting hard hats compared to years ago. According to the National Ski Areas Association, wearing a helmet can reduce the risk of head injuries by 30 to 50 percent. And being able to see clearly while you shred is key as well. A good pair of goggles and safe helmet can help set you up for success before each and every run you take. While everyone’s head is shaped differently and the choice between high or low profile frames is based on personal preference, here are some of the newest, safest and most high-tech head gear for 2015. Hit the slopes in style!
Keep your noggin’ safe and your vision clear with these top-rated essentials.
1. Simple Swap
Sold with two different lenses that change out with a single pivot action, the unisex Smith I/O 7 lets you customize your vision based on the day’s conditions — and your mood. Both lenses feature Smith’s anti-fog technology so no matter how hard you’re working, the condensation stays outside your frames. This rimless design looks and feels minimalist, while offering up high performance. ($225; smithoptics.com)
2. Hard Hat
At 13.2 ounces, the Giro Flare is the lightest on this list and feels that way when worn. It also has a velour-like lining that cozies things up, despite the cold. The Flare (and comparable men’s Edit), features the company’s Rok Loc 5 fit system — which they use on their bike helmets — and has an integrated GoPro camera mount if you want to relive your epic day. ($180; giro.com)
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3. Best of Both Worlds
Since some polarized lenses can muddle the difference between snow and ice despite cutting down glare, POC came out the NXT 3P, which is partially polarized. It’s also photochromatic, which means the color automatically changes from lighter to darker and back depending on the conditions. A silicone grip on the inside of the strap helps keep it secure to your helmet or beanie. ($200; pocsports.com)
4. Snug Fit
The men’s Camber and women’s Compass helmets use what Smith calls “in-mold” construction to create a highly ventilated, low profile (read: not too bulky) helmet. An anti-microbial X-Static silver lining keeps things from getting funky while adjustable vents add to the easy, breezy feel. These helmets integrate with all Smith goggles seamlessly. ($130; smithoptics.com)
5. Field of Vision
The frame of these Oakley Flight Deck specs is made from Oakley’s bomber O Matter that’s said to conform to your face shape. The oversized lens is inspired by fighter pilot helmets, with virtually no exterior frame blocking your field of view so those trees, moguls (and other skiers and riders) don’t sneak up on you. Bonus: The new Prizm lens majorly enhances contrast. ($200; oakley.com) RELATED:Olympian Ted Ligety, The Fastest Man on Two Skis
6. Surround Sound
This POC Fornix Communication helmet lets you rock out on the slopes, thanks to the Beats by Dre earpieces built into the neck roll (compatible with most smartphones). Another cool feature? One easy toggle switch to adjust ventilation. And, in case of a nasty fall, the helmet is built to distribute impact across the full liner to reduce the likelihood of concussions. ($240; pocsports.com)
7. See Through
Despite a medium, women’s-specific frame design, the Giro Field offers a massive field of view (no frame material is visible in your peripheral vision), and optical clarity through either polarized or standard lenses. The Field has a comparable brother: the slightly larger Compass goggle. Both work seamlessly with Giro helmets. ($210 for polarized, $150 for standard lenses; giro.com)
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