Ski helmets and goggles are critical parts of anyone's ski attire. And thanks to a healthy amount of competition in the marketplace, ski helmets keep getting better with features like MIPS and weight reduction tech, while ski goggles are packed full of innovative features to make seeing on the ski hill better than ever.
GEAR OF THE YEAR: Smith 4D Mag Ski Goggle
There have been some exciting new innovations in goggles over the past few years, including lenses that adapt to changing light either automatically or via electrochromic technology. That said, it’s been a minute since we’ve seen anything new in lens shape. Enter Smith’s innovative BirdsEye Vision technology, which extends and curves the lens below the sightline so your skis and the terrain below are always visible. Not only does this new lens shape extend the field of view by 25 percent beyond Smith’s I/O MAG goggle, but combined with Smith’s DriWix three-layer face foam, it also enhances fit and comfort over the nose and cheekbones. And of course, the 4D MAG still features the ChromaPop lens and Smith’s dependable magnetic lens locking system you’ve become accustomed to.
- Fit: Large
- MSRP: $280 - $310 [BUY NOW]
Smith Level Ski Helmet
Smith crams a lot of comfort features into the stylish, low-profile Level helmet. A hybrid shell construction combined with Smith’s ventilated Aerocore/Koroyd technology reduces weight so you don’t feel like a skiing bobblehead, and an adjustable fit system means a nice snug fit is just a dial or two away. Lightweight comfort is great and all—just be sure to not skimp on protection and buy the MIPS version.
- MSRP: $200 with MIPS [BUY NOW]
Dragon DX3 Ski Goggles
Comfort isn’t discussed enough when it comes to goggles. But try on the new DX3 featuring hypoallergenic Polartec microfleece face foam and a cylindrical frame that fits like a glove—and comfort just became your top priority. Dragon’s LumaLens optimized color technology isn’t bad either, boosting contrast and definition across the light spectrum. Still not impressed? Check out the price point.
- Fit: Medium
- MSRP: $60 [BUY NOW]
Atomic Revent + Amid Ski Helmet
This helmet is tricked out with all the technology Atomic could think to invent. Part of the all-mountain line, this hybrid construction helmet uses egg-carton-like Holo Core technology to reduce weight without sacrificing performance. Meanwhile, Atomic’s multi-directional impact deflector (Amid) system has your noggin covered, providing maximum shock absorption during a crash or full-on ragdoll. And for enhanced comfort, Atomic’s Live Fit memory foam pads on the interior ensures individual fit right out of the box.
- MSRP: $180 [BUY NOW]
Flaxta Prime Ski Goggles
Stockholm–based company Flaxta makes its debut this season with a line of snow protection products, including goggles with Enlight lens technology developed in partnership with Zeiss which filters light and boosts contrast. Plus, Flaxta offers an assortment of Enlight mirror lens options and goggle strap colorways made to stand out on the hill.
- Fit: Medium
- MSRP: $120
K2 Virtue Ski Helmet
A women’s-specific helmet that comes with all the functionality of its male counterparts, but in a slimmer profile. A hybrid construction means you can count on the Virtue to protect your most valuable asset while not adding unnecessary weight. A full-wrap liner, dual active matrix ventilation, and dialed fit system complete the snug and comfy fit. And for those who demand more than just surefire protection from their helmet, K2 included a baseline audio system that makes fitting earbuds under the helmet a problem of the past.
- MSRP: $160 [BUY NOW]
Giro Method Ski Goggle
Designed with park and pipe shredders in mind, the new Method goggle boasts a cylindrical VIVID lens with Optics by Zeiss that fits close to the face to maximize field of view and gives the Method a stylish, retro look. But best of all is the Method’s friendly price point, which also buys you a bonus injection-molded lens that can be quickly swapped in via Giro’s Slash Seal lens interchange system.
- Fit: Medium
- MSRP: $130 [BUY NOW]
Giro Emerge MIPS with Polartec Liner Ski Helmet
Yes, the Emerge MIPS freestyle helmet features leading MIPS Spherical technology to reduce the rotational energy of hard crashes, and yes, it has a removable goggle retainer and earpads so you can wear it like a park rat if that’s your style. But the real highlight of the Emerge is that it’s the first helmet to include a Polartec Power Grid liner, which increases warmth and comfort, moves moisture away from the skin, and dries quickly.
MSRP: $140 [BUY NOW]
POC Fovea Mid Clarity Ski Goggle
POC’s popular Fovea goggle gets a makeover this season with a reduced frame size. That said, it retains the same precise vertical and peripheral vision as its prior iteration, while the upgraded Zeiss Clarity Comp lens enhances contrast to help you stomp landings and spot obstacles whatever the light and snow conditions.
- Fit: Medium
- MSRP: $220 [BUY NOW]
SHRED. Rarify Ski Goggle
These goggles are steezy AF. But there’s more to the Rarify than cool colors and the oversized Shredwide profile. This over-the-glass (OTG) compatible goggle features SHRED.’s contrast-boosting lens that enhances color definition, and Nodistortion technology regulates pressure during altitude change to combat distortion and provide visual clarity in all conditions, whatever the elevation. Bonus: The Rarify comes with two lenses for bright light and low light days.
- Fit: Large
- MSRP: $220
SHRED. Totality Ski Helmet
SHRED. may have done some re-branding, but the company’s commitment to designing exciting new products hasn’t changed. The new Totality helmet is noteworthy for two reasons: It’s a hard shell helmet, yet it’s incredibly light and features SHRED.’s proprietary Rotational Energy System (RES)—a lightweight solution to protecting your brain from rotational forces sustained in gnarly crashes. What’s more: This helmet has 12 strategically placed vents to dump the heat you generate while ripping repeat laps and prevent goggles from fogging.
- MSRP: $160 [BUY NOW]
Sweet Protection Interstellar Ski Goggle
Update: Sweet Protection makes goggles now, and they’re as bomber as their helmets thanks to a heavy-duty carbon-reinforced co-molded frame. The new Interstellar is a freeride goggle designed to boost optical clarity in even the flattest light and at high altitude thanks to light-enhancing Retina Illumination Grading (RIG) and Gore technology, which equalizes pressure to prevent visual distortion at elevation.
- Fit: Large
- MSRP: $199-$249 [BUY NOW]
Zeal Portal XL Ski Goggle
The new Zeal Portal XL is for those who approach ski days with a “go big or go home” attitude. A rimless frame design and oversized spherical polycarbonate lens maximizes field of view, while triple layer foam on the inside of the frame ensures a snug fit despite the bigger size. Helmet compatible and over-the-glass ready, the Portal XL is a statement piece that’s also versatile and functional.
- Fit: Extra Large
- MSRP: $279 (with Polar Auto+ Lenses) [BUY NOW]
People Also Ask
How snug should a ski helmet fit?
- Ski helmets should be snug but comfortable. Many helmets have a tool to increase or decrease overall volume, usually located on the back. There should be no pain due to tightness, but there should be less than 2 millimeters of space between your head on the helmet's padding at a minimum.
What is MIPS?
- MIPS stands for Multi-Directional Impact Protection System. It is a thin layer of plastic on the inside of a ski helmet that allows the helmet to rotate on impact, which reduces torque on the neck and spine in the event of a hard impact. Many brands, including SHRED. and POC have developed similar proprietary technologies that provide the same protection. SKI recommends this type of protection in ski helmets.
How often should you replace your ski helmet?
- After a single hard impact, or after 2-3 years of general wear-and-tear. Wearing a helmet after either of these events can lead to a reduced level of protection.
How do I choose ski goggles?
- Fit is the most important aspect of ski goggles. You will want to make sure they properly fit your face and are not too small or too big. Picking the correct lens tint is also important. Most of the goggles here come with either an additional low-light lens or have an ability to adjust the tint either automatically to match light conditions or manually.
Best Ski Goggles and Helmets of 2019
Atomic Count 360° HD Goggle & Count AMID Helmet
Atomic’s new Count line focuses on enhanced performance, vision, and durability. The Count 360° HD ski goggle incorporates crystal dye in the lens to deliver high-definition in snow contrast, while a minimalist frame maximizes field of view. The Count AMID ski helmet is a burlier version of last year’s Revent, designed with Atomic’s protection foam and Holo Core construction to take a blow to the head like a champ. [Goggle: $200; Helmet: $200]
Bern Monroe Goggle & Weston Peak Helmet
The holy trinity according to Bern: style, comfort, and protection, integrated seamlessly. The result: goggles and helmets that perform as one. The Monroe is a women’s ski goggle catering to female faces and includes two high-contrast interchangeable spherical lenses. The unisex Weston Peak ski helmet sports Bern’s signature: a stylish shape, zip-mold protection, and its classic visor—removable in this model. [Goggle: $130; Helmet: $110; Buy Now]
Zeal Hatchet RLs Ski Goggle
The new Hatchet makes the cylindrical lens cool again. Thanks to a frameless design, nothing distracts from the new optimum polarized lens or encroaches on a large field of view. While functionality is the name of the game in goggles, we do also appreciate style, and the Hatchet scores major points with its new dark night lens options and fun strap designs. [Price: $169]
Bollé Nevada Ski Goggle & Instinct MIPS Ski Helmet
Bollé shares serious vision with the introduction of the Nevada goggle and cylindrical Phantom lens, fine-tuned to automatically adjust to variable light within 30 seconds. Get even more definition with the Phantom+ lens featuring semi-polarized film. This year Bollé adds MIPS to its popular Instinct helmet to give it a major safety upgrade, which just makes good sense, the Instinct MIPS being in the freeride lineup. [Goggle: $159 with Phantom+; Helmet: $169]
Oakley Prizm React Ski Goggle & MOD5 Ski Helmet
Great technology comes at great cost, but the Prizm may be worth it. New electrochromic technology allows skiers to adjust lens tints with the push of a button on the goggle frame. Just charge the system with the included USB cable and see the light in any conditions. This goggle is likely to overshadow any helmet, but the MOD5 makes a great supporting actor by offering seamless optics integration. [Goggle: $299; Helmet: $200; Buy Now]
Sweet Protection Switcher Ski Helmet
Sweet Protection makes cool helmets—literally. The Switcher’s unique one-turn ventilation system allows skiers to open and close all 22 vents at once with the twist of a knob. A blend of in-mold and hardshell construction, along with variable elasticity and impact shield technologies, also guarantee sturdy yet lightweight protection. With little difference in price points, we say your brain is worth the MIPS version. [Helmet: $219, $249 with MIPS]
Giro Eave Ski Goggle & Terra Ski Helmet
Giro is back by popular demand, now with an emphasis on smooth lines and customizable style. The women’s Eave goggle combines Giro’s VIVID lens, a magnetic quick-change lens system, and a new interchangeable goggle strap to marry function and style. Pair the Eave with the new freestyle-inspired Terra helmet, a lightweight but protective lid with MIPS technology, for a minimalist look made to stand out. [Goggle: $230; Helmet: $160; Buy Now]
Salomon S/Max Ski Goggle & Sight Ski Helmet
With MAX in the name, you expect a google that grants ridiculous vision. The S/MAX delivers with a large spherical frame and contour fit extending vision to the peripherals, while Sigma lens technology provides high-def contrast, so you can see what’s coming in any conditions. The Sight helmet also ups the ante with new shock absorption technology strategically placed in the most critical impact zones. [Goggle: $200; Helmet: $180]
SPY Ace EC Ski Goggle with ONE technology
Think lenses that adapt to variable light are old news? Think again. The Ace EC goggle brings you futuristic technology: the ONE lens that can change tints—not just boost color contrast—on the fly. Push the button on the goggle’s light- weight lithium battery pack and an electronic pulse is sent through an invisible filament in the lens to instantly change lens tint for sunny, mixed, or flat light. [$275]
POC Fovea Clarity Ski Goggle & Obex Spin Ski Helmet
Looking for a goggle with x-ray vision? There’s no such thing (yet), but the Fovea goggle comes close with the POC Clarity lens, designed with optimal intensity and contrast to enhance vision on snow. The lightweight Obex Spin helmet also features proprietary POC technology—SPIN pads that sit between the liner and shell of the helmet to protect the brain from rotational, not just linear, hard knocks. [Goggle: $220; Helmet: $200; Buy Now]
SCOTT LCG Ski Goggle & Symbol 2 Plus D Ski Helmet
There’s nothing worse than smudging your lenses. The LCG Goggle makes lens-changing cleaner with its award-winning lens change slider system. Slide the tab on the side of the frame and unhook the lens to swap out with the included bonus lens. Scott also adds innovative technology to the Symbol 2 Plus D helmet, including a lower-profile shape and 360° Pure Sound ear pads for better hearing. [Goggle: $200; Helmet: $240; Buy Now]
Cébé Icone Ski Goggle & Contest Visor Ultimate Ski Helmet
Cébé makes its debut in North America with the frameless Icone goggle, featuring a spherical, magnetic lens that makes swapping out on the go a piece of cake. Don’t worry about the lens popping off in a crash—Cébé’s magnetic system is stronger than most. Cébé also upgraded its best-selling helmet in Europe with MIPS and RECCO to add to an already extensive list of cool features. [Goggle: $150; Helmet: $120]
Smith I/O MAG Ski Goggle & Mirage Ski Helmet
To one-up other magnetic lens systems, Smith adds two locking mechanisms to the side of the I/O MAG frame, ensuring the magnetic lens stays in place. Despite incorporating one of Smith’s largest spherical ChromaPop lenses, this goggle is a snug fit thanks to the contoured frame. The new Mirage helmet is streamlined to cut weight and features an adjustable dial-fit system—opt for MIPS for added protection. [Goggle: $240, Buy Now; Helmet: $100/$130 with MIPS, Buy Now]
Shred Simplify Ski Goggle & Slam-Cap NoShock Ski Helmet
Known for forging its own path, Shred strays further from the pack with the release of its Big Show collection featuring original Shred technology. The cylindrical Simplify lens combines NoDistortion and Shredwide technologies to increase peripheral vision and enhance optics. In the Slam-Cap helmet, Shred’s NoShock and RES safety systems rival MIPS on all the other helmets out there. [Goggle: $150; Helmet: $200]
Dragon PXV GALAXY Ski Goggle
Size does matter, and Dragon goes big with its new PXV goggle. A large fit offers a wide field of view, and the PXV’s Panotech lens shape dramatically expands peripheral vision. Lumalens photochromic technology also enhances color contrast to help you see more sharply. Another cool feature is the armored venting system which prevents snow from getting packed into the foam on top of the frame. [Price: $180]
Uvex Compact FM Ski Goggle & Primo Ski Helmet
A minimalist look makes the FM goggle stand out and lets Uvex focus on what’s under the surface: supravision technology and a litemirror lens that enhances vision and protects your eyes from the elements. Style plus safety is also the mission of the Primo helmet. A stylish shell meets a liner that can be adjusted like a hood to create a snug mold between head and helmet for ultimate comfort and protection. [Goggle: $130; Helmet: $150]
Pret Refuge X Ski Helmet
Pret’s new X series was developed with input from pro skiers and designed for rippers looking to challenge the mountain and live to ski another day. With MIPS technology and overlapping polycarbonate shells, the Refuge X is an incredibly light yet strong all-mountain helmet. Need tunes to get stoked on bigger, badder lines? The Refuge X features custom ear pockets that are audio-ready. [Price: $180, Buy Now]
More of the best skiing accessories from the 2019 Gear Guide:
Best Men's Specific Goggles of 2018
Change your entire perspective with the right pair of goggles.
Uvex Downhill 2000 FM Chrome
Your goggles help you see where you’re heading. It’s even better when they help you look cool, too. Uvex updated its classic Downhill 2000 goggle with a new blue-chrome-plated frame and matching wide mirrored lens. The Downhill does retain its minimalist, and lightweight, frame and anti-fog lens treatment. $200, uvex-sports.com.
Dragon’s new color-optimized Lumalens technology is designed to improve color definition and contrast, and therefore depth perception, increasing your reaction time in that tight tree line. The NFX also features armored venting, which if you ski like we do, will easily add a few seasons onto your goggle’s lifespan. $150, dragonalliance.com.
The Bravo’s lens-swap system works like a farm gate: a hinge on the right side of the frame anchors one end of the lens, with a latch at the other end used for quick release. Spy’s signature Happy Lens technology enhances contrast and focus. A second bonus lens is included to keep you, well, happy. $220, spyoptic.com.
Marker 3D+ MAP
Not that we enjoy chatting about crashing, but Marker’s MAP technology (Multi-Impact Adaptive Polymer) uses a foam padding that stiffens upon impact to protect your face. The goggle is surprisingly light for a large-fit frame and features Marker’s three-point lens-change system. $225, markerusa.com.
The new Portal features a frameless design with Zeal’s lens-swap Rail Lock System, which combines two curved bars on the lens that you mate with two rails on the goggle frame, sliding the new lens into place. Magnets seal the deal for a snug fit. $170, zealoptics.com.
Oakley Fall Line
Oakley is always looking ahead in product development. The new Fall Line goggle is no exception, combining a medium-size rimless frame with a cylindrical lens for an expanded field of vision. Oakley’s Prizm technology continues to provide enhanced on-snow contrast as you eyeball that perfect bump run. $190, oakley.com.
POC Orb Clarity Goggle and Auric Cut Backcountry Spin Helmet
POC Orb Clarity Goggle: POC teamed up with Zeiss to offer lenses in two tints—one for competition and one for all-day shredding—encased in a new easy-swap frame. $250, pocsports.com.
POC Auric Cut Backcountry Spin Helmet: This new launch for 2017/18 puts all of POC’s latest helmet tech on top of your head—in particular the SPIN system (Shearing Pad INside), where the pads in the helmet rotate freely in multiple directions upon impact. Which is just how your brain responds to trauma. $220, pocsports.com.
Best Women's Specific Goggles of 2018
Get the best view possible with these lens technologies.
Salomon increases its women’s-specific accessory line for 2017/18 with the new iVY goggle. It features an articulated frame to better custom fit individual faces for improved all-day comfort and performance. The iVY includes tint-changing lenses to match on-mountain conditions. The frame structure is minimalized to cut weight and fatigue for smaller faces. $160, salomon.com.
Bolle looks to make your ski day easier with its Modulator 2.0 lens technology. The photochromic lenses change tint on the fly, responding as conditions vary, which removes lens-swapping from your to-do list. Tech upgrades include improved tint activation in low temperatures. We also like the price. $60, bolle.com.
Simplicity, utility, and an affordable price make this a killer option for a women’s grab-and-go goggle. The medium-size Riot has a dual-slide strap adjustment system to dial in the fit. We recommend Smith’s ChromaPop lens for improved clarity. And props for the clean graphics and green-mirror lens. $100, smithoptics.com.
The new Ella, the women’s flagship goggle for Giro’s Vivid Lens tech, ups its game with improved optics. The Ella boasts sleek lines and a magnetic quick-change lens system. And a quick-change system, of course, calls for multiple lenses. The Ella includes two: one for sunny conditions and one for low light. $180, giro.com
Abom got red hot when it launched its heated anti-fog goggle. New this season is the low-tech upgrade of a smaller frame for women. Other perks include a temperature sensor that auto-adjusts the heat, conserving battery life, and LEDs that adapt to ambient light. Moonlight turns anyone? $289, Abom.com
Best Helmets of 2018
Don’t be a knucklehead. Protect your greatest asset.
Women's Bern Heist Brim
The Heist’s dual-shell design combines a sturdy top shell with a lightweight in-molded PVC lower. The women’s model gets a gold star for its women’s-specific shell forms. This all rolls up to a tech-loaded lid. And with the name Heist, consider it a steal. $140, bernunlimited.com.
Women's Pret Corona X
Get hot when ripping? The new Corona X features Vent Tuning Technology, which might be the most thorough system we’ve seen in a while. Six vents—with an easy center flip control—allow for massive airflow to chill out, or shut it down for bullet-proof warmth. $250, prethelmets.com
Women's Salomon QST Charge
Targeted for chargers who like to venture beyond the lifts, the QST is one of the lightest helmets on the market, so it’s easy on your melon on the way up and the way down. Large active air-flow vents combined with a merino wool liner will keep you comfy. $200, Salomon.com
Men's Scott Symbol 2 Plus D
Scott markets the tech-packed second-generation Symbol 2 Plus as “the safest helmet we’ve ever created.” The ISPO folks agreed, earning the Symbol 2 an innovation award. The lid includes D30 Technology, which disperses impacts at the molecular level. $220, scott-sports.com
Men's Smith Quantum
The new Quantum is Smith’s apex helmet. It features an exoskeleton, with a honeycomb design in impact zones to reduce weight and improve protection (what it calls Aerocore construction). Smith being Smith, the helmet offers seamless goggle integration. $300, smithoptics.com.
Men's Sweet Protection Blaster
Weighing in at 400 grams, the Blaster is one of the lightest helmets you can put on your skull. But it’s not a lightweight for protection, with impact shields and in-mold construction that fuses the EPS shock-absorbing liner with the ABS hard-shell. $160, sweetprotection.com.