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Carrera Carbon Racing 2.0 $170
A favorite of many U.S. Ski Team members, this helmet is ideal for skiers who need race performance (although its reputation with racers translates to a hefty price tag). Top vents allow hot air to escape and adjustable side vents let skiers decide whether they want to tune their buddies’ voices in or out.
(800) 526-0327; www.carrerasport.com
Bieffe Olimpique 2 Classic $100
Bieffe drew on 25 years in the motocross and auto-racing helmet business to design the Olimpique 2 Classic, which offers a sturdy polycarbonate shell. Ventilation is minimal, but the removable, washable liner helps regulate temperature by wicking away moisture.
(925) 454-1055; www.bieffeamerica.com
Giro Nine $125
With 12 giant vents and a short-shell cut, the Nine could be mistaken for one of Giro’s bike helmets. Removable vent plugs and earflaps make it comfortable in a wide range of temperatures, and at 12.5 ounces, the Nine is the lightest helmet we tried.
(800) 969-4476; www.giro.com
Leedom Limit $155
Skiers can control the amount of air that flows through open channels under the Limit’s shell, while a CoolMax mesh liner keeps the inside dry. Leedom’s helmets are the first in the snowsports market to meet the stringent Snell safety standard.
(800) 536-6695; www.leedomhelmets.com
Boeri Kameleon $100-$120
A removable liner allows the lightweight Kameleon (14.5 ounces) to adapt to a variety of weather conditions. But with a unique shell design and sharp colors, it will not blend into the crowd. In-line skaters and cool-weather cyclists will find its multisport design useful off the slopes as well.
(800) 394-6741; www.boeriusa.com
Briko Forerunner $135-$169
The Forerunner is the heaviest of the helmets we tested, but it keeps heads cool by actively pulling air into the helmet and pushing hot air out through vents in the back. The Forerunner’s inner lining wicks moisture away from the head and is shaped to eliminate pressure points.
(800) 462-7456; www.brikousa.com
Uvex Air Race $100
The Air Race is lighter than most full-size helmets, and less expensive, too. Wind-tunnel tested and designed to fit with a chin guard, this racer-friendly helmet is built for speed.
(888) 616-8839; www.uvexsports.com