Light, ventilated and built to keep you safe and comfortable on the ascent and the descent, these dual-certified technical ski touring helmets won’t slow you down in the backcountry.
TESTED BY MARTIN
SPEC – Dual certification for alpine skiing and mountaineering. MIPS shock absorbing system. Channelled ventilation. Boa Fit. Removable ear pads and padding. Fidlock buckle. Weighs 450g without earpads and padding.
Described by Dynafit as ‘the lightest free touring helmet with double certification’, the Beast MIPS is a ‘proper’ ski helmet. Slotting into their well-thought out ‘Beast’ range, this burly lid may be the heaviest in our line-up but that’s because it really is a robust bit of kit that also happens to make the safety grade for climbing and mountaineering. Fit and adjustment are both excellent thanks a trimmed down Boa 360° that makes the whole thing feel less bulky, and the removable ear pads and padding are ideal for those sweaty couloir bootpacks. The Fidlock buckle takes a bit of working out but is easy to handle with gloves once youv’e got to grips with it. Personally I would have liked to see a headtorch attachment system and a better ventilation to really seal the all-round deal but it’s a cracking free-touring helmet nonetheless. With MIPS shock absorbing system and alpine skiing certification, you’ll be happy whacking this bad boy on your head in resort too.
BEST FOR: Beast by name, beast by nature – this is an ideal lid for hard-charging freeriders who want to rip all-round the mountain.
TESTED BY SOPHIE
SPEC: Dual certification for alpine skiing and biking. In-Mold construction. Passive venting. Boa Fit. Removable ear pads. Removable headtorch and google clips. PowFly helmet cover. Weighs 320g.
Hole-y heck this is a lightweight lid! Weighing in at just 320g and described by K2 as ‘the best kept secret in the helmet game’, the Route understandably has a core following among gram-counting backcountry skiers who appreciate its unique design and feathery feel. With more holes than a delish Swiss cheese and a passive venting system that keeps the air flowing inside, this is a seriously ventilated helmet; ideal for heart-pumping ascents and sweaty spring tours. It’s also mega customisable so when conditions are on the cooler side and you want to avoid an ice cream headache, simply whack the PowFly cover on top for waterproof, breathable protection. It also comes with removable ear pads and removable headtorch and goggle clips so it’s built to adapt to a variety of mountain missions. Fit is Boa 360° bang on and it also comes with dual certification for both skiing and biking, making it our helmet of choice for bike-to-ski backcountry adventures.
BEST FOR: Ski mountaineers, spring ski tourers and bike-to-ski adventurers looking to look cool and stay cool when things heat up in the backcountry.
TESTED BY MARTIN
SPEC –The first CE certified ski touring helmet, also certified for climbing and mountaineering. In-Mold construction. Large passive vents offering excellent airflow. Headtorch and goggle compatible. Available in two sizes. Weighs 240g.
VERDICT – If there is a spectrum: from hardcore alpinism to burly freeride; the Meteor sits well and truly down at the climbing fraternity end of the scale. But that’s okay by me – as so do I! This is basically a climbing helmet that has been modified for ski touring and Petzl broke the mold (in many ways) with the Meteor as it is the first helmet to be certified for “CE EN 12492, CE casque de ski de randonnée” by the UIAA. It offers oodles of ventilation, yet the easy adjustable headband makes it a doddle to wear with a hood/beanie underneath when it gets chilly (or once you are climbing). The strap (and cunning magnetic buckle) are easy to adjust with gloves on, the rear headtorch fitting accommodates a goggle strap and the front of the helmet has been modified to make it goggle compatible around your face. The latest edition of the Meteor features increased top and side protection, making it a truly excellent option for the alpinist who travels by ski who’s looking for to use quiver of one lid solution – and a veritable bargain by comparison at just £75.
BEST FOR: Puritanical ski-mountaineers, skiing in to climb the Chèré Couloir before making a headtorch-lit descent of the Vallée Blanche on the way home.
TESTED BY SOPHIE
SPEC: Dual certification for climbing and alpine skiing. In-Mold construction. Active ventilation. Custom dial fit. Headtorch and goggle compatible. Interchangeable removable liners. Audio system compatible. Weighs 360g.
VERDICT – Regularly seen on the noggins of the best steep skiers on the planet, the dual certified 360g MTN Lab is light and legit. It looks way burlier than it weighs and as a result, is as capable of delivering the goods in steep and deep remote terrain as it is in resort (except on mega sub zero days when you need full on protection from the cold). I’ve skied and climbed in this helmet for years now and have to say that the latest edition is the best yet. The 2020 version comes with two interchangeable merino wool liners (one lightweight summer liner and a heavier one for winter) so it’s got you covered for all year round activity in the alpine. Other features of note include the dial fit and elastic goggle attachment strap which are both easy to manipulate with gloves and the helmet bag that clips easily on to the outside of your backpack and stops it swinging around. One word of warning – the MTN Lab may pack a heap of super powers but it’s not indestructible so don’t shove loads of kit on top of it in the back or it will get damaged (oops).
BEST FOR – Skiers and alpinists looking for a comfortable, well-designed helmet for all year round ascents and descents.
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