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Best Value Ski and Snowboard Helmet

  • Comfort 70% 70%
  • Warmth 80% 80%
  • Ventilation 70% 70%
  • Safety Tech & Features 70% 70%
  • Goggle Compatibility 70% 70%
  • Weight 70% 70%

Weight: 436 grams

Adjustment System: In-Form Fit System

Number of Vents: 14

Removable Ear Covers: No

Google Attachment: Yes

Visor: No

Audio Compatibility: No

Price: $89-$120

What We Like: Mips Tech, Warm, Light, Comfortable, Great Price to Performance Ratio

What We Don’t: Non-Removable Earpads, Lower Tier In Form Fit System

Giro is an innovative helmet manufacturer with a well-known range of ski and snowboard helmets that have long been on the cutting edge of the sport. However, while their top of the line offerings are impressive, it is the cutting edge features that have trickled down to their more budget oriented helmets that impressed us even more. This is what helped to make the Giro Nine our top pick for the best budget ski and snowboard helmet of 2020.

Compare to Similar Products

See Our Best Ski & Snowboard Helmet Review 2020 HERE!

Smith Quantum MIPS

  • Comfort 100% 100%
  • Warmth 100% 100%
  • Ventilation 80% 80%
  • Safety Tech & Features 100% 100%
  • Goggle Compatibility 90% 90%
  • Weight 40% 40%

Pros

Class-Leading Safety

Top All-Around Performance

Cons

Heavy

Expensive

Weight: 623.69 grams

Adjustment System: BOA FS360 Fit System

Number of Vents: 22

Removable Ear Covers: Yes

Google Attachment: Yes

Visor: No

Audio Compatibility: Yes

Giro Range MIPS

  • Comfort 90% 90%
  • Warmth 100% 100%
  • Ventilation 80% 80%
  • Safety Tech & Features 90% 90%
  • Goggle Compatibility 90% 90%
  • Weight 60% 60%

Pros

Unparalleled Fit Adjustment

Goggle Compatibility

Cons

Expensive

Can Cause Ear Pain for Some Riders

Weight: 538.65 grams

Adjustment System: ConformFit technology

Number of Vents: 12 adjustable

Removable Ear Covers: Yes

Goggle Attachment: Yes

Visor: Yes

Audio Compatibility: Yes

Giro Nine MIPS

  • Comfort 70% 70%
  • Warmth 80% 80%
  • Ventilation 70% 70%
  • Safety Tech & Features 70% 70%
  • Goggle Compatibility 70% 70%
  • Weight 70% 70%

Pros

Mips Tech

Warm

Light

Comfortable

Great Price to Performance Ratio

Cons

Non-Removable Earpads

Lower Tier In Form Fit System

Weight: 436 grams

Adjustment System: In-Form Fit System

Number of Vents: 14

Removable Ear Covers: No

Google Attachment: Yes

Visor: No

Audio Compatibility: No

Salomon MTN Lab Review

  • Comfort 70% 70%
  • Warmth 50% 50%
  • Ventilation 100% 100%
  • Safety Tech & Features 80% 80%
  • Goggle Compatibility 70% 70%
  • Weight 100% 100%

Pros

A True Ski Mountaineering Helmet

Ultralight

Well Ventilated

Cons

Non-Closable Vents

Not for Everyone

Weight: 360 grams

Adjustment System: Custom dial adjustment system

Number of Vents: 20

Removable Ear Covers: Yes

Goggle Attachment: Yes

Visor: Yes (brim)

Audio Compatibility: No

POC Auric Cut Backcountry Spin

  • Comfort 80% 80%
  • Warmth 90% 90%
  • Ventilation 90% 90%
  • Safety Tech & Features 90% 90%
  • Goggle Compatibility 90% 90%
  • Weight 40% 40%

Pros

Cutting Edge Safety Tech

Warm

Well Ventilated

Cons

Heavy

Look is Not for Everyone

Weight: 585 grams

Adjustment System: 360-degree adjustment

Number of Vents: 10 adjustable

Removable Ear Covers: Yes

Google Attachment: Yes

Visor: No

Audio Compatibility: Yes

Smith Variance

  • Comfort 80% 80%
  • Warmth 80% 80%
  • Ventilation 90% 90%
  • Safety Tech & Features 70% 70%
  • Goggle Compatibility 80% 80%
  • Weight 60% 60%

Pros

Price to Performance Ratio

Warm

Comfortable

Cons

Lacks Safety Features of Top of the Line Smith Helmets

Weight: 538.65 grams

Adjustment System: BOA Fit System

Number of Vents: 18

Removable Ear Covers: Yes

Google Attachment: Yes

Visor: No

Audio Compatibility: Yes

Smith Vantage MIPS

  • Comfort 90% 90%
  • Warmth 90% 90%
  • Ventilation 90% 90%
  • Safety Tech & Features 90% 90%
  • Goggle Compatibility 90% 90%
  • Weight 60% 60%

Pros

Most of the Features of the Quantum at a Lower Price

Cons

Lacks the Ultra-Premium Protection of the Quantum

Weight: 501.8 grams

Adjustment System: BOA FS360 Fit System

Number of Vents: 18

Removable Ear Covers: Yes

Goggle Attachment: Yes

Visor: No 

Audio Compatibility: Yes

Oakley Mod5 MIPS

  • Comfort 80% 80%
  • Warmth 70% 70%
  • Ventilation 80% 80%
  • Safety Tech & Features 70% 70%
  • Goggle Compatibility 90% 90%
  • Weight 40% 40%

Pros

Modular Brim System

BOARetention System

Comfortable

Cons

Cold Earpads

Average Ventilation

Poor Quality of Goggle Clip

Weight: 601 grams

Adjustment System: BOA 270 fit system

Number of Vents: 11 on MIPS helmet

Removable Ear Covers: Yes

Goggle Attachment: Yes

Visor: Yes 

Audio Compatibility: No

Comfort and Fit

The Giro Nine MIPS helmet doesn’t feature any crazy fabrics or bells and whistles when it comes to comfort and fit. It is just comfortable. While the InForm fit system featured on the Giro Nine is not quite as impressive as the one featured on the Giro Range, we can easily forgive that for the price difference. Unlike with the Giro Range or the BOA helmets in our review, there is definitely the sensation of a headband tightening in the back of the Giro Nine, but the sensation is not uncomfortable. It is just more noticeable than some of the higher end helmets.

Meanwhile, the padding overall is fairly thin but soft, although the earpads received ample padding, making them soft and warm in wintry weather.

Warmth

10 of the Giro Nine’s 12 vents seal off via a simple slider on the top of the helmet. These close tight, and the only two left exposed are on the backside of the helmet, allowing moisture, and a bit of heat, to flow out of the helmet without letting cold air rush in.

As noted above, the cheek pads are more insulated than the rest of the helmet and will help to keep you warm on cold days.

Ventilation

The glaring weakness in the Giro Nine’s ventilation is that its cheek pads are not removable, and they will leave you with a sweatier face than they would if they weren’t there on those late spring days.

Meanwhile, the actual vents of the Giro Nine do a solid job of keeping the rest of your head cool and aired out when the temperatures rise, particularly for a helmet at this price point and with only 12 total vents. Giro’s stack ventilation ports in the front of the helmet also do a fair job of keeping your goggles fog-free, though not to the same degree as those found on more expensive helmets like the Smith Quantum or Giro Range.

Safety Tech and Additional Features

The Giro Nine MIPS uses a standard MIPS insert to provide protection against rotational impacts, which are seen as more and more of a culprit in the case of gravity sports related concussions. As noted, we are extremely safety focused here at Gearhacker, and we think any extra protection is good extra protection. With that in mind, we are thrilled to see top of the line safety features making their way into mid and budget priced ski and snowboard helmets like the Giro Nine MIPS.

Goggle Compatibility

The Giro Nine works well with a fairly wide range of ski and snowboard goggles, and features a basic clip in the back, as well as a pronounced ridge around the sides of the helmet, to keep your goggles and straps in place.

Overall, we prefer the Giro Nine with a larger framed set of goggles, as smaller ones can result in a bit of a gap between the goggle and your forehead. However, larger framed goggles fit perfectly, and the stack ventilation ports help to keep them fog free.

Weight

Lower prices tend to come with higher weights in almost every gear category. However, the Giro Nine MIPS bucks that trend, and is on the lighter end of the ski and snowboard helmet spectrum when it comes to weight, at only 436g.

The Bottom Line

The Giro Nine MIPS snow helmet doesn’t blow your socks off or wow you with any particular feature. But it doesn’t scrape the bottom of the barrel in any category either. All in all, it is a solid all-around helmet that brings top of the line safety features to riders who don’t want to break the bank. If you are looking for a good ski or snowboard helmet that keeps your melon safe but doesn’t wax your car for you, then with prices from $90 to $120, the Giro Nine MIPS might be the one for you.

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