With so many different snowmobile helmets on the market, finding one that’s right for you can feel challenging. We have a few ideas on how to choose the best snowmobile helmet to help you make your decision. Check out this list so you can get on the trail and have a fun and safe ride!
Consider Helmet Types
Snowmobile helmets are varied, with many design options to fit your needs perfectly. No matter your style of riding or price range, there’s a helmet that’s just right for you. When you’re just getting started in the snowmobiling hobby, you may want to look for a helmet made specifically for use in the snow—that way, the elements won’t be as much of a factor.
On the other hand, experienced riders should prioritize protection. While new riders won’t try out any tough trails for a while, veteran riders need a little extra safety on more complicated trails. Keep reading for our breakdowns of common snowmobiling helmet types.
A full-face helmet is exactly what it sounds like—total protection and warmth for your face. One major benefit of full-face helmets is that they reduce buffeting and wind noise, increasing the rider’s comfort significantly. This is a great all-around helmet, although you may miss out on a few features that come with other designs.
A modular helmet ticks a lot of the same boxes as a full-face helmet, with one key difference: modular helmets allow you to lift the chin bar. If you’re a rider who stops frequently and wants quick access to your face, this is the option for you. One thing to keep in mind is that as you add moving parts, you generally decrease the safety of a helmet.
Whether you like to ride motocross or snocross, these helmets are designed with sports in mind. These forego the facial shield and allow the rider to instead use a separate set of goggles. This simple switch increases your field of view and can also give you better ventilation. If you get sweaty while riding, more ventilation can go a long way.
The final helmet type is a dual-sport helmet, which combines the motocross design with a face shield. This makes a lot of sense for anyone who wants a little more ventilation without sacrificing the safety of a face shield. If you’re in the market for a great racing helmet that offers some protection, go with a dual sport option.
Lenses and Shields
In addition to different types of helmets, there are also a ton of customization options for the lenses and shields that go along with helmets.
Dual-pane shields are a great design that drastically reduces the amount of fogging inside a helmet. As you can imagine, an unobstructed field of vision is essential to a safe ride, and dual-pane shields work perfectly toward that end. How does it work? The same way dual-pane windows do! In between two shields is a layer of gas, which works as an insulator. Without significant heat transfer, there’s a reduced chance of fogging.
Framed vs. Frameless
Better sealing technology has opened a new alternative for dual-pane shields. Before, there was no way to use a dual-pane shield without a frame. Going frameless is a purely aesthetic choice, so go with whichever you think looks better!
Heated Electric Shield
It’s no secret that dual-pane shields work far better than single-pane shields, but heated electric shields take the cake. This option can get a little expensive, but it’s the best way to avoid fog for people serious about snowmobiling.
Many people assume that more ventilation in cold weather is a strike against a helmet. However, it’s usually an advantage! Heavy breathing in an enclosed helmet is a surefire way to cloud up your view, so ventilation goes a long way. Adjustable vents are something to look for since you can customize the amount of airflow on the fly.
Breath guards are the last line of defense against foggy visors. These deflect your exhalation out of the bottom of your helmet, preventing condensation on your facial shield. Depending on the helmet you buy, you may be able to get removable breath guards that attach via Velcro or snaps.
Keep Climate in Mind
Believe it or not, not all snowmobile helmets are designed specifically for withstanding the cold. Most of the time, the main goal of a helmet is simply to protect you in the event of a crash. Because of this, you may find that a lot of helmets don’t offer the warmth you’re looking for, especially if you’re based in a colder climate.
If keeping warm is important to you, make sure you look for helmets with thick insulation. However, keep in mind that thicker insulation will also increase the weight of your helmet, which will cause your neck to tire out more quickly.
Check the Fit
We’re probably not going to shock you when we say that the best helmet is one that fits right. We recommend trying on a few different helmet sizes until you find one that offers a snug fit that isn’t overly tight. A super tight helmet may make you feel safe, but it isn’t as effective as a snug helmet.
The three main safety rating systems to look for are DOT, ECE, and Snell. These systems consider the shock absorption, durability, retention, and peripheral vision of various helmets. Snowmobile helmets should, at minimum, meet the DOT standard. If you want a highly rated helmet, look for the Snell rating.
Pick Your Features
There are a ton of features to look out for. We talked about the level of insulation, the shield, and the helmet type earlier, but there’s a lot more to consider. For example, the CKX Titan helmet is a snowmobile helmet decked-out in all the best features, from a 210° field of view to anti-scratch lenses.
You should also consider the helmet material—do you want ABS or Polycarbonate? ABS is the cheaper option, but it’s more brittle. Polycarbonate offers a flexible and lighter helmet, but the price tag is high.
Now that you know how to choose the best snowmobile helmet, find the perfect helmet that offers a mixture of comfort and protection.