/ Thinking of buying a helmet - any recommendations?

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John W - on 05 Dec 2012
Hi all!

What it says in the title really. I ski maybe five weeks a year, probably 65% off-piste, 35% on, but nothing involving hurling myself off large cliffs (well, not intentionally, anyway). After nearly parting my skull on an unseen branch while skiing through trees last year, I'm beginning to think that a helmet might not be such a bad idea.

While i'm aware that like motorbike helmets, different heads fit hats, I'm just after some general thoughts, e.g.

how do Decathlon / Go Outdoors own brands compare to Salomon / Jublo etc?

are ther any makes you'd definitely avoid / recommend?

any specific features to look for / avoid?

All thoughts gratefully received, cheers, JW
Rob Exile Ward on 05 Dec 2012
In reply to John W: Just bought a couple of Nevica helmets from SportsDirect.Com last weekend for £29 and £25 respectively. I think SportsDirect have inherited a load of stock which they are offloading (got cheap socks and gloves too.)

They seem fine, EU standard, I think the fit is important and luckily these happenned to fit us.
Frank4short - on 05 Dec 2012
In reply to John W: How much money do you want to spend?
barney800 on 05 Dec 2012
In reply to John W: Some of them have a little flap for covering the small gap between the helmet and your goggles. Mine doesn't, and on windy days I end up with a nice red line running across my forehead where the wind's battered it, unless I wear a hat or something underneath. A solid goggle clip on the back is handy too. Mine only has a feeble, little clip the goggle strap slides under so they get knocked free in some wipeouts. In fact, I should probably look for a replacement myself...
Martin W on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to John W: I've not done much comparison, and to be honest I was a helmet skeptic for a long time up until now. But last week both Lidl and Aldi were doing ski helmets for £20. They both meet the relevant standard - I don't think anyone sells a ski helmet that doesn't, even the £15 one that Decathlon do meets the standard. A bit of reading around online forums suggests that the Aldi and Lidl kit is very similar to some brand name helmets, and may even be made in the same factory. Certainly there were no horror stories. Bear in mind that Lidl and Aldi sell this stuff in Europe where people are much more likely than Brits to comfortable with picking up recreational ski gear in the supermarket. In Norway a couple of years back the supermarket where we stopped to stock up for our stay in Rjukan had a whole separate section of cross-country skis, boots, poles etc - you could have kitted yourself out head to toe in the shop and happily skiied off home with your reindeer steaks in your brand new 15l rucksack!

The Lidl helmet I looked at seemed a bit more gimmicky eg holes in the ear pads for your headphones (who skis with headphones on anyway? I tried it once many years ago and hated it). I tried the Aldi one on (as Rob Exile Ward says, a key question is: does the thing fit you?) and it was very comfortable and lightweight - weighing it at home it's about 380g. It's not going to set the world on fire in the fashion stakes but I am definitely going to be wearing it this season, though maybe not if I'm just out for an easy, cruisey piste-and-mountain-restaurant day. The way I look at it, I can afford to spend £20 to find out the usability quirks and niggles that might inform a later purchase of a more expensive replacement.

I also tried on a helmet in Trespass that I think was half price from £36. It too felt fine, though a bit heavier I thought.

Aldi and Lidl were also doing goggles; I picked up a pair of S3 goggles from Aldi for £7.99 which fit fine with the helmet. I've also checked whether it's possible to wear my mountain sunglasses with the helmet and they're fine with it, so that's another option for a warm, late season day.

The local Lidl and Aldi still had some stock of both helmets and goggles when I was in there the other evening so if there's one near you it might be worth a look. Both shops also have a no-quibble returns policy if you decide you don't like the gear when you get it home.

In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

> (In reply to John W) Just bought a couple of Nevica helmets from SportsDirect.Com last weekend ... I think SportsDirect have inherited a load of stock which they are offloading

Nevica is a Sports Direct brand these days, though it will always be associated in my mind with eye-searing, multi-coloured fluorescent ski jackets and suits from the 1980s. (Nevica stuff often turns up in T K Maxx, as well.)
John W - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to John W:

Thanks for taking the time to post folks - keep it coming!

JW
aligibb - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to John W:

The most important thingis comfort and how much padding/insulation you want and airvents that you can open and close are a massive bonus for the temp difference between Jan and April.

Try them on and make sure it fits really well as if my the afternooon or wearing it you have a horrible headache you'll be pretty miserable. and make sure it fits with your goggles as theres nothing worse than the "punter gap" giving you brain freeze!
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kevin stephens - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to aligibb: I agree

Helmets vary in shape as well as size, worth paying more for a good fit, comfort, match to goggles and comfort. I wouln't worry too much about extra insulation etc, a snood can make a helmet a lot warmer

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