A helmet, is a helmet, is a helmet, right? As parents, we sometimes assume that because a product has great marketing, a cult following, and “all the other kids have it”, it must be a great product. When it comes to ski gear and protecting my kids’ heads from injury-I want the best helmet available.
When shopping for a ski helmet, I make sure it has one of the following certifications; ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) or CEN (European Committee for Standardization). These are the most common snow helmet certifications.
In addition to the above certifications, I also look for MIPS. Once I discovered the protective technology behind MIPS, I made a point to convert my whole family to MIPS helmets.
What is MIPS technology?
The Multi-Directional Impact Protection System (MIPS) is a protective layer added inside a helmet to “add protection against the rotational motion (or kinematics) transmitted to the brain from angled impacts to the head”. Basically, if my child takes an angled spill on an icy patch of the ski hill, the MIPS layer in their helmet is going to protect their head from damage that could occur from helmet slippage when they connect with the ice. The MIPS layer absorbs the shock of rotational movement of the helmet so my child’s brain doesn’t have to.
Why is it important?
When kids (and adults) take a fall, they don’t usually fall straight up and down. Especially in sports like skiing, they may be learning to stop and take a slow topple, hitting a jump and lose control, or going a little too fast and miss a turn. All these scenarios lend to their heads taking an impact from the front, back, or side. Helmets with a MIPS layer keep them safer by staying static while the helmet rotates around the MIPS product. Protecting their brains from as much impact as possible is priority number one for me.
What MIPS helmets are best?
There are 3 MIPS helmets my family loves. Let’s take a look.
The Giro Ledge is an affordable, hard shell outer with an EPS foam liner. Giro offers an Auto Loc 2 fit system. This merges an elastic band at the back of the helmet with fixed position straps. After choosing 1 of 3 circumference settings, the straps and band cradle your head comfortably. The helmet is designed to be compatible with all Giro EXV goggles. It also has removable ear pads and goggle retainer to suit your needs.
The Giro Ledge sizes are for adults, but depending on the size of your child they may fit well in an adult small or medium.
This helmet is lightweight and stylish for those kids want to look good on the slopes. It has an In Form fit system that is easy for kids to adjust even with gloves on. The Vertical Tuning feature makes the helmet comfortable with a variety of goggle sizes and head shapes.
The Fornix Backcountry MIPS is lightweight, aramid reinforced and well-ventilated, and based on the award-winning Fornix model. The helmet is equipped with the patented MIPS system to keep you and your kids safe while enjoying outdoor sports. Like the Giro Ledge, smaller adult sizes should fit older children’s heads and offer the same great protection as child-sized helmets with the added benefit of MIPS technology.
When it comes to keeping our kids safe the ski slopes, nothing beats the most protective technology available. MIPS technology is a leader in helmet safety.