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Ski and snowboard helmets are one of the most important pieces of gear that you can buy your child when you’re preparing for winter sports.
When I was growing up, helmets were almost unheard of for kids in snow sports, but the benefits of kids wearing a helmet while skiing or snowboarding are huge. While collisions while skiing or snowboarding with kids don’t happen every day, they’re also not at all rare!
As kids are learning to ski, the allure of skiing over jumps or twisting through the trees, is so appealing to them. Trust me – as a ski mom, I probably spend at least 50% of my ski day with kids skiing in the trees. They absolutely love it, but with seemingly unlimited obstacles to avoid, there is always a chance of a collision.
One of my most terrifying moments of skiing with my kids was watching my son ski right into a tree. He had gotten distracted, and despite my yelling at him to turn, he hit it head on.
I cannot even begin to explain the sheer terror that I felt in that moment. As soon as he hit the tree head first, he immediately crumpled to the ground and my heart sank. Visions of ski patrol putting him on a backboard and hospital monitors beeping started flashing through my mind.
Thank God, after sitting there with him for a few minutes, we could tell that he was going to be okay. He was scared, but there were no signs of a concussion, and he was totally coherent. We watched him very closely for the next few days, astounded that he was able to walk away from his accident skiing into a tree.
As a ski mom, this was my worst nightmare, but I’m 100% convinced that had he not been wearing his helmet, that day would have ended in a horrible way. Wearing a helmet saved my son’s life.
I was probably 10 feet to the side of him, and his dad was just a skis length behind him, and there was absolutely nothing we could do to stop him from hitting that tree. The only thing that saved him was wearing a helmet.
Quick Picks For Best Ski Helmets For Kids And Teens
Want to find the best ski helmet for your kids, but don’t have time to read the full article? Here are our top picks:
Best Kids Ski Helmet With MIPS: Giro Spur
Best Kids Ski Helmet + Goggle Combo: Wildhorn Spire
Best Kids Ski Helmet (without MIPS): Smith Holt Jr
Best Older Kid/Teen Ski Helmet With WaveCel: Anon Logan
Best Older Kid/Teen Ski Helmet with MIPS: Atomic Revent + AMID
Best Older Kid/Teen Ski Helmet BUDGET HELMET: Outdoor Master Kelvin (use code BRINGTHEKIDS20 for an extra 20% off)
*Remember, it’s only the best ski helmet for kids if it’s a ski helmet kids wear, so involve your kids in the process if you’re worried about them not wearing their helmet *
- Quick Picks For Best Ski Helmets For Kids And Teens
- How To Find A Ski Helmet That Fits Kids Right
- How Do I Measure My Kids Head For A Ski Helmet?
- Helmets For Kids With ROUND Heads
- How To Choose A Kids Ski Helmet That Works Well With Goggles
- Ski Helmets vs Snowboard Helmets
- What Is MIPS And Should I Buy A Kids Ski Helmet With MIPS?
- Is WaveCel Better Than MIPS?
- Best Kids Ski Helmets with MIPS and WaveCel Ski Helmets For Kids
- MIPS and WaveCel SKi Helmet For Older Kids And Teens
- Best Kids Ski Helmets Without MIPS
- Best Ski Helmets for Teens and Older Kids Without MIPS
- Best Budget Helmet For Older Kids + TeensOutdoor Master Kelvin Helmet + Discount
- Bolle MUTE Teen Ski Helmet
How To Find A Ski Helmet That Fits Kids Right
Ski helmets can be surprisingly tricky to find the right fit. I’ve found that even among my own kids, the perfect fitting childs ski helmet for one kid won’t fit their younger brother right the next season. Some of my kids have rounder heads, and others a more oblong head, and helmets fit them all very differently.
The most important thing that you need to do when finding the ski helmets best suited for your child is to try several on. Here are a few important things to keep in mind when determining the best kids helmet fit:
Child ski helmets should fit snugly on your child’s head, but not too tight. Find a childs ski helmet with an adjustable dial so you can help customize the fit (and let your child grow with their helmet a bit).
The ski helmets kids wear should be level, and there should be no more than 2 fingers space from the top of the eyebrows.
Try on the helmet with kids ski goggles. There should be no gap between the top of the ski goggles and the kids ski helmet.
Wiggle their head back and forth. If the ski helmet kids wear stays in place and doesn’t shift around it’s a good fitting ski helmet for kids.
NOTE: if your child has a large head, it’s okay to let them wear adult ski helmets as long as they fit properly. My kids have large heads and usually need to start wearing an adult helmet around age 8-9.
How Do I Measure My Kids Head For A Ski Helmet?
If you’re buying a kids ski helmet online, you’ll want to make sure that you measure your child’s head before you buy a ski helmet for kids online.
To correctly measure a kids head for a ski helmet, take a flexible tape measure (plastic or fabric), and wrap it around their head, one inch above their ears and eyebrows. Make sure that the measuring tape doesn’t slip down and it snug against the child’s head. Take note of the measurement in both cm and inches and use this to help you find the best children’s ski helmets (all manufacturers show sizes in terms of measurements).
Remember that correct sizing is the key to finding the best kids ski helmet or best kids snowboard helmet.
Helmets For Kids With ROUND Heads
If you have a kids who has a very round head, you’ll notice that it can be difficult to find a helmet that fits them right (even if the measurements look correct). It’s a major struggle that we dealt with for years with one of our kids. If you have a child with a round head, look into Asian fit ski helmets, since they’re actually designed for a rounder head shape. We recommend this Asian fit helmet for younger kids and this helmet for older kids and teens (our son also has a large head, and could fit into an adult small Asian fit helmet at age 7, so try on both adult and kids sizes).
How To Choose A Kids Ski Helmet That Works Well With Goggles
Not all ski helmet and goggle combinations work well together. I highly recommend that you buy your childs ski helmet first, and then wear that while choosing kids ski goggles. A good fitting helmet is much more important than stylish goggles, so use the helmet as a starting point. If you’re worried about finding a helmet and goggle combination that work well together, we’ve listed several combo helmet and goggle sets below. Check out the best kids ski goggles.
Ski Helmets vs Snowboard Helmets
Is there a difference between ski and snowboard helmets? No, there really isn’t a difference and they all fall into the winter snow sport helmet category. Many kids will have a preference on a helmet based on style since snowboard helmets for kids traditionally have more of a “skater look” to them. However, with the rise of freeskiing in kids, any snow sport helmet can be used for both skiing and snowboarding. Our oldest son likes to ski and snowboard and always uses the same helmet for each sport. Ultimately, just remember that kids want cool skiing helmets, and if they think it’s cool they’re much more likely to wear it so make sure to get one they like!
Need More Ski Gear? Check out all our kid’s ski gear reviews:
Best Kids Ski Goggles
Best Kids Snow Pants
Best Kids Mittens and Gloves
Best Ski Face Masks for Kids
Best Kids Snowsuits
Best Kids Base Layers
Best Kids Ski Coats
What Is MIPS And Should I Buy A Kids Ski Helmet With MIPS?
MIPS is short for the Multi Impact Protection System and is a safety feature that’s added to many higher end helmets. MIPS is designed to help protect the brain from a fall at an angle (this is how most kids fall on skis). It actually allows the helmet to move around on the child’s head a bit so that in the event of a rotational impact, less of the impact trauma is directed towards the brain, resulting in fewer and less significant brain injuries. MIPS ski helmets for kids are always considered the top ski helmets for kids because of all their safety features. If you want the safest ski helmet for kids, get one that has MIPS!
MIPS helps to disperse the impact of a collision if your kid hits their head while skiing or snowboarding.
Ski helmets for kids that have the MIPS system integrated into them typically cost about $20-$40 more than the same helmet without MIPS. If you can afford the extra cost, the safety features that MIPS offers are outstanding. However, if you’re just new to the sport of skiing, or are on a tight budget, you can be fine having your kids in a regular fitting helmet that’s properly sized for their head.
Is WaveCel Better Than MIPS?
WaveCel is a new technology that’s really revolutionizing helmet safety. While MIPS protects heads from rotational impacts, WaveCel protects against rotational AND linear impacts. While there hasn’t been a lot of scientific data created yet, signs are pointing to WaveCel being significantly safer in helmets than MIPS alone.
Initial reports have shown that helmets with MIPS are 3-5 times safer than a helmet without MIPS and a helmet with WaveCel could be up to 40 times safer than a standard helmet. Truthfully, more data is needed, but WaveCel helmets are currently seeming more safe than a helmet with MIPS.
The research found that while slip-plane systems like MIPS reduced rotational acceleration by 22 percent on average compared to standard EPS-only helmets, WaveCel reduced rotational acceleration by 73 percent, leading to a brain-injury risk of just 1.2 percent compared to 34 percent for MIPS. (Foam-only helmets saw the highest risk, at 59 percent). Based on that, Trek claimed a WaveCel helmet could be up to 48 times more effective at preventing concussions.According to Outside Online
Best Kids Ski Helmets with MIPS and WaveCel Ski Helmets For Kids
If you’re looking for some extra protection when choosing the best ski helmets for kids, then opt for a helmet with the MIPS system integrated. MIPS helps protect kids heads from impacts with lots of extra safety features. If you have kids who really push their limits when skiing or riding, a helmet with MIPS could literally save their life in an accident!
GIRO Spur MIPS Helmet for Kids
+ Best Toddler Ski Helmet
GIRO’s Spur helmet with MIPS is a great childrens ski helmet for younger kids just getting out there on the slopes. Kids will love the bright, fun colors, and parents will love the added protection that comes with a MIPS helmet. This helmet has an easily adjustable dial (we often switch it between 2 of our kids because they both love it so much, so we can attest that it’s super easy to adjust) as well as a goggle slip to keep goggles secure throughout your ski day with kids.
The 8 vents on the helmet give maximum ventilation for sweaty kids or when the temperatures get warmer in the afternoon. This makes a great toddler helmet for skiing in the xs size. Our 7-year-old wears the small size and likely can fit into it for several years. Note: The Giro Spur is also available without MIPS, so make sure you know what you’re getting before you purchase!
Smith Prospect Jr MIPS Ski Helmet for kids
Smith kids snow helmets really went all out when designing the Prospect Jr Helmet with MIPS. This helmet has a lot of features that you’d find in an adult helmet, but it’s been specifically designed for kids. It has a honeycomb foam to balance protection and ventilation, a soft fuzzy, liner, an adjustable fit dial, and vents that can open and close. All of this is in addition to the MIPS system that provides excellent safety protection for ski helmets youth can rely on.
The Anon Windham is the best WaveCel ski helmet for kids. It has all of the features that we love in the teen/ adult Anon Logan, but in a smaller size for kids. Some of the best features include a magnetic buckle closure, an adjustable dial, a fleece chin strap cover, ear pads, and lots of ventilation.
Of course, this helmet is designed with WaveCel, so it’s incredibly safe at protecting kids heads in a collision. We think this is the safest kids ski helmet you can buy!
We highlighted the BERN Banditio helmet above as one of the best ski helmets for kids, but you can also buy this same helmet with the MIPS system integrated as well. Perfect for an extra level of protection!
MIPS and WaveCel SKi Helmet For Older Kids And Teens
Here are our favorite helmets for teens with extra impact protection. These helmets are smaller versions of a full adult helmet, so they’re GREAT for growing kids and are likely to last them for YEARS because they’re all very adjustable!
The Anon Logan is one of the best ski helmets for kids with WaveCel technology. If you have a kids that you want amazing helmet protection for, the Logan is an excellent choice. While this is technically an adult helmet, it fits my 9, 12, and 14 year olds all great, so we’re calling this the best teen ski helmet with WaveCel. This is actually great because I know that this helmet will fit them longer since it’s designed for larger heads (WaveCel costs more, and this is a great way to get more bang for your buck!)
WaveCel works as if there are hundreds of little shock absorbers within the helmet to help distribute the energy of an impact by flexing and gliding.
WaveCel helmets do fit a little different than a traditional helmet with a fit closer to the head, so keep that in mind when trying it on. We also love that there is a BOA dial to quickly adjust the helmet for a precise fit. This helmet has lots of ventilation, so even when my boy who usually has a very sweaty head wears it, he doesn’t overheat! The Anon Logan Wavecel helmet also features a magnetic strap closure, which our kids decided is much easier to unclip with gloves or mittens on.
It’s also worth noting that this style of helmet has a more rounded shape, so it works well for both traditional and rounded head shapes. The only downside to this kid ski helmet is that the lining is not as soft as other helmets. This is the safest ski helmet for teens you can buy!
Atomic Revent + AMID (similar to MIPS) Youth Ski Helmet
The Atomic Revent + AMID is one of my all-time favorites for a helmet for kids to grow into. The fit is incredible and it’s simply a really comfortable helmet to wear ALL DAY LONG! I know personally, because while we have this helmet for my 12-year-old daughter, I stole it for a day…and might not give it back to her! It fits amazingly well, is really warm (my head gets cold easily), and the lining is super soft.
The AMID technology stands for Atomic Multi-directional Impact Deflector and is very similar to MIPS in many ways. We love that the helmet has an integrated “crumple zone” to help absorb impact and increase safety in a collision. Additionally the Revent has a hybrid design which gives it great safety features, AND lightweight construction, which is RARE to find! This helmet pairs well with the REVENT goggles!
The Giro Neo is a good-sized helmet for kids who are growing and have larger heads, but not a full adult head yet. It fits our teens great, but the overall fit was a little bit small for an adult. The lining is ultra soft (Giro kids ski goggles are also the softest kids ski goggles ever), so it’s really comfortable for all day wear.
A few of our favorite reatures include the eay to adjust dial (easy to turn even with gloves on), the goggle strap that can easily be unhooked (as opposed to the impossible snap that many brands use), and the streamlined design. Of course, this is one of the safest teen ski helmets because it’s equipped with MIPS, so we love this ski helmet.
Best Kids Ski Helmets Without MIPS
My 6-year-old has been wearing the Wildhorn Spire ski helmet for kids for the last year and absolutely loves it. He loves the look of the matching goggles and helmet and as a parent, I love the safety it adds. The Wildhorn Spire keeps his head toasty, even on the coldest days (2 degrees F), and the adjustable dial helps us to get a custom fit on his head.
As a parent, I love that it has EPS foam for extra protection in a collision. Like all helmets, this helmet doesn’t fit all kids and though it fits one of my kids well, it doesn’t fit his brother with a similarly sized, but different shaped head, so make sure to try it on first! This also makes a great toddler ski helmet, and fit our youngest well at age 3. This is one of the best toddler ski helmet and goggle sets.
The Smith Holt Jr Helmet for kids is a great snowsports helmet for kids with bombshell construction and an adjustable dial in the back for a customized fit. There are 14 vents on this helmet so this is a good snowboard helmet for kids who get really warm on the hill. Another feature of this helmet that is really great is there is a convertible pad set included so that this helmet can double for year round use as a skateboard helmet in the warmer months.
The google clip in the back is removable, however, this is a bit of a downside for skiers as it doesn’t hold kids goggles as securely as other helmets, and my son’s goggles have fallen off of his Smith helmet during transport many times.
The Salomon Grom kids snow helmet is a lightweight helmet that also provides great protection. This is a great option for younger kids who may struggle with the weight of heavier kids snowboard helmets. The helmet provides good ventilation as well as removable pads and ear covers. Snap for the goggles on the back helps ensure that kids ski goggles won’t get lost in transit.
The Anon Burner kids snow and snowboard helmet is another great lightweight helmet for kids. It has a soft fleece liner that also helps wick sweat away from the head, and a really great ventilation system designed to promote good airflow around the head. Probably my favorite feature of this helmet is the magnetic closure at the chin strap, helping to prevent you from pinching your kids neck with a regular buckle. An Adjustable dial is also included in this helmet so you can customize the fit of this ski helmet.
The POCito Obex Spin youth ski and snowboard helmet is a great helmet that focuses on impact protection. With the POC EPS foam, this helmet is designed to not only protect the head, but to help absorb impact in case of a collision. As a mom, I love that all of the POC kids helmets come in bright colors so that it’s easier to spot kids on the mountain. The large size fits kids with a head up to 58cm, which is fairly large, so this is a great ski helmet for kids with larger heads as well. This is the largest kids ski helmet that we’ve found!
The Bern Bandito is one of the youth ski helmets designed to be worn year round, much like the Smith Holt Jr. The liner and ear pads are removable for use in warmer temperatures and while skateboarding or biking. This is a good helmet for kids who have larger heads, but aren’t quite ready for an adult helmet. This helmet also features EPS foam protection to help absorb impact in case of a collision. With an adjustable dial in the back, this is a great kids ski helmet that will help you customize the best fit. The styling of this helmet also makes it one of the best snowboarding helmets for both style and comfort.
Best Ski Helmets for Teens and Older Kids Without MIPS
While we do know that MIPS is the safest type of helmet for kids, helmet use always increases safety, regardless of what type of helmet your kids wear. I know that personally, our older kids and teens are MUCH braver and take more risks, so helmet use is NON NEGOTIABLE in our family (even for things like sledding and tubing).
Best Budget Helmet For Older Kids + Teens
Outdoor Master Kelvin Helmet + Discount
If you’re looking for the best deal on a ski helmet, you can’t go wrong with Outdoor Master. This helmet retails for far less than the competition, but is still great quality. This is the helmet that our teenage son wears and he really likes how comfortable the helmet is and how well it fits his head. He wears an adult small, which also fits his 8-year-old brother well!
One of my favorite features of this teen ski helmet is that is has removable ear pads and a fleece helmet liner that can be WASHED (boy moms REJOICE). This not only helps you to regulate temperatures better but it extends the life of the helmet since it’s so easy to clean. Use our discount for an extra 20% off, making this the cheapest teen ski helmet you can find (that’s still great quality).
Bolle has long been my favorite helmet brand. As a whole, their helmets fit almost all of us well, they don’t wiggle around AND they’re warm with good ventilation as well. The Bolle MUTE is no exception to this! This ski helmet is designed for teens and adults, but in the smallest size, it even fits our almost 5-year-old well (as well as our teen at the same time). This is THE HELMET to buy if you want a teen ski helmet that will last for YEARS (our other Bolle helmets are going on 10 years and still in amazing condition).
It’s incredibly easy to adjust, comes in lots of great colors (a big benefit for teens who care about style), and is super soft on the inside!
No, there is no difference between a ski and snowboard helmet, aside from the looks. Many snowboarders prefer more of a bomber look to their helmets, where a traditional ski helmet has a more streamlined appearance.
Yes, kids can wear an adult ski helmet since helmet size is based on head size and not age. One of my boys has a large head and has been wearing an adult size small helmet since he was six years old. Another one of my boys could still wear a kids size helmet at age 11. Don’t get caught up in the adult/child designation on a snowsport helmet for kids, but focus on getting them the correct size.
Absolutely yes! As I shared before, skiing with a helmet can literally save your kids life. We have a non negotiable rule that if our kids want to ski or snowboard, they must have a helmet on their head and it must be worn correctly. We see a lot of kids skiing with helmets that are unbuckled, which completely negates all the benefits of wearing a ski helmet. If your kids are going to wear a ski helmet, insist that they wear it correctly.
We start our kids wearing a ski helmet as soon as they start skiing. For most of our kids, they start wearing a ski helmet at 18 months.
While most resorts do not require helmets for regular visitors, most ski and snowboard schools now say that helmets are mandatory.
Within the last 10 years, we’ve seen a shift in the ski and snowboard industry towards full helmet compliance. When we started teaching our own kids to ski 10 years ago, we would see just over ½ of all kids on the ski hill wearing ski helmets on the mountain. Now, we see closer to 95% of all kids. Honestly, our older kids did not start out skiing wearing helmets, but now all our kids wear a ski helmet all the time.
Kids Helmets for skiing work best when they’re in direct contact with the child’s head. That being said, there are days where it is super cold when you’re skiing with kids. On those days, opt for a thin hat, or balaclava under the ski helmet for extra warmth. A thick knit hat should not ever be worn under a snow sports helmet for kids since they change the way the helmet fits.
Yes, ski helmets for kids are surprisingly warm. When I got my first snowsports helmet 20 years ago, my head was constantly freezing, but technology has come so far in that time. Now, my kids almost exclusively wear just a helmet when they’re skiing, and we even look for helmets with vents, since a helmet can often be too hot on warm days. When the temperatures are in the single digits, a few of my kids need a thin hat or balaclava under their helmet for kids as extra insulation.
Snowsport helmets for kids (like all helmets) should be replaced any time there is a collision involving the head. If your child has an accident and hits their head, or somehow lands directly on their head, the integrity of their helmet is at risk. Whenever this happens, replace their helmet to ensure maximum safety. Also remember that when your child’s snowsport helmet is too small it needs to be replaced. The first sign that a helmet is too small is that it is sitting more than 1.5 inches above their eyebrows.
Where can I get a baby ski helmet?
If you have a one or two year old learning how to ski, finding a ski helmet for them can be a little bit tricky. Our best success has always been with Giro helmets for kids in an XS size. If you have a child younger than the age of 12 months, they should not be wearing a baby ski helmet since their neck muscles are not developed enough to support the extra weight.