Three best snowmobile helmets
When riding an open-seat vehicle like a motorcycle or snowmobile, having the right safety gear is extremely important. That gear should include a high-quality helmet.
A snowmobile helmet protects your head should you crash, but it also protects your head from flying debris. Twigs or chunks of ice might be harmless at slow speeds, but they could injure you at a high rate of speed. A helmet also helps to keep you warm, minimizing the cold wind that reaches your skin.
Beyond that, helmets look really cool, and it's fun to personalize one with artwork. We've collected the information you need to know to find the best snowmobile helmet for you.
Considerations when choosing snowmobile helmets
Types of snowmobile helmets
Before purchasing a snowmobile helmet, think about how you plan to ride your vehicle. Doing a bit of planning can help you find just the right one.
Full-face helmet: The full-face snowmobile helmet covers your entire head and eyes, providing you with the highest level of wind and cold protection. It doesn't have a lot of loose parts, so it stays in place, but it's also not all that flexible.
Modular helmet: This helmet also covers the entire head and face, but it has a chin bar that swivels away from the face. This makes it easier to wipe your face when taking a break because you don't have to remove the helmet. However, it isn't quite as safe as a full-face helmet because of the swiveling chin strap. Trail riders need more impact protection from trees or rocks should they fall and so will usually use a full-face or modular helmet.
Snocross helmet: Racers will want a snocross helmet, which is similar to a motocross helmet. It has a wide, open area around the eyes that enables you to use your own goggles. (You'll sometimes find a snocross-style helmet that includes a face shield, but this is rare.) A snocross helmet also has additional ventilation holes because racers sweat more than trail riders. Racers need more peripheral vision than what the full face or modular helmet provides, so a snocross helmet design works better.
Snowmobile helmet features
Antifogging face shield: Fogging of the face shield can affect your vision, which creates a significant driving hazard. Motorcycle helmets aren't designed for use in cold weather, so they don't need antifogging capabilities in the face shield and can use a single pane. To prevent fogging in the cold, snowmobile helmets have dual panes in the face shield. Always select a snowmobile helmet and not a motorcycle helmet for this winter sport.
Other features: More expensive helmets often provide a few extra features, such as full-face protection, clear peripheral vision, and plenty of padding for comfort. A helmet with a face shield typically costs more than one that has an open space for your own goggles. A helmet with an antifogging face shield will be at the high end of the price range.
Snowmobile helmet prices: When figuring out what your snowmobile hobby will cost, always include the price of a high-quality helmet. You can expect to pay anywhere from $50 to $250 for one. Even inexpensive helmets usually meet federal safety standards, so you can feel comfortable buying a helmet at the lower end of the price range.
Q. What safety standards do snowmobile helmets need to follow?
A. The Department of Transportation (DOT) sets the minimum standards for snowmobile helmets. These standards involve shock absorption, penetration, and peripheral vision. Additionally, the Snell Memorial Foundation, a nonprofit organization, sets safety ratings for these helmets that are even stricter than the DOT standards.
Q. Why would I want a snowmobile helmet that has ventilation slots?
A. Although it would seem like ventilation slots would make you cold while snowmobiling, these slots have a purpose. You need a bit of ventilation in the helmet to minimize fogging of the shield.
Snowmobile helmets we recommend
Best of the best: 509 Altitude Snowmobile Helmet
Our take: Good all-around helmet with a durable polycarbonate shell that fits snugly.
What we like: Ventilation slots on the helmet allow airflow and keep your head cooler. Helmet and included goggles work together for a precise fit.
What we dislike: A little pricey. Third-party goggles don't fit well.
Best bang for your buck: Typhoon Helmets Snowmobile Helmet
Our take: Low price for a helmet that gives snowmobilers the protection they need.
What we like: Unlike many other budget-priced helmets, this one has plenty of padding on the interior for a comfortable fit. Scratch-resistant face shield.
What we dislike: Visor tends to fog up too easily.
Choice 3: Fuel Helmets Full-Face Snowmobile Helmet
Our take: If you often ride your snowmobile in the wind, this helmet is perfect for keeping your face protected.
What we like: Has plenty of padding around the face area for comfort. Multiple adult size options so you can find just the right fit.
What we dislike: Not made for smaller heads.
Kyle Schurman is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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