By now, there's no reason you shouldn't be wearing a helmet when you're on the hill. This year, there have been some big moves in how helmet companies are trying to protect your dome. They're incorporating technologies like MIPS, which helps to deflect rotational forces, or engineering their own, super lightweight shock absorbing material. Your brain has never been safer. These are five of our favorite lids. They're comfortable, good looking, and on the cutting edge of brain-protecting technology.

Best snowboard and ski helmets: Giro Combyn

Best snowboarding and ski helmets: Giro Combyn

Giro Combyn
Giro is calling the Combyn a "soft shell" helmet. It's made of flexible vinyl nitrile, which is supple enough to squish with your hands but which also stands up to multiple impacts. A lot of helmets are only certified for one impact. The Combyn is designed for park and pipe riders, who tend to take multiple high- and low-impact falls. It's light and vented, and is also compatible with Giro's audio system. www.giro.com

Best snowboard and ski helmets: Scott Chase MIPS

Best snowboarding and ski helmets: Scott Chase MIPS

Scott Chase MIPS
Scott has started using MIPS technology in some of their helmets this year. MIPS, which is a two-layer system designed by Swedish engineers, is designed to absorb rotational force as well as straight-on blows. In addition to protecting you from all angles, the Chase has goggle-compatible venting, so you won't fog up, and a Micro Rotary adjustment system, so you can dial it in to fit perfectly. www.scott-sports.com

Best snowboard and ski helmets: Smith Vantage

Best snowboarding and ski helmets: Smith Vantage

Smith Vantage
Smith redesigned the Vantage this year to incorporate their Aerocore Technology featuring Koroyd. The shock absorption, which looks like a honeycomb, is super light and tough, and it diffuses impacts. The Vantage is also one of the most comfortable helmets out there, because of its Boa adjustment system. We're partial to the eggplant-colored Sage Cattabriga-Alosa pro model. www.smithoptics.com

 

Best snowboarding and ski helmets: POC Fornix Backcountry MIPS

Best snowboarding and ski helmets: POC Fornix Backcountry MIPS

POC Fornix Backcountry MIPS
The Fornix Backcountry MIPS, which is another helmet that uses MIPS to keep you safe, is well vented, so you don't heat up when you're going up and downhill, and super light. It weighs in at 450 grams, so you have no excuse for not bringing it in your pack on long backcountry tours. www.pocsports.com

Best snowboarding and ski helmets: Shred Brain Bucket

Best snowboarding and ski helmets: Shred Brain Bucket

Shred Brain Bucket
Olympic gold medalist Ted Ligety's helmet company has garnered popularity in the race community. The GS-ready Brain Bucket is designed for hitting gates. It meets both the European and American standards for helmet certification, and has an ICEdot locator, which alerts your family if you get hurt on the hill. shredoptics.com

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