If two months ago I was a ski helmet neophyte, now I am a connoisseur. I donned my first ski helmet in January, to the cheers of friends and family, except my husband who's still skiing in a hat, even a headband on warm days. He says my helmet interferes with my ability to hear him, what?!
My first ski helmet is a Bern, white, nothing super stylish but with a sporty brim it has a skater look and its very lightweight. I appreciated the warmth when we skied Revelstoke and Kicking Horse in western Canada, the weather was wicked cold, - 28 Celsius (that's - 19F below).
Then I discovered the Lamborghini of ski helmets. Enter The OSBE. I saw this space-age looking helmet worn at Deer Valley's Celebrity Ski Race. I had to try it. Instead of separate ski goggles, a cool looking visor is completely integrated with the helmet. But would it work as well I wondered? How could an integrated visor ski helmet be fashionable and functional?
On my recent trip to the Swiss Alps, I tried the OSBE, appropriate since Europeans take alpine fashion to a higher level (code: they care what they wear). I felt like a speed racer in my Daytona OSBE with a slick red stripe. But skiing is believing, the peripheral vision through the integrated visor is amazing. Well timed for viewing the scenic Alps too.
Not only is the OSBE helmet super comfy, but the fit is seamless with no goggle gap, instead a cushiony foam fits your face. Leave it to Italian designers to hit the mark, OSBE started their innovations in 1976, now offering styles like Angel, Devil, and Torino. The lens is crystal clear, UV 400 rated, with a cool reflective finish. You can easily slide the visor up when you are inside. The downside to all this high style and sophistication, OSBE is more expensive than traditional ski and snowboard helmets by Smith, Bern, POC, Giro, but starting at $299 it includes your goggles (or eliminates them). Now I may have to try OSBE latest Magic helmet with a goggle visor that folds away inside the helmet - the first of its kind.
So my ski helmet research continues. I don't feel much safer on the ski slopes, since the helmet hasn't changed my skiing. I continue to ski with care, caution, always avoiding stationary objects, other skiers, etc. When I am skiing the trees, I do like the layer of protection for stray twigs and branches. While I don't love lugging an extra piece of gear on my ski trips, I find you can stuff a lot in the shell of your helmet when traveling. As spring approaches and things heat up, I may be longing back to my lightweight hat or headband. What's on your head and how do you like it?