Ski and Snowboard Body Protection: Helmets, pads, clothing products and links to manufacturers. Equipment and protection for your head, arms, chest, back, hips and legs.
Helmets and Head Wear:
Shell: Strong outer shell with a low overall helmet weight.
Liner: Molded, shock-absorbing foam liner to protect the skull and brain from injury. Foam layers of varying density is an advanced technique currently offered by some brands. Requires individual fit.
Ventilation: Adequate ventilation to prevent perspiration. Typically the helmet has adjustable vent dams and air ducts with interior fabrics which breathe adequately.
The goal is to draw hot moist air away from the head while allowing limited direct access to the head by cold air.
Goggle retainers: typically rear goggle strap holder. Some (like Head) provide goggle strap retainers on the side of the helmet as well.
Warmth: provide adequate insulation and warmth. Ear flaps are essential.
Goggle integration and ventilation: adequate room is required for the goggles while also allowing free air to access the goggle vents.
(Don't want a helmet which induces the fogging of goggles.)
Some manufacturers will offer a fold down liner to cover the gap between the helmet and goggles. This is helpful in very high winds and very cold temperatures to keep the forehead from being subject to an obnoxious cold spot.
Male/Female gender features and fit: What guy wants to wear a pink helmet with flowers and butterflies? Need I say more. Skull shapes are also different and thus brands which have gender distinctions will often have a better fit.
Audio electronics: Blue tooth to cell phones and MP3 players are often available as kits or built-in to high-end helmets. Stereo chord connections are available as well. Requires ear pad replacement or ear pads with pockets ready for an audio kit.
Adjustable and configurable: Adjustments are available for the chin strap, ear pad height adjustment (not all ears are in the same location) and interior liner head size adjustment. Some ear pads are completely removable for warm spring days. Note that the ear pad is not just for warmth but also for protection.
Hygiene: Anti-odor and anti-microbial materials are essential for use in the liner.
Certification: (collision tested for puncture resistance and dampening properties)
CE EN 1077: European standard for ski and snowboard helmets
Class B: with soft ear protectors.
Class A: hard ear protectors and more puncture resistant. Typical for race helmets.
ASTM F 2040: North American standard for ski and snowboard helmets
Style: of course you want it to look good and reflect a little bit of your personality.
MIPS: Many brands of ski helmets including Giro are now incorporating the Multi-Directional Impact Protection System (MIPS) into their helmet design to improve protection from glancing blows to the head which impart twisting torque.
The brain is more sensitive to rotational motion and some brain injuries (DIA, SDH and MTBI) are linked to rotational motion derived from angled impacts.
MIPS protection is in addition to the current and typical direct impact protection. See video below.
Brain Strain Levels
Multi-Directional Impact Protection System (MIPS) explained
UClear: Helmet communicator. UClear: Helmet communicator - Bluetooth enable your helmet to receive MP3 and cell phone calls through your helmet. Music stops to allow calls to come in and music resumes when the call is over. Uses military grade noise cancellation microphone. UClear also has Bluetooth adapters for your "Family Radio Service" (FRS) walkie talkie radios.
Padding and Protective Clothing
Armor and Body Protection Manufacturers Links:
Bliss Protection - vests with back protection, knee pads, crash shorts, elbow pads, helmets
Burton - Impact vests, knee pads, impact waistcoats and pants.