Helmets absorb energy and slow down your head movements, minimizing the impact on your brain. In other words, they save lives and reduce the risk of serious injury. Most helmets, however, are sport specific and not all are created equal. Look for one that is safety certified and offers some protection against rotation. If a helmet has been certified safe by Virginia Tech, the de facto authority on helmet safety for many sports, that’s a good indicator that you’re buying a quality cover. Safe-sounding helmets come at all price points, and while you don’t want to cut corners on your skull, cost can often have as much to do with style as safety. Here are 10 of the best headphones you can buy right now, by sport.
1. Best for gravity biking: Giro Insurgent Spherical Helmet
Protecting your chin, cheeks and the rest of your noggin with a full face helmet is imperative when mountain biking downhill. The only caveat is that most tend to break their collarbones in a major accident. Giro’s Insurgent spherical helmet offers the best head protection money can buy and reduces nasty collateral damage with a flexible seal along the bottom edge of the helmet. It’s packed with best-in-class safety features, including Giro’s MIPS (Multi-Directional Impact Protection System) ball joint design, which uses two separate liners that rotate independently of each other in the event of a crash. . The EPS outer layer is optimized for high speed impacts and the EPP inner layer has the rebound to better protect against slower impacts. Surprisingly lightweight, the Insurgent is well ventilated for comfort and to prevent goggles and goggles from fogging up.[$350; giro.com]
2. Ideal for the trail: Fox Speedframe Pro
When a helmet earns a five-star rating from Virginia Tech, it’s already in an elite class. The Speedframe Pro is an excellent choice for any trail or enduro. Fox took a 360-degree approach to safety by implementing a rotational shock-deflecting MIPS liner, an easy-to-adjust visor and an internal harness that conforms to heads of all shapes. The Pro version is built with a dual-density EPS liner, washable antimicrobial helmet pads, and a Fidlock buckle that allows for easy removal, even with gloves. You don’t have to worry about the visor getting in the way. It adjusts to fit most glasses and goggles. If you want to save a few bucks, go with the Speedframe, which doesn’t have the cool buckle, but has all the same safety features for $50 less.[$179; foxracing.com]
3. Ideal for kayaking: Sweet Protection Rocker
Rowing your local river? Sweet Protection’s Full Coverage Paddle Helmet provides maximum protection for your head and face, whether you’ve picked a bad place to ride or you’re swimming for the nearest whirlpool. The shell and liner benefit from the elasticity of injection-molded thermoplastic and the stiffness of carbon fiber. The visor and ear pads are replaceable if you want to cool off after repeated dunks. And the helmet is available in a full-face version for extra protection on steep descents.[$230; sweetprotection.com]
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