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Light weight snow sports helmet?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Sure I can google helmets, but I just get thousands of "the best 10 helmets of 2019" garbage click-bait
sites which tell me nothing much other than what colour is fashionable in 2019. I know, you have to put them
on to test the fit, but I ought at least to be able to work out a short list first...

Does anyone have a really light snow helmet, what is it, and how many grams does it actually weigh?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@philwig,
Sweet Igniter - 500g in M/L?
Or, depending what you want it for, Petzl Scirroco (160g) or Meteor (240g)?
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
heh...
Go experimental! 217.7g
https://antiordinary.co/
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/267784424/anti-ordinary-a1-a-beanie-thats-as-safe-as-a-helme
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Personally, weight is probably the last thing I'd consider in a helmet. I certainly wouldn't choose one over another simply because it weighs 100gr less.
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Salomon qst is c350g I think- depends on liners etc - I love it specially when hot
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Dynafit ST. https://www.dynafit.com/en-gb/equipment/helmets?p=1&o=1&n=36&f=2168

465g.
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I've used a Kong Kosmos Sport for the last couple of seasons, it is approved for ski use and other activities.
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SBP wrote:
heh...
Go experimental! 217.7g
https://antiordinary.co/
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/267784424/anti-ordinary-a1-a-beanie-thats-as-safe-as-a-helme


Tell them to put a baseball hat brim on it and they'll capture the golf market.
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@philwig, Mountain climbing helmets are lightweight and very sturdy.
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https://www.jockeytack.com/shop/helmets/carbon-fiber-uof-safety-helmey/

http://www.osbeusa.com/products/Majic-Ski.html

High cost but structure looks to be the benificial destination.
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The Outdoor Gear Lab site gives actual weights across a range of helmets, but being American its in oz's. The lightest reviewed is the Salomon MTN Lab at 360g

https://www.outdoorgearlab.com/topics/snow-sports/best-ski-helmet
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Thanks. Based on those suggestions and some search engine use I came up with the following. Pretty much every helmet out there claims to be "light weight", but many of the manufacturers' sites are coy about actually telling customers what it is. For the few who do, they often don't say which size they weighed. I'd assume that means they weigh the smallest kiddie version of the helmet. At least their metrics ought to be reasonably comparable, if optimistic.
  • Salomon MTN LAB 360g
  • Salomon QST Charge 380g
  • Kong Kosmos Helmet 399g
  • La Sportiva RSR Helmet 230g
  • Sweet Igniter - 500g (They're now in the "Igniter II" and don't specify the weight)

My current 4-seasons-old Salomon helmet sits on the scales at 480g, which looks to be about the weight of their base model today, maybe a 20% reduction over that period.
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My Giro edit helmet is light at 375 g. The outer shell is moulded to the inner piece.

My Sweet Protection helmet is much more heavy. But it’s not something you notice when it’s on, in my opinion.
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My smith vantage non mips version in medium is 482 g, (on my digital kitchen scales), for sale if anyone wants it, as I have gone to the varience with its larger brim.
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@philwig, is your neck weak or something? Impact resistance would surely be the prime consideration? Then colour of course!
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@twoodwar, impact resistance is absolutely paramount, but impact force also increases exponentially with weight. And the heavier the helmet the more torsional force on the neck during a fall. So it does make sense to minimize helmet weight to the extent possible, even if you discount comfort as a factor.
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Helmet weight relative to head is minimal. It’s therefore relatively unimportant. Reminds me of my cycling days when considering the purchase of an ultra light Campagnalo chain set, the shop owner looked me over and suggested reasonably it would be cheaper and better to stop eating so much!
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I'm absolutely not an expert in helmet design and will be the first to admit I'm wrong on this. But I'm a neurologist so I do feel I have some expertise in head and neck injuries. A quick search shows a really interesting paper on helmet mass and acceleration in football injuries https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27456840 - haven't had a moment to look at the study, but the abstract suggests that when increasing the protective ability of a helmet requires increasing its mass, new mechanisms of injury arise.

Update. I fell down a rabbit hole reading about ski helmets while on the train! While a 25 gram difference couldn’t matter much, a 250 gram difference definitely could. And that’s before you attach a 400g camera to the top of the helmet... But yes, I suppose losing weight in your skull would work just as well. Smile
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@diaphon, so is there a suggestion of not wearing helmets? Or is data out there to suggest a sweet spot in helmet weight, and protection. Not much none advertising data to be had that I know of . However I have not looked very hard
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diaphon wrote:
@twoodwar, impact resistance is absolutely paramount, but impact force also increases exponentially with weight.

Does it??
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philwig wrote:

  • Salomon MTN LAB 360g
  • Salomon QST Charge 380g
  • Kong Kosmos Helmet 399g
  • La Sportiva RSR Helmet 230g
  • Sweet Igniter - 500g (They're now in the "Igniter II" and don't specify the weight)


The Kosmos in S/M is 450 grammes with the ear protection.
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Question remains. Is it better to have a heavy very impact resistant helmet, or a lighter helmet with less impact protection? Or do we have so little knowledge that if a helmet passes the respective DIN or whatever level, lightest is best?
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twoodwar wrote:
@philwig, is your neck weak or something? Impact resistance would surely be the prime consideration? Then colour of course!
No. No, and no.

twoodwar wrote:
Is it better to have a heavy very impact resistant helmet, or a lighter helmet with less impact protection? Or do we have so little knowledge that if a helmet passes the respective DIN or whatever level, lightest is best?
The idea that heavier helmets are "safer" seems odd to me.

(1) All legally sold helmets are certified to the same standards. It's possible that heavier helmets are "better", but it makes no sense for a manufacturer to make a helmet heavier than it needs to be. If they did that, they'd surely boast about it, where as in fact they do the opposite (almost all helmets are described as "light weight".
(2) Additional mass could to be a side-effect of additional structure, which is perhaps what you're thinking. However the mass is not itself contributing anything useful to reducing the acceleration of the brain). An exception would I suppose be a full face helmet which I'd ought to be both safer and heavier than the equivalent open helmet. I'd be a bit wary of the concept of "impact resistance" too, which maybe isn't precise enough.
(3) In fact lighter helmets are often intended for more "mountaineering" use, hence some are doubly-certified for climbing as well as snow. That at least opens the possibility that they could even be "safer" than heavier models.

Back to your bike analogy, some people think heavy frame-sets are necessarily "stronger", which is simplistic.
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philwig wrote:
All legally sold helmets are certified to the same standards.

That isn't true, helmets for ski racing are certified to a higher standard than recreational ones.
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Nobody has mentioned Sweet Trooper Carbon MIPS, I've got this and wouldnt want anything else, seems light enough to me, carbon etc.....MIPS too.
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twoodwar wrote:
Question remains. Is it better to have a heavy very impact resistant helmet, or a lighter helmet with less impact protection? Or do we have so little knowledge that if a helmet passes the respective DIN or whatever level, lightest is best?


as said above, it is not either or, a lightweight helmet may use better materials or be better designed. I'm not sure it is "impact protection" but more how much energy it can absorb for a typical ski crash. A heavy, strong helmet may simply transfer the energy to your spine while surviving the crash quite nicely, thankyou.

I suppose no-one wants to end up like Michael Schumacher dribbling in their soup in a nursing home.
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davidof wrote:
I suppose no-one wants to end up like Michael Schumacher dribbling in their soup in a nursing home.

Which is why camera mounts are banned in ski racing.
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from the answers above it is apparent there is no data measuring the relative impact resistance v weight. i.e. the best net benefit or 'safest' helmet design?
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 You know it makes sense.
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HandyHand wrote:
diaphon wrote:
@twoodwar, impact resistance is absolutely paramount, but impact force also increases exponentially with weight.

Does it??


Of course it doesn't, I've no idea how diaphon came up with that. The dependency is linear for both kinetic energy and the impact force.
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Completely different subject, but the graphic they use offers a better visual to balance some of the obvious elements within a topic to allow someone to appreciate what their choice entails.

https://www.lubrizol.com/Lubricant-and-Fuel-Additives/Engine-Oil-Additives/ACEA/Sequences/ACEA-C3-10

Their's are in non competitive environment so largely comparable, but weight, impact resistance etc could be overlaid onto something similar.

Of helmets in our household, adult sizes seem unlikely to get much lower than 490 grams complete. Just basic polycarbonate shell, polystyrene impact structure and webbing straps mostly accounting for the total.

Looks like you'd head toward more advanced "expensive " composites to significantly reduce shell component and still maintain / improve impact failure destruction.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I don't think it's the weight of the helmet on your head that matters, it's the rest of the time when you're not wearing it.

I don't know about you but when I'm walking in and skinning up I don't tend to wear my helmet. It's normally strapped to my pack, I tend to only wear it what actually skiing down unless I'm in some dodgy place.

Like a lot of things it a compromise not so heavy that you don't bother taking it and robust enough to actually do the job.
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  • Salomon MTN LAB 360g
In large that's 385g on the label, and it actually weighs 420g on the scales with the liner in place.
The bag's more useful than many, with pack clips. Overall it's a bit lower profile than some.
Comes with a spare liner without ear warmers and some spare bits of velcro.
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Sorry, lost track of this thread which has kind of morphed into a helmet safety discussion. @Oleski, you're right my mistake - force to weight is a linear relationship. My concern was about the initial few comments, that weight didn't play a role in helmet safety. I think we agree that it does, and as @twoodwar points out, the question is whether there is data on the sweet spot in the weight vs impact resistance trade-off.

As far as I can tell, that data is either lacking for ski helmets or (more likely) it's proprietary. In terms of brain health, there are some interesting and difficult problems with helmet design. Off the top of my head these are: (1) skull injury is caused by impact but brain injury is caused by sudden deceleration. Helmets protect very well against the first but not so well against the second. (2) brain injury can occur at low speeds if the shearing and rotational forces are sufficient. In theory MIPS helps with that, but I haven't seen practical data supporting it. (3) spinal injuries are more likely to result when weight and rotational forces on the head increase. But practical data suggests that well-designed helmets do NOT make spinal injuries more likely.

Have you all seen the airbag helmets for bicycling from Hovding? It's a device you wear around your neck like a scarf, containing a big airbag that deploys automatically when it detects a crash. Initial data suggests that they protect the head far better than a traditional helmet because they focus on slowing down the deceleration rather than just on absorbing the impact. If something like that were available for skiing I think it would make a big difference. In the meantime, a lightweight MIPS helmet is probably as good as it gets.

(There is pretty good evidence that the rate of concussion in skiing has not decreased with the increasing use of helmets. That's thought to be due to a moral hazard - increased risk-taking behaviour when people wear helmets. I'm strongly in favor of helmets, but it's good to be aware of this data).
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@diaphon, excellent and obviously well informed summary. Thanks
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I just put my Alpina Snowtour on the scales.

373g Size 55-59 With the removable ear flaps.
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@diaphon, Top post.

What's the data on injuries more severe than concussion?

Inflatable protection sounds like the next step.

What do you think of those impact absorbing beanies?
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