Heads up everyone. Your brain and vision are the most important tools you’ve got for performing your best and keeping you safe out on the slopes.
It’s why industry manufacturers are committed to investing research and development dollars into helmet and goggle designs to set new standards every year in boosting performance and safety.
If you’re in the market for new headgear in 2022, check out these products that feature many of the latest performance and protective technologies.
Both stylish and technologically sophisticated, the Smith Vantage is one of the most popular helmet brands on the slopes today. The helmet’s Mips technology is now complemented with advanced Zonal Koroyd materials, welded tubes that crumple on impact to absorb maximum forces in a controlled manner. Koroyd can compress up to 78 percent of the material’s thickness, compared to about 60 percent in more traditional helmet compounds. This further minimizes the energy that ultimately impacts your head and brain during a crash.
On the comfort side, the Vantage’s hybrid shell includes 21 vents with dual adjustability to fine-tune airflow. The BOA 360 Fit System allows you to micro-adjust the size around your whole head with the turn of dial. Smith’s AirEvac tech delivers a fog-free goggle interface.
Atomic Redster CTD
New for 2022, Atomic introduced a “street model” version of its World Cup pro racing helmet, the Redster. With the Redster CTD, amateur racers and recreational skiers will get the high-tech smart features found in the professional model. This includes Shocksense, which is built into the helmet and links to your smartphone. The helmet will report to the app ongoing assessments of the hits it takes. If you slam into something hard enough and the helmet takes heavy damage, it automatically will send an alert to your emergency contacts.
The CTD also comes with Atomic’s ABS Racecase plus AMID (Atomic Multi-directional Impact Deflector) system under the shell to provide 30 percent higher impact protection than FIS standards require.
Sweet Protection Trooper 2Vi
Sweet Protection has been making award-winning alpine helmets ever since Aksel Lund Svindal debuted the Rooster Corsa on the World Cup tour in 2013. The carbon mono-shell construction is strengthened using the pre-preg process — pre-impregnating the carbon with resin and thermoplastic fibers and baking at super-high temperature and pressure.
The newly engineered Trooper 2Vi Mips incorporates SweetPro’s 2Vi technology platform, an integration of the brand’s three-layers: shell, shock absorption and Mips. The process boosts protection and performance by increasing shell rigidity and elasticity combined with multi-density shock absorption in the liner and improved impact dissipation that is dialed into the geometry of the human head. All this technology and protection is done without increasing the helmet’s mass and volume, making it a favorite among skiers and riders who love to charge.
Marker could have rested on its laurels after its award-winning, top-of-the-line Phoenix MAP helmet hit the market, but the company made it even better in 2022 by incorporating Mips in the all-new Phoenix2.
MAP technology (Marker’s Adaptive Polymer) provides increased protection to the rear of the head, the forehead and the temple — three areas that have the highest injury risk levels, according to clinical studies. The Phoenix2 still boasts the direct impact protection of MAP together with Mips, which reduces the rotational forces on the brain caused by angled impacts to the head.
On the comfort side, the Phoenix2 comes with two customizable and removable liners, allowing skiers and riders to dial in their warmth and comfort level. It also comes with removable ear pads for “steeze-mode,” and the helmet breathes with MarkAIR channel ventilation to keep goggles from fogging when your head is overheating.
Giro Grid Spherical
Weighing in at only 400 grams, Giro’s uber-light Grid Spherical will appeal to skiers and riders looking to seamlessly transition between resort and backcountry. Because research shows the majority of warm air that can cause fogging exhausts from the center top vent of the goggle, Giro developed its Stack Ventilation system in the helmet to align with the center vent of your goggles. Both helmets also feature thermostat control, which allows athletes to custom tune airflow with a simple, low-profile control button on the outside of the helmet.
Giro’s Spherical technology, developed at the Bell+Giro Dome laboratory in partnership with Mips, is a unique ball-and-socket design that utilizes two separate liners to help manage impact forces. The system redirects impact forces away from the brain by allowing the outer liner to rotate around the inner liner during a crash.
Smith I/O Mag Imprint 3D
Smith takes customized fit to new levels in 2022 with its I/O Mag Imprint 3D goggles. After consumers place their order for their preferred strap plus two lenses, they will receive a unique code and download instructions for a smartphone app to create a 3D face scan. Smith will then 3D print your custom goggles using HP Multi Jet Fusion technology and hand assemble them at its Utah-based manufacturing facility.
By dialing in such a personalized fit, Smith states that the goggles will eliminate light leaks, air gaps and hot spots while providing the widest possible field of vision and all-day comfort.
The goggles can be ordered with popular Smith technologies like ChromaPop and MAG, the quick-swapping lens system.
With Lookout, Zeal Optics combines two of its award-winning innovations, the Rail Lock System and the Observation Deck Technology. Rail Lock is the company’s interchangeable lens system that utilizes dual-sliding guides to channel in your lenses and lock them into place. ODT was modeled after air traffic control towers and ship bridges, where the glass is tilted downward to block reflective light coming in and to expand more downward vision. Zeal says ODT in its Lookout will give skiers and snowboarders up to 20 percent more downward vision, which comes in handy when descending a mountain.
The goggles can be ordered with other popular Zeal features like Photochromic or Polarized lens options.
Bolle dubs its Volt technology as the first lens ever developed with artificial intelligence, which the company utilized to evaluate over 4 million color enhancement possibilities when developing its patented new lenses. Featured in a variety of optical products, including the Torus, Bolle states that Volt sets a new standard for high-contrast lenses, allowing skiers and riders to see colors like never before.
In addition to the lens tech, the Torus’ large, toric shape and optimized frame provides an extra-wide field of view that eliminates distortion. Air-Flow venting promotes directional airflow across the inside surface of the lens, reducing the potential for moisture build up that causes fogging.
Spy Marauder Elite
The Marauder Elite is Spy’s newest model, an OTG (over the glasses) design that features 60 percent more venting over its similarly styled Ace goggles. The frames are designed with subtle notches in the temples to allow your glasses to fit better, and interchangeable lenses adhere magnetically for ease of switching depending on the changing light.
Like Spy’s other premium goggles, the Marauder Elite features the company’s Happy lens tech, which it says is “scientifically tuned to boost mood and alertness while optimizing color and contrast.”
Salomon Radium Pro Sigma
Sigma is Salomon’s technology for amplifying color contrast on snow and enabling the eye to instantly read terrain variations in a wider range of light. In addition to this optical tech, the Radium Pro Sigma goggles are a frameless design with an “A-cut” shape that expands to maximize anatomical comfort and lateral vision. Triple-layer face foam delivers comfort, while an advanced airflow system vents moisture out. This model is also OTG compatible, and its airflow system is designed to integrate with most helmets.
Matt Boxler can be reached at email@example.com.