Selecting Ski Headgear Tips

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How can I find good discounts on ski head gear?

How to Find Good Prices on Ski Head Gear

As if skis, boots, ski wear and ski vacations were not expensive enough, when you factor in the cost of ski helmets, neck gaiters, balaclavas and helmet liners, you will discover that you have a rather pricey hobby. Fortunately, savvy skiers know that they never need to pay full price for ski head gear. Here are some of the best methods to pay less for these items.

  • Shop Online.

    In most cases, you can get a better price for ski head gear online than in-store. Although you might have to pay shipping and handling, many sites occasionally offer free shipping, or other types of shipping discounts.

  • If you are looking for hats, it may be hard to find the exact brand at the ski store. However, the hat's material will probably be listed on the website, so you can try on similar materials to see if they feel comfortable.
  • Your next choice is eBay. If you go this route, be sure to check the seller's reputation. If you don't like getting into bidding wars, your other choice is to choose one of the sellers that have a “Buy Now” option. The price may be higher than what you would pay on a bid, yet lower than what you would pay in retail.
  • Finally, for those of you that hate to buy online, a bit of timing and a whole lot of loyalty can get you some good buys on ski head gear at retail shops. In general, the best time to buy at ski shops is at the end of the season. Also, if you become a regular buyer, the shop owners might cut you an occasional deal.
  • If it's convenient, consider becoming a ski area employee. Most resorts give their staff anywhere from 5 to 20 percent discounts at the shops.
  • You can also check out the local consignment shops, as well as the pre-season ski swaps. While these usually feature skis, you can sometimes find a helmet. Kids ski helmets are especially easy to find, since kids rapidly outgrow these items.

if it's still cold even with a helmet, What should I do?

Skiing Gear and Face Masks

While most ski helmets are guaranteed to keep your head warm, sometimes, in exceptionally cold weather, you might need a bit of extra warmth. Fortunately, manufacturers of ski wear are aware of this, and have developed various types of head gear that is designed to fit under your ski helmet. These products are also popular with cross country skiers, who, in most cases, do not wear ski helmets.

While most helmet liners, ski masks, etc. are supposedly designed to fit under your ski helmet, you should never take this for granted. While they are supposed to fit, this does not always happen. It's best to bring your ski helmet when you go to try on any of these products. For example, while a balaclava may fit under your helmet, a balaclava with a thick fleece neck gaiter mike make you feel as if you are being chocked by your helmet straps. Thus, in some cases, you might need a skull cap helmet liner with a separate neck gaiter.

Tube-shaped neck gaiters are usually made from fleece. They are perfect for keeping your neck warm on cold days. If you have trouble breathing extremely cold air, you might want to consider a face mask. The best ones are made from neoprene, and have holes for ventilation. If you have very serious trouble breathing cold air, you might want to consider a Psolar.Ex face mask, which comes with a heat exchange device that is designed to warm inhaled air. The Psolar Company also makes a HX Helmet Balaclava, which also has the air warming device. Keep in mind that although most skiers claim that these products really work, they do look rather strange. Then again, if they keep you warm, who cares?

My head gets very warm. What kind of helmet do I need?

Ski Helmet Accessories

As if choosing a ski helmet was not complicated enough, many helmet manufacturers will tempt you with a variety of helmet add-ons, upgrades and accessories. Venting units are perhaps the most popular of these upgrades.

Let's say that you like to ski in Colorado, where the state motto is “If you don't like the weather, wait a minute.” You might start your ski day in sub-zero temperatures. Then, by midday, the temperature soars to 40 degrees. At this point, your head begins to sweat. There are two ways to let the cool air in and let the hot air, so to speak, out. The first is to choose a ski helmet that comes with a removable venting plug. However, this will involve removing your helmet. A more desirable option is to choose a ski helmet that has an adjustable vent, which operates by way of a lever. This allows you to find a comfortable level of air flow, without having to remove your ski helmet. Another interesting ski helmet option is the detachable ear pad. These provide extra warmth on cold days. However, they can be removed and washed as needed. Finally, if you are a frequent long distance traveler to ski areas, you might want to consider a ski helmet case. After all, your helmet protects you from getting knocked around on the slopes. Shouldn't you protect it from getting knocked around on the plane?

I ski the trees. What sort of helmet should I buy?

How to Choose a Helmet

At the risk of overstating the obvious, the first step in selecting a ski helmet is to make sure that it actually is a ski helmet. A bicycling or motorcycling helmet just doesn't cut it for skiing. Your next decision will involve your ski helmet's construction. Let's say that you are a recreational skier. You usually avoid the trees, and you have no interest in playing in the terrain park or half pipe. An in mold helmet construction is sufficient for your needs. When in mold helmets are constructed, the shell and a shock-absorbing foam are molded together. These helmets are lighter than injection-molded helmets.

When injection-molded ski helmets are made, the foam is molded to a separate shell, which is composed of a high-impact plastic. Thus, you are getting and extra layer of protection, which would be needed in a high impact fall or collision. However, they are somewhat heavier than in-molded ski helmets.

Next, check the ski helmet's fit. While it should be snug, it should not be so tight as to cause a migraine headache! Shake your head from side to side. If the helmet rocks back and forth, it is too loose. Parents should resist the temptation to purchase kids helmets that are too big, with the hope that their child will grow into it. An ill-fitting ski helmet offers no protection. You will also want to make sure that there is no gap between the bottom of your helmet and the top of your goggles.

How do I ski safely?

Helmets Recommended

Trees, rocks, lift towers, hard snow, ice, other skiers -- these are the reasons to wear a helmet. No matter where you ski, no matter your ability, helmets are always recommended. Protec helmets are a great brand with a slick style that won't get in your way.

The pros of Protec include a decent price point, multiple impact protection and a simple look that won't embarass your teenager and, in basic black, won't clash with your favorite ski outfit.

The Protec doesn't have great heat and air venting, so you may overheat with this helmet. Also, because of the multiple impact protection of the helmet, it is a bit heavier than some other options.

Who Needs a Ski Helmet

Everyone Can Benefit from a Ski Helmet

When my family used to adventure to the mountain, only us kids would be equipped with ski helmets. I guess my parents thought their heads were harder than ours or something, but all that covered their most precious body part was a thin hat. Today, many families have learned, often through pain, that everyone should be wearing ski helmets when embarking down a mountain.

Unfortunately, all skiers must realize that no matter how careful the may be, skiing has inherent dangers that a skier must prepare and try to minimize if possible. Simply by wearing ski helmets, the risk of serious brain injury is significantly less. Now that I am growing my family, we will all embark down the mountain with our heads safe and secure in a ski helmet. It won't take a tragedy to teach US to stay safe.

What Kind of Ski Hat Do I Need?

Ski Hats come is So Many Styles!

Perhaps the best way to modernize an old ski outfit is with a new ski hat. Whenever I book a ski trip, one of my first stops is a ski store…not for new skis or jackets, but to update my skiing look with a new ski hat!

Today, hats come in many fabrics, colors and styles… almost nothing is off limits! Ski Hats can be an inexpensive way to personalize even the most basic of ski outfits. And they are reasonably priced, so a skier need not be afraid to experiment with a few different styles.

I personally love the look of a classic ski outfit with a hat is a bold color. Even the shape of a ski hat can spunk up an outfit…have fun, experiment, and most importantly, be bold when it comes to covering your head while flying down the mountain!

Why do I need a ski hat on a warm day on the slopes?

Ski Hats are a Necessity, No Matter What the Weather

Teenage skiers especially are very focused on looking good on the slopes. In the springtime, this usually means they want to leave their ski hats inside. But parents should be cautious to allow their teen to make this decision, as even on a warm spring day. The wind chill can be extremely cold, and hats are a necessity.

Hats not only shield the scalp from the effects of wind chill, but help keep ears warms as well. Any skier knows that frozen ears are no fun on the slopes, especially on the ski lift riding up to the top. Teenagers as well as fashion conscious adults should remember that their ski hat is as essential as their skis for proper and safe skiing, all season long.

How can I clean my ski mask?

Cleaning a Ski Mask

Your ski mask is like a second layer of skin on the slopes. It absorbs your swear, as well as the outdoor elements. When you stop for a hot chocolate break, your ski mask may be stuffed in your gloves, places on a dirty table, or worse yet, thrown on the floor. In other words, your ski mask may be a germ paradise. A good cleansing routine will help keep those germs away from your skin.

After a day on the slopes, place your mask in warm soapy water. Treat it like a delicate garment and carefully rinse the ski mask so that all soap is removed. When finished, blot to begin drying the mask. A good ski mask will dry quickly, allowing the mask to be ready for the elements the following day.

What constitutes a good ski mask?

My Favorite Ski Mask

I have a very simply ski mask ready for my next ski trip. It is simple, but warm and comfortable. My ski mask is made from synthetic materials and is blue on one side, black on the other, allowing me to match it with multiple outfits. I suggest keeping your ski mask simple. It serves a very useful and practical purpose, and from my experience, isn't something that needs to have lots of bells and whistles…I would leave that to your ski hat! There are many types of ski masks out there. As long as it is warm and comfortable, it should serve many years of fun in the snow!

How do I store my ski goggles?

Storing Ski Goggles

After a fabulous ski trip, sometimes its all too easy to throw all your ski clothes in a bag and let it gather dust until next season. But you spent a good deal of time and money gathering your ski apparel…why not use a little care storing your ski goggles and other ski equipment to protect them for next season?

Ski goggles, especially, can be an expensive investment, and are often very delicate and subject to deterioration. The more care used in their storage, the more likely you won't have to make the same investment next year! Ski goggles should be thoroughly cleaned before being put away for the next ski season. The should then be wrapped in soft fabrics and secured in a sturdy case.

Why is a ski mask helpful in warmer temperatures?

Ski Masks in the Sun

Ski masks are not only to protect your face from the wind. I remember being a teenager and skiing with my family in the springtime. The weather was beautiful, sunny and warm. My brother and I didn't wear a ski mask – and boy did we get sun burnt! My brother not only suffered redness from not wearing a ski mask, but had burned his nose to the point of blistering. My skin was so burnt that I had patches of skin on my checks that felt (and looked) like leather! I never forgot this most basic leason…a ski mask can protect you from ALL the elements…snow and sunshine. Don't risk getting burnt like we did…wear your ski mask all year long to protect your face from the elements!

Do I need a helmet?

A Helmet, You Need!

Some skiers think helmets are for the most aggressive. Others think such protection is for wimps. Helmets in fact, are for every skier. People hit their heads on every type of trail (and ability is useless if an out-of-control person slams into you). The saying goes, “No brain bucket. No brain!” Don't prove the point. Wear a helmet.


Balaclava! (Not Baklava!)

Helmets will keep your head warmer (longer) than most ski hats. But you will often need coverage for the rest of your face, especially the space on your forehead between the top of your goggles and the edge of the helmet. This is especially true for cruisers, rippers, bombers, and any other group of fantastically fast skiers.

How does my child fit into last season ski goggles?

Children and Goggles – The Perfect Fit

It is always a good idea to invest wisely in ski goggles. This couldn't be more true when buying your child a pair. Kid's faces grow rapidly, and to keep your children in ski goggles season to season, you will save money by investing in a pair that has an adjustable strap to fit a growing head. The straps on ski goggles are only one of the factors to look into.

Ski goggles come in many sizes, and a parent needs to make sure the ski goggles fit comfortably over the eyes and above the nose. The more comfortable the goggles, the easier it will be to get your young skier to wear his ski goggles, season after season!

Why can’t I breathe when I am wearing my ski mask?

Ski Masks – Getting the Perfect Fit

Be cautious of buying a ski mask that says “One Size Fits All.” From my experience, this is simply not true. If you wear a ski mask that is too big, you may find that it is difficult to breathe through because of the extra fabric around the nose. If you chose a ski mask that is too small, you may find the nose holes are too small to get adequate air.

The best way to try on a ski mask is to wear it for a few minutes. Does it tend to fall when you turn your head? Does the mask over too much of your nose or mouth? Is it comfortable? When skiing, you must be comfortable. Ski masks can be a skiers best friend, but only if it doesn't make you have to take it off to catch your breath!

Are all Ski Helmets the Same?

All Ski Helmets are not Created Equal

Ski Helmets vary widely in price, quality, and style. Unlike most of my skiing wardrobe, style comes in a distant third when I chose my ski helmet for the season. And the reason is simple. All ski helmets are NOT created equal. Ski helmets can be made from a variety of materials. For my family, I always look for something that has won the approval of the experts in the industry. I also look for something made to withstand serious falls. Safety on the slopes is no laughing matter, and I suggest investing wisely in ski helmets for your family. It only takes one fall for the value of your helmet to make significant returns on your investment.

Why should a novice skier by ski goggles?

Even Novices need Ski Goggles

A novice skier can get overwhelmed by the expense of taking up this new hobby. One place a skier should NEVER try to save is on ski goggles. They not only protect your vision, but will enable you to know where you are headed down the mountain. These magnificent items can protect your eyes from some of the most extreme conditions the eyes will ever “see.”

On the slopes, your eyes are one of your most important body parts. They help direct you were to go. Without ski goggles, the sun, wind and rain can block your view and cause a skier to tumble into some dangerous territories. Ski goggles come at a variety of prices, and are well worth the investment.

Is it safe to wear my old ski goggles for over glasses?

Keeping Your Sight – Ski Goggles for Over Glasses

There is no question, all ski goggles should not be worn over glasses. But there are now specially designed ski goggle for over glasses. These are especially helpful for skiers who can not wear contacts, and need glasses in order to maintain their vision on the mountain. When you need ski goggles for over glasses. Make sure to buy from a reputable seller.

It is important that your glasses will fit snug and secure. You don't want one to fly off as you head down the mountain! With a good pair of ski goggles for over glasses, you will not even realize you have to layers of glass on your eyes. You will be seeing clearly as you master the slopes this season!

How do I keep my ski goggles from fogging up?

Keeping Ski Goggles from Fogging on the Slopes

While there are some products a skier can buy to help keep their goggles from fogging up, my family always swore by some simpler, less expensive methods. If fact, our methods worked better that the expensive store bought solutions, and kept our ski goggles clear all day long.

Our first family secret was to apply regular old toothpaste to both the inside and outside of our goggles. We would use just enough water to make the goggles clear, but for some reason, this simple trick helped keep our goggles from fogging up. Once we were on the slopes or second secret was to take the goggles off every now and then, fog them up with our breathe, and use a towel to wipe them off. These quick solutions may help your family's ski goggles from fogging up your day on the slopes!

When do I need a ski mask?

A Ski Mask Can Be a Skiers Best Friend

In the cold winter months, skiing can take its toll of your complexion. A ski mask can help protect your face from the elements on the slopes when wind and ice are present on the mountain…and as an experienced skier, I can remind the novice that a skier newer really knows when the weather on the mountain will head, well North!!!

The colder and more extreme the conditions on the slopes, the worse your skin will look and feel when you come in from a long day on the mountain. a ski mask can cover your face on the mountain, not only keep it warm, but stopping the face from getting chapped, and even sunburned!!! Keep it in your pocket when you hit the slopes, and it will be ready to help you “save face” as the weather deteriorates!

Do I need a helmet?

A Restriction You Want

You might think of helmets as restrictive killjoys. Try a few on at your local ski shop and see if you are right. The helmet that fits you best is important to find, but any helmet provides a restriction you want. (The one that restricts your brain from meeting bark.)

I want to take on-mountain photos, but hate carry a camera. Suggestions?

High Tech Helmets

Ski helmet manufacturers have been concocting unique ways to ensure their products are safe yet stylish. While some of these new inventions have proven to be quite useful, others are eligible for first place in the "What Were They Thinking?" contest.

That being said, for reasons unbeknown to mankind (and womankind), many skiers often have an inexplicable attraction to high tech products. If high tech is what will get your significant other to wear a ski helmet, perhaps you need to buy him, or maybe her, such a helmet. Hey, it works for kids too. Cool graphics and silly-looking helmet covers, known as Helmethedz, have inspired even the most reluctant child to show off his or her head gear on the slopes. So let's take a look at what the "tech heads" are doing to our protective headgear.

Burton Helmets: Whether you consider this idea ridiculous or sublime, the Burton RED Tantrum Audex Helmet is, well, interesting. This unique helmet gives you access to both iPod and Bluetooth technology. Need to make a phone call? No need to sift through your pockets with gloved hands, only to drop the darn thing from the chairlift! Hate the resort music? Play your own tunes! There is one caveat, and it's an important one. Playing music on the slopes keeps you from hearing other important sounds, such as the sound of another snow-slider skidding up behind you. You will also miss out on the wonderful sounds of the mountain, such as the birds singing and the wind blowing.

Helmet Cams Although many people enjoy taking photos or videos on the slopes, few enjoy carrying around their expensive video cameras. Fortunately, helmet cams have been designed to provide top quality video footage. A company called Viosport manufactures the most popular helmet cams. These cams were used by Powder magazine, when they conducted their Powder to the People Tour.

I can never find goggles that fit with my helmet. Suggestions?

Helmet Components

From the outside, a ski helmet simply looks like some sort of plastic headgear. However, the inner components of a ski helmet give a whole new meaning to the phrase, "it's what's inside that counts."

That being said, let's begin our exploration of the components of a ski helmet from it's innermost layer.
In most cases, this will be composed of polyurethane foam, which has been treated with some sort of antibacterial agent. Some helmets add a hypoallergenic treatment. This foam also undergoes a specialized anatomic shaping, in order to compensate for slight variations of head shape. The shaping is designed to provide ventilation at the ears.The middle layer of most ski helmets is composed of polystyrene foam, which has been scientifically formulated to absorb shock in the event of impact. Finally, layering alternate sheets of carbon and fiber is the method that is used to create the outer shell of a ski helmet.

The two other important components of a ski helmet are the chinstrap and the attachment for your ski goggles. In recent years, manufacturers have developed padded chinstraps, which are a lot more comfortable than traditional straps. The goggle attachment is a very important feature. While most modern ski helmets have them, older ones do not. Recently, manufacturers have created ski helmets that come with a visor. This is the best of both worlds, since you do not have to worry about fitting your goggles with your helmet.

What is the best type of helmet for skiing trees?

Helmet Styles

The process of choosing a helmet is similar to choosing skis or a pair of ski boots. Your choice will depend on how and where you ski. For example, a full shell helmet will provide you with complete head coverage. It will also protect your head from wind, precipitation and other elements that you are likely to encounter on the slopes.

Some of these full shell helmets are designed with venting, which helps regulate temperature. Vented helmets also do a better job at letting you hear what your ski buddies are saying. If your friend is shouting, "Don't go that way!", you are more likely to hear what they are saying if you are wearing a vented helmet. Although helmets are recommended if you ski trees, spend time in the half pipe or if you ski at high speeds, even more conservative skiers can benefit from a full helmet. Keep in mind that not only do they prevent injury. Full helmets are the best way to keep your head warm on the slopes.

If for some reason you are not comfortable with a full helmet, you might consider a short shell model. These helmets offer comparable protection to full shell styles. However, they give less coverage and have a less constrictive fit. Many short shell helmets come with venting and removable liners

Competition or racing helmets are characterized by their densely padded liners and molded open ear zones inside the shell. The helmets that are designed for speed and slalom events feature jaw pieces. While these “bells and whistles” are not necessary for recreational skiers, they come highly recommended for ski racers involved in any form of serious downhill competition.

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Guru Spotlight
Jolyn Wells-Moran