These days, snowmobile helmets are often feature rich and sometimes confusing. It seems like they are all made for the high flying Wyoming backcountry powder junkie.
No matter what your riding style is, you’re going to have to sort through a lot of options to find a snowmobile helmet that provides a good fit, comfort, and safety.
In this guide we’re going to help you understand what to look for and what to avoid.
Quick Answer: The 5 Best Snowmobile Helmets For 2017
- 509 Tactical Snowmobile Helmet
- Typhon Adult Snocross Snowmobile Helmet & Goggle Combo
- VIPER Modular Dual Visor Snowmobile Helmet
- Typhoon Full Face Snowmobile Helmet w/ Electric Heated Shield
- HJC Full Face w/ Electric Shield CS-R2 Snowmobile Helmet
First lets take a look at the snowmobile helmets, then we’ll talk about how to choose the right helmet for you. Here is a feature overview of my 3 favorite snowmobile helmets with full reviews and our buying guide below.
Best Snowmobile Helmets
Snowmobile Helmet Reviews
The 509 Tactical is a snocross style snowmobile helmet that sports safety ratings from DOT and ECE so this helmet will meet your safety needs.
Being a snocross style it lacks a visor or lens and allows the rider to choose a goggle to pair with the helmet.
The visor and blacked-out styling is aggressive and modern, sure to match that new high-horsepower sled!
Make sure to look for goggles that are going to fit and feature a nose deflector to push breath away from the lens.
509 makes a pair of goggles specifically made for this helmet, the 509 X5 goggles.
Good vents integrated into the body of the helmet will keep you cool as you ride and a breath guard is removable for comfort no matter the riding conditions.
Offered in six different sizes and 5 colors, this helmet is almost sure to fit your head comfortably.
The 509 Tactical is my overall top pick for the best snocross helmet. It offers the features you need along with a quality design.
This DOT certified, budget minded helmet is ideal for the casual snowmobile rider. If you’re trying to keep dollars in your pocket and still keep yourself safe on the sled, this is a good choice.
Featuring a removable breath guard, a removable helmet liner plus vents along the back of the helmet. Typhoon included a set of goggles, this helmet is an all-in-one solution.
Even at a bargain price the goggles feature 2-pane construction plus a anti-fog coating to minimize fogging and a triple layer of foam.
These are solid features to find on a budget minded snowmobile helmet.
Solid bonus: A goggle case included with the package plus it has a extremely warm liner and is probably the warmest snowmobile helmet on the market.
Goggles come with an additional clear lens which is great if you happen to be out riding longer than expected and need a clear lens for twilight conditions or particularly dark days.
The Typhoon is a great option for a helmet, it offers a great combination of quality, included goggles and features.
The Viper is a DOT approved helmet in a modular setup is an awesome solution for those looking to find a low priced modular helmet setup.
Dual visors are great and a wonderful solution for riders looking for a sunglasses or tinted visor solution.
An internal flip-down dark lens can be added or removed with a single lever operation to protect from sunlight or improve lighting by removing the dark lens altogether when it gets overcast or starts getting dark.
The Viper features a one-button, glove friendly flip up system converting the helmet from full-face to open-face plus a easy to use quick release buckle system.
Lack of dual pane lens means you may get some fogging but with a ventilation system that has 10 vent ports that shouldn’t be an issue.
However, even if do you need to get a replacement lens its still a great buy when you consider the already low price of this feature rich helmet.
The Viper also lacks a breath guard so if your a hardcore rider working up a sweat this may be an issue.
This motorcycle / snowmobile crossover helmet is probably more suited to the rider looking for a one-helmet-quiver type solution with a recreational mindset for bikes and sleds.
With unique color scheme and modular design the Viper is one of the best modular snowmobile helmets.
This snowmobile helmet would be most similar to the typical full face motorcycle helmet with one HUGE difference. This typhoon helmet has a heated shield to completely eliminate fogging and icing.
If you are in the backcountry you will really appreciate this feature, especially if you run into some sleet.
It comes with two lens shields, one heated one not. The lenses have an anti-fog coating on the inside plus a scratch resistant coating on the outside.
There is a lot to like about this helmet; it comes with an adjustable breathbox plus a chin skirt.
The Typhoon is available in the most sizes of any snowmobile helmet I have seen, everyone should be able to find the perfect size helmet for their head.
The liner in the helmet is comfortable and removable so you can wash it as needed.
The ventilation system is adjustable for changing weather conditions and meets all DOT safety standards. All in all and excellent choice for sledding.
HJC is well known for making quality motorcycle helmets and the CS-R2 is an excellent adaptation for snowmobilers. Like the Typhoon it has a heated face shield lens that is excellent feature to have for backcountry use or when it’s snowing or sleeting.
The liner is fully removable and can be washed and is a very comfortable helmet for all day use. HJC has what they call “ACS” or Advanced Channeling System, just means that you can adjust airflow to your liking depending on weather conditions.
It comes with an adjustable breathguard to prevent fogging and the shields are easily changed out for when you don’t need the heated one.
The injection molded shell is made from an advanced polycarbonate for safety and meets all DOT standards. HJC has a winner here, there is a model without the heated lens shield, available here.
How to Choose the Best Snowmobile Helmet for You
Types of Helmets
Full Face – Full face helmets feature a completely protected dome with one seamless shell. These are probably the most common type of helmet for any sport across the world.
The opposite of full face would be a bowl helmet, like the classic black-spiked, leather jacket, biker dude helmet that sits high on the head and does almost nothing to protect that cranium.
Modular or ¾ – Modular helmets are probably the best possible helmet to get ahold of. These helmets feature a jaw which can be locked down for a full face style, or raised for an open-face setup.
Why are these great?
Not only are the customizable, but if you ever get hurt while wearing the helmet, EMS crews will love you.
As a trained EMT, I can tell you that the best helmet to be wearing if you get hurt is one where emergency crews can access your face (airway) without removing the helmet.
Snocross – Snocross helmets are a mix between a dirt bike helmet and a full face snowmobile helmet. These are pretty popular for high-flying adrenaline riders. Use separate goggles with this helmet, allowing more ventilation and customization.
Open face design will ensure your heat, sweat, and breath are carried away before being able to fog up your high-speed view.
Here is a good primer on how to choose a snowmobile helmet by Canada’s Motorcycles
One of the most critical features of snowmobile helmets is anti-fog technology. Waste no money here and go for top of the line. In cold weather that face shield lenses is going to want to fog up and you’re going to be unhappy if it does.
Impact rating, lens material, and anti-fog technology all take together really give us a good understanding of the quality of helmets we may be considering.
One critical piece of technology is dual-pane lens. This is necessary for anti-fog capability, and we suggest you avoid any single pane lenses.
There are 3 shields/lens available:
Dual Pane Shield: The most common type of lens and a necessity for a snowmobile helmet. As the name implies, there are 2 lenses are separated by a thin layer of air that acts as an insulation.
This keeps condensation from the warm air from your face meeting the cold air from outside. Works exactly the same as the dual pane windows on your house.
Heated Shield: Under normal conditions the dual pane lens works fine in keeping the lens from fogging. When the temperatures drop low enough or it starts sleeting the only way to totally prevent fogging is with a heated shield.
The electric heated shield has a heating element that runs around the perimeter of the shield and plug into the sleds electrical system.
The Typhoon Full Face Snowmobile Helmet w/ Electric Heated Shield and the HJC Full Face w/ Electric Shield CS-R2 Snowmobile Helmet are good examples of snowmobile helmets utilizing this technology.
Framed vs. Frameless: This pretty much an aesthetic choice. It used to be that all dual pane lenses had a frame around the lens to seal them. Advances in lens technology has eliminated this need.
These helmet inserts are adjustable and seal your nose and mouth to ensure that your moist, hot breath does not get circulated up and on to the lens.
Cold lenses in winter conditions plus hot breath equals condensation and fogging.
The breath guard should seal fairly tightly around your face so that it directs all your warm breath down and away from the shield but not so tight to be uncomfortable.
A breath guard is usually attached with velcro strips or snaps and some have a metal strip along the top of the nose for a better seal.
For snowmobilers using snowcross style helmets the breath guard also functions as insulation keeping the cold air away from your skin.
Ventilation is actually very important even in winter conditions. Despite cold temps, these helmets can get hot quickly, especially for the more active and aggressive big mountain riders.
Air flow through the helmet its self is critical to heat management and adjustable vents are a great tool for staying in control of your temperature.
Depending on where you’re living and what you intend to participate in as a snow sports rider, you may want to seek certain safety ratings.
DOT – or Department of Transportation is a no-brainer certification anyone should be looking for. Don’t even consider a helmet without this rating.
Snell – is an independent rating group with high standards, this rating is a smart buy!
If you’re a hardcore extreme mountain snowmobile enthusiast, you may be on the search for something more high octane. For the rest of us, however, who may spend a few days a season on the snowmobile, it’s really not necessary to sink a fortune into a good helmet.
Your choice of helmet really comes down to how often you ride, the conditions you ride in and your style of sledding.
If you are into cross country riding, high speed sledding or ride in very cold temperatures, then a full face helmet with an optional electric shield is probably for you.
This style of helmet is the warmest and offers the most protection.
If you are into snowcross racing, extreme riding, off trail sledding a MX/Snowcross style helmet might be your best bet with the extra visibility that you will have with this style of helmet.
Consider what type of helmet works best for your needs and make your decisions based on personal riding styles, riding conditions, etc.
My money is on the Typhoon Helmet out of the three we’ve reviewed because its an all in one solution with everything you need.
Consider taking a snowmobile safety course, click here to see all the approved courses in your state.