Review: Giro Seam Snow Helmet

Whether you’ve got a big head or just a fear of looking like you do, Giro’s new Seam helmet will keep you safe from both physical and emotional harm.

Most helmets make even the average wearer look like he has a geodesic dome attached to his head.

The Seam does not. This ski and snowboard helmet’s combination of an extremely low profile, subtle contours, and barely there visor keep it sitting not much further off your skull than a thick knit hat.

Of course, the only reason to put up with helmets is protection, and the Seam has you covered there, too. Giro claims that the same fused, two-layer construction that gives the helmet its low profile also makes it stronger. The hard outer shell acts like an exoskeleton, directing forces around the exterior of the helmet while the dense foam inside soaks up more of the impact. This is the same construction method Giro employs in its popular bike helmets.

Fortunately, we haven’t been able to test this aspect of the Seam too extensively. The hardest wipeout we endured was in two feet of powder, and none of the other spills involved the sort of impact these helmets are designed to protect against. Don’t fret, the Seam meets international standards for snow-sports helmets. Also, at 18 ounces (for a size large, natch) it’s relatively light — roughly 50 percent heavier than an average mountain-bike helmet while offering much more coverage.

We’re also big fans of the Seam’s two-way adjustable fit, which accommodates not just various-size skulls but also different head shapes. A vertical adjustment moves the helmet up or down the back of the head, while a large dial — easily big enough to use with gloves on — cinches the perimeter. Another dial on top ratchets the vents open and closed.

The visor line meshes with goggles better than any other helmet we’ve strapped on recently. And the removable ear pads are compatible with Giro’s Skullcandy earphones.

The only gripe: The matte finish found on our tester is susceptible to permanent marks from the slightest of scrapes. But the Seam is available in several non-matte finishes. And, you know, better a blemish on a helmet than one on your head.

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