As we learn more and more about concussions, brain health, and long-term effects, helmets for all sports have come into vogue. Snowsports are no exception, but sometimes, gear can get expensive.
I’ve gotten my hands on an OutdoorMaster Kelvin Snow Helmet, so before you strike out on an extended search for the best highest rated helmet for you, here’s a deep dive into this helmet.
The short version? It’s a solid helmet that’s surprisingly affordable. It’s not the best helmet ever made, but at almost half the price of other protective headgear, it does its job.
No matter what else you want your helmet to do, first and foremost is the job of protecting your head. OutdoorMaster provides that protection in this brain bucket that complies with ASTM certification (more on that in a moment).
The helmet’s EPS foam liner on the inside and reinforced ABS plastic construction on the outside should seem familiar, as this is a popular configuration among snow sports helmets. This popularity stems from the fact that this EPS-ABS combination provides reliable impact protection with a low risk of deforming the helmet.
Any reputable snowsports helmet will be ASTM F2040 certified, and the OutdoorMaster Kelvin snow helmet meets that standard. The American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM) tests materials in various ways and rates their performance.
For ski helmets, ASTM F2040 certification involves impact testing, which means that they whack the helmet against a few different shapes, then rate how well it holds up under those conditions. Certification means the helmet can be trusted, at least in theory.
I’ve run into a few helmets with flimsy connections between the chinstrap and the helmet itself, but that’s not the case with the OutdoorMaster Kelvin. Metal rivets hold the strap to the helmet’s body, so there’s little chance of them pulling off.
Since a helmet without a chinstrap is practically useless in a fall, those rivets matter. Ultimately, you want a helmet that will last and does its job correctly.
On top of that, the physical shape of the helmet includes 14 vents. We’ve all worked up a sweat on the slopes and know how essential vents are. Having this many vents (and still being structurally sound) makes for a helmet you’ll almost forget you’re wearing.
While the size adjustment dial is more and more becoming a standard part of ski helmets, it’s still a nice feature. The helmet comes in three sizes. Suppose one of those fits you perfectly; great. If not, adjustability means dialing up a snug fit for safe skiing.
If your helmet doesn’t fit correctly, it won’t protect you as it should. OutdoorMaster’s adjustment dial is well-built and seems sturdy.
The adjustable earflaps are removable for cleaning or skiing without them. The vents mentioned above keep your head cool when needed, but skiing on extra cold days means you may want to wear a hat (like a beanie) under your helmet.
Depending on the hat you wear, removing the earflaps might be something you’d want to do to increase the comfort of how the helmet sits on your head. After all, most of us wear a ski helmet for hours on end, so comfort counts.
If you opt for keeping the earflaps on, you’ll be warm— fleece lining holds heat in really well, even if some is escaping through all those vents. Oh, and removability means you can easily wash the flaps when it’s time to clean your helmet.
When you’re pricing ski gear, the chances are that you’re working on a budget. So perhaps the best feature of the OutdoorMaster Kelvin is its price. It comes in at nearly half the cost of comparable helmets while remaining functional as a safety mechanism.
Indeed, there is an element of you-get-what-yo-pay-for. At this price level, you won’t get a Multidirectional Impact Protection System (MIPS), a system that helps dissipate impact forces against the helmet, but that goes for most comparable helmets as well, even if those cost a bit more.
If you’re after a MIPS helmet, you’ll likely be looking at helmets in a higher price range, so the fact that this helmet doesn’t have one probably isn’t a dealbreaker if this is the budget you’re using.
Based on our thorough tests, the OutdoorMaster Kelvin snow helmet scores a solid 4.1/5.
In terms of value, it is up there with the best in the game - this is one of the rare cases where you get more than you pay for.
Still - at such a low price point - you can't expect this helmet to be the most durable, feature-packed, or comfortable.
This helmet pairs well with the OutdoorMaster PRO XMs we also reviewed.