Ruroc Ski/Snowboard Helmet System $300
The Good: Badassery abounds. If it’s intimidation on the slopes you want then this helmet will help, wearing plaid board pants will not. Also, included goggles are clear with a great range of view. The crash replacement program is top notch.
The Bad: If looking like a stormtrooper isn’t in the cards for you, ditch the facemask. Ventilation isn’t controllable, so wicked winds can bring a chill. The price is a bit steep for the helmet/goggle combo.
The Ugly: Hearing yourself breathe in surround sound can get a bit unnerving. It’s like your own deathstar remix.
There was a time when a helmet on the slopes was rare. But snow can get about as hard as concrete out there, so it was inevitable that protecting your dome would become a priority. While most helmets provide a measure of insulation and vary in color and slightly in shape, there’s not much to differentiate between the brands out there. Ruroc’s RG-1 System features a nicely rounded helmet with full ventilation, integrated goggles, and a unique face mask to provide protection from wind and biting snow. The system includes all three pieces that fit seamlessly together for complete protection, or can be stashed for a more open fit. The included OTG (over the glasses) goggles have front ventilation, and an extended field of vision for wrap around visibility. Ruroc knows that when helmets do their job protecting you in a crash, the integrity of the helmet is compromised. They came up with a replacement scheme that makes sense on a $300 helmet - for about $20 at the time of purchase, any broken parts can be sent back and replaced for 50% off.
Besides making us look like we’re searching for a set of droids, the face mask really shields the wind without feeling too claustrophobic. Something to keep in mind, the guard is made of plastic and won’t provide much impact protection. While I expected the goggles to fog up a bit on a hot day, helmet ventilation kept them clear even on a sunny spring day. Other goggles we tried didn’t fit well with the system, so be ready to use the helmet and optics as a package deal. The ventilation on the goggles is pretty low profile, but in winds it did tend to get a bit chilled with no controllable vents. The thick padding still keeps temps livable, but expect to don a balaclava for storm-chasing.
Overall, the helmet system is solid, stylish, and ready for the slopes. For the price, be sure it’s what you want; but with full matte black-out, killer white, and plenty of accent color choices it’s a sharp looking piece of safety gear.