Gear Review: Bern Macon Carbon Fiber Helmet

A helmet that's tough, but that you can forget you're wearing.


Our top testing criteria for ski helmets is that you can “forget it’s there.” In other words, a helmet shouldn’t be cumbersome, heavy, overly warm, or otherwise draw your attention away from your downhill line. It should also be tough as nails, and the Macon was a unanimous tester favorite for hitting all of these marks. “The polyester knit liner is incredibly comfortable and has a visor to shield sun and prevent the dreaded gap between your helmet and goggles,” he says. “And while it isn’t the lightest helmet out there, you can remove the liner for warm days.” Testers used this brain bucket on backcountry skiing forays, hut trips, mountain biking, and even some early spring paddling. The rigid foam is bonded to the carbon-fiber shell, eliminating gaps and keeping the helmet low-profile. Bern claims the shell is “unbreakable.” No testers endured any severe carnage, and they reported no signs of unusual wear or delamination. Downside? Price. $199; 12.8 oz.; (unisex S-L);