Model: Zone Helmet
Sure, a big crash will destroy your helmet (to protect your brain, which is an OK sacrifice), but most of our lids end up needing replacement from normal wear and tear. Whether we throw them in our trunks or lash them to our packs, they suffer day-to-day abuse—and no one likes spending $200+ on something that he or she has to replace once a season. Which is why we reached (and still reach) for the Zone: Giro’s latest helmet employs a hybrid construction with a lighter, more breathable shell on the sides and a harder shell on top. “Still looks new,” says one tester who used it for a season of guiding in Alaska. Other niceties: an easy-to-finagle-with-gloves-on sizing adjustment dial and MIPS (Multi-Directional Impact Protection System), which allows the helmet to move independently from the head–crucial for high-speed tumbles.