Winter Helmets

Back in the Fall, I saw Jesse show up for one of the rides with a Bern helmet. I liked the styling, but really got to thinking it would make a fantastic winter helmet. A few weeks later while visiting one of the local shops, I got one for myself.

Snow Commute
The “Watts” from Bern

Getting the helmet in Fall, I was able to try the helmet in a variety of temperatures. With very small vents on the top, the helmet was too hot for my tastes when riding in temperatures that approached 50 degrees and warmer. But when the temperatures really drop, this helmet is superior for keeping you warm.

Regular mountain bike helmets are full of vents, including vents right over your forehead. This channels the cold air, snow, and rain right onto your cranium. The Bern has a little ventilation on top where you need it, but keeps most of the elements out. When accompanied with a head band or skull cap, your head feels toasty. Even on the coldest morning commutes.

The only problem I’ve had with it, is that because of the lack of vents, I’m not able to mount my helmet light on the top. You should also be aware that these helmets are available in two formats, a “hard hat” and a “helmet”. According to Bern’s website, the hard hat version “does not meet the standards for action sport head protection”. I own the hard hat version, and feel comfortable with its protective qualities. You can be your own judge. I’ve seen the Berns in more than one of the local bike shops if you’re interested.

Bonus: The Bern helmet has snaps near the ears for adding optional ear covers, and there is a goggle strap retention hook on the back of the helmet should you want to wear goggles.

Double Bonus: If you get the green one like I did, you can get plenty of “Great Gazoo” comments.

7 thoughts on “Winter Helmets

  1. Another option that’s popular in my cold state is a Giro snowboarding helmet. I know several people who ride with them all winter. They have fewer vents than a bike helmet, they’re insulated, and they have flaps that cover your ears. Same problem with mounting a headlamp, though.

  2. Awesome piece Jeff, I love my Bern Hardhat. I prefer it to my Specialized helmet for sure during these cold months.

    I saw a picture testimonial on the Bern website that featured a girl that had a gnarly crash on her mountain bike and the Hardhat saved her life for sure. The helmet was mangled into pieces (which looks difficult to do) and she walked away with a minor concussion.

    I bought mine at Bicycle Authority with a gift certificate my sister gave me for my birthday. I would recommend one to everybody.

  3. Sweet helmet! I asked Santa to bring me one for Christmas. / This greatly reduces people’s excuses not to wear one. Now, if only a non-hair-mess-up helmet was invented people would have NO excuse to wear one!

  4. My Bern snowboard helmet works pretty well when it’s REALLY cold or when there’s a lot of precipitation. I’ve found that it can get a bit hot for regular riding though, as not enough heat can escape out the top. There’s a lot of foam inside the helmet that acts like a big sponge, and you have to wring it out occasionally when you’re overheating.

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