One brand that often gets overlooked when it comes to snowboard gear is Giro. Their Ledge Snow Helmet offers one of the best all-year performances for the money and is an excellent addition to any beginner’s gear list. It has a simple nature that caters to the more budget-oriented folk and stacks well with most types of goggles out there. In this review, we will go over all of its features, see how it compares to other similarly priced helmets, and learn more about its strong and weak sides.
To learn more about snowboard helmets and get some help on picking the right one for you, visit my full Buyer’s Guide on the topic! Now, let’s get on with the features of the Ledge Helmet!
Overview & Features
The design of this helmet is a half-shell one, meaning the ear pads aren’t a solid part of the helmet but are rather soft and are also removable. At the back of the helmet, you also have a goggle retainer that is also removable. It is larger than usual retainers making it easy to use with most wide-band goggles. Other than that, the helmet itself features a very traditional shape that is well-vented and provides a good cover and protection for your head.
Materials & Durability
Giro helmets are known for using proper materials in their newer models and even the cheap versions like the Ledge benefit from this improvement. The helmet itself has a durable hard shell on the inside that is molded and attached to the EPS foam liner on the insider. The liner itself isn’t removable but there is a system of straps and elastic fit bands around the inside of the helmet that make the Auto-Loc 2 Fit system work flawlessly. When you put the helmet on your head, the bands and fixed straps will cradle your head and will also allow you to adjust the fit between three different tightness levels. There is also a way to vertically adjust the helmet’s fit which allows for on-the-fly adjustments. The chin strap is also very comfortable to use and holds the helmet in place without allowing for a ton of movements.
In terms of durability, this helmet falls somewhere in-between most budget snowboard helmets. By having removable ear pads, it can also be used as an all-season helmet, where its durability really outshines most summer sports helmets.
Unlike some more expensive helmets, the Giro Ledge snowboard helmet doesn’t have active ventilation but rather uses 6 passive holes that take the hot air and push it through the top and back vents while intaking cool air from the front vents. That ventilation system works great in mildly cold snowboard runs but tends to struggle with sub-zero temperatures. What is great about it, though, is that it is also good for mountain biking and warmer winter runs.
The ventilation is further complemented by the seamless connection between the helmet and most goggles out there. This is especially true if you choose Giro snowboard goggles that take full advantage of the Seamless compatibility Vent technology and provide a fog and stress-free function for both the goggles and the helmet’s ventilation system.
In terms of insulation, the Giro ledge struggles against its competitors. While it provides good protection and decent ventilation, the insulation here isn’t great especially for very cold winter days. Still, most all-season helmets struggle in this department thanks to their large vents and thinner insulation foam.
Shock absorption is another field where the Ledge falls behind. That is mainly due to the passive absorption system and the lack of MIPS. If you really want to have the MIPS system, there are Ledge versions that offer MIPS as an option but those are typically more expensive and not such a great value for your money. If you want to go for a Giro helmet with MIPS, I suggest checking out the Giro Neo MIPS helmet.
Fit & Adjustability
As I mentioned, the Auto loc 2 Fit system here really makes the fit here superb. Even if there are 4 sizes to pick from, that system takes care of different head circumferences within the same outer shell size. That makes the helmet especially fitting for younger kids that are still growing and want to keep adjusting their helmet to different head sizes. The inner system of bands and straps can be adjusted both horizontally and vertically, combined with the chin strap’s adjustments. The fit is as expected but Giro has made sure to supply a chart with their four sizes (S, M, L, XL) and the different head circumferences that work for those. Their lowest S size is good for heads with 52-55 inches in circumference, while the XL is good for heads between 62 and 65 inches.
Without any weight-saving in mind, Giro has really let the Ledge be one of their heaviest helmets, even though it is also meant to be used during all four seasons. Without the ear pads its slightly lighter but still heavier than most other cheap helmets out there. While some people prefer a heavier helmet that will protect them better in the case of a direct impact, others prefer to not have to carry all that extra weight on their heads all day.
Additional Features and accessories
There aren’t any additional accessories that you are getting with this helmet which is a shame but you also have to consider the price point which is quite low already. At this price, not a lot of helmets come with accessories like carrying bags or other items. The only additional features here that I’ve already mentioned are the removable ear pads and the padded chin strap which are good to have no matter the price. It also comes in 10 different color options you can choose from. Now, let’s sum up the pros and cons of this helmet…
Advantages & Disadvantages
- Great for beginners
- Good value for your money
- Compatible with other Giro accessories
- removable goggles retainer
- Decent ventilation
- Doesn’t allow goggles to fog up often
- No MIPS
- No adjustable ventilation
- The ear pads aren’t great
Giro Ledge Snow Helmet vs POC Obex Spin Snowboard Helmet
The POC Obex spin snowboard helmet is a premium alternative to the Giro Ledge for anyone looking to spend a few extra bucks for a superior product. It does everything the Ledge does but only better. It has better construction, MIPS protection system, hard-shell construction for the helmet and the ear pads, better adjustability, and most importantly – superior ventilation. The fit and comfort of the POC helmet is also much more superior and provides a better fit no matter your size. Both helmets are similar in terms of sizes and weight, even though the POC is slightly heavier due to thicker padding and shell. In terms of styling, the Giro Ledge comes in 10 color options, while the POC Obex comes in 12 color schemes and the same 4 size options.
Conclusion & Rating
As a whole, the Giro Ledge snowboard helmet does have its downsides but it is still one of the best budget snowboard helmets out there. It provides a good amount of protection and ventilation for beginners to enjoy their first snowboard rides. What it lacks in terms of insulation during colder winter runs, it more than makes up in comfort, fit, and adjustability. With its 10 colorful styling options, you can also choose the one that will fit you the best. Overall, I gave it a four and a half out of five stars rating.