Skiing and snowboarding can be expensive sports purely due to the amount of accessories you need – gloves, ski socks, thermal layers, mid layers… and that’s before you even get to choosing a helmet and goggles.

Technically, if you want to go without a helmet and goggles, you can probably get by with wearing a beanie and a pair of sunglasses on the slopes.

But if you want to be warm, safe, keep your eyes protected and be able to see all the lumps and bumps in the snow – you’ll want to invest in a helmet and a pair of goggles that suit you best. It might take a bit of time and money to get your mittens on the right ones, but once you find your favourites, you’ll hesitate to ever let them go again. 

Convinced? Here are a few points to consider when shopping for each of the above:

The helmet

There’s really only one major thing to consider when it comes to a helmet, and that’s the fit.

A too-big helmet will slide around too much on your head and not be effective in the event of a fall; and a helmet that’s too small will be really uncomfortable to wear for long periods of time.

The best option is to try on a few helmets until you find one that’s snug without being tight. From there, you can opt for additional features, like choosing a helmet with plenty of vents, or one that connects to your phone to play music through in-built speakers.

If you already own a pair of ski goggles, it’s a good idea to try them on with your helmet to ensure that the two are a perfect fit; there’s nothing worse than a ‘gaper gap’ (a gap between your helmet and goggles, which  immediately identifies you as a bit of a newbie on the slopes).

Hoping to re-use your bike helmet on the slopes? Unfortunately the two aren’t all that compatible - you won’t have the right warmth or the all-important ear flaps to keep you warm. However, those new to helmets will be pleasantly surprised that they’re often much warmer than wearing just a beanie. 

Just be sure to replace your helmet if you do happen to have a big fall and hit your head – the inner liner can get compressed, making them unlikely to help you in the occasion of your next fall. And avoid purchasing second-hand helmets, just because you don’t know whether they’ve had a significant fall or not.

The good news is that while helmets don’t make you invincible, they do go a long way in protecting your precious noggin’ from rocks, ice and even other people. 

The goggles

Looking for style points on the slopes? You can branch out a little with a goggles purchase; there are so many fun straps and frames on the market at the moment, with endless options available to look ‘steezy’ on the slopes. 

Start by finding the right size frame for your face, although you can go for more of an ‘oversized’ look if that’s your preference, as long as the goggle still fits the sides of your face well and doesn’t completely swamp your nose (which makes it, you know, a little tough to breathe).

There are a few options for lenses, and it’s ideal to get a pair of goggles that allow you to switch lenses. Although you’ll pay more initially, you’ll also have way more versatility, and you can keep the alternative lens in your jacket pocket in case the weather suddenly changes. Plus, if your lenses get scratched up, you don’t have to replace the entire goggle.

For those low-light, overcast days, opt for a pink or orange lens; for those really sunny days where there’s a lot of glare on the snow, get a blue or darker tinted lens. If you’re looking for all-round versatility, yellow lenses are decent for both snowy and sunny conditions while increasing your depth perception. Some manufacturers are now even offering transitional lenses, much like the technology in transitional glasses, which saves you from having to switch the lens over. 

As for the dreaded lens fog? We have a solution for that. Avoid ever touching the inside of your lens; just shake out any snow if it happens to get in there, and let them air-dry. Most lenses have an anti-fog surface incorporated and this will damage them. Also, don’t put them up on your forehead if you’re just wearing a beanie – but you can happily pop them up on your helmet if need be.

Still looking for guidance? Drop into For Outdoors to find the perfect helmet and goggles for you; or arrange for the team to get you fitted at the FOD showroom in Bukit Timah.