I started wearing a helmet skiing over a decade ago, and good thing too. The very next season, casually picking my way down a shredded and deserted powder field, a young snowboarder crashed into me from behind. His board struck my helmet and the impact left my head aching for hours. It was long past time to retire that first battle-scarred helmet this season.

I upgraded to a Sweet Protection Switcher with MIPS (multi-directional impact protection system) that reduces rotational forces on the brain upon impact. The Switcher is strong, light, and super comfortable. And it comes with well-designed features that my bargain basement brain bucket of old never had, my favorite of which is a magnetic chin buckle that secures and clicks like magic, even with gloves on. Other favorite features include easy adjustable vents and a removable/washable liner so that you can keep your helmet from smelling like the ski school lost and found box by the end of the season.

The Switcher is also set up for zipped-in Audio Chips (sold separately), although I prefer to keep my ears on alert for approaching snowboarders. MSRP: $269.95 Sweetprotection.com

Sweet Protection Switcher snowsports helmet