In the world of big mountain skiing, Bern is far from the most recognized brand. It might be because the first helmet they came out with was simply a hard hat that most gnarly skiers simply laughed at. Or it might be because they place way more focus on the "freestyle" aspect of action sports. Despite the reasoning, Bern definitely doesn't have the same level of respect as some other companies like Giro or RED. Don't be too quick to write them off though… there's a good chance Bern actually has a helmet that exceeds your standards, and is more comfortable than your current helmet.
Bern is a pretty new manufacturer in the helmet market, but their attention to innovation across all sports has instantly begun to take hold. Their best creation thus far is offering helmets that can be used for any action sport, no matter what the season. For example, their Macon helmet works well in the water in the summer, as well as big mountain skiing (or snuffing) in the Winter. All you need to do is to switch out the liner in the helmet. This is especially sick for big mountain skiers, as you guys are the kinds of people who don't lay off in the summer. Instead you're out there kayaking, biking, rock climbing, or finding some other way to stay gnarly.
In addition to the diverse compatibility of the helmets, Bern has also reexamined the way that a helmet fits. In total, there are 3 styles of helmets in multiple unique models developed from the EPS, the Hard Hat with Brock foam, and the Zip Mold. The Zip Mold helmets rely on being light. In this type of helmet, you can choose from the Brentwood or Berkeley helmets. To help maintain a light weight, these helmets feature a a light weight shell, which receives higher energy on impact than most helmets. These helmets will crack and deform when it's hit really hard. To most people, this seems like a stupid idea. You guys all know though, that when your helmet shatters, it's because all of that energy from the impact transfers to the shell of the helmet rather than your brain. So really, this is a safety feature that Bern included to keep even the craziest skiers safe. In my opinion, for big mountain slaying, a Bern helmet that utilizes the Zip Mold is the best for big mountain skiers, due to its light weight and extreme protection.
If you're not digging the Zip Mold, then maybe you could check out the EPS fit. EPS is short for Expanded Polystyrene. All this is, is a scientific phrase suggesting "really high impact foam." This is definitely a huge step up from Bern's original Hard Hat that undoubtedly had some of you questioning the brand as a whole. Other than protection, one of the pluses of the EPS fit, is that the high quality foam allows the helmet to use a thinner shell. The end product is a light helmet, and also, increased comfort. The EPS style can be found in just about every model, including the Muse, Watts, Brighton, Lenox. All of these helmets features light weight, and unbeatable safety. The EPS would also be a great match for a big mountain skier who prefers a slightly different style than the Zip Mold.
And then finally, there's Bern's Hard Hat style. The Hard Hats come with Brock foam, which uses a lower density and permits air to travel through the foam, making a super breathable and comfortable helmet. In addition to the Brock foam, they bring in a thicker, ABS shell on the Hard Hats, giving you a little extra safety. As you guys know though, despite the fact that Brock Foam is extra comfortable and gives a certain level of protection, it doesn't meet the same safety levels as Bern's other offerings. While the Hard Hat wouldn't be my top recommendation for big mountain rippers, it is an option that I could see being useful to the right skier, who prefers to hike for their lines and wants a helmet that will allow their head to stay cool on the hike up. The Hard Hat style also has the most choices, and is manufactured in the Watts, Baker, Muse, Brighton, and Macon models.
So as you can see, Bern has come a long way from their Hard Hat days. The brand now offers a full range of helmets, in several different styles and fits. While you may have had Bern written off as a pseudo helmet manufacturer, I would say it's worth taking another look at them. They've really stepped up their game with some new technologies and ideas that really set their helmets a part from the competition. I mean, what other company sells a helmet that can be used for whatever sport you participate in? If you're the type of person who's tired of buying different helmets for all of your sports, then looking at Bern is a no brainer (Ha… Ha… bad joke).
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Thanks for reading, and take care guys! if you have any questions about Bern Helmets or other skiing equipment, feel free to shoot me a message!