Head Diameter: 58.5cm
Size: L-XL (57-60.5cm)
Weight: 571 g / 20.1 oz
- EPS foam is a lightweight, one-time use foam that evenly distributes force and gives its life to save yours in the event of a high-impact crash
- Ultra-thin ABS shell is lightweight and low-profile
- Sink Fit provides a deep fit for full coverage and a low profile
- Goggle clip in back holds your eyewear in place
- Knit liner is removable for washing or summer skating
Test Locations: Alta Ski Area, Snowbird, Stevens Pass, Mt. Baker, Whistler
Test Duration: 40 days
Bern snow helmets are built with EPS foam with an ABS outer shell, which means there are two distinct layers in the helmet: the hard ~3mm thick ABS exterior layer and the softer EPS padding layer. These layers are molded separately and then glued together. I have seen these layers delaminate from one another in some cheaper helmets. But I’ve mistreated the Bern by letting it roll around in the back of my truck for a month, and this has not created any issue, aside from some very mild scratching to the paint job.
Bern’s construction is in contrast to helmets such as the Smith Maze, which are co-molded. That is, a single layer of soft padding foam is molded at the same time to a very thin ~0.1-0.2mm plastic sheet, which prevents damage to the protective layer.
The benefit of the co-molded approach is that the helmets turn out to be much lighter (373 grams for the Maze vs. 572 grams for the Bern), but they are markedly less durable over time. My Smith Maze helmet was left in the back of my truck for two weeks, and is showing numerous dents and divots to the shell, meaning that the soft padding foam is being compressed, and the safety of the helmet is compromised.
Fit / Sizing
I’ve found that most helmet brands tend to fit similarly through their entire range, and having tried a few Bern helmets, I find that to be the case here. But I also have a relatively oval shaped head—my head is longer than it is wide—so some brands (POC, Giro) are notably more round on my head. They can feel both too short and too wide in the same size between brands.
The Bern Baker, on the other hand, fit my head very nicely and was true to size. I found its shape to be quite similar to the Smith Maze and Holt helmets.
The Baker doesn’t have a bunch of micro-adjustments, so getting the correct size and a good out-of-the-box fit is important. But I personally don’t look for a lot of adjustment features, since in my experience, they often break.
There is a small strap at the base of the skull to cinch things down a bit, and the included additional pads make it very easy to dial in the fit further. But in my case, the helmet fit me so well straight out of the box that I didn’t need to do a thing other than adjust the chinstrap.
One additional note on the fit is that the Baker model I tested has removable ear flaps, but to remove the ear flaps, you have to remove the entire interior padding of the helmet. This is nice, in that you can easily wash the liner (more on that in a second), but it also means if it’s a warm spring day and you want a little more breeze, you can’t just pull out the ear flaps and stick them in your jacket, you have to pull out the whole liner, which means slapping a beanie inside your lid or finding some other way to take up some of the space.
Bern helmets were the first to feature baseball cap brim style on snow, made popular thanks to Seth Westcott in the 2006 Olympics.
Bern’s “sink-fit” gives the helmet a bit of a different look as well. Designed to be low profile and sit lower on the head while still providing full coverage, it doesn’t make you look like a bobble head doll.
I was specifically looking for the loudest paint job helmet Bern had, and they didn’t disappoint. Neon yellow and black and baby blue totally work together if you are cool (like me), but if you are lame (like Jonathan), you can choose from one of six other color combinations.