RIDE AND TESTED
Ticks for style and performance for OutdoorMaster's Kelvin helmet and Pro XM goggles, as you would expect from the official supplier to the US Ski Team...
KELVIN SKI HELMET
It's always been easy to recognise me in Serre Chevalier skiing in resort, by my silver grey ski helmet with a fading La Grave sticker on the side and a dent of two including one from when I stuck a mount on the top in the early days of GoPros before immediately ripping it off as a style abomination.
So the offer from OutdoorMaster to test their Kelvin ski helmet was timely. However much I love that old brain bucket, I've worn it for years and wouldn't trust its efficiency after so much wear and tear. But I am notoriously choosy when it comes to gear (hence why I haven't found a worthy replacement helmet) so my concern was that, having chosen the helmet and goggles from their website, would they live up to expectations, which are pretty high as OutdoorMaster are now the official supplier to the US Ski Team of goggles and helmets.
Of course, I chose a silver grey Kelvin ski helmet from over a dozen colours that they offer, as there's only so much change I can take with my ski gear. I also ordered a medium (52-58cms), which fitted perfectly but there is a dial system inside the rim to make it smaller if necessary.
The first thing I noticed is that it has similar air vents to my old one but the casing is slightly larger as most helmets are, these days. What I liked, though, is its streamlined profile, which I much prefer to the more bowling ball style helmets .
The biggest difference from my old faithful is inside. The Kelvin has a black inner fleece lining and earpads, which seem superlux compared to the rather moth-eaten helmet interior I've been used to. It's like fleece -lined slippers but for your head.
I haven't had to put it to the impact test - and hope I never will - but I'm assured by the specification blurb hat it has reinforced ABS shell and shock-absorbing EPS core.
Best accolade I can give the Kelvin ski helmet is to say that my old one can now be upcycled into a fruit bowl.
PRO XM SKI GOGGLES
First and foremost it makes a lot of sense to buy helmet and goggles at the same time and from the same brand as, this way, you know you won't have a twat gap between helmet rim and top of goggles. What's wrong with a twat gap? For one thing, a twat tan.
So the Pro XM ski goggles are always going to fit snuggly under the Kelvin ski helmet. Tick, number one.
Tick two, they have the wide frameless design that gives maximum vision. Tick three, they have anti-fog coating to combat natural condensation build-up. As someone who learnt the hard way that ski touring up with goggles on your beanie can result in a completely fogged up descent, this is a big bonus (although, obvs, keeping your goggles in a backpack for the climb is still advisable).
As well as 100 percent UV400 protection, they have anti-scratching lenses, a distinct advantage for when riding down through Japanese trees with those low face-swiping branches.
With the use of the quick release magnetic frame design, lens change is quick and easy (unlike many other goggles). There are currently 20+ different lens variants from OutdoorMaster, aimed at offering exceptional clarity during different environmental changes. Personally, this is 18 more than I need - just high and low vis works for me. There is a photochromic XM replacement lens available, which I would ideally choose instead of having the faff of changing.
And what gets a big fat tick is the pricing. The Kelvin Ski Helmet is currently $45 and the Pro XM Ski Goggle, $60.98. They look - and perform - like gear that is three times the price. Plus OutdoorMaster offers free shipping on all their products worldwide (delivery times vary).
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