The Nine is a basic helmet that delivers excellent protection and a trimmed-down look without any extra features noted in more expensive models.
- Where to buy: Amazon, EVO, REI
- Best for: Both new and experienced skiers who need reliable protection that doesn’t come at a high cost.
- Pros: This helmet has a great price-to-features ratio, which makes it good for those on a budget. It’s also versatile and works in many different conditions. The MIPS technology is nice and the fit is one of the most comfortable around. It’s lightweight too.
- Cons: The minimalist look and design might not be enough for some. Skiers who enjoy advanced items will want more features. The ventilation could also be better.
- Alternatives: Giro Union, Smith Optics Mission, OutdoorMaster Kelvin
Why Trust Me
I’ve been hitting the slopes since I was a kid. I enjoy getting out in the snow and have hands-on experience with a wide range of different skiing items. I spent ample time researching this helmet, seeing how it performed, and analyzing all of its key characteristics.
The Giro Nine is a sleek helmet that does exactly what it sets out to do. The strong construction ensures you’ll stay safe no matter what happens on the slopes, and that’s then backed by the excellent MIPS technology that lowers your chance of serious injury. There aren’t a lot of extra features here, and some people might not like the lack of innovation, but it’s a comfortable, well-made helmet at an affordable price.
Weight and Durability
The Giro Nine is a strong, sturdy helmet. The MIPS technology really does go the extra mile to keep you safe, and the external material can take a hard impact without breaking or wearing down. When looking at a helmet, safety is always my number one concern. You don’t want to get an item that will only stick around for a season or two.
I find that a lot of today’s ski helmets don’t need to give you extra weight to enhance durability. The Nine is one such option. It weighs in at 15.4 ounces. That’s not the lightest model you can buy, but it’s definitely a lot lighter than similar options. That likely won’t matter one way or another to resort skiers, but backcountry riders will certainly appreciate the ability to trek with less weight.
Extremely Comfortable and Plenty Warm
This helmet is also extremely comfortable. I love brands that go the extra mile to give you a good fit, and Giro definitely does that. The Nine feels good all the way through. The in-form fit system is a huge plus, giving you excellent adjustability to round out any sizing issues you might have.
The Nine sits snugly on your head without being too tight. In addition, it comes with soft earpads that give you extra insulation and a better overall feel. They are small, but go a long way towards keeping you comfortable as you ride.
All of those features create a generous amount of warmth. This helmet is definitely not the coziest on the market, but it goes a long way towards ensuring you don’t get too chilly if conditions get bad. There’s a decent amount of versatility with that. You can either put the earpads in or take them out, and you have the ability to seal off the vents if you so choose.
As reliable as the Nine is when it comes to durability, its ventilation doesn’t hit the same level. There’s nothing inherently wrong with the vents, but they don’t go the extra mile either. You get 12 in total, and they do a good job of providing ample air flow. It’s not as much ventilation as other systems, but it’s more than enough to ensure you don’t sweat too much when you’re pushing hard.
The issue is that the vents aren’t the best on warmer days. You’re definitely going to see some extra moisture if you like to ski into late winter or early spring. There is a slider, however, that can seal off ten vents if things get too cold out. It’s not the cleanest system, but it works in a pinch.
Compatibility and Style
Something else I enjoy about the Nine is its style. They might not shake up the world, but the minimalist look is something I greatly appreciate. It feels like the quintessential helmet in terms of design, which is by no means a bad thing. Not everyone will agree with that, but the classic appearance is nice to have when you want something a little more distinguished.
The helmet also does well with goggle integration. The clip keeps your goggle strap in place and there are grooves on the sides to ensure your eyewear stays at the right level. You don’t get a brim, but there is a ledge that your goggles can sit against. It also has two vents that match up with the top of your goggles to generate air flow and cut down on fog.
Price and Value
The price is one of the highest selling points of the Giro Nine, which is why it has stellar value. As mentioned, the helmet is both cheap and reliable. Its solid construction ensures it’s a good investment that will last for years. Even without any extra bells and whistles, you’re getting a strong item that delivers on multiple levels. It holds its own and won’t let you down. That’s more than enough for me.
What I Like
Though some people may not like the Nine’s no-nonsense approach, it’s something I greatly enjoy. There’s something to be said about a strong, simple helmet that does its job. You don’t get a wide range of extra characteristics, but you don’t need them. This is a good-value helmet that keeps you safe no matter how or where you ride.
Complementing the cut-down design is the Nine’s fit and feel. It’s a comfortable helmet that sits well on your head. I really like the in-form fit system. It gives you more choices and enables you to make sure the helmet feels just right. There’s a lot of warmth here, and the fully removable earpads are a nice touch.
What I Dislike
My biggest gripe with this helmet is the ventilation system. Twelve vents are more than enough to get a cross breeze, but they don’t give you the options or the cooling power noted in other systems. You’re definitely going to feel extra heat during the warmer parts of the year. Even if the slider is nice, I wish it was more versatile.
The Nine, while solid, may be a bit too basic for some. If you want a sturdy helmet that delivers more traits at a similar price point, these are worth checking out:
- Giro Union – If you want a helmet that’s similar to the Nine but has different features, the Union is a good way to go. It also has MIPS technology alongside good goggle compatibility and ventilation. It’s comfortable thanks to the light weight, snug fit, and special foam lining. There are a range of different color options too.
- Smith Optics Mission – Study, soft, and strong, the Smith Optics Mission is another MIPS helmet specially designed to protect you in the event of an accident or fall. This runs a bit more than the Nine, but you do get a lot for the raised price. It has an eye-catching look, solid ventilation, and a comfortable interior.
- OutdoorMaster Kelvin – Those who have a lower budget but don’t want to sacrifice quality will greatly enjoy the Kelvin. This helmet comes from a reliable brand. As such, it has a sturdy construction and durable interior that will keep you protected on any run. The 14 vents also offer plenty of extra air flow, even if they are fixed.
Does this helmet have removable earpads?
Yes. You can easily pull out the earpads if you need less room.
How much does this helmet weigh?
It comes in at around one pound.
Should I size up or down?
When getting the Giro Nine, you should always size up if you’re in between sizes. That’s because it easily adjusts down if it ends up being slightly too big.
Does this helmet come with a cinch bag?
No. There’s no bag included with the purchase.
The Giro Nine MIPS is not going to rock anyone’s world. It’s a basic helmet with a minimalist design that cuts down on premium features in order to sit at a lower price. Even so, there’s a lot to like about the item. It’s comfortable, has a good adjustment system, and is reliable no matter what accident might come your way.
The Nine is great for many different slopes, which means it will be appreciated by new and advanced skiers alike. The MIPS technology gives you peace of mind, and the soft fit feels great. The ventilation system could be better, but that’s one complaint with what is otherwise a solid budget helmet.