The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of outdoor gear

Giro Ledge Review

A protective, rugged helmet offered at a very reasonable price.
Giro Ledge
Best Buy Award
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Price:  $60 List | $59.95 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Simple, comfortable, protective
Cons:  Fixed open vents, goggle compatibility
Manufacturer:   Giro
By Sam Piper ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Feb 21, 2018
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66
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#10 of 12
  • Comfort - 25% 8
  • Warmth - 25% 5
  • Ventilation - 20% 6
  • Weight - 10% 6
  • Goggle Compatibility - 10% 7
  • Style - 10% 8

Our Verdict

The Ledge helmet has a minimalist, skater feel and a simple design. Hard shell construction and available MIPS technology (costing $80) make this simple helmet a good deal. The fit adjustment can be tricky to use and cannot be performed while wearing the helmet, which is a bit of a downside — but also a product of this helmet's simplicity. The earpieces can be removed for a style change or warmer days. The vents don't open and close, which our testers found to be a detracting quality on a particularly cold day skiing at Squaw Valley. The goggle interface seemed a little off when used with brands other than Giro. All in all, the Ledge is a basic helmet with a unique style. It covers the bases and keeps money in your wallet, earning our Best for a Tight Budget Award.

If you want to step it up and out with a higher end model, but without spending $200 or more, our other Best Buy winner, the Giro Nine, just feels, looks, and performs a cut above the Ledge while costing $120 with MIPS technology included ($100 without it).


Compare to Similar Products

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Ledge has a solid but simple feel without the bells and whistles of some of the more advanced helmets. One of the special features it is available with, however, is MIPS technology. You'll just have to pay $20 extra.

Performance Comparison


A classic skate look for the Giro Ledge. Seen here are the goggle vents  meant to pull air into and down onto the top of the goggles.
A classic skate look for the Giro Ledge. Seen here are the goggle vents, meant to pull air into and down onto the top of the goggles.

Fit and Comfort


The Ledge proved to be comfortable in different conditions, and our users did not note any hot spots during long ski days. The earpieces were tight enough to provide warmth, but not too tight as to cause pain after long durations. The adjustment system, Giro's Auto Loc 2, was tricky to use, does not have a wide range, and couldn't be adjusted on the fly. Most people don't share helmets, so this shouldn't be a big deal, just set the adjustment and forget it.


And if it's super cold and you want to wear something underneath that adjustment should be easy to do in the lodge. Plus, for a no-frills helmet, the fact that it has any adjustment at all is nice. For a helmet with such a low price point, we found it to be well built and super comfortable. See the Smith Maze for a similar build with a slightly different shape.

Warmth


If you're the type of person that runs a thin beanie or buff under their helmet, you might find the Ledge to be warm enough. For our testers, wearing this helmet with nothing on underneath proved to be a cold endeavor. With vents that are fixed open we could really feel cold air rushing through the helmet on cold days in the Tahoe basin. However, if you live in a warmer climate or like to wear a beanie under your helmet, this will be a great choice. The Giro Nine is significantly warmer with vents you can open or close. If you know you run cold and want a really warm helmet, try the Smith Quantum.


Ventilation


As discussed in our Warmth category, the vents on the Ledge are fixed open, with no option to close. There are eight vents on this helmet and it seemed to vent well on cold days — on a warmer day, however, one of our testers were left desiring more air flow. The Ledge does come with the added feature of removable earpieces, creating a much draftier helmet for warm spring days.


Skiing in the rain left another tester wishing that the vents closed, which made some of our testers lean towards the Giro Nine or Zone. We made the Ledge work on warm days to frigid mornings by switching between wearing it with nothing underneath and wearing it with a thin beanie or buff.

A tight interface with Smith goggles and relatively low profile lines  the Ledge is a good looking helmet.
A tight interface with Smith goggles and relatively low profile lines, the Ledge is a good looking helmet.

Weight


The Ledge is a little rounder than some of the other helmets but it's the shape that gives it its simple, tough, skater feel. Although it's not the sleekest, it definitely isn't the bulkiest helmet we've ever tested. For all its simplicity the Ledge is on the heavier end of our test group, basically tied with the Smith Vantage for weight. For a helmet without many bells and whistles the Ledge comes in pretty heavy. For some, weight is super important and this might be a deal breaker, for others, not.


Goggle Compatibility


Giro goggles fit this helmet virtually seamlessly, but when testing the Ledge with Smith and POC goggles our testers noticed the difference. The interface between the goggle and helmet was tight enough, but it felt like the Smith IO goggle was a bit too big for the space between the bridge of the nose and the brim of the helmet. As with most pieces of equipment, its easy to find a combination that works and just stick with it, especially with how easy it is to change lenses in most goggles these days. In addition, the Ledge comes equipped with a goggle retainer that was simple and effective, although it does not completely latch against the plastic buckle of the goggle strap.


Style


Inspired by the contour of the Giro Combyn, the Ledge boasts of "an understated, classic skate look", and our test group could not disagree. Using simplicity and the right shapes this helmet achieves an understated but tough look. It scored well here.


If you're interested in a similarly-styled helmet, take a look at the POC Fornix. The Ledge is a bit bulkier than the Fornix.

Few vents give the Ledge a simple  tough look.
Few vents give the Ledge a simple, tough look.

Best Applications


With hardshell construction, available MIPS technology, and a simple design, this helmet can be applied anywhere on the mountain, from steeps to the park. The Ledge strikes an amazing balance between price and practicality, so whether you're only out one weekend or a year or logging 100 plus days, the Ledge can work for you.

Value


For the price tag of $60 the Ledge delivers bang for its buck, and wins one of our Best Buy Awards. Quality construction and thoughtful engineering clearly went into the production of the Ledge, and our testers found themselves reaching for it on a lot of days. Giro has been in the game for a long time and this helmet is an awesome, affordable option from a trusted company. This helmet does a lot of things well, is stylish, and with MIPS technology for an extra $20, is equipped with modern protection technology.

Conclusion


The Ledge, true to form, is a top-of-the-line helmet with a simplicity that cuts out the bells and whistles of some of the busier helmets. The price tag, the style, and practicality leave many skiers totally satisfied and psyched with the Ledge. If you're in the market for a rugged, versatile, and affordable helmet, this might be a good choice.


Sam Piper