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Giro Ledge Review

A protective, rugged helmet offered at a very reasonable price
Giro Ledge
Photo: www.giro.com
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Price:  $70 List | $69.95 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Simple, comfortable, good coverage
Cons:  Fixed open vents, goggle compatibility, version we tested doesn't have MIPS tech
Manufacturer:   Giro
By Sam Piper ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Oct 12, 2021
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58
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#13 of 13
  • Comfort - 25% 7
  • Warmth - 25% 5
  • Ventilation - 20% 4
  • Weight - 10% 6
  • Goggle Compatibility - 10% 7
  • Style - 10% 7

Our Verdict

The Ledge helmet has a minimalist, skater feel and a simple design. Hard shell construction and available MIPS technology (which costs a bit extra) 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 at a low price, but we generally recommend upgrading to the MIPS version of this helmet, which is still priced modestly.

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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Star Rating
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Pros Simple, comfortable, good coverageComfortable, warm, vents well, style points, compatible with most gogglesComfortable, warm, well vented, great hearing ability, easy to adjustProtective features, lightweight, adjustable ventilation, versatileAffordable, adjustable vents, MIPS, adjustable dial
Cons Fixed open vents, goggle compatibility, version we tested doesn't have MIPS techPriceyRuns a bit small, heavier than mostEarpads are challenging to remove, dial hard to use with gloves, styleHeavy, larger profile
Bottom Line A protective, rugged helmet offered at a very reasonable priceDeemed best of the best by our testers, there isn't a better combination of performance available from any model we have testedRevolutionary helmet that takes safety and style to the next levelEqually at home on the skin track as the resort, we reached for this friendly-priced helmet frequently on ski toursEquipped with MIPS, adjustable vents, and an adjustable dial, this model has high-end features and strong performance at a stellar price
Rating Categories Giro Ledge Smith Vantage MIPS Scott Symbol 2 Plus D Smith Mission MIPS Giro Ratio MIPS
Comfort (25%)
7.0
9.0
9.0
8.0
7.0
Warmth (25%)
5.0
8.0
8.0
7.0
7.0
Ventilation (20%)
4.0
9.0
9.0
7.0
7.0
Weight (10%)
6.0
6.0
5.0
7.0
4.0
Goggle Compatibility (10%)
7.0
9.0
8.0
8.0
7.0
Style (10%)
7.0
9.0
8.0
7.0
7.0
Specs Giro Ledge Smith Vantage MIPS Scott Symbol 2 Plus D Smith Mission MIPS Giro Ratio MIPS
Measured Weight (in ounces) 17.0 oz 17.7 oz 19.8 oz 16.9 oz 21.7 oz
Adjustment System Removable Auto Loc 2 Fit System Boa Fit System RAS 2 system Adjustable Dial Fit System In form dial
# of Vents? 8 20 44 18 10
Number of Sizes 3 3 3 4 4
Removable Ear Covers? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Goggle Attachment? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Visor? No No No No No
Audio Compatibility? Yes Yes No No Yes
Certifications ASTM F2040-11/CE EN1077 ASTM F 2040, CE EN 1077 Class B EN1077:2007, Class B, EN12492:2012 ASTM F 2040, CE EN 1077:2007 CLASS B CE EN 1077

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. We tested the version without MIPS, but we recommend you consider getting it with MIPS technology.

Performance Comparison


A classic skate look for the Giro Ledge. Seen here are the goggle...
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.


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. This made some of our testers lean towards the other helmets with adjustable vents. 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...
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. 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


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.


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

Value


For the price tag, the Ledge delivers decent bang for its buck. Quality construction and thoughtful engineering clearly went into the production of the Ledge. Giro has been in the game for a long time and this helmet is an awesome, affordable option from a trusted company. That said, we now strongly prefer the added protection of slip-plane technology (e.g., MIPS) in ski helmets. We recommend spending a little bit more to get the MIPS version of the Giro Ledge, or another helmet with MIPS or similar protection against rotational forces.

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. Again, though, consider upgrading to the MIPS version if you dig this dome-protector.

Sam Piper