Giro Ledge Review
Cons: Fixed open vents, goggle compatibility
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|Pros||Simple, comfortable, protective||Comfortable, warm, vents well, style points, compatible with most goggles||Comfortable, warm, well vented, great hearing ability, easy to adjust||Protective features, lightweight, adjustable ventilation, versatile||Affordable, adjustable vents, MIPS, adjustable dial|
|Cons||Fixed open vents, goggle compatibility||Pricey||Runs a bit small, heavier than most||Earpads are challenging to remove, dial hard to use with gloves, style||Heavy, larger profile|
|Bottom Line||A protective, rugged helmet offered at a very reasonable price||Deemed best of the best by our testers, there isn't a better combination of performance available from any model we have tested||Revolutionary helmet that takes safety and style to the next level||Equally at home on the skin track as the resort, we reached for this friendly-priced helmet frequently on ski tours||Equipped 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|
|Goggle Compatibility (10%)|
|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|
|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. One of the special features it is available with, however, is MIPS technology. You'll just have to pay extra.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
For the price tag, the Ledge delivers bang for its buck. 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.
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