The Ledge is a ski helmet with a minimalist, skater feel and a simple design. Hardshell 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 is a product of this helmet's simplicity. You can remove the earpieces for a style change or warmer days on the mountain. 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. Overall, 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.Editor's Note: The Giro Ledge review was updated on February 25, 2022, with additional information on which helmet we would buy and help to compare products in more detail.
Giro Ledge Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Simple, comfortable, good coverage
Cons: Fixed open vents, goggle compatibility, version we tested doesn't have MIPS tech
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|Pros||Simple, comfortable, good coverage||Comfortable, warm, vents well, style points, compatible with most goggles||Protective features, lightweight, adjustable ventilation, versatile||Low profile, vents can be closed, magnetic buckle, easy to remove ear pads||Affordable, adjustable vents, MIPS, adjustable dial|
|Cons||Fixed open vents, goggle compatibility, version we tested doesn't have MIPS tech||Pricey||Earpads are challenging to remove, dial hard to use with gloves, style||Velcro adhesive is easy to accidentally remove from the MIPS insert||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||Equally at home on the skin track as the resort, we reached for this friendly-priced helmet frequently on ski tours||A helmet that appeals to many riders and has the feature set and price to make it an excellent value||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||Smith Mission MIPS||Pret Cynic X2 MIPS||Giro Ratio MIPS|
|Goggle Compatibility (10%)|
|Specs||Giro Ledge||Smith Vantage MIPS||Smith Mission MIPS||Pret Cynic X2 MIPS||Giro Ratio MIPS|
|Measured Weight (in ounces)||17.0 oz||17.7 oz||16.9 oz||17.2 oz||21.7 oz|
|Adjustment System||Removable Auto Loc 2 Fit System||Boa Fit System||Adjustable Dial Fit System||RCS QR Fit System||In form dial|
|# of Vents?||8||20||18||12||10|
|Number of Sizes||3||3||4||4||4|
|Removable Ear Covers?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Certifications||ASTM F2040-11/CE EN1077||ASTM F 2040, CE EN 1077 Class B||ASTM F 2040, CE EN 1077:2007 CLASS B||ASTM F2040, CE EN1077B06||CE EN 1077|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Ledge has a solid but straightforward 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.
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 so tight that they cause pain after long durations. The adjustment system, Giro's Auto Loc 2, is tricky to use, does not have a wide range, and can'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 a beanie 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 a cold endeavor. With vents fixed open, we could really feel the cold air rushing through the helmet on chilly 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. However, one of our testers was left desiring more airflow on a warmer day. The Ledge comes 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. Variable weather conditions 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. Despite its simplicity, the Ledge is on the heavier end of our test group. The Ledge comes in pretty heavy for a helmet without many bells and whistles. For some, weight is super important, and this might be a deal-breaker; for others, maybe not.
Giro goggles fit this helmet virtually seamlessly, but our testers noticed the difference when testing the Ledge with Smith and POC goggles. 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 helmet's brim. As with most pieces of equipment, it's easy to find a combination that works and 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 is 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.
Should You Buy the Giro Ledge?
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. It might be a good choice if you're in the market for a rugged, versatile, and affordable helmet. However, we suggest that you consider upgrading to the MIPS version if you dig this dome-protector.
What Other Ski Helmets Should You Consider?
For the price tag, the Ledge delivers a decent bang for its buck and is one way to fill out your ski gear without breaking the bank. 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 more to get the MIPS version of the Giro Ledge or another helmet with MIPS or similar protection against rotational forces. The Giro Ratio MIPS has a similar minimalist style and is almost as affordable as the Ledge.
— Sam Piper
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