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Giro Zone MIPS Review

A top shelf helmet with all the bells and whistles.
Giro Zone MIPS
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Price:  $200 List | $79.98 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Comfortable, adjustable, well-vented
Cons:  A little drafty, expensive
Manufacturer:   Giro
By Sam Piper ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Feb 10, 2017
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#4 of 11
  • Comfort - 25% 8
  • Warmth - 25% 6
  • Ventilation - 20% 8
  • Weight - 10% 8
  • Goggle Compatibility - 10% 9
  • Style - 10% 8

The Skinny

With hybrid construction, MIPS technology, a sleek look, and a size adjustment system, this helmet is a contender for one of the nicest injection molded helmets on the market. The Zone is well-constructed and fit really well. The goggle interface worked well with no gap noted, even with Smith goggles. The Zone has a couple accessories too, an optional audio package (not included) and a built in POV camera mount, if you're in to that type of thing. Although not cheap, you'll get what you paid for: a well built helmet with all the bells and whistles.

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Our Analysis and Test Results

Hands-On Review

The Giro Zone is a solid, comfortable, and obviously well-built helmet with a multitude of features, making it one of the nicest helmets we tested.

Trim lines and clean build  the Zone is tight.
Trim lines and clean build, the Zone is tight.

Fit and Comfort

The Zone fit a variety of head shapes during our tests thanks to its Vertical Tuning adjustment system. It was noted that the adjustment wheel was not the easiest to adjust, but once set it stayed where we wanted it and did not require any further maintenance. Giro makes their helmets to fit longer, more oval-shaped heads, but this helmet fit really well on heads that also fit into Smith helmets. The ear pieces struck a nice balance of warmth and comfort, and did not provide too much pressure during a long day of skiing. For those desiring a similar style in a rounder fit, we recommend checking the Smith Variance or our Editor's Choice, the Smith Vantage.

Weight and Bulk

With a low profile look and hybrid construction of a hard shell upper with an in-molded lower shell, the Zone provides a nice shape without being bulky or overbuilt. At 15oz, it was one of the lightest helmets we tested (the only substantially lighter model was the Smith Maze), an impressive feat for a helmet with this much going on.


While not the warmest helmet we tested, it was certainly not the coldest either. The Zone has adjustable vents on top of the helmet coupled with Super Cool Vents on the sides that remain open. On a cold day in the Tahoe basin our tester could feel air rushing through the helmet, leaving them wishing they could close the side vents. However, if you run hot and tend to sweat, this helmet has an antimicrobial liner that will keep it fresh. The Smith Variance and Smith Vantage helmets have systems that allow one to close all the vents, making them a bit warmer in theory.


While a little on the drafty side during a cold day, due to the side vents being fixed open, the Zone performed and vented well during warm weather. With the top vents open the helmet created good air flow and kept the heads of our testers cool while skiing and side stepping to further-out terrain. If you're looking for a helmet where all the vents open/close, the Smith Variance is a good option. The Smith Vantage is the only helmet that vented better than the Zone.

Goggle Compatibility

Buying a helmet and goggles from a company that makes both products is an obvious way to ensure a perfect interface between the two, but for a lot of people this isn't realistic. We tested the Zone with both POC and Smith goggles and found this helmet to perform well with both. Very little, if any, air flow was noted between the goggle and helmet, which is a great feature to consider when buying a new helmet. The Zone has a simple elastic hook closure to keep the goggles on the back of the helmet, which was easy to operate and worked really well.

The vents seen here stay open  its only the vents on top of the helmet that you can open and close.
The vents seen here stay open, its only the vents on top of the helmet that you can open and close.


Smooth and sleek, the Zone has a fast look that isn't bulky or too big to fit under a hood.

Best Applications

The Zone is one of the more expensive helmets we tested and thus may be purchased more often by die-hard skiers who are skiing more days than not.


Although at the upper end of the price range, this helmet offers all the specialty features one would expect in a top-tier lid. It's well built, feels solid, and seems like it will last for years.


This helmet is one of the nicest we tested and we got great feedback and reviews from our testers. If it fits your head and you can afford the price point, it's unlikely that you'll be dissapointed

Sam Piper