The OSBE Bellagio ski helmet looks fast from the moment you take it out of the box. The Italian-made sleek shell has the shiny multi-faceted look of ultra-lightweight carbon, but it’s actually made with a high performance thermoplastic resin. It’s certified to the industry’s highest standards, offering full coverage over your ears and survives multiple impacts. But what sets the Bellagio apart from most other helmets on the market is the built-in mirrored visor — no need for goggles or straps. The visor locks into the helmet and forms a tight seal, acting just like a pair of goggles. (Imagine what a storm trooper might look like if they were in a Bond movie and skiing in the Italian Alps.)
Once we put the helmet on and actually went skiing, the entire system worked surprisingly well. You can’t change lenses with the visor, but the enhanced peripheral vision was definitely noticeable because there’s not a frame around the lens. The Direct Air Flux system, which are just vents built into the helmet, kept us warm on cold days, but it also helped regulate the temperature when we were skiing, so it never got too hot. Although, there were times when the airflow created a weird noise within the helmet, kind of like when kids put a baseball card in their bike’s spokes to hear how fast they’re going.
When the visor is pulled up, it locks in place, so if you want to wear sunglasses or put it up on the chairlift, it won’t move around or fall off. And while the Bellagio is a reliable helmet that makes it possible for you to ski without worrying about your goggles getting in the way, it’s still a bit over-designed for the skier who just wants to shred powder on the weekend. [$349; osbeusa.com]