Bern, the masters of multisport, have always been great at designing helmets that could take you from the board to your bike and then on to the slopes. This winter, Bern decided to specifically address the needs of the skier or snowboarder with the new Kingston and Rollins helmets. I took the Kingston with me to Sweden, for ten days filled with all types of skiing and fat biking.
Bern’s Zip Mold technology uses a liquid polyurethane foam injection process that provides a better weight to strength ratio so Bern can create a lighter, lower profile helmet. Weighing 17.6 ounces, the Kingston helmet fits ergonomically around your head to provide full protection instead of sitting on top of it–no bobbleheads or space aliens here. I was initially intrigued to see how the small brim of the Bern helmet style would work with my POC goggles but I remained happily gaper-gap-free.
The Kingston’s vent closure design utilizes an easy-to-operate Stealth Slider Plus on the top of the helmet that allows you to open and close the six main vents, regulating airflow via three different levels on the fly–no need to remove your helmet. A further two side vents and two rear vents help keep air moving through your helmet at all times and your goggles from fogging up.
I came to appreciate the easy access vent slider during a couple days of fat biking. I have ridden a fat bike in a non-vented ski helmet before and it can get hot quickly. It’s also nice to be able to close the vents during cold alpine starts, then open as the day warms up or you start working hard when skinning or booting.
The full rubber panel and lock at the back of the helmet ensure your goggles don’t slip off. The knit liner is comfortable against your face and for those that like to listen to music as they ride, the liner comes ready for Bluetooth audio-chips.
A note on sizing–be sure to measure your head and check against the Bern size guide. Though I normally wear a S/M in most helmets, I probably could have gotten away with an XS/S in the Kingston. Might have something to do with the Kingston technically being a men’s helmet–Bern uses gender specific designs. A dial on the back of the helmet , however, enables you to make micro-adjustments according to your fit and comfort preference.
Bottom Line: If you are looking for a lightweight, low profile helmet that applies to all your winter sports needs, check out the Kingston.
The Bern Kingston retails for $149.99 and is available now.