It was time to replace my snowboarding helmet – after trying a few on and considering different options I ended up with the Bern Baker. Here’s the review…
First: you’ve got to try it on!
To find a helmet that’s a good fit for you, there’s a good chance that you’re going to have to try a few on first. Different sizes, different models or different brands.
They all fit a little bit differently. Even if two different helmets are the same size with regards to the circumference measurement, they may feel totally different on your head.
Trying-on is most convenient in a shop; it’s just quicker and easier. That doesn’t mean you can’t buy a helmet online, just be aware that the size isn’t necessarily going to fit. You might have to send it back for a different size. Maybe order a couple of models and send back the one you don’t want?
For example, I tried on the RED Mutiny in both a small and medium, both were close to being ok but the medium was better. I tried one of the Protec helmets on, medium, and it felt like putting a square peg in a round hole. Not my shape. The Bern Baker in a medium just happened to be a perfect fit, for me…
A note about sizes
A quick note about sizes that may help when choosing helmets to try on:
- Bern medium = 55.5 – 57cm
- RED small = 55 – 57cm
- RED medium = 57 – 59cm
I was in between sizes for the RED helmet, it just so happened that the Bern size scale has a slightly-smaller medium. Check out the size charts, they can help.
Bern Baker: comfort and style
The Baker has a great, one piece liner that covers the inside of the helmet. For the most internal part they’ve added a thin, soft material liner that sits between your hair and the foam. It’s a nice touch; comfortable.
The thicker part of the liner that sits around the circumference/rim of the helmet is also comfortable; thicker, soft padding. Plus, the way the knit drops below the visor looks good.
The ear pads are all part of the same liner – so it’s the same soft and comfortable material. Another positive point here is that they still let a good amount of sound through. It’s not difficult to hear your friends.
It’s easy to take the liner out if you want to change it to a summer helmet – and the press studs hold in place well. Simple.
Style? You either like the peak or you don’t. If you do – the Baker has a good shape and there are loads of colours to choose from. Sick.
Audio upgrade option for Bern Helmets
Initially, I tried the Baker out with the basic knit liner, no audio. I was happy with the size and fit so ordered the same helmet from the store, but with the audio upgrade liner…
Sound quality. The sound quality was OK. Nothing to write home about, which was what I was expecting. Good enough for your helmet but could have been better.
A different “fit”. More importantly, the audio ear pads changed the fit of the helmet. The Baker in a medium is pretty much a perfect fit for my head; when I tried it with the speakers in the ear pads it was no good. All of a sudden the plastic speaker was pressing against the top of my ears. Be aware that the audio liner may feel different if the helmet is a snug fit.
Bern Helmets: Brock vs. EPS
The Bern Baker is available with two different foam designs: Brock (Hard Hat) and EPS (Helmet). Here is the explanation from Bern…
Hard Hat: Burly ABS Shell with patented Brock soft foam.
- Shell: Thicker ABS shell specifically designed for Brock foam
- Impact Foam: Soft and breathable Brock foam for multiple low-impact protection
- Features: Brock is open cell foam which allows air to circulate through the foam and out the lid, keeping you cool and dry.
- Standards: Hard Hats do not meet action sports head protection standards. Hard Hats are designed to protect against multiple lower force impacts and may prevent concussions when hard foam helmets will not.
EPS (Helmet): Improved ABS thin shell with EPS hard foam.
- Shell: Ultra thin ABS shell specifically engineered for EPS foam
- Impact Foam: Expanded polystyrene hard foam interior for high-impact protection
- Features: Approximately 20% lighter than last season’s model
- Standards: Complies with CPSC, ASTM F 2040, EN1077B, EN1078
What did I go for? EPS is the standard for helmets; if you’re looking for a Bern helmet there’s a much bigger selection of the EPS foam version. That was part of the decision.
However, the description of Brock sounds interesting – for snowboarders: “Protection against multiple lower force impacts.” That sounds more like the falls I’ve had in the past. Due to availability and the “go with the common approach” mentality, I opted for the EPS version.
The Bern Baker is a great helmet, for me. It just so happens that the Baker fits me really well – by far the best helmet I’ve tried. I’d say that the ‘features’ of Bern lids, like the liner and the ear pads will be good for everyone, but at the end of the day, the ‘fit’ is very important. That’s going to depend on the size and shape of your head!
Where to buy?
I went into the Subvert store a few times at Castleford to try a bunch of different helmets on. In the end, I ordered it online from Subvert to get the audio version – only to swap it back! For UK snowboarders, they’ve got a good selection – and good service!