3 Best Under Helmet Balaclavas For Snowboarding and Skiing

by Ben

Skiers and snowboarders wear balaclavas under their helmets for a variety of reasons. Some feel it keeps their heads and faces warmer, others like the sweat-wicking properties. 

I’ve tested a whole bunch over the years… and these are the best under helmet ski balaclavas on offer!

The best under-helmet balaclava is Blackstrap the Hood. The Blackstrap features SPF 50 to protect your skin, but it’s also warm enough for freezing cold conditions. Choosing the best balaclava depends on the conditions you’ll be snowboarding or skiing in.

There is an under-helmet ski balaclava for everyone. This article will find the perfect one for you!

1. Best Midweight Balaclava: Blackstrap the Hood

BLACKSTRAP Expedition Hood Balaclava
  • The Expedition Hood Balaclava Facemask sets the industry standard in warmth, performance,  comfort, and protection from the elements. Skiers, snowboarders and snowmobile riders have made The Expedition Hood their go to balaclava. The Expedition hood has dual layer construction throughout the head, neck and face hinge. It is ergonomically designed & features BlackStrap’s patented Exo-Hinge construction, seamless helmet compatibility
  • MADE IN THE USA: Patented Tri-Blend Fabric (Milled in the USA)
  • One size fits most adults (Available in KIDS)
  • Wind rated dual layer construction with an ergonomic fit for a helmet friendly fit
  • Synthetic, breathable moisture wicking & lens safe fabric that is quick drying and machine washer/dryer friendly

Overall, this is the best under helmet ski balaclava for most riders. Comparable to a traditional balaclava, the Blackstrap has a hinged design. This means that adjustments over your face and head are much more comfortable.

The Blackstrap is ideal for those with beards (myself included) as it has enough space in the lower portion. It also has an SPF of 50, protecting your face and neck from sunburn. The antimicrobial fabric keeps it fresh too!


    • The hinged design lets you easily adjust the balaclava over your nose and head – exceptionally comfortable.
    • You can pull down the Blackstrap to eat or drink without having to remove your helmet.
    • It has moisture-wicking properties to keep your head dry.
    • The hood fits well with sunglasses and goggles.
    • Loads of different designs and patterns 
    • Made in the USA!


    • It is not necessarily suitable for extremely cold conditions.

2. Best Balaclava for Extreme Cold:  Heavyweight Shellaclava

Turtle Fur Shellaclava Premium Balaclava
44 Reviews
Turtle Fur Shellaclava Premium Balaclava
  • Size: Adult, One Size fits most. Also fits Juniors and Teens; Dimensions - 10.5"(w) X 16.25"(h); Weight - 2.1 oz.
  • Heavyweight Double-layer Micro Fur Fleece Neck - 100% Polyester
  • Hood: Comfort Shell Performance Fabric - 92% Polyester / 8% Spandex
  • Machine Wash Cool, Tumble Dry No Heat
  • Perfect for skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling and many more outdoor adventures.

The Heavyweight Shellaclava’s two-layer protection provides the ultimate comfort for those freezing cold days. If you’re riding in especially cold conditions or just feel the cold more than others, this is the balaclava for you. 

The Shellaclava uses thick moisture-wicking fleece on the bottom half, with thinner materials over the head to improve helmet compatibility. 

The Shellaclava also uses antimicrobial fabric at the crown of your head to keep your helmet free of unpleasant smells. Your nose will thank you!


    • The brushed fabric is super soft on your skin.
    • Seamless helmet compatibility. 
    • Keeps snow and wind off your neck  – super cosy.
    • Doesn’t bunch up under your helmet.


    • It can feel too warm as the day progresses.
    • Runs on the smaller side

3. Most Affordable Balaclava: ROCKBROS Under Helmet Ski Balaclava

ROCKBROS Ski Balaclava
  • ✔EXTREMELY WARM: ROCKBROS balaclava scarf mask provides the most pleasantly warm temperature for you. Thermal fleece inside the windproof ski mask, keep your head and face warm, say goodbye to cold.
  • ✔SUPER PROTECTION FROM WIND, COLD, DUST & UV: Winter balaclava mask for cold weather can protect you from wind, cold, dust and UV which is benefit from the unique material. Even in extremely bad weather, the excellent performance of balaclava can easy hold it.
  • ✔UNABLE TO REFUSE THE VERSATILITY: ROCK BROS men’s balaclava windproof hood fit the motorcycle helmet, ski helmet, bike helmet and safety helmet perfectly. Also the helmet balaclava for men lightweight and comfortable feeling, widely used in skiing, motorcycling, skating, running, snowboarding, riding, hunting, construction, warehouse work and shoveling snow.
  • ✔SOFT & SMOOTH LIKE MILK: 100% thermal fleece inside the balaclava ski mask, the super soft and smooth touch feeling like milk. Benefit from the breathable material, easy breath when you doing some outdoor activities.
  • ✔SUPER ELASTIC DESIGN FOR FITTING PERFORMANCE: Balaclava scarf mask hood consider of more people head size, used the super elastic material for balaclava. Fit any size of head, you could buy it for your husband, for your daughter and your mom. Best gift for your families. We also offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If the balaclava are damaged within 90 days, will replace it for you or provide a full refund so can feel confident purchasing with ROCK BROS.

The low profile of the ROCKBROs balaclava makes it super easy to wear beneath your helmet. Warm and breathable without being cumbersome, the Rockers balaclava is well-constructed for the price. It’s also lightweight enough to wear on sunny days. 

The low cost of this balaclava makes it a practical choice, especially when you are testing the waters of wearing one under your helmet.


    • Super affordable price point.
    • Stretchy and warm.
    • You can wear this balaclava just over the chin, too.
    • The strategic hinge point adjusts to many head sizes.
    • Has all the basic functionality of the more premium options. 


  • Slightly too short at the neck for my liking
  • Materials noticeably cheaper (as expected at this price point). I noticed the stitching at the back frayed more quickly than with other options. 

Alternative Balaclava Options?

In the unlikely circumstance that none of the above options were suitable, there’s a great alternative. 

If you’re not dead-set on an under helmet ski balaclava, consider an over-helmet balaclava instead!

I’m sure I don’t need to explain the differences, but they’re a great option. 


A high-quality balaclava should not only keep your head and face warm, it should also also wick moisture from your skin. The best under helmet ski balaclava should also be thin enough to comfortably sit under your helmet without pressure points. 

After testing 10+ balaclavas, I can confidently recommend the Blackstrap range.

Give it a go and let me know how you get on. 

Happy riding!

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