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Wildhorn Drift Ski Helmet – Test and Review

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A lightweight, good-value ski helmet with adjustable vents and a very comfortable fit

Wildhorn Drift ski helmet review

Manufacturer and Model: Wildhorn Outfitters Drift
List Price: $64.99

Overall Score

88
Construction8.5


Safety Features8.0


Comfort and Fit9.0


Warmth9.0


Ventilation8.5


Weight9.5


Summary

The Wildhorn Drift ski helmet aims a little higher than most budget low end ski helmets. It uses more advanced polycarbonate in-mold construction. It has a patented adjustable vent system that works well. It weighs in at a very light 13 ounces. The Drift is one of the best budget ski helmets out there today.

What we liked:

  • Lightweight at 13 oz for a size large
  • Low cost with lots of features
  • Effective adjustable vents
  • Perforated liner material that is comfortable and dries quick
  • Wrap around ear pads that are audio compatible

What we didn’t like:

  • No MIPS version is available
  • No goggle defog vents

wildhorn drift product image

Specifications

  • Construction – PC In-Mold hardshell
  • MIPS – No
  • Weight – 0 lbs 13 oz
  • Ventilation – Adjustable
  • Goggle Defog Vents – Yes
  • Audio Compatible – Yes

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Wildhorn Drift Review and Test

The Wildhorn Drift is the entry level ski helmet from Wildhorn Outfitters. It is one of the most popular ski and snowboard helmets available on Amazon with over 5000 reviews. Wildhorn always produces gear that has the features that skiers and snowboarders want. I’ve been impressed by every piece of Wildhorn gear I’ve tried out so far. The Wildhorn is no exception. They didn’t take the easy path of an ABS hardshell helmet. They went after a polycarbonate in-mold construction to keep the weight down on their budget helmet offering.

Wildhorn provided us a Drift to try out. We picked out a black size large Drift for this review. Keep reading to get the full story on the Drift.

Wildhorn Drift and Roca on mountain

1 – Style

The Wildhorn Drift is a basic ski and snowboard helmet with basic styling. The shell mold has a few soft character lines running down the side. The vents on the front and top help give it a bit more dynamic appearance than some other entry level snow helmets. It’s got a single piece shell mold so there is no option for 2 tone colors. The helmet is available in about 10 different colors.

Wildhorn Drift Side View
Wildhorn Drift back view

2 – Construction – (8.5/10)

The Drift is made using a polycarbonate shell with in-hold construction for the EPS liner. It’s got some extra silver plastic moldings on the inside to give it a bit more of a finished look. These also seem to be part of the venting system. You see a silver layer looking down into the vents and not directly into the helmet. On most other entry level ski helmets you just see straight into the helmet looking down the vents.

The helmet has detachable earpads with a liner that wraps around the back. This helpls make the helmet warmer with less air leaks around and behind the ears.

Drift inside no liner

A drawstring helmet bag is included. It’s made from softer and nicer feeling material than what has come with higher end helmets from brands like Smith helmets recently.

Drift helmet bag

3 – Safety Features – (8.0/10)

The Drift uses a stanard EPS foam insert for energy absorbtion. It is certified to ASTM F2040 and EN1077 class B. The helmet does not have MIPS or any other advance safety feature.

4 – Comfort and Fit – (9.0/10)

I have a size large Drift. The sizing feels about accurrate. I tend to be a size large for most helmet brands. I need an XL for a few certain helmet models. The large Drift fits well. I need to tighten down the size adjuster about 30%. There is still enough extra room in there. Width wise the helmet is snug without a lot of extra. The earpads feel up against my ears without any extra space.

Drift inside with liner

The chinstrap has enough extra to work with large sized heads. I have over an inch of extra strap material left with a correctly adjusted chin strap. Few things irritate me more than ski helmets that have a very short chin strap on larger size helmets. I’m happy that Wildhorn gave it more than enough extra on the Drift.

The helmet liner and chin strap use a smooth feeling material that is perforated to help control moisture and quick drying. It has enough padding to be comfortable but not an excessive amount. The earpads use similar material. The liner is removable for cleaning. You can take it out on a warmer day if you don’t need it.

Drift liner

5 – Warmth (9.0/10)

The helmet feels nice and cozy on colder days with the vents closed. The vents don’t directly enter the helmet which helps to create a larger dead air space for keeping heat in. EPP foam does a pretty good job working as insulation in addition to an energy absorber.

6 – Ventilation (8.5/10)

The Drift has 13 vents. They are adjustable with a slider on to the top back of the helmet. The Drift uses what Wildhorn calls VNT technology for venting. The vents enter into an air chamber over the helmet which has separate air holes into the helmet. This offset helps with airflow inside the helmet. It also helps keep snow and rain from going directly into the helmet on non-sunny weather ski days.

The helmet has a lot of vent area and does a really good job cooling your head on above freezing temp ski days. The only feature missing with the vents is a set of goggle defog vents. There aren’t any on the Drift.

Drift top vents

7 – Weight (9.5/10)

My size large Drift weighs in at 13 ounces. This makes it one of the lighter ski helmets out there. This is surprising given that it still has a size adjuster and adjustable vents. Some other helmets going for lightweight leave out those features.

8 – Goggle compatibility

The drift has a standard brim shape that will work with almost any current ski goggles without having an excessive goggle gap. The back of the helmet has a rubber goggle strap holder that attaches with a snap. It does a good job of keeping the goggle strap in place on the back of the helmet.

I used the helmet with a set of Wildhorn Roca goggles for this review.

Wildhorn Drift and Roca on chairlift front view
Wildhorn Drift and Roca by chairlift

9 – Audio compatible Ear Pads

The helmet has audio compatible ear pads. The ear pads have velcro closures on the top that can be opened to insert helmet speakers into them. The helmet does not have enough extra width for me to use with with speakers installed. It would work okay for someone with a smaller head than me. Wildhorn offers a discount for the Wildhorn Alta speakers when you buy the Drift.

See our guide to the best ski helmet speakers to learn more.

10 – Recycled Packaging

Wildhorn ships everything in recycled packaging. We throw out a ton of packaging here from all the things we review. I like any brand that uses more sustainable shipping packaging.

Wildhorn Drift packaging

Recommendation – Buy or No Buy?

The Wildhorn Drift is a lightweight ski helmet that has good ventilation and good comfort. It is one of the lightest helmets out there. One notable miss is that absense of MIPS or a MIPS version of the helmet. For someone looking for an lightweight entry level helmet that doesn’t care about MIPS, it is a good value worth considering.

wildhorn drift product image

See Best Deals!

Get 15% OFF with code ACTIVEGEAR15 at WILDHORN OUTFITTERS

Doug Ryan Portrait Skiing 200x200

Ryan Craig
Co-Founder & Chief Editor

I am a total gear nerd and love learning how things work and thinking about how they could be improved. Nothing excites me more than trying out new gear. I’d rather spend 3 hours taking my bike apart and learning how to change something than go to a bike shop. These days, I reside in Michigan by the Great Lakes and go skiing, biking, and boating as much as possible. Visit our About Us page and learn more.

ryan@lowbudgetadventurer.com


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