Why did Oakley enter the helmet market? In part, they were looking to develop the ultimate goggle-helmet integration. According to testers, the fit is up there with the best. The Mod 5 (and the Mod 3) represent the iconic optics brand's big splash into the helmet game. One of its defining features--the one most popular with testers--is the Modular Brim System. The brim is removable, and each helmet comes with two options, one smaller and one larger. The idea with the two brim options is to ensure a good fit with a number of different goggle shapes and sizes. Beneath the brim, four vents pipe warm air away from the top of goggles to reduce fogging; four additional topside vents open/close with a slider. The dual material outer shell--ABS in front, In-Mold in rear--is designed to provide a lightweight feel and durability in key locations. According to testers, the shell construction and shape gave it a little bit of a fighter pilot aesthetic. Oakley touts their "No Pressure Ear Cups" for better comfort and hearing. One tester found that the ear cups offered too little pressure, and allowed too much cold air to penetrate the helmet. A BOA reel tightens the inner liner nicely, but for some it was not enough to seal off the ear-cup gap. The ear cups and neck pads are removable for wearing a beanie beneath; there was plenty of room for goggle straps to fit beneath the shell as well. A magnetic closure on the chinstrap seals the deal. Get the Mod 5 with MIPS technology for an additional $40.
RAD: Interchangeable brims for seamless goggle-helmet integration. BAD: Ear cuffs let air pass through.
|Bang For Your Buck||
Tested And Approved 2017 Presented by evo.com
Best snowboard gear of 2016-2017? We've got you covered. Going into winter, we want to know what gear can be trusted when put through the wringer. But testing over 500 boots, bindings, goggles, gloves, helmets, splitboards and powder boards, and other backcountry gear and accessories in every snowy corner of the country was a massive undertaking that the TransWorld staff couldn't handle alone. So we sent the latest developments in snowboarding goods to our team of testers spread across the country. With so many unique features in the lineup and different opinions from each tester—both compliments and complaints—there was plenty worth discussing. Some gear broke. Other pieces spoke volumes to functionality and durability. So here you have it: the most inclusive, all-encompassing gear test in snowboarding. If it's in here, it's been beat up and bent every which way – and tested, and approved.
Meet Our Testers:
As Gear Editor at TransWorld SNOWboarding, Broderick spent last season directing tests around the country when he wasn't testing gear himself. He administered the Good Wood board test, powder board test, and backcountry test, while leading the glove test and coordinating the others, plus editing all Gear Guide text. He is the point of contact for all things gear-related at TWSNOW.
Mike Horn's first backcountry pack had bungee cords for snowboard straps. That's a far cry from the innovative gear he tested in his Crested Butte backyard this winter. Mike's been writing about snowboarding for a decade-plus, and he tends to get crusty when reviewing gear that's not quite up to snuff.
A New Hampshire transplant, Devin's Ice Coast roots provide superior edge awareness, and with Breckenridge's Park Lane in her backyard, she practically falls from bed to her board. She put freestyle bindings on trial in and out of bounds—from frozen mornings to spring slush, backyard rail jams to sidecountry booter sessions.
Billy Brown covered new tech for this year's guide. The California native grew up riding the terrain parks in South Lake Tahoe, but for the past few years his career as a freelance editor has allowed him to snowboard around the world—from heliboarding in Whistler to riding post-storm powder in Valle Nevado, Chile.
A freelance writer based in Vermont, Alex took his powder hunt on the road last winter. He schlepped freeride boots, backcountry boots—and enough shells, puffies, and base layers to open a small gear store—around the globe in search of snow in locales like Vermont, Wyoming, Colorado, and Iceland.
Reared in the San Juans of Southwest Colorado, as soon as Morgan could walk her dad strapped her in, and Telluride Ski Resort became her babysitter. Over the past 13 years, snowboarding has taken her through Wolf Creek's whimsical powder days, USASA Slopestyle Nationals, and the cliff-riddled backcountry of Colorado and Wyoming.
From the jagged peaks of Jackson Hole and the Canadian Rockies to the overt opulence of Aspen, the steeps of Alaska, and the striking faces of the La Sals, our contributing editor spent the season traveling to summits near and far. Heather toted along a bin full of boots and tested them all along the way.
From loitering shop kid to 22-year industry insider, Chris has spent most of his life in the snow and skate industries in Utah, even experiencing firsthand the rise and fall (and second rise and fall) of Forum. He tested freestyle boots and bindings in the man-made and natural parks at Brighton, Snowbird, and Jackson Hole.