Down ‘N Dirty: POC Obex SPIN Helmet

To wear it, or not to wear it? In the outdoor adventuring world, there is often debate when it comes to wearing a helmet. I’m of the mindset that helmets are a great piece of gear at the resort, and especially for getting into higher-risk backcountry terrain (i.e., hucking kickers, skiing technical trees). When it comes down to it, a helmet is less expensive than a head injury. But, if I’m tacking on another piece of gear to my kit, it needs to fit some criteria. It needs to be lightweight, comfortable, feature impressive, trusted technology, and efficiently protect my brain while indulging in winter activities. Enter the POC Obex SPIN helmet.

MSRP: $200

Pros: The Obex SPIN is one of the latest freeride helmets from POC. Equally comfortable on the resort as it is in the backcountry, this helmet packs some great safety and comfort-focused features.

On the safety side, POC used a whole-helmet approach including an EPS liner, PC Shell, ABS top shell and their SPIN (Shear Pad INside) technology. But, while the innovative safety features are constructed really well in this helmet, I really appreciated how POC integrates safety with comfort.

On the comfort side, the Obex SPIN performed flawlessly in a wide range of conditions. Ventilation was top-notch, thanks to a 3-setting, easily adjustable vent system and front vents to prevent goggle fog. This made it great for both bluebird and powder days with or without a beanie. I also appreciated the option to fine-tune the fit with POC’s “personal size adjustment system.” I especially liked this feature since I measured between a small and medium (and sized up to be safe), and it allowed me to adjust the fit as needed. Also, the SPIN interior and ratchet adjustment meant no velcro to get my hair caught in when I chose to not wear a hat!

Cons: If you’re a minimalist, the personal size adjustment system may deter you. While I really appreciated not having to swap out pads and didn’t have any issues with this helmet, I have seen failures with other manufacturers when mixing cold temperatures and thin plastic. Also, while I feel like the features in this helmet would make it great for other activities and seasons, the integrated ear covers means they are not removable and make it a strictly-winter helmet. 

Where We Took It: Powder and bluebird days at Wolf Creek Ski Area in southern Colorado.

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