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Gadgets and Gizmos: How About an Integrated Helmet and Goggle System?

By Dave Potter

I’ve always been a gadget guy. If some new thing comes out, I’m usually the first to buy one, even if I don’t always see a need for it.

For instance, I now have an Amazon Echo. It’s a kind of listening, talking piece of electronic furniture. And for years I’ve skied with an Avocet Vertech, an altimeter that automatically keeps track of my number of runs for the day and total vertical skied (100,000 feet for the year so far).

I’m always on the prowl for new gadgets, so the other day I visited one of Ellicottville’s newest ski shops, do-op, which specializes in high end ski accessories. It was there I saw the latest object of my desire — Kask helmets from Italy.

Kask helmets are unlike any ski helmets I’ve ever seen. Like everyone else who wears a helmet on the slopes, my helmet and goggles are two separate products that aren’t even made by the same manufacturer. Kask has engineered a pretty slick helmet and goggle system. That is, your goggle is permanently attached to the helmet. When you want your goggles on, you simply slide down the attached visor goggle. Kask even has one model equipped with a goggle that retracts into the helmet, protecting the lens and keeping it out of the way. I like the idea of having one less item to fuss with when I go skiing.

One other feature of Kask helmets that makes them so appealing is the fact that they are multi-impact, meaning they are designed to take more head banging for the buck. In previous articles, I have preached about the importance of replacing your helmet after a hard crash, because even if a helmet doesn’t look damaged, for safety reasons it’s still time for a replacement. This is not the case with Kask helmets. They’re designed to “take a licking and keep on ticking.”

Kask helmets initially may give you a case of jittery sticker shock — they range in price from $395 to $565 — but you have to remember that you’re buying both a high quality, multi-impact helmet and a goggle using the latest engineering methods and materials. Think about what you paid for the pair you now have. I bet the total is in that range. And for these prices, you get helmets with many high performance features, like a comfortable venting system, ergonomically shaped earflaps with air filters, breathable and removable interior padding for easy cleaning, anti-fog and anti-scratch visors offering unobstructed panoramic views, injection molded shells, removable and interchangeable lenses and more.

Do-op has Kask helmets for kids, women and men in sizes ranging from 55 to 61, which is extra-large. Also, multiple lens colors are available, as you would expect.

I took the Commander, of the Usual Gang of Idiots, with me to the shop and had him try one on to get his opinion.  He reported a good, comfortable fit with helmet and the goggle. The goggle fit firmly on his face, even with his furry winter growth.

I definitely see a Kask helmet in my future. That is, if Mrs. Cranky Pants lets me. If not, I saw plenty of other gadgets in the shop I would love to try out.

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