Sweet Protection Ascender Helmet Preview

The new lightweight Ascender helmet is perfect for backcountry skiers who don't want to trade weight for safety.

If you're a fan of that sweet spring corn in the backcountry like me, you've probably run into this situation:

It's hot, you're getting sweaty on your long tour, and most traditional ski helmets don't ventilate that well. As a result, you end up bringing a climbing helmet into the backcountry instead of a ski helmet, and you're probably not wearing any kind of head protection on the way up. Here in Colorado, where you can find me headed out on objectives big and small throughout the spring, I'm guilty as charged. However, climbing helmets are designed to cushion a single impact from above, not the potential front, back and side impacts that you can expect in a typical ski crash/collision. As expected, most climbing helmets can't obtain ski/snowboard certifications.


Sweet Protection aims to avoid any trade-offs in safety with its new Ascender helmet. Designed specifically with the heat and high activity levels of touring and spring adventures in mind, it is extremely ventilated. It's also a fully certified helmet (both US and Europe), rated for both skiing and mountaineering, so it can truly double as a downhill helmet and for vertical impacts (aka falling rocks) climbing those steep couloirs.

The main feature of the helmet is the more than 100 ventilation holes on the top and 3 larger channels in the front - a design taken from what Sweet Protection has learned with the design of their bike helmets. Ventilation and airflow were key considerations in the development of this helmet, because Sweet Protection wants you to be cool and comfortable wearing the helmet on the way down AND the way up.

Count me (and my mom) excited for this one.

The Ascender will be available in Spring/Summer 2019

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

Kyle FrostAdmin

Wearer of many hats at The Outbound Collective. I'm @kylefrost pretty much everywhere.