A big thanks to Ortovox for making these post happen. Check out Ortovox's mountainwear for your next backcountry adventure.
The K2 Scepter is a well designed snowsport helmet with a host of excellent features. It’s one of the best ventilated and most comfortable ski helmets around.
In the fourteen years of my life as a skier, I’ve owned a truckload of helmets. I think I even remember my first one, a big blue bucket my dad bought me at a yard sale — it made my head look like a record size mellon. In the last few years I’ve realized what I want in a helmet, and the K2 Scepter delivers. Here’s why:
My head gets hot — uphill or down. The Scepter has six large vent holes in the top, with a sliding closure I can easily operate with gloves. Four other mesh covered holes toward the back also provide cooling. These are always open, but could be covered from the inside with a bit of duct tape. Adding to all that, the Scepter is lined with a cooling mesh material that really wicked the sweat off my head. The liner is easy to pull out and wash.
Scepter is compact and streamlined, with enough style to look good — but not like Star Wars. The goggle strap groove in the back is big and deep, with a burly snap strap that’s replaceable if it breaks. A big thing for me is goggle gap, and my goggles fit the Scepter with little or no gap at my forehead.
I want my helmet light. Scepter’s “Litecap” shell is a plastic shield that’s molded over the foam so it’s super strong but still feels as light as a hat.
I like soft earflaps so I can easily slip my helmet in my backpack while I’m hiking up. Scepter’s flaps are well padded, but still fold easily, and are removable for really hot days.
Some of those helmets my dad made me wear really hurt my head. Some had hard places that dug into my scalp and forehead. Scepter is completely lined with soft stuff that feels great. As for fit, by getting the correct size and using the fit pads, it’s perfect.
I can’t think of anything I don’t like about the Scepter — except that my mom might make me wear that geeky sun visor you can get for it. Other than that, it’s great!
Below: Helmet Testing Trip Memorial Day Weekend 2004 (click images to enlarge)
(Editor’s note from Lou2: The descent was so beautiful Boone said “let’s do it again,” so we climbed to near the top and yep, did it again. Sun decking at the cabin after a long morning of ski mountaineering was wonderful — watermelon was tasty. This wasn’t so much a helmet “testing” trip as a helmet wearing trip. These kids only fall a few times a year and almost never biff in the backcountry — but the upper face was rock hard and steep, and us dads were glad to see the brain buckets in use.)
Louie Dawson earned his Bachelor Degree in Industrial Design from Western Washington University in 2014. When he’s not skiing Mount Baker or somewhere equally as snowy, he’s thinking about new products to make ski mountaineering more fun and safe.