Expert reviewers like the K2 Rival ski and snowboard helmet for its light weight, high volume and dial-adjusted fit. One says the limited number of vent holes offer good protection in a snowstorm, but may leave you sweating in calmer weather. An extra $20 to upgrade to the Rival Pro gets you a sound system built into the removable liner, although taking the liner out to make room for a beanie removes your tunes. User reviews for the K2 Rival are scarce, but in the handful we found owners say they like the helmet's light weight, good peripheral vision and comfortable fit, but are concerned about its limited ventilation. Both the Red Hi-Fi (*Est. $100) and the Smith Optics Maze (*Est. $100) offer more bang at the same price, including earbud compatibility.
The K2 Rival's treatment in the 2011 Outside and 2012 Powder Magazine gear guides is fairly standard: a short blurb about the helmet's favorable characteristics and only a glancing mention of its shortfalls. User reviews are few and far between for the K2 Rival and Rival Pro, but we did find three user reviews on the manufacturer's website -- with an average rating of 4.7 stars out of 5 -- and a single 5-star review on EpicSki.com.
1. Outside Magazine
In an extremely brief review of the K2 Rival (without audio upgrade), Justin Nyberg praises the helmet for its low price, simplicity and high volume. However, he says the limited venting may leave users with "a sweatier head come spring."
Review: K2 Rival, Justin Nyberg, Nov. 1, 2010
2. Powder Magazine
The K2 Rival Pro is mentioned very briefly in this helmet roundup. Testers like its light weight and removable, washable liner, but say taking the liner out to make room for a beanie means leaving the audio system that's built into the liner behind.
Review: 2012 Gear Guide, Various Authors
Three user reviews of the K2 Rival Pro can be found on the manufacturer's website. One owner simply remarks, "Im gonna buy this again it saved my life [sic]," but the two others provide short lists of pros and cons. One describes a problem with the headphone jacks, which was solved by soldering in new jacks himself.
Review: Rival Pro, Contributors to K2Skis.com, As of Nov. 2011
Just one user reviews the K2 Rival Pro. She gives high marks to its built-in audio and light, comfortable fit, but wishes it offered better ventilation.
Review: 2011 K2 Rival Pro Womens Audio Helmet Reviews, Contributors to EpicSki.com, As of Nov. 2011