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Red Hi-Fi

*Est. $100
Reviewed
November 2011
by ConsumerSearch
Red Hi-Fi

Pros
  • Lightweight
  • Outer shell rotates on impact
  • Air-cushion adjustable fit
  • Earphone-compatible ear pads
  • Screened vents
Cons
  • No retaining button for goggles
  • Vents don't open and close
  • Bulky/dorky/cheap appearance

Expert reviewers praise the Red Hi-Fi ski and snowboard helmet for its light weight and snug, adjustable fit, which comes courtesy of an air chamber that can be inflated or deflated. Although the earphone-compatible ear pads are a prime feature, they receive only a passing mention from testers. A sliding outer shell is designed to rotate on impact, reducing the rotational impact forces on your brain, and the Hi-Fi performed particularly well in several impact protection tests while frozen. However, a number of owners complain that it makes your head look very big and bulky, especially if you wear your goggles outside your helmet instead of underneath. A few also say the Hi-Fi looks cheap. Unlike some helmets, the Red Hi-Fi doesn't have a retaining button to hold goggles in place, but most users say that isn't a problem.

Six of the Hi-Fi's eight vents are screened to help keep out debris, and several testers like the removable liner that means you can use the helmet in almost any weather conditions, with or without a beanie. None of the vents can be closed, but we found no user complaints. In a review for Mountain Weekly News, an experienced snowboarder calls the Red Hi-Fi "a staple in my backcountry/riding pack" thanks to its light weight, warmth and snug fit.

The Red Hi-Fi shows up consistently in expert reviews; it received 4 out of 5 "goats" in strenuous testing by Backcountry.com, and is praised in hands-on reviews from Mountain Weekly News and Women's Adventure Magazine. This helmet earns a very brief mention (with no elaboration of why) in TransWorld Snowboarding's 2012 Gear Guide. About 50 user reviews on TruSnow.com average out to a 4.2-star rating out of 5.

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Our Sources

1. Backcountry.com

This was the only review we could find that subjected several helmets to the same series of objective tests. Testing methods included stuffing a cantaloupe into each helmet, then dropping them onto concrete from 12 feet up. Testers also froze the helmets, then stomped on them and struck them with a hammer to evaluate their performance in cold conditions. The Hi-Fi got one of the best scores, with a total of 4 out of 5 "goats."

Review: Goat Test #2: Ski/Snowboard Helmets, Rocky Thompson, Not Dated

2. Mountain Weekly News

The author of this hands-on review is a snowboarder who regrets having ridden helmetless for more than 10 years. Mike Hardaker obviously tests the helmet, but doesn't give any specifics about how or under what conditions. He calls the Red Hi-Fi "a staple in my backcountry/riding pack," and praises its light weight, warmth and snug fit.

Review: Red Hi-Fi II Helmet Review, Mike Hardaker, Nov. 22, 2010

3. Women's Adventure magazine

Multiple women testers tackle several snowboarding helmets and give them individual ratings; the Red Hi-Fi receives 4.2 out of 5 stars and is described as best "For Big-Air Heads." There's no discussion of subjective impressions from reviewers -- positive or negative -- but a few key features are mentioned: the helmet's light weight, a mini air chamber for fine-tuning fit, removable interior padding and earphone-compatible ear covers.

Review: Winter 2011 Editors' Choice Awards - Snowboarding, Editors of Women's Adventure Magazine, Nov. 15, 2010

4. TransWorld Snowboarding

The Red Hi-Fi is one of six helmets that receive a very brief mention in this section of TransWorld Snowboarding's 2012 Gear Guide. Ben Gavelda likes the Hi-Fi's light weight and air-adjustable fit system.

Review: Dome Protectors, Ben Gavelda, Aug. 25, 2011

5. TruSnow.com

Nearly 50 owner-reviewers give the Red Hi-Fi an average rating of 4.2 stars out of 5. Users like its light weight and comfortable fit, and praise it as good quality for the price. One says that thanks to the built-in audio system, he's "jamming out and staying protected at the same time!" A couple of users report that there's no button to hold a goggle strap in, but goggles seem to stay put anyway. Several users complain that the Hi-Fi makes their heads look big, although wearing your goggle strap underneath the helmet can reduce the "mushroom head" effect. One owner gripes that the headphone cord broke within two minutes; another says an older model dented and scratched easily.

Review: Red Hi-Fi, Contributors to TruSnow.com, As of Nov. 2011

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