Published on December 3rd, 2012 | by Greg0
Bolle B-Style And Audio Kit: A Solid B
We’ve been posting on a few ski and snowboard helmets recently, but we’re not quite finished. This will be the last one before we welcome in 2013, but fear not- there are plenty of other outdoor and winter sports reviews coming up, including a look at one of the slickest jackets that we’ve seen, plus another pair of snowshoes, and even a review of some appropriate gloves.
Today, we’ve got the Bolle B-Style helmet, a lightweight, fairly basic helmet with decent looks and a gender-neutral set of styling options that means it can work for men or women. Ours was black, but it’s also available in green or white/pink and white/blue options. We took it out for a few runs on the slopes, while also checking out the two in our recent set of features- the high-end Variant Brim from Smith that offered the best ventilation, warmth, and padding but is the most expensive, as well as the Salomon Prophet, which featured a nifty but slightly gimmicky pump-fit system and rated well overall for comfort and value.
The B-Style is the least expensive of the options, something we do try and take into account. The feature set is more limited, and there are more compromises in comfort and design. There is no brim to help keep powder off of your goggles, and ventilation is fairly poor. The chin strap is rougher and a bit scratchy, and ours came out of the box with a bit of peeling between the plastic shell and the foam core.
On a cosmetic level, rivets are visible- and surprisingly, so is the exposed foam on the underside of the helmet, which looks a little ugly in our opinion (and makes it appear more like a basic biking helmet). The plaid accents on the sides were nice though, and it was lightweight, easy to fit, and decently comfortable. Fit was pretty good- the adjustable “Click To Fit” system wasn’t very granular, and could slip a bit, but did the job.
One thing that does set this one above is the audio system, called the Bolle Audio Kit. Insert the flatter earbuds into your the padded earliners, and you can then attach your MP3 player and listen to music pipe directly into your helmet. Audio quality is… passable, and this is a no-frills option, with mediocre cabling. But as a fast, easy way to listen to music while on the slopes, it’s a great option. We enjoyed listening on the go, and not needing to worry about our earbuds.
Overall, it’s a decent option for beginners or those who only want to hit the slopes a couple of times and don’t want to rent equipment. The B-Style didn’t wow us in any category except weight, but did feel supportive and solid, and has a nice optional audio accessory package and several color options to fit most anyone. Available now for the quite reasonable price of $80 or so.