You don’t have to be a park rat or big mountain huckster to appreciate the benefits of protective body armor. Sometimes it’s the seemingly benign fall on routine terrain that causes the most pain—especially as age slowly robs your body of resiliency. Perhaps you’ve already noticed the trend toward fuller body protection. Taking cues from motocross, mountain biking and skiercross, apparel and helmet manufacturers are offering sensible solutions that soften the occasional forced landings of everyday skiers. Does it seem a little extreme? Maybe. Or maybe a little extra cushion here and there will mean the difference between bouncing back from a bad crash or sitting out the rest of your vacation.
ABOVE: Smith D2 Carbon Full-face Helmet
Smith called in Troy Lee Designs—custom helmet painter of the motorsports stars—to get the look right. The D2 weighs just 990 grams, so it’s easy to wear all day. It’s also generously vented, the visor is adjustable, and its stylish helmet bag doubles as a Chihuahua carrier. $375; http://smithoptics.com.