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Outdoor Master Elk MIPS Ski Helmet – Big on Safety, Low on Cost

Updated January 3rd, 2024

A good value, warm MIPS ski helmet for well under $100

Outdoor Master Elk MIPS helmet review

Manufacturer and Model: Outdoor Master Elk MIPS
List Price: $64.99
Available from: Outdoor Master, & Amazon

Overall Score

84
Construction8.5


Safety Features9.0


Comfort and Fit8.5


Warmth8.5


Ventilation7.0


Weight9.0


Summary

The Outdoor Master Elk MIPS snow helmet is an entry level ski and snowboard helmet aimed at resort skiers and boarders. It has a PC hardshell, with EPS liner and MIPS for safety. The Elk is a warmer helmet with enough venting to keep you from getting too sweaty without being cold. It is a good value budget MIPS ski helmet for well under $100.

What we liked:

  • Good value for the price
  • Has MIPS
  • Available in many colors
  • Warm fleece liner and ear pads
  • Google defog vents
  • Bungee clip for goggle strap attachment

What we didn’t like:

  • Chin strap isn’t long enough for larger heads
  • Vents aren’t adjustable
  • No XL size available

Outdoor Master Elk product image

Specifications

  • Construction – In-Mold with PC Shell
  • MIPS – Yes
  • Weight – 1 lbs 1 oz
  • Ventilation – Fixed
  • Goggle Defog Vents – Yes
  • Audio Compatible – Yes

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Outdoor Master Elk MIPS Review and Test

The Outdoor Master Elk is their latest entry level MIPS ski helmet that is intended for resort skiing. It has upgraded styling over the popular Outdoor Master Diamond MIPS helmet. It is a completely new design over the Diamond with a more snug fit and different looking construction.

We picked up a black, size Large to try out. Keep reading to get all the details on the Outdoor Master Elk ski helmet.

OM Elk and Heron on chairlift

1 – Style

The Outdoor Master Elk has a bit more flare and personality to it than other Outdoor Master helmets. The vents have some styling to them. The character line between the moldings allows for some more interesting 2 tone color combinations. The helmet has a tiny brim molded into the front edge. The Outdoor Master Diamond was a very bland looking helmet, the Elk has a little more pizzazz to it without being overstyled.

OM Elk Side View
OM Elk rear view

2 – Construction – (8.5/10)

The Elk has a polycarbonate shell with in-mold EPS foam energy absorber. The PC shell is in 2 pieces with the bottom rear half being a separate molding. It allows the PC shell to wrap around the bottom edge of the foam making the helmet more durable. It looks a little more finished because you don’t see the foam when looking in the helmet.

3 – Safety Features – (9.0/10)

The Elk has MIPS allowing it to better protect against angled and off-center impacts. It allows the helmet to rotate without twisting your head reducing forces on your head in a wipeout. The Elk is certified to US ASTM F2040-18 safety standard. If you take the liner out you can see the cert sticker inside the helmet.

OM Elk with liner removed

4 – Comfort and Fit – (8.5/10)

The Elk has a fuzzy fleeze warm comfortable feeling liner with some mesh so that it can vent well. The earpads have the same fuzzy fleece lining along with the chin strap. This is a helmet that is more oriented towards cold weather days where you aren’t likely to sweat much. It will keep you warm.

OM Elk inside
OM Elk liner

The helmet has a size adjuster in the back to fine tune the fit. The adjustment dial feels smooth and is easy to adjust while wearing the helmet.

Outdoor Master went back to a smaller fit with the Elk. It has a more tight snug feel to it. I fit into a size Large Elk but just barely. The Outdoor Master Diamond we reviewed before is one of the roomiest and most comfortable feeling helmets out there. The Elk sizes small like the Outdoor Master Kelvin. There is no XL size available for people with larger heads. If you feel other helmets are too small at size large, skip the Elk and go straight to the Outdoor Master Diamond.

Like the Kelvin, the Elk also has a tight chin strap that isn’t long enough for the big end of their size large. I needed to adjust the chin strap out to it’s maximum length to be able to wear it. I would have liked another half inch to inch of adjustment to make the chin strap comfortable. This is the same as the Kelviin helmet for me.

5 – Warmth (8.5/10)

The Elk looks and feels like a helmet that is more intended for use on colder days. It does not have a huge amount of ventilation. It has a thicker warmer feeling liner to it. The vents are fixed open which cools the helmet down a little bit. There aren’t a lot of vents so they don’t cool too much. This helmet feels warm without wearing hat under it on 25F and up days. I would wear a thin hat for cooler days just because the vents can’t be closed.

6 – Ventilation (7.0/10)

I count 8 vents on the helmet. This includes 2 helmet defog vents in the front. The venting is fixed with no adjustment.

The helmet visibly does not look like it has a lot of venting. The area of the vents is not huge compared to other helmets. This is good for the average cold day in the winter where you aren’t going to get sweating hot. If you aren’t going to be hiking up to anything or climbing to get to that hidden powder stash you don’t need to worry about a lot of venting. It’s got enough venting to pass moisture out but not enough to make your head cold from a ton of air flow.

7 – Weight (9.0/10)

The published weight of the Elk is 480 grams or 17 ounces. Our size large sample weighed in at 15 ounces. This is a very competitive weight for a MIPS ski helmet. Many of our favorite helmets such as the Smith Vantage and Nexus weigh in at 18-19 ounces.

8 – Goggle compatibility

The Elk will work well with most ski goggles out there. We tried it out with a new set of Outdoor Master Falcon, Heron, and Seagull goggles. It worked well with all of them without any significant goggle gap. The brim is just barely large enough to cover larger profile goggles like the Falcon and Heron.

OM Elk and Heron front view on mountain
OM Elk Seagull on chairlift

The helmet has an elastic bungee hook in the back for attaching goggle strap. I prefer bungee attachments over plastic clips so I was happy to see this.

9 – Audio compatible Ear Pads

The earpads have pockets for inserting helmet speakers. For me, this helmet sizes too small to be comfortable with thick speakers inside the ear pads. If you want a good helmet to use with helmet speakers, I would look at the Outdoor Master Diamond instead which has very deep and wide earpads that work great with speakers.

See our guide to the best ski helmet speakers to learn more.

Recommendation – Buy or No Buy?

The Outdoor Master Elk would be an excellent first ski helmet for someone who wants the safety of MIPS but doesn’t want to spend hundreds on a high end ski helmet.

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Doug Ryan Portrait Skiing 200x200

Doug Ryan
Co-Founder & Chief Editor

I grew up back east in Pennsylvania and learned to ski on a family trip to Killington, Vermont when I was 6. I immediately fell in love with the mountains and outdoors and have been skiing across the US and Canada ever since. I went to school for Mechanical Engineering, and have a Master’s Degree in Material Science and Reliability.

I am a total gear nerd and love learning how things work and thinking about how they could be improved. Nothing excites me more than trying out new gear. I’d rather spend 3 hours taking my bike apart and learning how to change something than go to a bike shop. These days I reside in Michigan by the Great Lakes and go skiing, biking, and boating as much as possible.

doug@adventuregearinsider.com