Before you get into our review of the Giro Discord ski/snowboard helmet, I’m going to STRONGLY recommend that you click HERE to read our review of the Giro Combyn helmet. The reason I say this is because these two helmets are so very similar, especially in their soft shell construction and I’m not going to be doing much going over that construction/technology in this review as such.
Now that ski and snowboard helmets have made their to being extremely common on the heads of winter sport-ers, the days of wearing helmets without much style are rapidly fading into the past. Last year we took a look at the Combyn snow helmet from Giro. Using their new Soft Shell construction, the Combyn is meant to be a stylish, cost-effective and durable helmet that can take multiple impacts without flinching. When Giro sent us the new Discord helmet to review, I was excited to see all the things we enjoyed with the Combyn carried over into the Giro Discord with a few more well-placed features.
All the features of the Combyn carry over into the Giro Discord including:
Including audio in a helmet like this is a pretty big deal. The ear covers in the Discord and Combyn have a hook and loop closure at the top of the ear pads that have ample room for helmet audio. The’re also thick enough to no sacrifice comfort with a rigid headphone in them.
Ok, this is really cool and well thought out. Almost all the time, venting on a goggle is at the top of the frame (you know, because heat rises!). The problem with this is that sometimes that ventilation can be limited by the overhang of a helmet blocking it. In the Discord and Combyn, Giro included a vertical vent at the brim area of the helmet that makes air flow out unimpeded.
Removable Goggle Retainer
That wonderful little strap at the back of many snow helmets is made for holding your goggle strap in place. In the Discord and Combyn it does a great job but it’s also removable. This can accommodate people who like a different angle of fit in their goggles nicely.
In addition to these lovely little things, the major style different with the Giro Discord is the short brim the extends out, giving skiers and riders a choice in style and preference. Internally, the Discord rocks a new fit system called Auto Loc 2 which ditches a dial-adjusted closure that we’re used to seeing. The Auto Loc 2 system gives three levels of halo adjustment just behind the temples and an additional, vertical tuning adjustment point at the back of the head. These easily shifted, fixed points are meant to be set on initial fitting and after that, an elastic band at the base of the skull easily wraps and holds the helmet in place. Finally, the Giro Discord sports adjustable, Super Cool vents. In the Combyn, the vents are simply open with no ability to close. The Giro Discord bring this great (super cold weather) feature which is a truly great addition.
By and large, the fit of the Giro Discord is (obviously) very similar to that of the Combyn. The inner VN foam is nice and gentle on the head and offers a fair amount of adaptation to different head shapes. There were however, a couple of things about the fit that caught me a bit off guard. First, the vertical adjustment part of the Auto Loc 2 system which falls at the back of the head has a small flap of foam that is meant to create a cushioned barrier between the head and the plastic of the adjustment bracket. This is great in theory, but since the bracket sits flush with the rest of the interior cushioning, this means that this piece of foam is noticeable on the head. It’s not really uncomfortable since it is, after all, soft foam, but it is there.
The other thing that stood out to me is the first section of VN foam that forms the top-of-the-head cushioning. Ideally the cushioning of any helmet would be a smooth ball/bowl shape with no protrusions. However, for some reason, the foam on top of the Discord seem thicker than that of the foam which goes around the circumference of the head and, as such, makes the helmet sit a bit high and pushes into the head a bit. Now again, this is a pretty soft VN foam, but it was something that made me grab a razor trim down that section so the transition from the circumferential foam and the top foam was more smooth.
Well, fortunately, I never took and super hardcore falls in the Giro Discord. However, when my head did meet the ground a bit more gently after perhaps going beyond my ability level, the cushioning in this thing is always a pleasant surprise as it’s not as rigid as other foams. The added features to this helmet are all nice additions, though as I alluded to above, there is some room for improvement on the Auto Loc 2 setup at the back of the head. The adjustable Super Cool vents are fantastic and make warmer and colder days respectively more comfortable.
You can currently find the Giro Discord anywhere from $100 to it’s full price of $150 [see links below!]. Apart from the small issues with the fit that I found, this is a really good and well built snow helmet. the features that it includes, including audio compatibility, make it a great offering for any skier or snowboarder, particularly those who want a bit more park style. Most definitely worth trying on.