Review: Giro Orbit Spherical® Shield Helmet

Last Spring, @dbostedo reviewed the Giro Orbit Spherical helmet here. Fast forward to now. Having been intrigued by visor helmets, I convinced Giro to send another one for me to review. Whereas last years's helmet was disproportionately large, the medium Giro sent was right on for sizing. One of my favorite Giro helmets is the Range, which is a very streamlined, contoured helmet. In contrast, the Orbit is rounder in shape, which is not the worst thing in this application. The rounder shape stems from the internal Spherical shell and MIPS, which adds not only additional safety, but also additional comfort.

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From Giro's website:

THE ALL-IN-ONE LOOK​

The Orbit Spherical® shield helmet offers comfort on the mountain while boasting a futuristic look with modern performance features. You can easily pull the shield out and over the helmet and back down without any fuss - a great option for those who wear glasses. You're also sure to appreciate the VIVID lens that's seamlessly integrated with the helmet, Mips® Spherical technology which aids in the reduction of rotational energy during impacts, and Thermostat Control so you can manage the temperature within.​


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Speaking of comfort, this is where the visor design really comes into play. By not having a full-framed goggle against my face, I experienced a level of comfort I‘ve never had with any helmet/goggle combination before. I have to say, I liked it. I really liked it. There is a freeing feeling of not wearing a goggle while still having eye and wind protection and an unmatched periferal view. Goodbye gaper gap and teary eyes.

The Orbit Spherical comes standard with the Giro's Vivid Ember lens from Zeiss which worked well (for me) in a mix of bright blue sky to shaded trees. For those looking for a flat light option, they might consider the Vivid Infrared which Giro offers as an option for an additional cost. As one who is sensitive to lower light and tends to err to a lighter lens in most cases, I very well might opt for the additional lens.

With a few days in the Orbit I have come to many positive conclusions. Visability from the extra large lens is incredible. I liken the view to looking though a windshield of a vehicle. A traditional goggle is like looking through your run-of-the-mill car or SUV, whereas the Orbit is like looking though the expansive windshield of, say, a Sprinter van. While you can put some goggles up onto your helmet with one hand (but usually you need two), you do need two hands to raise the shield on the Orbit.

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I did let a skier who wears glasses try the Orbit. This is someone who has always fought with Over The Glasses (OTG) goggles and he was extremely impressed with how much better the Orbit worked. Fogging, which is always a concern when wearing glasses under goggles, was not an issue. His only caveat was the helmet was too warm, but in the Orbit's defense, he is from the tundra of the Upper Penninsula of Michigan and is well adapted to colder weather.

The more time I spent in the Orbit, the more I liked it, and that was surprising. It is obvious that the Orbit is Giro's halo helmet due to features such as the Spherical shell, Vivid lens from Zeiss, magnetic clasps, and the nice carrying case. I could see this helmet becoming a main/go to helmet. The fit of the size medium Orbit is great; it accepts my Outdoor Tech wireless speakers without loss of comfort, not something I can say about every helmet. My only real knock against the Orbit is that I have to be overly careful with the shield; it can be susceptible to scratching. I'd also like to see some more color options that don't look like they are from a black and white television show.

  • Who is it for: Those who put comfort and vision above all else ... and those who have to wear glasses when on the slopes
  • Who is it not for: The frugal. This is not an inexpensive helmet combo, but neither are individual helmet and goggles of this caliber.
  • Insider tip: There is a LOT of lens that is susceptible to scratching. Be careful and use the provided case and shield cover.
  • One thing I would change: Some color options besides variing shades of grey would be nice.
About author
Philpug
I started skiing in the mid-70s in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania; from then on, I found myself entrenched in the industry. I have worked in various ski shops from suburban to ski town to resort, giving me a well-rounded perspective on what skiers want from their gear. That experience was parlayed into my time as a Gear Review Editor and also consulting with manufacturers as a product tester. Along with being a Masterfit-trained bootfitter I am a fully certified self proclaimed Gear Guru. Not only do I keep up with the cutting edge of ski gear technology, but I am an avid gear collector and have an extensive array of bindings as well as many vintage skis.

Replies

I always wondered if goggle helmet options like this would leave more air gaps around the side/bottom of the goggles. My eyes get dry easily and a lot of wind coming in would be tough. Especially when its super cold. Did you notice any gaps/wind? In one of the pics, it looks like there is a gap around the top of your nose.
 
I always wondered if goggle helmet options like this would leave more air gaps around the side/bottom of the goggles. My eyes get dry easily and a lot of wind coming in would be tough. Especially when its super cold. Did you notice any gaps/wind? In one of the pics, it looks like there is a gap around the top of your nose.
That was one of my initial questions. I am sure not all designs are the same (as they shouldn't be). As far as the Giro, and in my case, no air is coming through either around the sides nor the bottom, the foam does a good job of preventing that.
 
Just bought one. Received today.
As fas as I am concern, much improvement over regular goggle: better vision, better clarity, and , i do not have that compressed , too tight feeling that I always have had with goggles.
Being 66 years young, I really like the safety factor with the better visibility and the comfort!
IMHO it is a winner!
 

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