Today we took the time to review one of the most popular pieces of gear in the snowboard and ski game today, the K2 Diversion helmet. As we see many popular brands like K2 and the like continue to get creative each new winter season to set that helmet bar high, whether it new protection systems, fit mechanisms, and in our case today, built-in electronics, it’s tough at times to see what’s actually worth the buy. That’s why we gave the Diversion a few extra looks to see what it’s all about and if that price-tag is justified. Let’s get into it.
Features of the K2 Diversion helmet
- Built-in audio system
- Hybrid helmet construction
- Dual Active Matrix Venting
- 360 Fit System
- Washable liner system
- Removable ear pads
- Certifications: ASTM (F2040), CE (EN1077:2007 B)
- Multiple colors available
- Weight: 15 ounces
Standout snow helmet features
The obvious standout of the K2 Diversion helmet is that built-in audio system, considering its what caught our eye in the first place (and perhaps yours and why you’re here today) — so how effective is it? Let’s get into it’s details. K2 has decided to actually build speakers into the ear pads as opposed to the previous trend of allowing ear pads to be removable and riders purchasing after-market audio systems to place into the helmets themselves. Incorporated is what they’ve coined as the ‘K2 Baseline Audio System’ — its build is composed of a speaker housing with a low-profile placement to allow them to go completely unnoticeable. There’s a detachable cord that has a control system at the center of it to give us quite a few different controls over our tunes — pause, play, answer phone calls and of course, hang up (yes, we were also wondering before we checked it out if there was a microphone built-in for calls, and indeed there is). Also keep in mind that this is removable as well — if you aren’t feeling it or don’t want to ride with it in for that run, it’ll take a few minutes to take it out and set aside. This also gives us some confidence that if it breaks we can always replace them with normal ear pads or of course, a new audio system made by a different brand.
The fit system here is also one of our favorite features of the K2 Diversion, labeled as their ‘360 K2Dialed Fit System’. This works quite well, and we’ve seen similar competing brands come out with 360 fit systems in their high-end helmets, too. Instead of the typical one strap adjustment we see in lower-end and lower-priced helmets, the ‘360 fit’ systems have two straps, one horizontal and one vertical, to both tighten simultaneously and have a better grip on your head to keep the entire circumference snug as a whole. This not only allows for an obviously better fit, but less pressure in certain areas that other helmets aren’t able to customize. To adjust it, all you have to do is turn a nifty dial at the back of the Diversion helmet, which can be done on the fly while you’re on the lift or about to go down the mountain without taking off your helmet or gloves to do so.
The K2 Diversion build and protection
Hybrid helmet construction is becoming the norm here especially within this price range. What it does is combine both the popular in-mold construction with hard-shell construction. The in-mold make helps the helmet remain light and comfortable with some airflow, while the outer layer of the hard-shell keeps you safe and secure from fall.
The venting system is also unique here, and as a staple-point of helmets, we’d sure hope so. They have another term incorporated into this Diversion called ‘Dual Active Matrix’ and aside from the fancy name, works by combining both user and switch regulated vents paired up with some passive channel venting to keep us covered in most bases when we dissect helmet venting. They aren’t big holes incorporated in to the tops and sides of the helmet, instead you see a bunch of mini-holes at the top and brim (for goggles) to allow a more advanced flow of air to keep us cool (or warm if you turn them off) while we ride in different types of conditions. You can adjust the vents with a mere touch of a button.
The final word on the K2 Diversion helmet
In terms of cons, they really isn’t much we can say here. We were afraid the audio system wasn’t removable therefore most likely would have steered us away — considering it’s an electronic in there who knows how long that life span would last (we want at least 3+ years worth of wearing for helmets unless you have a bad fall that ruins it). Therefore, the only thing we can pick a part here is no MIPS protection system as well as the lack of color choices (a lot of helmets out there have 10+ and some cool designs, while the Diversion has solid coloring with little aesthetics — but hey, that could be exactly what you’re looking for). If you do want some more options to check out, read our top 10 snow helmets guide for some more models to compare and contrast before you make your purchase.
Ultimately, the K2 Diversion is an awesome helmet for those who love shredding while bumping their favorite tunes (or even podcasts, of course). Not to mention if you’re attempting to communicate with friends or loved ones that are only different slopes, you can easily talk hands free using the in-line remote control on the detachable cable. There aren’t many helmets out there that compete with this since other brands are still taking the removable ear pad plus additional audio system route to keep it safe. If you have the money and are a music-junkie like us, this is the helmet for you.