Giro Discord Helmet
Size Tested: Small (52-55.5cm)
Available Sizes: Small (52-55.5cm), Medium (55.5-59cm), Large (59-62.5cm)
Color: Matte Dark Shadow
- Soft Shell Construction
- Dual Density Vinyl Nitrile (VN) Liner
- Auto Loc 2 Fit System
- On-The-Fly Vertical Tuning
- Super Cool Vents with Thermostat Control
- Stack Ventilation
- Removable Goggle Retainer
- Certification: CE EN1077
Test Locations: Taos Ski Valley, NM; Crested Butte, CO; Alyeska Resort, AK; Backcountry around Girdwood, AK
Days Tested: ~50
The Discord is a new helmet for Giro this season, and is designed for freeride skiing and riding. The Discord uses the same Soft Shell construction found in their freestyle-oriented Combyn helmet, which is meant to handle multiple, smaller impacts that you might experience day to day.
The Discord uses Giro’s Soft Shell construction, which they first included on the Combyn, their freestyle-oriented helmet. The Discord is built to withstand multiple, smaller hits to the helmet that you might incur every day.
The foam is quite visible around the inside of the helmet, and is a combination of a low and high density Vinyl Nitrile foam. Ideally, in combination with the helmet’s more flexible outer shell, this design would be able to take smaller impacts without compromising its protection. While the Soft Shell construction will still be able to adequately protect your head under a high energy impact, it is not a helmet that can handle multiple high energy impacts. Like most helmets, if you hit your head hard while wearing it, it is likely compromised and it’s probably worth investing in a new one.
Sizing / Fit
I have a relatively small head and have comfortably worn a size Extra Small POC Receptor Bug (51-52cm) and the size Small Smith Allure (51-55cm) helmets. I went with a size Small Discord since its range of adjustability was similar to the sizing on the Receptor Bug and the Allure.
It took a bit of fiddling around for me to dial in the fit of the Discord. When I first put it on, I was a little surprised by how tight it fit my head. I had worn an XS Receptor Bug without any discomfort or pinching and a Small Allure that had extra room. My first thought was that maybe I should have chosen a size Medium, but that seemed like it would have been way too big. I figured that I could get the helmet to fit better with a few adjustments.
While the Small Discord felt secure, it was a bit tight around my forehead, which started to feel uncomfortable after just a few minutes. The helmet has an adjustable fit system, which I was able to loosen up in order to create a little more room. The system is quite simple, with two plastic tabs on either side that click into and adjust to different points along the inside of the helmet. The back of the fit system is also made of an elastic strap that can adds a little more stretch.
First, I adjusted the system to its loosest setting, but was still feeling pressure on my forehead and my ears were beginning to ache after just an hour or so. I then realized that I could actually remove the whole adjustment system since it clips into a little tab in the back of the helmet. Once I had done that, the helmet wasn’t now as tight on my head, though my ears still hurt. Fortunately, the ear pieces had a velcro opening, so I was able to open them and remove the padding. For me, this made the helmet much more comfortable, and allowed me to wear it throughout the day without getting a head or ear ache. The entire ear pad piece is removable, but I prefer at least leaving the fabric in since I don’t usually wear a beanie.
After I had made some of these adjustments, I actually found the Discord to be slightly loose. I tried to get the adjustment system to clip back into the helmet, but wasn’t able to do so. It should be able to pop back in, I’ve just had a tough time getting it reattached. So, it does seem like the Discord has a wide range of adjustability; if it’s too tight, you can take out the adjustable system to free up a little more space, or tighten up the notches for a more snug fit.
I would say that if you’re right in between sizes, it would probably work better to size up because the foam doesn’t give a whole lot. Like all helmets, I believe it’s important to try a helmet on to make sure it fits the shape of your head, since only fairly minor adjustments can be made.
Smith claims that the Allure (the Smith Maze is the men’s version) is the lightest snow helmet available, and at 11.5 oz (330 grams), it does feel incredibly light. Unsurprisingly, the Discord felt a little heavier, though not uncomfortably so, when on my head.
I’ve worn the Discord with several different goggles, including the Anon WM1, the Anon Deringer, the Giro Field, and the Smith I/OS, and they’ve mostly synced well with the helmet. Overall, I haven’t loved how the helmet fits with any of the goggles, but it probably worked best with the WM1 and the Field goggles.
On me, it seems like the Discord’s shape results in the goggles sitting lower on the helmet than other ones I’ve worn. I have a few pairs of googles that don’t have a sticky silicone strap on the inner band, and without that, they will often slide either up or down and pop off the helmet if they’re not held in by the strap. The removable goggle clip does well keeping the goggles in place, but it’s not very long, and I found my goggles sit just a touch lower than I would like in the clip.
If the goggles have silicone, it’s possible to place the goggle strap higher on the helmet, but I’ve still found that most goggles sit lower when worn with the Discord than usual.
The Anon WM1 and Deringer goggles have a bigger frame, so I never had a huge issue with them feeling too small on the Discord. However, I occasionally experience them slipping down and leaving me with a little goggle gap (neither have the silicone strip).
The Giro Field goggle fits nicely with the Discord, although the Smith I/OS always felt a little small and left me with more room than I would have liked around my temples.
Warmth and Venting
Before removing the padding in the ear pieces and the inner adjustable fit system, the Discord offered a snug fit and plenty of warmth on cooler days. I never felt my ears or forehead getting chilled, which was good since I didn’t have enough space to put on a headband or beanie under the helmet.
Once I had played around with the fit, the Discord was overall a bit looser. On warmer days this wasn’t an issue, but when it was colder, the now thin ear pads didn’t do much in the way of keeping my ears warm and I’d get pretty chilled. With a little more room, though, I was comfortably able to wear a fleece-lined headband under the Discord to keep my ears and forehead warm. And, if you prefer to wear a beanie, it’s easy to pop out the ear pieces to free up a little more room.
I spent a lot of time hiking around in the Discord at Taos on warmer days, and never really had an issue overheating in the helmet. The vents are very simple to use and can be opened or closed by a small tab that can be slid back and forth.
Giro’s new Discord helmet is a comfortable, stylish helmet with a clean, simple look that I’ve really come to like. While it’s taken me a little while to get the fit dialed, the helmet’s adjustments are easy to use. It’s certainly worth trying on before purchasing to make sure it fits your head well, but if it does, the Giro Discord can be a comfortable, well-designed option for the resort and backcountry.