Review: Glittery Gold, Ear-flap-equipped helmet (for winter biking)

Nutcase helmets stand out. From watermelon graphics to faux-wood motifs, these fun helmets are among the most visible on the road.

But under the sometimes-silly aesthetic is a solid hard hat that can keep you safe. I have been riding this winter with the brand’s Crossover model. It is comfortable and warm, plus it has a magnetic buckle that’s easy to fasten even with gloves on.

The Nutcase in ‘Gold Sparkle’ motif

The Crossover is not a winter-specific helmet. There isn’t a lining, meaning the helmet can transition easily into summer. But with only a few air holes on top, it might be too warm and bulky for hot days.

In winter my head stays warm enough for single-digit commutes. This is with a thin wool cap underneath.

The author ready for a chilly commute

If you need extra warmth, the Crossover is compatible with removable ear flaps. These fleece add-ons slide between the helmet’s outer shell and foam interior, their thick foam padding keeps my ears toasty.

Caveat: The ear flaps also muffle ambient noise. This can be dangerous when riding in traffic in a city.

It weighs 17 ounces with ear flaps in, which is more than my summer helmet but not overbearing in any way. There’s a single knob adjustment on back to loosen or tighten it up.

The Crossover helmet has kept my noggin warm on single-digit commutes without the bulk or extra weight of other winter riding helmets I’ve tested. It costs an affordable $60 and comes in lots of funky colors to keep you safe and seen.

—Amy Oberbroeckling is an assistant editor.

Amy Oberbroeckling

Amy Oberbroeckling, an Iowa native, joined GearJunkie out of college and brought a passion for endurance sports as well as a flawless record in arm wrestling matches against famous rock climbers. Find her biking, trail running, cross-country skiing, camping, or tipping back a cold IPA.