My second time snowboarding I got a concussion and lost memory of the day. Since then, I wear a helmet as much as possible when boarding. However helmets are hot and bulky, and if I am traveling, or if it’s a nice soft powder day, I have always wanted something that offers protection without the hard shell. D3o Labs has come up with a new foam that is soft in general use, but gets rigid when impacted. This material was used in Olympic slalom ski suits to take the sting out of the on-coming gates and to offer crash protection. A Swiss company, Ribcap, has licensed this material for a set of very nicely made knit caps. These hats have this smart foam sewn in to make them effectively a soft helmet. This is by no means a substitute for a rated hard shell helmet, but I like having the option, especially when traveling where a helmet is bulky. The hat I just got from a retailer in Canada (so far the only place I have found them) is really nicely made, and has a built in balaclava.