Expert Review: Smith Vantage MIPS Helmet · 2022Published on 09/23/2022 · 4 min readThis review is my honest opinion of the helmet, which I purchased with my own money in January of 2021.
All photos courtesy of Andrew Bliss
About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the helmet, which I purchased with my own money in January of 2021.
The Smith Vantage MIPS Helmet is a lightweight, comfortable helmet for any skier. I would suggest it for more advanced skiers, and the protection it offers is great for any level of skier.
About the gear
- Model: 2021 Smith Vantage MIPS Helmet
- Size: M
- Height: 5’9”
- Weight: 160 lbs
- Head circumference: 60cm
- Goggles: Smith Squad XL
- Experience: 25 years of skiing
- When I bought this helmet: January 2021
- Days tested: 40+ days
- Where I’ve used it: Aspen, Vail, Copper, Winter Park
- How I’ve used it: Resort skiing
How it performs
What I was looking for
I was looking for an upgrade to the helmet I had used for five seasons. I wanted something light and safe for my aggressive style of skiing. I needed a high-end helmet that provided great protection and great ventilation. I live and ski in Colorado, and there are some days it can be pretty warm, so being able to dump heat through my helmet is key.
Why I chose this gear
Smith makes a great product, and always has new technology to increase safety. Being able to adjust the fit of the helmet around my head is a huge bonus for snugness and comfort. I considered POC helmets but really found Smith products to fit my head and face more comfortably. I am of the mindset that there is no price to protecting my head while on the mountain, and Smith helmets have long been very trusted. Also, my previous helmet was made by Smith, and it never let me down.
What I love about it
- Protection: This helmet has protected me during both small and big falls. It gives me the confidence to ski as hard as I want to, knowing that my head has great protection.
- Comfort: I find this helmet to be very comfortable, breathable, and lightweight.
- Sizing: This helmet comes in all sizes S-XL.
- Fit system: This helmet does have a BOA dial in the back of the helmet to make it snugger, or to loosen the fit on the inside of the helmet.
- Liner: I have never had sweat drip into my eyes while skiing. The liner is breathable to help my head stay dry all day.
- Breathability: There are two vent latches, one on the top and one on the back of the helmet. There are vents all over the helmet, allowing great airflow if I am running warm.
- Earpads: The earpads are very comfortable. I do not ski with headphones or pods, so they stay down and cover my ears well. On very cold days I have wished there was more coverage there, but this has seldom been an issue.
- Goggle compatibility: The material of the helmet makes it nice for lifting my goggles and not having them slip off my head. I use Smith goggles as well, so the fit and compatibility are terrific.
- Weight: Lightweight, allowing for great maneuverability.
- Durability: It has a softer outside shell with a non-gloss finish that limits scratches. But while the finish does not scratch easily, it has taken on the color of my goggle strap in some areas.
- Quality of Materials: The quality is great. The helmet is made of Smith’s premium material, Aerocore, designed to absorb impact, instead of solid resistance.
- Style: I like that the helmet offers a small brim for styling.
Issues I’ve encountered
- Warmth: The soft ear flaps can be cold in very cold weather or high winds. For those who get cold easily, I’d consider a full shell helmet.
Favorite moment with this gear
I have had great days with this helmet and recommend it to anyone. It has kept me safe while taking falls directly on my head. The helmet stayed on and square, but most importantly, it kept me conscious and safe in that moment.
Value for the money vs. other options
This is a more expensive helmet option, but I would say it is a small price to pay for great head protection. The technology and materials used in this more advanced helmet provide better head protection and impact absorption than others. Some helmets are suited more for having something instead of nothing on the head in case of an impact. This helmet will actively absorb impact and utilize research to minimize the area of impact and soften the point of contact.
I would definitely buy this helmet again. It looks great and offers excellent protection. I ski fast and aggressively with more confidence knowing I have high-quality safety gear on my side.