Expert Review: Smith Mission MIPS Helmet · 2022

Published on 09/14/2022 · 5 min read This review is my honest opinion of the helmet, which I purchased with my own money in January of 2022.
Medora C., Ski Expert
By Ski Expert Medora C.

Surviving frigid temps in Vail. All photos courtesy of Medora C.

About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the helmet, which I purchased with my own money in January of 2022.

My Take

The Smith Mission MIPS Helmet is a helmet for both adults and older children that has a sleek, functional design and is super light without sacrificing any of the durability of safety features.

Matte Lava color is easy to spot in a crowd!

About the helmets we own

  • Model: 2022 Smith Mission MIPS Helmet
  • Sizes: Medium & large

About my children

  • Height: 4’6” & 5’5”
  • Weight: 85lbs & 110lbs
  • Head circumference: 56cm & 59cm
  • Goggles: Smith
  • Experience: The kids have been skiing since they were five and three years old

Test conditions

  • When I bought this helmet: January 2022
  • Days tested: The kids put these through the wringer with 15 days of skiing across the season.
  • Where I’ve used it: Stowe, VT; Wildcat, Mt. Sunapee, NH; Vail, CO
  • How I’ve used it: Resort skiing in varied conditions, including some subzero days in the Northeast and powder days in Colorado

How it performs


What I was looking for

Both of my kids were in need of new helmets last year. My son (14) had beaten his old helmet to a pulp, and my daughter (9) had outgrown her kids helmet and needed to move into adult sizing. I wanted a safe helmet and one that is durable, lightweight, and will hold up to rough treatment kids inevitably subject their gear to. I’m always happy to pay a premium for high-quality gear, but was hoping to avoid breaking the bank since we needed two.

Why I chose this gear

I use a Smith helmet and love it, so while I was open to other brands, I was happy to find a Smith option that checked all of the boxes. The Mission has a great combination of safety and functional design, and I knew it would have the durability I’ve come to expect in Smith products.

Toasty on the chair in NH on a -5 day

What I love about it

  • Protection: I feel super comfortable letting my kids roam and go hard in this helmet. With the MIPS system and Zonal Koroyd, it feels like I’ve pretty much bubble wrapped their heads.
  • Comfort: My daughter has some ‘princess and the pea’ tendencies when it comes to fit and comfort, but she had zero complaints, which is unheard of. She said it was waaaay more comfortable than her old helmet (Bern).
  • Sizing: The helmet fits true to size so long as one measures accurately; for those on the cusp between two sizes, I’d size up to dial the fit back.
  • Liner: The liner is soft and comfortable and does not catch on gear or long hair.
  • Breathability: Airflow is effective and the venting system is easy to use—even with gloved hands. Kids were able to manage venting independently on warmer days and stayed toasty when it was colder.
  • Earpads: The earpads are cushy and comfortable; we did not use the audio compatible system at all so I can’t really comment. They are fairly easy to remove on mild days.
  • Goggle compatibility: The Mission MIPS pairs beautifully with Smith goggles. My son used a pair of Skifox goggles that he liked for an over-the-glasses fit, and those paired well, too. There was minimal gapping between the helmet and goggles, and it was easy to flip them on and off.
  • Weight: Super light helmets, particularly when considering how durable and well constructed they are; the kids carried these through airports in carry-ons with no complaints. They packed really well into their gear bags.
  • Durability: My kids are rough on their gear, both during use and while getting to/from the mountain, and the helmet survived the season relatively unscathed. My son chose the white helmet and I was concerned it would get marked up easily, but that was not the case.
  • Style: My kids have rather large noggins, and in the past helmets that fit them well were super round and clunky. These fit well but have a sleek look.

Issues I’ve encountered

  • Fit system: We adjusted these to get a great fit for each kid, however the dials for fit adjustment are a challenge to use out on the mountain. With gloves on it was a struggle to tweak the snugness using the dial. We made sure to get the fit adjusted before heading out.
  • Quality of Materials: The helmet is of good quality, however the goggle clip is a tad flimsy. I would prefer something with a snap or something a little more durable. I’m a little concerned this will show some wear and tear over time.

Favorite moment with this gear

The Mission helmet was the perfect addition to our gear setup—with zero complaints from the kids about fit or function. The helmets held up amazingly well on trips to New Hampshire, Vermont, and Colorado; the distinctive color my daughter chose (Matte Lava) made it super easy to keep an eye on her while skiing in the trees.

Value for the money vs. other options

This helmet is great value for the money. Helmets are expensive, so something that comes in under $150 that is safe, durable and looks good is a steal.I checked out some other options including the Oakley Mod 5, the Anon Prime, and a few options from Giro that came in around the same price point or were more expensive. The look and features of the Mission were great, and my experience with my own Smith Compass made the Mission the best choice for me.

Final verdict

I highly recommend the Mission helmet for adults and older kids. It’s fit and function can’t be beat. My husband recently needed a replacement, and was so impressed with the kids helmets he got one for himself. I frequently recommend this helmet to people looking for their first helmet or a replacement.

Out of stock
  • We price match
  • Returnable

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