Expert Review: Smith Maze HelmetPublished on 09/15/2022 · 5 min readThis review is my honest opinion of the helmet, which I purchased with my own money in March of 2022.
All photos courtesy of Gary Neft
About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the helmet, which I purchased with my own money in March of 2022.
The Smith Maze Helmet is a solid basic helmet that includes MIPS and will keep one’s head warm and protected while either snowboarding or skiing.
About the gear
- Model: 2021 Smith Maze
- Size: Medium
- Height: 5’6”
- Weight: 165 lbs
- Head circumference: 22”
- Goggles: Smith range
- Experience: I have been skiing for 57 years on and off.
- When I bought this helmet: March 2022
- Days tested: 4 days
- Where I’ve used it: Arizona Snowbowl, Flagstaff, Arizona
- How I’ve used it: Resort skiing
How it performs
What I was looking for
I had always been renting, so I was looking for something pretty basic in a helmet that still featured all the protection for my head. I was looking for something basic in a good price range, as I had been off skiing due to injuries for like three years, so I just wanted something to protect my head that could hold my goggles pretty easily.
Why I chose this gear
I looked at the Smith Holt and K2 Verdict as other options, but they did not have MIPS. The Smith Maze Helmet had the color and price I was looking to spend money on. I have had major knee surgeries, and I wasn’t sure about whether I could ski, so I didn’t want to spend too much if I couldn’t continue.
What I love about it
- Protection: It provides excellent protection with MIPS, so it is a great helmet with all the features I need to protect my head in case of a fall. But thankfully for me, I have not been able to test that since I have not fallen while wearing it.
- Comfort: It is very comfortable with or without a hat underneath. It is very comfortable and lightweight. I can’t even tell that I have it on sometimes.
- Sizing: Their medium-sized helmet fits me perfectly. The sizing specs were right on, and it was easily adjustable.
- Liner: The liner is comfortable and warm with or without a hat.
- Breathability: The AirEvac™ ventilation system integrates with Smith goggles for fog-free lenses. Nine fixed vents keep air flowing throughout the helmet. They work perfectly and keep me from getting too warm or cold depending on the day.
- Earpads: They are comfortable, easy to use with earpieces, and very soft as well. I have a really soft felt liner, that I have had no issues with any type of earphones. Removable Snapfit SL2 ear pads add warmth, are audio-chip compatible, and are really easy to use.
- Goggle compatibility: It is easy to hook my goggles on and keep them in place with the goggle strap holder on the back. It is very compatible with Smith goggles. I use Smith goggles. They stay and go on really easily, and the air vents protect the goggles from fogging up.
- Weight: It is very lightweight.
- Built-in features MIPS: Nine fixed vents provide consistent airflow.
- Durability: It has a matte finish. It holds up really nicely — no issues so far with my current one. Lightweight in-mold construction fuses the exterior shell and EPS foam for a one-piece design that's lightweight and durable. I can’t ask for anything better; again, no issues here.
- Quality of materials: It has a basic matte finish. It is good quality and a better price for a MIPS helmet. If a low-style brim is what one is looking for, then these fit that to a tee.
- Style: It is a basic ski helmet style. It is available in “Round Contour Fit” to better match rounder head shapes. There is a small brim in front, and it has great integration with Smith goggles.
Issues I’ve encountered
- Fit system: The fit system is basic — one strap that can be only adjusted by pulling the strap tighter is hard to do with gloves on and even if one has big hands. However, the self-adjusting lifestyle fit system flexes to match my head shape for maximum comfort. It took about 2–3 minutes to properly fit it to my head, and then it was good to go. I really like how easy it is to adjust to my head. Sometimes I wear a hat underneath and sometimes I don’t, so it can adjust really easily either way. I also wear earphones, and it doesn’t interfere with those.
Favorite moment with this gear
Fortunately, I have not had a fall to put the helmet to the test. From the time I have put this on, it has provided what it is supposed to provide: protection for my head, comfort, ease of keeping my goggles on, and not being noticeable while it is worn.
Value for the money vs. other options
There are a lot of cheaper options without MIPS, but for having that feature, it is one of the best helmets for the price. If someone wants more features in their helmet like more air ventilation or a lighter option with more customizability then the Smith Level or Vantage may be a better option.
The Smith Maze Helmet is a great quality helmet at an excellent price. It has all the features I need when wearing a helmet, without all the bells and whistles. I would recommend this all day for someone who just needs a helmet to protect their head and not have to worry if they fall.