Expert Review: Smith Vantage MIPS Helmet · Women's
This review is my honest opinion of the helmet, which I purchased with my own money in January of 2022.
About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the helmet, which I purchased with my own money in January of 2022.
The Smith Vantage MIPS helmet is a great, high-end helmet for female skiers looking for something with warmth and ventilation.
About the helmet I own
- Model: 2022 Smith Vantage MIPS Helmet - Women’s
- Size: M 55-59cm
- Height: 5’8”
- Weight: 165 lbs
- Head circumference: 58.4cm
- Goggles: Smith 4D Mag
- Experience: 20+ years of skiing
- When I bought this helmet: January 2022
- Days tested: 3
- Where I’ve used it: Attitash Resort, NH
- How I’ve used it: Resort (spring)
How it performs
What I was looking for
My old Poc helmet had some cosmetic damage, and it was time to replace it after I dropped it in the parking lot. I had it for several years and enjoyed the fit, but was looking for a new style and warmer option. I was looking for a helmet with warmth, ventilation, and seamless integration with my new googles. My previous helmet didn’t have adjustable vents, which made it too warm for spring skiing.
Why I chose this gear
I bought this helmet for several reasons. It has MIPS technology, which is important to me after suffering a gnarly concussion as a teen. It matched my new goggles in both color and brand. I considered a slightly less high-end option from Smith, the Women’s Liberty, but ended up going with the Vantage because of color and size availability. The lightness was an added bonus.
What I love about it
- Protection: Thankfully, I haven’t had any falls in this helmet, but I’m confident the MIPS technology will keep me safe during a fall.
- Comfort: The helmet is mostly comfortable, but does feel tight around my temples. The fleece liners on the ear flaps and chinstrap are both warm and protect my skin from rough materials.
- Liner: The liner is comfortable in terms of material, and feels sweat wicking on a spring skiing day. As I mention in the sizing issue below, the liner is a bit thick, which is causing a fit issue for me.
- Earpads: The earpads are comfortable and feel warm. I have not tried them with drop-in speakers
- Weight: Compared to my old POC helmet, it feels lighter when holding it, but doesn’t feel substantially lighter on my head.
- Built-In Features: This helmet does not have built-in audio.
- Durability: The helmet is new so there is virtually no damage on it thus far. It’s a matte finish, so I do think it will be susceptible to scratches. It’s also susceptible to finger prints/grease marks.
- Quality of Materials: The helmet feels premium overall with the BOA technology and fleece-lined chin strap and ear flaps.
- Style: I like the look of the small brim and two-piece design of the helmet. I think it looks like a backcountry/big mountain skier style helmet.
Issues I’ve encountered
- Sizing: It runs a bit smaller than the Liberty line, which made it hard to find the right size after only being able to try on the Liberty in person. The helmet is honestly slightly small on me and I would recommend sizing up for those in between sizes
- Fit system: The BOA dial is easy to use, even with gloves on, but there are no customizable padding options unfortunately. If I could exchange the interior head padding liner for a thinner one, the helmet would fit perfectly.
- Goggle compatibility: I purchased these to fit seamlessly with my Smith 4D Mag goggles, but unfortunately there is a gap unless the helmet is positioned perfectly. Additionally, the brim on the helmet makes it hard for the google to rest off my face above my forehead.
Favorite moment with this gear
I enjoyed switching from a helmet with no easy method of ventilation to this helmet, which has two different adjustable vents. The first time I used this helmet was on a spring skiing day when temps were approaching 50 degrees. Being able to easily open up both vents with a gloved hand was a game changing moment for me and made my spring skiing day dry and pleasant.
Value for the money vs. other options
This is the top of the Smith Women’s line for helmets. As a mostly resort skier, I don’t notice the small differences in weight that a backcountry skier would. That being said, I wouldn't strongly recommend this Vantage MIPS helmet over the Women’s MIPS Liberty helmet, which is a bit cheaper. There’s no real difference in comfort and feel in my opinion (outside of the different fit between sizes across the two models).
Overall, I feel safe skiing in this helmet, and it also offers great warmth and ventilation. After a few uses, I would say that the helmet is a bit overpriced for features that are standard on most other mid- to high-end helmets.