Expert Review: Smith Mirage MIPS Helmet · Women's
This review is my honest opinion of the helmet, which I purchased with my own money in December of 2022.
About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the helmet, which I purchased with my own money in December of 2022.
The Smith Mirage MIPS Helmet is a warm, lightweight helmet that will protect one’s noggin without breaking the bank.
About the helmet I own
- Model: 2023 Smith Mirage MIPS
- Size: M
- Height: 5’7”
- Weight: 150lbs
- Head circumference: 58cm
- Goggles: Pit Viper The Midnight Gogglés Grande
- Experience: 20 years of snowboarding/skiing
- When I bought this helmet: December 2022
- Days tested: 20
- Where I’ve used it: Big White, Canada; Powderhorn Mountain Resort, CO
- How I’ve used it: Resort skiing and racing
How it performs
What I was looking for
I was looking for a new helmet after my old helmet cracked in a collision with another rider. I was at a banked slalom race at Big White, Canada, and I needed something to wear to continue competing. I was looking for a helmet to keep me safe, but I wanted something less expensive because it was a surprise purchase.
Why I chose this gear
I chose the Smith Mirage MIPS because the shop at the mountain’s base area didn’t sell Bern, and I needed something ASAP. I had my Smith goggles with me, so I wanted to buy a Smith helmet because I knew my goggles would be compatible. The Mirage MIPS seemed comfortable enough and provided enough warmth for the -15°F temps outside. It was also the least expensive Smith helmet with MIPS, so I was sold.
What I love about it
- Protection: The MIPS system gave me enough peace of mind to continue riding after a nasty collision. Luckily, I haven’t really had to put this helmet’s protection to the test, but in the few minor spills I’ve taken in this helmet, it’s done its job and stayed secure.
- Fit system: I love the adjustability of the helmet with the BOA system. I can easily get a pretty comfortable yet snug fit with it. However, when I tried on the Smith Liberty helmet in the store, there were definite upgrades in the fit and adjustability from the Mirage. The differences between price tags definitely reflect this difference.
- Breathability: I haven’t been able to test this helmet in spring conditions yet, but it has 14 vents that can easily slide open when the temps warm up. I’m looking forward to using this feature come spring, but having mostly kept them closed so far, the helmet definitely keeps me warm.
- Goggle compatibility: My goggles feel secure, and I can easily pull them up or down.
Issues I’ve encountered
- Comfort: While I find this helmet to be reasonably comfortable, it’s not the most comfortable helmet I’ve worn. I find it only tightens around the circumference of my head, creating some weird pressure points for me. The Liberty was definitely more comfortable, as have been by Bern helmets, but it hasn’t been so much of an issue that I can’t wear the helmet.
- Liner: The liner feels lower quality than other liners I’ve used, and though it has performed well in cold weather conditions, I’m concerned about how it will do with wicking sweat on warm spring days.
- Earpads: My biggest issue with this helmet so far is the earpads. While they are extremely comfortable, they are also so incredibly padded that I can’t hear anything going on around me. I typically don’t ride with earpads because I like being able to hear what’s going on around me. Even after ripping the foam out, I feel like I can’t hear as well as I could in my old helmet.
- Durability: While I bought this helmet for the safety of MIPS, the MIPS system actually broke before I even had the chance to wear it out of the condo. While adjusting the earpads, I pulled the MIPS out of the hole in the foam (which is presumably something I’m supposed to be allowed to do because there are three hole options drilled into the foam), and the plastic tab snapped off. Luckily, when I returned to the shop, a Smith rep was there, and he got me a new piece immediately. If he hadn’t been there to troubleshoot this, there would have been a real problem.
- Style: It’s definitely not my favorite style of helmet. All of the vents up front look a bit dorky to me, and the Matte Iceberg color that I purchased looks more like a color for kids than for myself, but that’s what the store had in stock at the moment.
Favorite moment with this gear
The best moment of this gear for me was getting back on the mountain after getting smoked by another rider. I was so mentally shaken up by the crash that I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to keep riding that week. But the Smith Mirage MIPS Helmet came to the rescue and restored my confidence that I’d be safe.
Value for the money vs. other options
This helmet provides excellent value for the money. It has all the essential features I look for in a helmet without paying for all the extras. While I have worn and owned helmets that I’ve found to be more comfortable, this one definitely strikes a perfect balance for the rider on a budget. If someone has the funds and wants something with an upgraded fit and materials, I suggest the Smith Liberty MIPS.
The Smith Mirage MIPS helmet would be a great choice for a rider who doesn’t need all the latest features in a helmet but wants to shred with the confidence that they are incredibly protected in the event of a crash.