Expert Review: Pret Cynic X

This review is my own honest opinion of the helmet, which I bought with my own money in November 2020.

Robbie M. doing a ski jump with the Pret Cynic X helmet.

Photo by Robbie M.

Published on

About this review This review is my own honest opinion of the helmet, which I bought with my own money in November 2020.

My take

The Pret Cynic X is an awesome helmet for any level of skier looking for a budget-priced, low-profile helmet containing top-end features like MIPS tech and a magnetic buckle.

Photo of Robbie M. wearing the Pret Cynic X helmet.

Photo by Robbie M.

About the gear

  • Model: 2020 Pret Cynic X
  • Size: Large

About me

  • Height: 6’2”
  • Weight: 195
  • Head circumference: 57.5 cm
  • Goggles: Oakley Airbrake XL
  • Experience: 9 years

Test conditions

  • When I bought this helmet: November 2020
  • Days tested: 15
  • Where I’ve used it: Big Sky, MT; small resorts in Minnesota
  • How I’ve used it: Resort skiing

How it performs


What I was looking for

I was looking to replace my 6-year-old K2 Thrive helmet (a budget model) with something with better head protection, MIPS tech, and a lower profile. I specifically was looking for MIPS tech, adjustable fit, and a magnetic buckle, all of which the Pret Cynic X featured.

Why I chose this gear

I decided to go with the Pret Cynic X after some research with similar options due to the low price point for the number of features in the helmet. I really like that it has MIPS tech, a lower profile, an adjustable fit, and a magnetic buckle that makes taking it on and off super easy.

I considered the Giro Jackson and Smith Vantage but really liked the low-profile look and matte finish of the Pret Cynic X along with the lower price point (mine was a previous year model/color making it cheaper at around $100).

Closeup photo of Pret Cynic X helmet.

Photo by Robbie M.

Closeup photo of Pret Cynic X helmet.

Photo by Robbie M.

What I love about it

  • Protection: With MIPS tech I can ski comfortably knowing I have the best protection available
  • Comfort: The helmet is very comfortable with breathable and soft wool inner liner and BOA-style adjustability.
  • Sizing: The helmet comes in standard Small, Medium, Large, and Extra Large. I got mine in Large and my head circumference is 57.5cm, which would typically be a Medium, but I wear a hat under my helmet making it a little larger
  • Fit system: BOA style adjustability makes it super easy to have a great fit.
  • Liner: The wool liner is very comfy and warm!
  • Earpads: Earpads are comfy and removable in the event things get too warm or if you’re looking to add goggle audio systems.
  • Goggle compatibility: I use the Oakley Airbrake XL with this helmet and have never had an issue with a “gaper gap.” The matte finish helps the goggle strap to stick to your helmet and gives you confidence when you take your goggles off that they won’t fly away.
  • Style: The Cynic X has a nice low-profile look that’s very sleek

Issues I’ve encountered

  • Breathability: The one negative aspect of this helmet is the lack of adjustable venting for when the weather warms up. In warm spring conditions (warmer than 50°F) the helmet can get a little warm.

Favorite moment with this gear

One moment that stands out for me with the Pret Cynic X was a day skiing in Big Sky Montana with my dad. It was snowing like crazy and I really took advantage of the helmet’s low profile by putting my hood up on the chairlift to prevent snow from building up in my jacket (something I couldn’t do with my old taller helmet). It was a great day of skiing pow and I could ski hard knowing my noggin was well protected by the MIPS tech.

Value for the money vs. other options

This helmet is one of the best when it comes to value for money when looking at all the features included (MIPS, magnetic buckle, comfy fit). Similarly priced options lack either the magnetic buckle or MIPS tech, such as the Giro Ledge and Bern Unlimited that lack the buckle but have MIPS, and other helmets that contain these features are typically more expensive.

Final verdict

Overall the Pret Cynic X is an awesome helmet for people on a budget looking to have a sweet look and features typically found on helmets twice as expensive!

Selling Pret on
Pret Cynic X Helmet
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Written By
Engineering Supervisor by day; ski-addict by night/weekend. Skiing has taken me to Canada, Wyoming, Montana, Colorado, and Utah, and all are places I'd rather be skiing than my current location in Minnesota (which, to be honest, isn't that bad...see Marcus Caston's Minnesota Return of the Turn episo...

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