Expert Review: Smith Holt Helmet · 2022Published on 07/13/2022 · 6 min readThis review is my honest opinion of the helmet which I purchased with my own money in March of 2020.
Showing off the Smith Holt at Snowbird Resort. All photos courtesy of Galen G.
About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the helmet which I purchased with my own money in March of 2020.
The Smith Holt Helmet is a great, comfortable helmet for anyone looking for a low-profile helmet at a great cost. This helmet is great for anyone who doesn’t need a lot of features and likes a single-color profile.
About the gear
- Model: Smith Holt Helmet 2021
- Size: Large
- Height: 5’10
- Weight: 150 lbs.
- Head circumference: 58 cm
- Goggles: SPY Legacy Goggle
- Experience: 22 years
- When I bought this helmet: March 2020
- Days tested: 70 days
- Where I’ve used it: Resorts in Utah as well as the backcountry and resorts in Idaho, California, Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana.
- How I’ve used it: I use this helmet for resort skiing and downhill in the backcountry.
How it performs
What I was looking for
My old helmet had quite a few scratches and a few old stickers that no longer were relevant. I wanted to upgrade to something newer and cooler.
I was looking for a straight black helmet that has removable earpads for an affordable price. I didn’t need adjustable vents or a built-in speaker or anything like that. I wanted a helmet that looked stylish of course. My last helmet was similar but looked really tall on my head. I wanted a helmet that wasn’t so tall looking.
Why I chose this gear
This helmet had really good ratings for comfort and was one of Smith’s most affordable helmets. It had the features I was looking for at the price that made sense. I considered buying the Smith Maze helmet as well. I determined that the upgraded Smith AirEvac ventilation system in the Maze helmet was not worth the extra money. Most other features were similar, including the style.
What I love about it
- Protection: I have fallen numerous times with this helmet on. I don’t remember a single instance when my head hurt from falling or I felt like the helmet didn’t do its job. This is because of the bomber ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) shell construction.
- Comfort: I typically wear a beanie under my helmet and the helmet is very comfortable for that. I have a friend that has the helmet and wears his without a hat and still likes the fit and comfort. It all comes down to picking the size accordingly.
- Sizing: I have a generally larger head and I wanted to be able to wear a hat underneath so I chose a large. It fits great with no real issues. When I take the earpads out and fly down groomers at 30+ mph speeds the helmet sometimes does blow back on my head and I'll use my hand to reseat it on top of my head.
- Fit system: The helmet features a lifestyle fit adjustable system on the back of the head. The box comes with a couple of extra pieces of foam that can be added inside as well.
- Liner: Because I wear a hat under the helmet, I’m not sure how well the material soaks up and dries sweat if it's hot out. The liner doesn’t have any signs of wearing or tearing after 70 plus uses so there is great durability in the liner material.
- Earpads:: I personally don't use earpads and use a beanie instead. I do like how easily the earpads can be removed and put back in. They also are compatible with Outdoor Tech audio systems for listening to music.
- Goggle compatibility: I wear my goggles underneath the helmet and have not had any issues with gaps between the goggles and the helmet. I have SPY goggles and the fit would be even more snug if I had Smith goggles.
- Weight: The helmet is super lightweight and low profile. I have no problem turning my head around and wearing the helmet all day.
- Durability: The matte black ABS helmet does a great job of not scratching too easily. It does scuff some overtime but is not very noticeable. There are no parts or features of this helmet that have worn out or stopped working which shows how great the durability of this helmet is.
- Quality of Materials: All of the materials are made tough and have lasted the test of time.
Issues I’ve encountered
- Breathability: Smith advertises 14 vents on the helmet none of which are adjustable. On hot days with a hat underneath, my head gets really hot. I end up removing my helmet on the lift to help my head get some air.
- Built-In Features:: There is the lifestyle fit system which works great for comfort and sizing but this is really the only built-in feature of the helmet that I have tried. The lack of features is why this helmet comes at such an affordable price.
- Style: The style of this helmet is a low-profile, sleek look for the everyday resort skier. I do think that this helmet looks a little short and wide on my head without the earpads. Also from what I could tell, it is one of the most commonly used rental helmets at the resorts, so while that tells me that it is a great universal helmet, I don’t like having the same helmet as everyone else.
Favorite moment with this gear
There was a time when I tried to launch off this boulder-looking drop into a large bowl below. The boulder ended up being a bunch of sharp uneven rocks with not enough snow. My skis got caught up on the lip and sent me flying down into the bowl head first. I did a barrel roll and popped up unharmed. My friend looked up and said I just landed in a pile of rocks and was amazed that I was not hurt. It was all thanks to my Smith Holt helmet. The helmet had nothing but a small scuff. This was at Copper Mountain in Union Meadows.
Value for the money vs. other options
I think this is one of the best low-profile helmets for the price. There are other helmets with more features and a better safety rating, but compared to just about any helmet under 100 dollars, this is the best option. There is the Smith Maze which is around $125 whereas the Holt is only $80. There are only helmets around the same price point, like the Smith Scout and Giro Ledge but when it comes to look and style the Smith Holt is superior.
For a low-profile helmet, the Smith Holt is a durable, reliable option that will last for years. This helmet is well worth the price and will provide great protection to all but the nastiest falls.