Smith Vantage Helmet
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Best helmet on the market in my opinion! The Vantage…
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $172
Best helmet on the market in my opinion! The Vantage was designed for hard-core skiers/riders; it features an amazing ventilation system, BOA on the fly adjustment system, and Koroyd aerocore construction which makes it one of the lightest snow helmets on the market.
- Well ventilated
- Great fit
- Difficult to open/close vents wearing gloves
I purchased this helmet at the beginning of the 2016-17 ski season and have now used it for 22 days of skiing in conditions that vary from extremely cold (-15 degrees) to temps just below freezing. On a couple of occasions I've worn a thin balaclava hood under the helmet and also a slightly thicker Smartwool beanie. I always wear eyeglasses with this helmet.
Although the ear pads are a snap-fit type and are removable I can not foresee me ever wearing this helmet without the ear pads. I've also tested several different ventilation options to determine how much airflow is available should the need for ventilation arise. I opened up all the vents for an uphill climb and remained quite comfortable.
This helmet is what I would call ultra light and weighs 17 ounces on my scale. It features a Koroyd aerocore construction which is designed to absorb more energy in impact situations while being lightweight. The helmet has a halo type adjustment system using BOA technology. It has low profile, dual regulator ventilation system that has 21 vents (I could only find 20!).
The snap-fit ear pads are removable and are compatible with Skull Candy and other integrated sound systems. Multi-directional Impact Protection System (MIPS) is available. The helmet also features an airevac ventilation system to provide additional airflow over/through goggles. The helmet liner is nano silver (anti stink). The helmet comes in nine different colors.
Helmet shown with all vents closed
Top view, vents open to show Koroyd aerocore and air evac slots
Closeup of Koroyd aerocore and ventilation controls
Closeup of Koroyd
My head measures 59 cm which should put me at the bottom of the size range for a large helmet. I find however, that I've got the helmet adjusted almost all the way out to achieve what I feel is a comfortable and safe fit. I can fit a thin Smartwool beanie under the helmet but to do so I have it adjusted all the way open.
In my opinion it runs a bit small and there is not a lot of overlap between sizes.The BOA adjuster is located on the back of the helmet and is easy to adjust with gloves on. I have not tried an "on the fly" adjustment while moving.
The ventilation system is adjusted using two sliders on the top back of the helmet; each opens six of the vents. There is a host of possible combinations using these two sliders. I did, however, find them a bit difficult to operate with gloves on. The remaining eight vents are always open. The ventilation system leaves nothing to be desired. The Koroyd honey comb aerocore allows a lot of air to flow when the vents are open wide.
The helmet has a small bill with two air evac vents to produce airflow over/through goggles. While designed to work in conjunction with Smith goggles it does work well with several other models I tried. I have never experienced any sort of goggle fog using Smith goggles with this helmet. I do wear glasses under my goggles and only a very few times have they fogged.
As stated above this helmet does come with a MIPS option (for about $40 more). After careful consideration and review of the Koroyd system I decided to forego this option.
It is very easy to remove and replace the ear pads should you choose to do so. It takes about thirty seconds to do.
This helmet is very light and very comfortable; it sits on my head like a cloud. I wear it with glasses and they fit under the ear pads with no problems. It works extremely well in conjunction with Smith goggles.
Skiing/snowboarding, by their very nature, entail a certain degree of risk. A good helmet, in my opinion, mitigates that risk. I've been skiing for over 50 years (30 of that as a ski patroller) and I think helmets are an absolute safety essential. I chose this particular helmet because I feel it offers the most protection on the market and because I demand the ultimate in everything. As a side benefit it looks great!
A couple slope side shots shown with Smith IO/X goggles/Smith Vantage