Smith Vantage Ski Helmet Review

Wednesday, 6 January 2016  |  Alan - Escape 2

Smith Vantage Ski Helmet Review

Now the snow is starting to fall thick and fast in the Alps, and we start to prepare for a great ski season, I thought take the opportunity to review one of the very best Ski Helmets on the market.

Smith Vantage Ski Helmet

Sleek & Light

The first thing that strikes when picking up the Smith Vantage Ski Helmet is it's lightness of weight and sleek, contemporary styling that will look smart on- or off-piste, while being sturdy and reliable enough to offer plenty of protection.

Absorbs Energy Upon Impact

I'm reviewing the matte black colour which has a smart, sophisticated appearance with clean lines and windows through to the protective guts of the helmet. And it's the guts of the helmet that's going to protect your head in an impact.

  • The Smith Vantage Ski Helmet uses AEROCORE™ with Koroyd® - engineered protection - that looks like a layer of super-tough drinking straws welded together creating a honeycomb effect.
  • The cores of the Koroyd® crush in a completely controlled manor on impact, absorbing the energy that would otherwise damage your head.

Smith Vantage Closeup front

Smith Vantage Closeup 2

Smith Vantage Closeup 3

Hybrid Shell Construction

The exterior of the Smith Vantage Ski Helmet's hybrid shell construction looks cohesive and smooth, but you can clearly see that the lower section is constructed differently from the top of the helmet.

The lower portion is created from a protective Expanded Polystyrene liner with a Polycarbonate shell over the top. This form of protection formed the industry standard for many years and works particularly well for skiing purposes. The downside being its lack of possible ventilation.

Smith Bombshell Outer

When you look inside the top section of the helmet, you can see clearly the (in this colourway) bright green Koroyd® which has a layer of super-tough Smith Bombshell ABS over the top, providing the maximum possible protection.

As well as providing head protection, Koroyd's® hollow cores allow heat to escape from inside, while drawing in fresh air from outside, to maintain comfort when pushing it or in warmer weather. Smith can also increase the size and number of vents in the Koroyd® sections, again improving cooling potential.

Smith Vantage inner  Smith Vantage whole interior

Easily Adjustable Vents

While we're looking at vents, it's worth pointing out the neat sliders  that close off the vents when you want to stay warm.

  • There are two of these neat sliders on the top (that could easily be missed and mistaken for part of the Vantage's design detail!)
  • They each have two positions - fully closed or half closed.
  • The front one operates the closures on the front four vents.
  • The back one works the rear eight vents.
  • Open the vents with the slider in the forward position.
  • Close them when pushed back.

I really appreciate the fact that no matter when I ski, or what the weather conditions bring, I can adjust my temperature accordingly - even while on the fly - so I can let in more cool air when skiing moguls and then shut the vents up to go on the long chairlift back to the top.

Smith Vantage Vents

Integrates With Smith Ski Goggles

On those days when the vents are firmly sealed, the Smith Vantage has a series of small vents tucked away at the back, forming the AirEvac Ventilation System which:

  • Draws warm, moist fog-causing air out from you ski goggles.
  • The warm air is sucked through the helmet over the top of your head.
  • Warm air leaves your helmet out through the back helmet vents.
  • Moist air exits clear away from your googles, keeping your vision crystal clear.

When you wear a Smith Ski Goggle with any Smith Ski Helmet, the vents along the top of the goggle line-up with those on your helmet, so you stay fog-free, even in tricky conditions.

Smith Vantage Goggle Clip   Smith Vantage Open Goggle Clip

Dial Adjust Micro-Fitting System

When putting the Smith Vantage on, it feels light and comfy and it looks low-profile - not at all 'mushroomy'! The neat front brim bringing the style bang up-to-date.

I can perfectly adjust the fit around my head with the easy-twist dial that's located at the lower back.

  • Clockwise tightens.
  • Anti-clockwise loosens.
  • Or lefty loosy/righty tighty!

I might have to take my outer ski gloves off to work it properly and get the perfect fit, but it's a neat and simple method of fine-tuned adjustment that works over a bare head or over a beanie for really cold conditions.

Smith Vantage Boa

Comfort Lining

The inside of the Smith Vantage Ski Helmet is lined with a soft, fairly open mesh that feels comfortable and allows free air movement, and padding where needed:

  • There's softly lined, light padding around the fitting band.
  • Sturdier, thicker padding over the ear flaps.

The ear pieces are supposedly removable, but we wouldn't recommend doing so - they're pretty well integrated and also, more importantly, they form an important part of the Vantage's protection system. You're unlikely to need to wash them in my experience anyhow.

Smith Vantage Ear Piece

The Boring (but important) Bits

When it comes to caring for your Ski Helmet:

  • Wipe the shell clean with water and a little mild soap when necessary.
  • Leave it to dry properly.
  • Your Smith Vantage should then be stored between seasons in its box, away from sunlight or heat sources.
  • There's an instruction manual supplied in the box too for future reference.

Please also bear in mind that any blow to your Ski Helmet can cause damage that can't always be seen, so any Ski Helmet that you suspect may have been damaged will need to be replaced.

Fitting Tips

Your Smith Vantage Ski Helmet should be neither too tight, nor too lose. You don't want your head to be able to move freely inside it, otherwise it may cover your eyes upon turning. It also needs to be worn in such away that it protects your forehead and mustn't be pushed back towards your neck.

To work out which size you need, measure your head around your forehead, and around above your ears to the base of your skull with a piece of string and then measure the string and then select the appropriate size:

  • Medium 55 - 59 cm
  • Large 59 - 63 cm
  • XLarge 63 - 67cm

Available in Gender-Specific & in MIPS Options

The Smith Vantage Ski Helmet is available in specific men's and women's fits and also in a MIPS version for the ultimate head protection.

We'd love to see any photos you take of you skiing in your Smith Vantage Ski Helmet!

Happy Skiing!

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