Smith Aspect 2016 Review by A Better Ski
The Smith Aspect is solid all around helmet that has just enough of what you want at a price that won’t break the bank. This is a great helmet if you don’t necessarily need or want the “best of the best” and are willing to sacrifice these “extra” features for a ell built helmet that will work season after season.
Ventilation and Warmth: The Smith Aspect has 14 vents across key spots of the helmet to allow for decent airflow. The Aspect also has an adjustable climate control so you can vary the amount of air allowed to flow through the helmet. If it’s warm, open the vents full. If it’s cold, close the vents. I really like having this option, although since I tend to run warm, I almost never use them fully closed. The slide “lever” works pretty well, but it does seem to stick just a little bit. It wasn’t the easiest to use with my hands in gloves, but without gloves you’d have no problem sliding the mechanism back and forth. It’s important to note that the aspect only has one sliding lever, so you can only close or open the vents. I only mention this because some of the higher end Smith helmets have two levers so that you can open or close half of the vents at a time. I actually like the one slider better, because really I’ll almost never close or open only half of the vents. The Smith Aspect also works pretty well with most goggles. The vents up front help to reduce any goggle fog caused by the helmet not allowing the goggles to vent properly. Sure, there are better ventilating helmets out there, but the Aspect is good, and I doubt most people will notice a huge difference between this and something like the Smith Vantage. This helmet is also pretty warm. I almost never wear anything under my helmets and my head stays pretty warm. The Aspect is no exception. If you do get cold, just close the vents and it should help to keep you a bit warmer.
Fit: The Smith Aspect has a comfortable and relatively low profile fit. For Smith I find the mediums fit my head the best, but what I love about some of the higher end Smith helmets is the dial fit system. It’s easy to adjust the size for a bit more customized fit. Giro also has a similar system in most of their helmets. Both work really well, but Smith seems to be a bit easier to use with gloves on.
Final Thoughts: The Smith Aspect has removable ear pads that are compatible with Skull Candy audio systems. Personally I don’t really like removable ear pads as I feel they move around a bit too easy. They also tend to lose a bit of holding power if you use them too often. I have an old Smith Holt that no longer holds the ear pieces because I’ve taken them on and off way too many times. This isn’t a huge deal, especially if you don’t plan on taking them off. But I still prefer fixed ear pads to removable ones. On the plus side, it is nice to be able to remove them on really warm days, or when they need a wash. The goggle lock is also removable, but seems to do a decent job holding the helmet in place. I do like the snap locks that allow you to really lock the helmet in place. There’s no way they will just fall off. However, I actually prefer locks with an open end because they are easier to use. Overall this is a solid helmet. It’s comfortable, warm, well ventilated and easy to adjust. The Smith Aspect also has removable ear pieces that are compatible with Skull Candy audio, temperature vent controls, and a dial fit system. It’s a step up from the likes of the Ledge or Holt, but not quite as high end as the Variant.
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Saved me again
in 2013 I fell while skiing in Zermatt. I banged my head and was seriously concussed, airlifted to hospital for observation, but thankfully no long lasting damage. My brand new Smith helmet saved me from serious injury, though it disintegrated in the process (as it's designed to do). Smith kindly sent me a free replacement. A week ago, almost exactly four years later, i again tested the strength of Smith's helmets by banging my head against an Alp again. Helmet seriously damaged, but i managed to ski away with slightly less concussion. So i reckon my life has been saved twice by Smith's products - thanks, guys!
Smith does NOT care about Customers
I am disappointed that Smith misrepresents that they stand behind their products by having a defective item replacement policy that effectively prevents me from getting a replacement. Smith requires 1) proof I bought it from an authorized dealer, 2) spend my time and my money to send it to Smith, 3) Smith will 2 weeks to decide to repair it or give me a 30% off coupon.
I'll bet 99% of people don't keep receipts of things they bought a year ago. Smith made it and it's defective. Regardless of whether I bought it from an authorized dealer, got it as a gift, or bought it from a friend who gave up skiing, it's still defective. So Smith can probably sell 1,000 defective items and only have to replace maybe one.
Smith is a Sleazy Company - Buy from another company.