The Smith Vantage has been my everyday helmet for the past two ski seasons. It’s everything I want in a helmet and I don’t really have anything negative to say about it.
Safety: First, and most importantly, I wear a helmet to protect my head while skiing. The Smith Variant has you covered with Koroyd inserts that are changing the game of helmet safety. Koroyd has great energy absorption properties helping to reduce the overall energy absorbed by your skull in an impact. Now I don’t know the entire tech behind it, or how much better it works than older helmet inserts, but when dealing with the safety of people, companies don’t tend to mess around. I can say that after a few big falls I’ve been very happy to have the Smith Vantage helmet on.
Ventilation and Warmth: The best part of Koroyd is that it’s also a breathable material while still being strong and protecting. If you’re anything like me, your head gets warm quickly while skiing. I love having a helmet that breathes well and keep my head from getting too sweaty. For really warm days the Smith Vantage also has one of the best venting systems we’ve seen in a helmet. The AirEvac 2 technology places 21 vents along the top of the helmet. These vents work when cool air enters the front of the helmet and push warm air out through those 21 vents. For further climate control Smith puts two adjustable regulators on top of the helmet to open or close off these vents. I found that even on really warm spring days, the helmet does a great job ventilating my head. Best of yet is that on cold days I can close the vents and keep my head warm. Both of the vent regulators are easy to slide with or without gloves on.
Fit: The Smith Vantage has a hybrid SL construction and adjustable boa fit system. The helmet is one of the lower profile helmets, and finding one that fit well was simple. The helmet seems to wrap your head really well, and I don’t feel like it makes my head gigantic like some other helmets do. The ear pieces also seem to wrap the head nicely, and again are very low profile. They are also compatible with Skullcandy Audio Systems if you’re into having earphones for music or phone calls.
Final Thoughts: The helmet is very lightweight, and I love that I don’t feel like it’s weighing down my head. The other thing I really love is how well they fit with my smith goggles. I haven’t tried them with any other goggle brand (Oakley, Scott, Dragon, etc..), but my Smith I/O and Squads fit the helmet perfectly. I’ve also never had any issues with fogging or ventilation with the goggles on. This brings me to one of my complaints with the Smith Vantage, however. I know that the goggle lock strap is supposed to be light weight and easy to use, but I’m not a huge fan of this style of strap. It was too easy to overstretch the elastic cord, and with constant exposure to freeze, thaw; the strap became cracked and loose. It’s not a bad system, but I don’t love it. My other complaint is that the chin strap is not very comfortable, nor does it like to stay in place. This wasn’t a huge deal, but does get kind of annoying always having to adjust it. Overall, the Smith Vantage is a very solid helmet that offers a high level of protection in a nice light-weight, well ventilated, and low profile package that also fits great.