Looking for a helmet that offers top top level protection but is not ridiculously heavy? Then read this review of Smith Quantum ski helmet with MIPS protection.
Smith Optics have been around since 1965. Initially starting with sunnies and goggles they quickly moved into helmets. Since then they have been leading the way in innovation and advancement of head protection.
The Quantum helmet sits near the pinnacle of Smiths innovation. Combining the best materials, latest innovations and highest specs into a reasonably light product weighting just 650 grams (23oz).
There are few helmets that offer this level of protection at this weight. But this doesn’t come cheap, the Smith Quantum ski helmet has an RRP of £269 ($300/€300). But this is comparable to other top level lids.
I have tested this helmet for 11 days snowboarding in the Portes Du Soleil. This included a week on the More Mountain Snowparking camp in Morzine which combined a lot of freestyle with throwing myself off things off-piste.
During this review of Smith Quantum ski helmet with MIPS protection I haven’t had any major bangs to the head. But I have had a couple of mid range ones. This included smacking my head on fairly hard snow when I got a 360 wrong in the park. And a double tomahawk in powder.
Neither would have resulted in injury wearing any helmet. But without a lid I suspect concussion may have been on the cards – which is why I wear a helmet snowboarding! In both cases I was slightly shook up but still carried on snowboarding for the day.
But I didn’t get the Smith Quantum ski helmet to help with these kind of crashes. As my old helmet would have protected me in those situations. I upgraded for the extra protection offered by the Quantum in case of bigger spills.
First and foremost this is a ski helmet with MIPS protection. If you have not come across MIPS yet it stands for Multi-directional Impact Protection System.
It has been developed by brain surgeons and scientists to reduce rotational forces suffered in angled impacts to the head. It uses a slip plane to mimic the brain’s own protection system where it moves inside your skull during impact.
So instead of your brain slipping inside you skull and causing injury, the helmet slips instead. As less rotational force is passed onto your brain it reduces the effects of a knock. It’s also been proven to reduce concussion.
When you are wearing the helmet you can feel the MIPS in action by taking a firm grip and giving it a little pull. The inner part of the helmet stays still while the outer moves slightly.
A review of Smith Quantum ski helmet wouldn’t be complete without talking about the other ways in which is offers extra protection. It exceeds the ASTM F 2040 and CE EN 1077:2007 CLASS B safety standards. Providing protection in low speed, high speed, rotational and multiple-impact crashes.
The Quantum has a Hybrid Shell construction that combines separate lightweight and durable shells. It fuses tough bombshell ABS with flyweight In-Mold technology and Exoskeleton zonal side-impact protection. Ultimately, giving you more protection but with reduced mass and volume.
Beneath this the Quantum uses Aerocore™ construction combining EPS with revolutionary Koroyd®. This absorbs more energy upon impact than traditional materials and is way above international standards.
An additional benefit of Koroyd® is it increases airflow and improves temperature regulation. It also allows more vents to be included without reducing protection or comfort.
The Quantum uses AirEvac2, which has 22 vents split across two different zones that can be independently managed. Shut them all off and you stay snug and warm. In -18°C (0°F) I felt fine and I didn’t wear anything beneath my helmet.
By just opening the rear vents you can let warm moist air out to cool you down a bit and avoid a sweaty head. Whilst opening the front vents lets cool air in, I found this was very useful when conditions warmed up and when working hard practicing new tricks or hiking uphill.
Plus the vents are fully adjustable, so you can open them just a little if you wish. This is by far the best ventilation I have ever had on a helmet. Furthermore if ever your goggles start to fog up, open both vents and it clears within a run.
A ski helmet with MIPS protection and great temperature regulation is all well and good, but if it’s not comfy what’s the point! The good news is the Smith Quantum takes fit and comfort to the next level.
Using the new Boa FS360 Fit System it has a full 360 degree halo design. This innovation provides both a dial system for on-the-fly adjustments plus vertical adjustability.
I have to say the fit feels snug but not tight and I encountered no hot spots where there was discomfort. Smith claim it gives a “floating effect” to the fit and I have to say I agree. It is by far the most comfortable helmet I have owned and is so easy to adjust.
There are a few other features that are worth mentioning in this review of Smith Quantum. First of all I absolutely love the Fidlock buckle. There is no more fiddling trying to do up a clip, get it near and it clips itself.
I would like to say this is achieved through magic, but in reality it uses magnets. In my experience it has never unclipped itself, but it is super easy for you to unclip.
The liner of the helmet is Smith’s extremely comfortable XT2 anti-bacterial performance lining. Plus the earpads are removable so it can all be washed if (when) it gets stinky.
As with all helmets there is a goggle lock. But unlike most this is easy to use – I have done so without removing my helmet. It also did a good job of keeping my goggles in place during my double tomahawk.
This ski helmet with MIPS protection not only keeps your head and brain safer, but is more comfortable than any other helmet I have owned. The ventilation is phenomenal, hugely adjustable and easy to use. Plus the buckle is pure magic!
It is also a nice looking helmet that doesn’t look huge on your head. And with seven colour options there is enough variety to satisfy even the most fashion conscious skier or snowboarder.
To conclude this review of Smith Quantum ski helmet with MIPS protection, I would say hands down it’s the best helmet I have owned. It is easily worth its fairly high price tag and is a prime example of you get what you pay for.
You can buy the Smith Quantum for £269 ($300/€300)direct from Smith Optics: www.smithoptics.com. Alternatively is is stocked both on and offline by many retailers.