Need a new lid for mountain biking? Then check out this Smith Engage 2.0 review to find out how I got on with this MTB helmet with MIPS. I have tested the Engage 2.0 helmet over the summer by riding the technical MTB trails at Stanmer Park in Brighton and on longer rides on the South Downs.
Fortunately, I haven’t taken any significant head hits. But I have spent plenty of time wearing this helmet and will take it on a mountain biking holiday in a few weeks time. Also have a read about the Smith Shift Split Mag cycling glasses I tested with the helmet.
If you have not come across MIPS before, 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 injuries such as concussion, the helmet slips instead. As less rotational force is passed onto your brain it reduces the effects of an impact and has 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.
My first ride in the Engage was not the most successful. It kept sliding forward on my head which not only is very annoying but could potentially be dangerous. In the end I had the dial at the back tightened so much to stop the movement that it gave me a head ache.
But on closer inspection, I noticed an adjustment to the length of the helmet cage. This alters the distance from the forehead to the back of head and there are three settings. Once this had been adjusted to the larger size, the Smith helmet fit perfectly and is very comfortable.
It uses a lightweight in-mold construction that saves on weight. This is improved further with a Koroyd construction which increases safety while also reducing weight. Overall it weighs just 350g without compromising on safety.
With most of my riding has taking place in warm summer conditions so I found the large ventilation openings very useful. They allow the air to flow through and wick moisture away.
That said, I ride up a lot of steep hill so I still get sweaty. Normally this sweat would be running into by eyesB but the fabric on the band over the forehead that holds the lid in place does a great job of capturing the liquid to stop it from running down my face for a better mountain biking experience.
The downside of this is that once the material reaches saturation point it begins to overflow. However, pressing on the front of the lid helps to release this all in one go. I tend to do this when stationary, to avoid drips while riding. While not a particularly nice thing to do, it does mean you get much less sweat in your eyes.
The visor is adjustable which is useful when riding. Down it protects your eyes from the sun, up and it gives your ride a more open feeling. Also the Engage 2.0 is compatible with sunglasses, cycling glasses or goggles.
If you are looking for the extra protection of MIPs then the Smith Engage 2.0 is tough to beat. It is adjustable in three different ways and very comfortable. The ventilation is good and the forehead band collects sweat stopping it from getting in your eyes.
To conclude this Smith Engage 2.0 review I’d say it is a great lid for all types of cycling. I mean I wouldn’t use it for bike park/downhill where a full face lid is required, but for any other riding it is ideal.
I hope you found this Smith Engage 2.0 review useful. You can buy this MTB Helmet with MIPS from many retailers for around £75 or purchase direct from Smith: www.smithoptics.com/bike-helmets-trail