When it comes to choosing a ski helmet, there are several factors to consider. For instance, is the helmet stylish? Is it safe? How heavy is it? What does it offer in terms of ventilation or climate control? These are all important questions to answer before you buy a helmet, as these are the factors that will make you either love your helmet, or toss it to the back of your gear closet, never to surface again. Fortunately, Smith helmets have great answers to all of these questions. So without further adieu, let’s get into some of the details of Smith helmets!
Smith Helmets: Construction
To most people, the number one concern regarding a helmet is how it’s made. For instance, is it made of lightweight foam that will break down after a year, or is it a high quality foam that will withstand multiple impacts and offer supreme protection? Smith helmets are made using three different construction types.
The most durable Smith Helmets are those that utilize a Bombshell construction. These helmets use an injection molded ABS shell to create an extremely durable and impact resistant helmet. The foam on these models is exceptionally dense, which absorbs more impact, but also adds a small amount of weight. A helmet made with Bombshell construction is a great choice for anyone who expects to hit their head (ie. Freeskiers and Snowboarders), and not for “just in case” protection.
A slightly lighter option is In-Mold construction. This type of smith helmet utilizes a lighter weight foam, complimented by an EPS liner that absorbs additional impact. Smith helmets that use In-Mold construction are great helmets for those who are looking for a helmet that is lightweight and comfortable. Typically, these helmets are used for those who prefer to cruise trails, and don’t really expect to fall, but want to be protected just in case.
Hybrid In-Mold construction is the top of the line option from Smith. This type of helmet construction combines the durability of Bombshell construction with the lightweight characteristics of In-Mold construction. Smith helmets accomplish this construction by using a combination of durable Bombshell foam with lightweight In-Mold foam. The result is a durable, lightweight, and protective helmet.
Smith Helmets: Climate Control
Another important factor when choosing a helmet, is understanding its ventilation capabilities. Some helmets have very limited options for ventilation. That’s fine for those who never seem to have an issue with temperature, but for everyone else, having options is very welcome. To address this issue, Smith helmets has three different methods that allow you to control the climate of your helmet.
The most basic of the three methods is called Airflow ventilation. Smith helmets with this option include a set of waterproof plugs that can be used or removed from the helmets ventilation holes. When in place, the plugs create a waterproof seal, keeping your head warm and dry. If they’re removed, then air is allowed into the helmet, keeping you cool on those warmer winter days.
A step up from Airflow ventilation, is what Smith calls their Regulator ventilation system. This is a big step up, as you’re able to control all of your vents by sliding one simple switch. By keeping it simple and switch activated, Smith has eliminated the need to keep track of removable pads that could get lost, leaving you with a cold head.
And then there’s the Dual Regulator ventilation system. Like the Regulator system, the Dual Regulator controls the position of your helmet’s vents by simply sliding a switch. Unlike the Regulator system though, the Dual Regulator allows you to control which vents you open. By sliding the switch one way, all of your vents open up, allowing for optimal air circulation. If you slide it the other way, the front vents remain closed, while the rear vents open up. This is ideal for avoiding a frozen forehead, while still keeping your cool.
Smith Helmets: Adjustability
Adjustable helmets are relatively new to the helmet market. Initially, this idea was targeted towards parents who were tired of buying new helmets every time their kid’s head grew. Soon enough though, parents realized that they were able to get their kids a better fit then they could get themselves. As a result, adjustable helmets have begun creeping into the adult helmet market, as well as maintaining a solid presence amongst junior helmets.
Currently, Smith helmets offer two styles of adjustability systems. First, is the traditional closure, which is a simple sliding system that can be operated with two fingers. It’s simple to use, and gets the job done quickly. The disadvantage of this method is that finding an exact fit is more difficult, as it works on a ratchet system. Still, it’s way better than having a helmet without this feature.
The second option is the Boa adjustability system. This is quickly becoming the preferred system as it is super easy to get a very precise fit. The boa system works by spinning a wheel that wraps a cable around itself. This system is very precise, as there are no preset increments, just a cable being wound.
Between the two, you can’t really go wrong. Just a handful of years ago, these adjustment systems didn't even exist. Now, both systems offer efficient ways to achieve the optimal fit from your helmet. When you order an adjustable Smith helmet from us, we won't be able to guarantee that you'll get one system or the other. In or shipment from Smith, we received a pretty even mix of the two, so it's really hard to say which you'll end up with. If you strongly prefer one system over the other, get in touch with us, and we'll see what we can do.
Smith Helmets: Airevac
Possibly the pinnacle of Smith helmet technologies is Airevac, a system of transporting hot air away from your goggles. Essentially what Airevac is, is a sequence of air channels in the top of the helmet, that travel from directly above your goggles, to either the top of rear of the helmet.
Smith helmets offer two types of Airevac. Airevac 1 is the basic version of the technology, and works by moving hot air from the goggles, out through the top of the helmet. For most people, Airevac 1 is sufficient enough to prevent goggle fogging on most days.
For those of you who need a little extra, some Smith helmets offer Airevac 2. This method of ventilation pulls air from the goggles, and exhausts it through both the top, and the rear of the helmet. This allows more hot air to leave your helmet quickly, and far from your face.
Airevac works best when paired with Smith goggles, and really does make a world of difference, especially those who struggle with Foggy Goggle Syndrome (FGS).
So that just about sums up all of the technologies included with Smith helmets! Of course, not all helmets include all technologies, so make sure you read the product descriptions! Also, stay tuned for more learn pages regarding Smith helmets. Soon we’ll have several more pages detailing all of the models we currently carry!