Smith Method Mips Helmet Review

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Smith Method Mips Helmet

Smith Optics emphasizes the importance of refreshing your ski helmet every five years, and serendipitously, the timing aligned perfectly for me to test out Smith’s latest Method Mips Ski Helmet this season. The Method helmet stands as an accessible, versatile offering from the renowned industry giant, Smith Optics.

Smith has long dominated the realm of snow sports, consistently delivering top-tier eyewear and helmets. Dr. Bob Smith, the visionary behind Smith Optics, pioneered the first ski goggle back in 1956. Since those pioneering days, Smith Optics has exponentially grown, reigning for over four decades as a trailblazer in bike helmets, sunglasses, ski helmets, and a myriad of safety advancements.

As the ski season kicks off with promising conditions, I’m eager to don the brand-new Method helmet and hit the slopes.

About the Smith Method Mips Helmet

The Smith Method Mips Helmet is a versatile headgear crafted to tackle everything from terrain parks to groomed slopes and everything in between. Priced at $140, it stands as one of Smith’s more affordable ski helmets, yet its affordability doesn’t equate to compromise; rather, it’s a powerhouse packed with an array of safety features.

Smith has set the gold standard in integrating safety innovations into their products, and the Method helmet, featuring Mips technology, embodies this commitment to safety. Mips technology is engineered specifically to shield the brain from impacts at angles other than head-on collisions, a crucial enhancement considering the heightened risks associated with off-center crashes. By employing a low-friction layer, Mips reduces rotational forces that pose serious threats during such impacts.

The Method Helmet not only incorporates Mips technology but also integrates Koroyd protection. The honeycomb-like Koroyd design acts as a crumple zone, effectively absorbing impact forces and mitigating head injuries. Its strategic placement in vulnerable collision areas not only prioritizes safety but also facilitates breathability, a boon for managing heat buildup during intense skiing sessions.

Mips and Koroyd Safety Features

At its outermost layer, the Smith Method Mips employs In-Mold Shell Construction, fusing a polycarbonate layer with an EPS liner. This not only ensures a durable and secure shell but also keeps the helmet remarkably lightweight.

Comfort

Beyond its exceptional safety features, the Method Helmet boasts various comfort-enhancing elements. Engineered for seamless compatibility with Smith ski goggles, it ensures a snug fit with no pesky gaps between helmet and eyewear. The Air Evac system efficiently vents out moisture to prevent goggle fogging, complemented by eight fixed vents strategically placed for optimal airflow.

Rear Vents

Front Vent

Entertainment isn’t overlooked either. The Method helmet is Aleck-compatible, enabling easy integration with a wireless speaker system that connects to the SL2 Earpads. This glove-friendly system keeps your playlist at your fingertips while you ski.

Completing its thoughtful design, the back of the helmet features a removable goggle strap lock, ensuring the goggle strap stays securely in place on the sleek helmet design.

Testing the Smith Method Mips Helmet

Fortunately, I haven’t encountered a situation that required testing the safety features of the Smith Method Mips Helmet, and hopefully, it stays that way. Nonetheless, knowing the Mips technology combined with the Koroyd layer is at the core of this helmet provides a sense of assurance, instilling confidence across any terrain.

Wearing the Helmet

While I haven’t stress-tested its safety features, I’ve extensively assessed its comfort, and the Method Helmet delivers commendably on this front. Considering its price and value, it stands out for its breathability and warmth. Even during outings skiing through deep bumps, I never felt uncomfortably overheated or excessively sweaty. The strategically positioned fixed air vents and Koroyd construction seemed to regulate temperature effectively. Most of the time in sub-zero conditions, the helmet remained comfortably insulated, a testament to Smith’s winning design for comfort, despite lacking customizable settings found in other models. However, when the cold wind really started ripping and I was skiing head on into it, the cold air did became uncomfortable. This was the time where I wished the vents, or at least the front vents, had the ability to be opened and closed.  

Enjoying a Great Day of Skiing

Adding to comfort are the removable ear pads, which not only enhance comfort but also add warmth to the entire setup. For colder conditions, these pads are invaluable, and they’ll likely stay on throughout the winter. As spring approaches and skiing conditions warm up, the option to remove these pads will surely be appreciated for their adaptability.

Fully Covered With the Ear Pads

Removable Ear Pad

The integration with Smith Goggles stands out as a highlight. My older pair of Smith ski goggles seamlessly fit into the helmet, ensuring comprehensive coverage without major gaps and maintaining breathability to prevent fogging. The goggle lock at the back is a thoughtful addition, especially considering the helmet’s sleek design. This feature would make the Method Helmet an excellent choice for younger skiers, ensuring their goggles stay securely in place during active days on the slopes.

Google Integration

Specs on the Method Helmet Taken Directly Off the Smith Website

  • Lightweight in-mold construction fuses the exterior shell and EPS foam for a one-piece design that’s lightweight and durable
  • Zonal KOROYD® coverage for lightweight, energy-absorbing and ventilated impact protection
  • Mips® Brain Protection System reduces rotational forces caused by angled impacts to the head
  • Select colorways offered without Mips® system
  • Designed for ultimate integration with Smith goggles for maximum comfort and venting
  • AirEvac ventilation system integrates with Smith goggles for fog-free lenses
  • Self-adjusting lifestyle fit system flexes to match your head shape for maximum comfort
  • Available in Round Contour Fit to better match rounder head shapes
  • Eight fixed vents for consistent airflow
  • Aleck® audio systems compatible
  • Removable Snapfit SL2 ear pads add warmth and are audio-chip compatible
  • Removable goggle strap lock for streamlined shell when goggles are worn under helmet
  • Beanie compatible

Final Thoughts

The Smith Method Mips helmet stands as a testament to solid value without compromising on safety features. The fusion of the Mips system with the strategically positioned Koroyd crush layer ensures robust protection in the event of a crash. Moreover, its impressive comfort, marked by breathability and seamless integration with Smith Ski and Snowboard Goggles, enhances its appeal.

Priced at $140, this helmet emerges as a commendable investment in ski equipment, offering a compelling combination of safety, comfort, and compatibility with other gear. If you’re seeking a reliable and well-rounded option without breaking the bank, the Smith Method Mips Helmet undoubtedly delivers on its promise of value for money. For more info or to check one out for yourself, visit www.smithoptics.com or www.amazon.com.

Bennett Colvin: Bennett Colvin lives in Steamboat, Colorado and is an avid fisherman, hiker, skier, and outdoorsman. Bennett instructs fly fishing and runs youth fly fishing programs. He also is a professional fly tier and ties publicly at fly shops and expos.
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