Smith Quantum Helmet with MIPS Review

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Helmets need to keep your noggin warm, vent or breathe when you heat up, integrate with your goggles, and fit well. Yet the #1 feature we should all consider is what they can do to protect your brain. Fortunately, with the Smith Quantum Helmet features the best technology to keep your head as safe as possible while checking the boxes for all of the other must haves.

Smith Quantum Helmet Safety

Helmets should protect you from any direction of impact. Fortunately, Smith feels the same and offers up the latest solutions to reduce your risk of a skull fracture, traumatic brain injury, or concussion even if you fall going fast, slow, rotating, or strike your head from more than one direction. Starting with the outside shell and moving in, the Smith Quantum Helmet features two types of shell material, bombshell ABS for high speed impacts along the entire top of the helmet and a lighter weight In-Mold material along the bottom, where impact is less likely.

Next up is the Aerocore with Koroyd layer. This layer is what adds some to the price tag of the helmet but also reduces your risk of injury significantly when compared to other helmets with EPS. Koroyd stable no matter the temperature range and when impacted crushes homogeneously; in other words, the energy of the impact is transmitted evenly over the entire layer over time which reduces or decelerates the energy and decreases your risk for major trauma. The Koroyd itself looks like a honeycomb patter made of tiny straws packed together. Check out the video below to see how the Koroyd work on impact. The goal of the company is to reduce morbidity and mortality (medical speak) for chronic illness from the trauma or death, and get the helmet industry to abide to stricter standards for safety ratings.

Lastly, but not least. The Smith Quantum Helmet also features MIPS, which stands for multi-directional impact protection system. MIPS is a low friction layer under Koroyd that allows the helmet to slide relative to the head to absorb the rotational force that occurs with most falls, especially due to falls where your head hits at an angle, which is most common. My one question is how thick is the MIPS layer in this helmet and how much slide really occurs? There seems to be a lot of controversy regarding MIPS and the placement or lack of inclusion in the rear of some helmets. I am hoping to get more information from Smith about this in the Quantum Helmet.

The Smith Quantum Helmet features all of these safety extras but keeps its’ style. The Quantum helmet doesn’t fit or feel any larger or more cumbersome than the Variance or Vantage helmets that we have tested previously. The helmet has a brimmed style and is available in a host of fun colors with matte finishes.

Quantum Helmet and Goggle Integration

The Smith Quantum Helmet has been tested with a wide variety of goggles and the integration is wonderful. The vents along the brim of the helmet allow you to take advantage of your goggles venting benefits. So far, the helmet has been used with Julbo, Zeal, Smith, Giro, Native Eyewear, and Oakley goggles without any complaints.

The Smith Quantum Helmet also features an ultra-light goggle lock. In layman terms, a stretchy elastic band can be pulled over your goggle strap in the rear of the helmet and loops onto a hook. The band is stretchy enough to accommodate a headlamp and goggle strap underneath it and you can do this with your mitten or glove on. Your goggle strap stays secure along the side of the helmet due to a small channel in the helmet mold that runs along the back of the helmet.

Lightweight goggle lock

Breathability, ventilation, and customization

The Smith Quantum Helmet features a total of 22 vents, which is 10 more vents the majority of helmets offer. 14 of the vents are along the top of the helmet and can be open and closed by sliding a switch along the top of the helmet. The front switch is easy to slide with a glove or mitten on, while the rear switch is a more difficult due to the angle and needing to generate more force. The vents can be left open, halfway, and all the way open. 2 vents along the brim, and 6 small-barely noticeable vents along the back remain open at all times. These don’t create an area of drafts, but help to manage heat and airflow.

The folks over at Smith are always incorporating innovation into their products. The helmet strap is another example of this. Smith did away with the traditional buckle that is cumbersome and hard to snap into place with cold hands. The Quantum Helmet features the Wayfinder Strap System with Fidlock®. In other words, the strap has a magnetic closure that allows you to buckle your helmet with one hand, in the dark, on a gusty mountain without any hiccups. Simply extend the chin strap from the right side of the helmet towards the hook closure on the left. Once in place the strap is secure and does not loosen unless you pull on a strap just behind the Fildock system. 

Other features include removable earpads for spring skiing and Outdoor Tech audio system can also be added for extra. I’m not a fan of music while skiing as I like to be aware of my surroundings, whether backcountry or inbounds.

14 vents that open and close with a quick slide of a switch
Vents closed: rear switch more difficult to open/close than the front

Sizing

The Smith Quantum helmet is available in size small to large. Here is a quick breakdown of the head measurements for each size. **Please note that to measure for a helmet you should wrap a soft measuring tape around your head approximately 1 inch above your eyebrows and ears. The measurement should be taken in centimeters, as this is the units that manufacturers refer to. If you don’t have a soft measuring tape, use a piece of string and lay it flat against a standard measuring tape.

  • Small 51 to 55 cm
  • Medium 55 to 59 cm
  • Large 59 to 63 cm
  • This model is not available in extra large

Boa adjustable system

If your head is a 58-59″, order a large. This helmet was actually meant for the male tester on the household but I got to give it a whirl because it fit my noggin better than his, which measured 58 cm. My head measures 57 cm and I found this helmet to fit great. Smith utilizes Boa FS360 Fit System which adjust equally along your head, and avoids the pinching or gaping that you can experience with other adjustment systems. A quick turn of the dial and you can make the helmet smaller or bigger. I typically wear a light beanie or a Buff under my helmet for added warmth and this helmet can quickly accommodate various layers and undergo adjustments with a glove or mitten still on.

The Smith Quantum Helmet isn’t the lightest helmet, but I bring it wherever I go due to the safety features it offers. Photo near Hahns Peak north of Steamboat Springs, CO

Final Thoughts

The Smith Quantum Helmet retails for $300, a full $120 more than the well known Smith Variance Helmet without Mips and $80 more than the Variance Helmet with Mips. The key difference with the Quantum is the added safety that the Koroyd features, combined with a additional vents and extras such as the Fidlock closure on the chin strap. I could do without some of the added extras that the Quantum features, however I love knowing that I am using the best technology available to protect myself while having a blast on the slopes. For more information on the Quantum Helmet or other Smith products visit www.smithoptics.com or www.amazon.com/smith.

Shannon: Shannon, our fabulous female tester, takes gear testing to a new level for women. When not at work or school, she is most likely training for a marathon, climbing one of Colorado’s tallest peaks, riding her road bike, or skiing down a mountain slope. Like many women, Shannon gets cold easily, therefore, we try to test the best all weather gear to help her stay warm and dry during all day outdoor pursuits. In the warmer months, Shannon enjoys exploring the Colorado backcountry with her friends and dogs and attempts to escape for as many trail runs as her schedule allows. Shannon is a great women’s tester because she gives readers true insight into how a product may perform for an active woman.
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