Weight: 330 g / 11.5 oz
Size: Small (51-55cm)
Available Sizes: Small (51-55), Medium (55-59), Large (59-63)
- Removable Goggle Lock
- 9 vents
- Fleeced Tricot Lining
- Airflow Climate Control
- Snapfit SL2 Ear Pads
- Lightweight In-Mold Construction
- Self-Adjusting Lifestyle Fit System
- AirEvac 2 Ventilation
- Skullcandy™ Audio Systems Available
- Certification: ASTM F 2040, CE EN 1077:2007 CLASS B
Test Locations: Whistler, Squamish and Pemberton area backcountry, B.C.
Duration of Test: 15 days
After spending my fall semester abroad and starting the season a little later than usual, I was keen on getting after it on my first powder day of the winter this year, and I hesitated for a moment over whether to grab my hat or my helmet.
Ten years of racing with stringent helmet rules and witnessing the effect of teammates’ concussions instilled in me a habit of wearing my helmet every day on the hill, and I consider myself lucky to have suffered only a minor concussion in that time. But as I turned away from racing, I found myself occasionally reaching for my hat over my helmet.
I ended up grabbing my helmet, which was fortunate. The day ended early in a yard sale/face plant on ice that left me with a concussion, black eye, and feeling loopy for several days. I am scared to imagine how unhappy my head would have been had I been wearing a hat.
Because my experience renewed my sense of how necessary it is to wear a helmet, and that particular lid had accumulated three seasons of minor impacts and drops before my big wipeout, it seemed like a good time to invest in a new one.
My satisfaction with the Smith I/OS goggles attracted me to Smith’s line of helmets, and I generally like clean, simple designs. I settled on the Allure (the women’s version of the Smith Maze) because of its understated look and the soft inner fleece lining (which the Maze doesn’t have).
Fit / Sizing
My last helmet, a POC Receptor Bug, fit my head perfectly in a size extra small (51-52cm), but I found the same perfect fit in the Allure with a size small (51-55cm). To compensate for wider range of head sizes per size, Smith has a “self-adjusting” fit system that is simple and comfortable, something I noticed immediately after putting on the helmet for the first time.
This is a little different than the Boa dial system found on Smith’s other helmets, such as the Vantage or the Voyage, which allows for a slightly more precise fit. But I found the rear elastic strap and moveable plastic bands of the Allure’s “self-adjusting” fit are easy to use and still provide an accurate adjustment. The plastic insert in the back of the helmet can be clipped into three settings in order to tighten or loosen, while the small section resting on the back of the head is elastic to offer a little more stretch.
Despite falling on the smaller end of the helmet’s sizing range, I was able to clip the strap tight enough for a snug fit, but still noticed there was plenty of room to loosen in order to accommodate for a larger head. That being said, while minor adjustments can be made, it’s important to make sure you get the right size to begin with so there’s no ear pinching or brim sinking.
The first thing I noticed when I picked up the Allure was how insanely light it is. It feels lighter than any other helmet I have held, and Smith claims that it is the “world’s lightest certified snow helmet.” After just a minute, I barely feel like I am wearing it. (In fact, my friend, who wanted to try on the helmet, is currently doing homework at our kitchen table and has been wearing the Allure…for the past two hours. I think she may have forgotten she has it on.)
I recently took the Allure on a three-day hut trip and definitely appreciated the reduced weight when trying to trim the pounds from my heavy pack. It’s also nice when skiing in the resort to not feel like there is a heavy bucket on my head. It seems that Smith, in trying to design the lightest helmet, did so without sacrificing quality and functionality—all of the necessary features are built in, just in a simpler way.
The adjustments on the Allure are also quick and easy. If rockin’ the fuzzy earpieces isn’t your jam, they pop out (and back in) with little effort. Also, if you need a little more space in the helmet for a hat, or it’s a warmer spring day, the inner fleece lining can be taken out in two large sections. It is easy to see exactly where the front section should be replaced, though it took me a minute (or five) to first figure out how the rear swath of fabric fits back on and together with the inner plastic strap. Next time will now be much faster.
One thing I really like about the lining is the Velcro: the Velcro is on the fleece and will stick anywhere on the inside of the helmet, but the shell itself is not Velcro. The Receptor Bug had Velcro both on the pads and on the inner helmet, so when I removed the pads, the Velcro on the helmet would catch my hair. It was nothing a little duct tape couldn’t fix, but I would still sometimes get my hair pulled when I took my helmet off.