Smith Vantage Helmet
Size Tested: Medium (55-59cm)
Smith’s Stated Weight: 500 grams
Blister’s Measured Weight: 479 grams
- Hybrid SL Shell Construction
- NEW Aerocore™ Technology featuring Koroyd®
- AirEvac 2 Ventilation
- NEW Adjustable Boa® FS360 Fit System
- Low-Profile Dual Regulator Adjustable Climate Control
- 21 Vents
- Snapfit SL2 Ear Pads
- Nanosilver Performance Lining
- Removable Ultra-Light Goggle Lock
- Skullcandy™ Audio Systems Available
Sizing: + Small 51-55 cm + Medium 55-59 cm + Large 59-63 cm + X-Large 63-67 cm
Certification: ASTM F 2040, CE EN 1077:2007 CLASS B
MSRP: $220 USD
Days Tested: ~30 in the 13/14 Vantage; ~100 in the 12/13 Vantage
The Vantage is the top-of-the-line helmet from Smith Optics, and it’s the best helmet I have ever used for these reasons:
1) Best-In-Class Ajustable Venting System
I believe the Smith Vantage has the best adjustable venting system on the market.
Having spent considerable time in the Vantage, I have little interest in going back to a helmet that doesn’t have adjustable vents. I spend too much time boot packing or skinning with a helmet on for that. And I may have missed something, but I have yet to find a helmet from any other manufacturer (Anon, POC, Pret, Protec, Bern) that has venting that is as adjustable, and that works as simply, as effectively, and as smoothly as the Vantage.
Smith’s addition of “Koroyd” (that green honeycomb you see above) is said to improve airflow, but having A/B’ed last year’s Vantage with this year’s Vantage, I can’t say I notice any improvement. But what I can say is that I would take either this year’s or last year’s Vantage over any other adjustable venting system on the market. It works beautifully, you can close both vents, open both, or open either the front vent or the back vent. I’ve never used a more customizable, smooth-working system.
And it’s good enough that, while I found Smith’s Variant Brim to be a very comfortable helmet, I would definitely pay the extra money for the Vantage. (Smith apparently felt the same, and they have discontinued the Variant.)
2) The Vantage BOA Fit System
In ~130 days of use in two different models, the Vantage BOA Fit System has worked effectively and flawlessly. And when you’re ragdolling down a mountain (see below), “fit” isn’t merely a matter of comfort or style, but a matter of protection.
3) Goggle Lock
The goggle lock / strap is simple and effective. I’ve used other helmets that have done some weird things with goggle retainers. The one on the Vantage is lightweight, low profile, and it works. We’ll get to the ragdoll story in a minute, but know that my goggles stayed in place through about 14 cartwheels down the mountain.
NEXT PAGE: 4) Padding / Comfort / Fit / Sizing