December 23, 2010, 9:35 am / Categories: Winter Gear
If I had to sum up the Smith Vantage snow helmet with one word, I’d dub it “deluxe.” With a sleek design and, according to Smith, the lowest profile of any helmet on the market, the Vantage is a hard hat that balances great performance with its good looks.
I tested the Vantage out on several snowboarding trips and even a recent winter-biking outing this year. It has let me regulate my temperature quickly and easily with its 21 vents, 12 of which are adjustable even while wearing gloves. They slide open and closed to let air in or trap body heat. At 15.5 ounces, the helmet is light — I easily forget it was on my head most of the time — and fit was top-notch. Smith’s sliding, ratcheting head harness kept the helmet steady and secure.
Combined with the I/O goggles from Smith, which I also tested, the helmet’s vents keep air moving through the goggles and out the helmet vents. I’ve yet to fog my goggles or break a heavy sweat in the system.
The Vantage’s Removable earflaps are designed to house headphones for those who like to rock while they carve. One iteration, the Skullcandy BlueTooth version, which costs a sky-high $340, offers a wireless connection to a music device or a phone. The base price of the Vantage is $180.
My solitary complaint is that I wish the chin-strap was adjustable on the fly. The way it is setup now, I needed to remove the helmet and also my gloves to readjust the strap. A small issue.
Offered in eight color options (to match your sickest snow get-ups!), the Vantage proved to be a top performer in my test. Pair this with Smith’s lifetime warranty and you may have yourself more than a “deluxe” helmet — you may have just made a good investment for the long run.
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