In a perfect world, no one would have to wear protective gear. But until that world appears, the next best thing is protective gear that’s so unobtrusive that you can easily forget that you’re wearing it. Kind of like Smith’s Maze helmet.
New for this winter, the company specs the Maze as weighing only 11.5 ounces, making it the lightest snow helmet in the snowsports industry, according to Smith. The company further assures it’s not “just a hardhat or crossover helmet.” Indeed, the Maze is a full-blown winter head protector certified with ASTM F2040F and CE EN1077 standard-passing performance.
I snowboarded with a Maze for about 45 days last winter and spring and took my share of head slamming diggers. It seemed to offer the same protection of heavier lids, fit well and integrated exceptionally clean with both Smith goggles as well as Oakleys. There was no space between the goggles and helmet — goodbye ice cream headaches during fast descents on cold mornings! It was plenty warm on cold days and pretty cool on spring days in June at Mammoth Mountain, too.
The Maze converts to a summer-use helmet — just remove the ear pads, liner as well as the goggle-lock and it can do double duty as a warm-weather lid.
Available in black, white, gray and other colors, the Maze costs $100. It is available with Skullcandy’s Bluetooth Phone/Audio installed for $280 or with Skullcandy’s TwinTip wired Phone/Audio installed at $130. www.smithoptics.com
—Stephen Krcmar lives and works in Mammoth Lakes, Calif.