The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of outdoor gear

Smith Overtake MIPS Review

The Overtake is a class leading helmet with an innovative design approach, but poor ventilation hampers an otherwise excellent product.
Smith Overtake
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Price:  $280 List | $196.00 at Competitive Cyclist
Compare prices at 4 resellers
Pros:  Durable, comfortable
Cons:  Poor ventilation
Manufacturer:   Smith
By Curtis Smith ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Feb 17, 2017
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76
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#5 of 18
  • Comfort - 20% 9
  • Adjustability - 15% 8
  • Weight - 15% 6
  • Style - 15% 9
  • Ventilation - 20% 5
  • Durability - 15% 9

The Skinny

Smith is relatively new to bicycle helmet production, compared to companies like Giro and Bell. When they released their first helmets, they made quite a splash by incorporating a material called Koroyd. Koroyd looks like a bunch plastic straws glued together and is claimed to offer superior energy absorption and better protection than EPS foam. The Overtake was well received by our testers, who found the helmet to be very comfortable and offer a wide range of adjustability. It is clear when you get the helmet in your hands that it is extremely well built, with a great deal of attention to detail. Our only complaint was poor ventilation, which ultimately prevented the Overtake from seizing our Editors' Choice award.


Compare to Similar Products

Our Analysis and Test Results

Performance Comparison


The Smith Overtake MIPS was a favorite amongst our testers  but poor ventilation reduced its overall score.
The Smith Overtake MIPS was a favorite amongst our testers, but poor ventilation reduced its overall score.

Comfort


The Overtake was one of the most comfortable helmets we tested. It scored a 9/10; the Giro Synthe and Lazer Z-1 were the only helmets we rated higher. The Vapor Fit system used on the Overtake does a good job of evenly distributing tension for a good fit free of pressure points. The Roc Loc Air system on the Synthe is better by a slight margin, as it is not fixed to the EPS shell and provides the best distribution of pressure. The Overtake uses X-Static pads that are similar to what is found in the Synthe, but they are much thicker, and extend over the top of the head. The straps on the Overtake are thin and supple, and are much more comfortable than the tubular webbing found on the Giro Savant. If comfort is priority number one for you, then the Overtake has you covered.

The Smith Overtake MIPS has a full wrap polycarbonate shell and a very comfortable set of X-Static pads.
The Smith Overtake MIPS has a full wrap polycarbonate shell and a very comfortable set of X-Static pads.

Adjustability


The Vapor Fit system on the Overtake provides a good amount of adjustability. Circumferential adjustment is accomplished by turning the dial on the rear portion of the adjustment band in the same manner as every other helmet we tested. The Overtake will accommodate head sizes between 55-59cm, giving it the same range of adjustment as the Giro Synthe and *Lazer Z-1. 3cm of fore and aft adjustment are available in three increments for fine-tuning fit. The Overtake also hits all the critical points when it comes to straps. Small, adjustable Y-buckles are easy to manipulate and allow for even strap tension. The rear strap is also not fixed, a feature also seen on the Bell Gage. We prefer a non-fixed rear strap as it allows for centering of the chinstrap.

The rear strap is not fixed  allowing for lots of adjustment on the Smith Overtake MIPS.
The rear strap is not fixed, allowing for lots of adjustment on the Smith Overtake MIPS.

Weight


The Overtake weighs 276g, which is pretty impressive considering the full wrap polycarbonate shell and a MIPS liner. The Specialized Airnet MIPS also has a full wrap shell and a MIPS liner, but it weighs 317g. The Koroyd impact material likely helps keep the weight down as it is said to be lighter than EPS foam.

Style


Close up view of the Koroyd material used in place of EPS on the Smith Overtake MIPS.
Close up view of the Koroyd material used in place of EPS on the Smith Overtake MIPS.
The Overtake has a unique look, and wont be confused for other helmets. The profile is smaller than many other helmets due to the use of Koroyd, which can be utilized in a thinner cross section than EPS while maintaining the same level of protection. The construction is somewhat of a hybrid, using both EPS and Koroyd, but Smith leverages the advantages of Koroyd to produce a helmet with a smaller profile. A MIPS liner is included, which adds a bit of weight, but may improve protection. Sunglass integration is great with Smith glasses like the Pivlock, but we have had mixed luck with other brands of glasses. Smith includes a soft drawstring bag for storage.

Side view of the Smith Overtake MIPS showing the unique profile of the helmet.
Side view of the Smith Overtake MIPS showing the unique profile of the helmet.

Ventilation


Poor ventilation characteristics prevented the Overtake from clinching the Editors' Choice Award. Nearly every vent on the Overtake is filled with Koroyd material. While air can passively flow through the Koroyd, the orientation of the Koroyd tubes does not line up with the wind flow pattern over the helmet. There are three vents at the front brow area of the helmet not filled with Koroyd, but they are completely obstructed by the MIPS liner. The Giro Synthe and many other helmets we tested have MIPS liners, but these helmets have cutouts in the MIPS material to allow for airflow. Our testers found the Overtake to be excessively hot due to poor ventilation, regardless of road speed.

The front vents on the Smith Overtake MIPS  are obstructed by the internal MIPS liner  which hampers ventilation.
The front vents on the Smith Overtake MIPS, are obstructed by the internal MIPS liner, which hampers ventilation.

Durability


This is the only helmet we tested that scores a perfect 10 for durability. The polycarbonate shell on the Overtake completely wraps the entire helmet, leaving no exposed EPS foam. The overall quality of the helmet is impressive, with no flimsy stickers or decals on the exterior. The Kask Protone also scored highly with a full-wrap polycarbonate shell, but the fore and aft adjustment mechanism broke early in our testing. The Overtake performed flawlessly during testing, with all components of the helmet providing reliable service. This is one of the highest quality helmets we have ever tested.

The Smith Overtake MIPS is a high quality helmet. Unlike other helmets we tested  the decals are painted.
The Smith Overtake MIPS is a high quality helmet. Unlike other helmets we tested, the decals are painted.

Best Applications


This helmet is well suited to road training and racing use. Due to poor ventilation, we prefer it on cooler days. It also works well for cyclocross, but be advised, cleaning mud out of the Koroyd tubes is very difficult.

Value


The Smith Overtake is one of the more expensive helmets we tested at $290. However, the quality of the helmet is impeccable, making it a good value even at this price.

Conclusion


This contender is a high-quality helmet with unsurpassed durability and class-leading comfort. Unfortunately, its overall score is hampered by poor ventilation.

Front view of the Smith Overtake MIPS.
Front view of the Smith Overtake MIPS.


Curtis Smith