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Pret Cynic X2 MIPS Review

A helmet that appeals to many riders and has the feature set and price to make it an excellent value
pret cynic x2 mips ski helmet review
Credit: Pret
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Price:  $150 List | $111.93 at REI
Pros:  Low profile, vents can be closed, magnetic buckle, easy to remove ear pads
Cons:  Velcro adhesive is easy to accidentally remove from the MIPS insert
Manufacturer:   Pret
By Isaac Laredo ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Feb 25, 2022
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more
70
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#8 of 15
  • Comfort - 25% 7.0
  • Warmth - 25% 8.0
  • Ventilation - 20% 6.0
  • Weight - 10% 6.0
  • Goggle Compatibility - 10% 8.0
  • Style - 10% 6.0

Our Verdict

The Pret Cynic X2 MIPS offers a solid helmet at a good price. It provides dome protection through the incorporation of MIPS technology. It's user-friendly, too, thanks to the magnetic buckle, low maintenance liner, easy-to-remove earpads, and large adjustable dial. Annoyingly, though, you have to be careful not to remove the adhesive-backed Velcro strips that connect the liner to the MIPS liner when removing the helmet liner to block the vents. Also, closing the vents is not as convenient as any other model we tested. Resort riders and skiers looking for a durable, warm, and featured model should consider the Pret Cynic 2.

Editor's Note: The Pret Cynic X2 MIPS review was updated on February 25, 2022. We provide additional information on what we recommend and offer more details to help compare products.

Compare to Similar Products

 
pret cynic x2 mips ski helmet review
This Product
Pret Cynic X2 MIPS
Awards  Best Buy Award  Best Buy Award  
Price $150 List
$111.93 at REI
$112.00 at Backcountry
Compare at 4 sellers
$160 List
$127.96 at Backcountry
$119.95 at Backcountry
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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros Low profile, vents can be closed, magnetic buckle, easy to remove ear padsProtective features, lightweight, adjustable ventilation, versatileWarm, rotational impact system, comfortable, anti-microbial linerAffordable, adjustable vents, MIPS, adjustable dialSimple, comfortable, good coverage
Cons Velcro adhesive is easy to accidentally remove from the MIPS insertEarpads are challenging to remove, dial hard to use with gloves, styleWind noise, heavyHeavy, larger profileFixed open vents, goggle compatibility, version we tested doesn't have MIPS tech
Bottom Line A helmet that appeals to many riders and has the feature set and price to make it an excellent valueEqually at home on the skin track as the resort, we reached for this friendly-priced helmet frequently on ski toursHardshell impact protection enhanced by an incredible fit and Shred's innovative protective enhancementsEquipped with MIPS, adjustable vents, and an adjustable dial, this model has high-end features and strong performance at a stellar priceA protective, rugged helmet offered at a very reasonable price
Rating Categories Pret Cynic X2 MIPS Smith Mission MIPS Shred Totality NoShock Giro Ratio MIPS Giro Ledge
Comfort (25%)
7.0
7.0
7.0
6.0
6.0
Warmth (25%)
8.0
7.0
7.0
7.0
5.0
Ventilation (20%)
6.0
8.0
6.0
7.0
4.0
Weight (10%)
6.0
6.0
4.0
4.0
6.0
Goggle Compatibility (10%)
8.0
8.0
8.0
7.0
7.0
Style (10%)
6.0
6.0
8.0
6.0
6.0
Specs Pret Cynic X2 MIPS Smith Mission MIPS Shred Totality NoShock Giro Ratio MIPS Giro Ledge
Measured Weight (in ounces) 17.2 oz 16.9 oz 22.9 oz 21.7 oz 17.0 oz
Adjustment System RCS QR Fit System Adjustable Dial Fit System Adjustable Dial Fit System In form dial Removable Auto Loc 2 Fit System
# of Vents? 12 18 12 10 8
Number of Sizes 4 4 3 4 3
Removable Ear Covers? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Goggle Attachment? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Visor? Yes (brim) No No No No
Audio Compatibility? Yes No No Yes Yes
Certifications ASTM F2040, CE EN1077B06 ASTM F 2040, CE EN 1077:2007 CLASS B EN1077B, ASTMF2040 CE EN 1077 ASTM F2040-11/CE EN1077

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Cynic X2 MIPS uses an in-mold construction to create a low-profile helmet with a freeride look. The price point, style, and feature set make this a good helmet for riders looking for a durable helmet.

Performance Comparison


pret cynic x2 mips ski helmet review - the cynic x2 offers several features of more expensive models at a...
The Cynic X2 offers several features of more expensive models at a lower price point. It's a solid helmet option in the middle of the price range.
Credit: Isaac Laredo

Comfort


The Pret Cynic X2 is a very comfortable helmet that you could easily wear for a day of riding. It feels very light on the head, and we can ride the whole day, barely noticing we are wearing a helmet. The RCS Fit System is Pret's quick-adjust dial fit system. Like most harness systems, it helps provide a snug fit with on-the-fly adjustability. What stands out regarding the RCS system is the size of the knob with distinct large contours and audible clicks to help indicate how many turns were made. This system is one of the easiest to use with gloves or mittens on and obtain the correct size the first time.

pret cynic x2 mips ski helmet review - the fidlock magnetic buckle makes it is easier to clip and unclip...
The Fidlock magnetic buckle makes it is easier to clip and unclip the helmet
Credit: Isaac Laredo

The helmet fits comfortably across many head shapes. We appreciate the well-padded interior made from blended wool and recycled polyester fleece as it made this helmet more comfortable to wear without a beanie. The liner resists odor build-up from sweat and can easily be taken out to be washed when needed. The earpads are low-profile and comfortable. The Fidlock magnetic buckle is incredibly easy to use and excellent for a winter environment. After you fine-tune the technique, it can easily be done with one hand with gloves or mittens.

Be careful when removing the liner not to remove the velcro backing that attaches the liner to the MIPS system.

pret cynic x2 mips ski helmet review - these small velcro tabs can come off the mips side rather easily...
These small velcro tabs can come off the MIPS side rather easily when removing the liner, which is a problem when re-attaching the liner.
Credit: Laredo

Warmth


Thanks to its blended wool and polyester fleece liner, the Pret Cynic X2 is a very warm helmet. When you're out on the slopes in below-freezing temperatures, the full coverage liner is warm enough to use without a beanie.

pret cynic x2 mips ski helmet review - a wool and fleece liner helps keep you warmer on cold days.
A wool and fleece liner helps keep you warmer on cold days.
Credit: Isaac Laredo


If you want to restrict air movement to increase the warmth of this helmet, the Level One Ventilation allow the vents to be blocked by fabric tabs that are sewn into the liner. It is a unique and cost-effective way to provide a closable vent system, albeit laborious to operate. The earpads provided a great fit and had no apparent drafts. We have no problem selecting this helmet on cold days, as it adequately keeps heads warm.

pret cynic x2 mips ski helmet review - low profile, and comfortable earpads that are easy to remove.
Low profile, and comfortable earpads that are easy to remove.
Credit: Isaac Laredo

Ventiliation


ThePret Cynic X2 has 12 medium to small fixed vents that are moderately effective at moving air through the substantial liner. There are two intake vents above the brim to help keep prevent or minimize goggle fogging.

The Level One Ventilation is a creative and low-cost version of adjustable ventilation, though we can't say we love it. If you want to decrease the airflow felt on your head, you can close the tabs found inside the liner. However, this requires removing the helmet from your head, then removing the liner from the helmet, moving the fabric tabs, and re-inserting the liner. It's not the most convenient system, to say the least. We recommend first managing your warmth with the addition or removal of base layers.

Another strategy to increase ventilation to modify the helmet for warmer days is to remove the ear pads. The earpads are very easy to remove despite the adjustable harness system being sewn into the padding that appears connected to the earpads. They are separate pieces attached by strong velcro and are easy to stuff into a jacket pocket on the fly.

The Level One Ventilation liner. The tabs are used to block the...
The Level One Ventilation liner. The tabs are used to block the vents of the helmet.
The Level One Ventilation. On the left side, the vents would be...
The Level One Ventilation. On the left side, the vents would be "open" and the right side is "closed".

Weight


The Cynic X2 weighs in at 17.2, which is relatively lightweight for resort helmets and about average for in-mold construction helmets. It feels very light on the head and is not noticeable when riding, even when jumping or riding rails.

Goggle Compatiblity


We tested the Cynic X2 in conjunction with goggles of various frame sizes, shapes, and brands like Smith, Giro, Shred, Vonzipper. We had a great fit with each pair. The micro brim of the helmet provides a nice transitional interface between the helmet and goggles.

pret cynic x2 mips ski helmet review - gap free interface between the giro contour and pret helmet.
Gap free interface between the Giro Contour and Pret helmet.
Credit: Laredo

The goggle retainer is a durable and flexible rubber strap that closes with the snap button. This system offers more security than the traditional plastic retainer.

pret cynic x2 mips ski helmet review - a durable rubberized strap keeps your googles attached to the helmet...
A durable rubberized strap keeps your googles attached to the helmet more effectively than traditional plastic hooks.
Credit: Isaac Laredo

Style


This model is available in 9 colorways to help find the styling that best suits you. When consulting friends and fellow skiers, the Cynic appealed to those who appreciate a low profile and freeride-oriented look. However, most of our testers find it unfortunate that Pret decided to brand their name very large on the side of the helmet. That feels unnecessary and detracts from the otherwise great overall style.

pret cynic x2 mips ski helmet review - the aesthetic of the cynic was a fan favorite.
The aesthetic of the Cynic was a fan favorite.
Credit: Laredo

Should You Buy the Pret Cynic X2 MIPS?


The Cynic X2 is a pretty great helmet with only a few annoying setbacks. It performed well in each of our performance metrics. It's a relatively lightweight helmet that offers a few comfortable fit that makes it possible to forget your even wearing it. We like the liner, too, but simply aren't fans of the way you have to close the vents on this model. This MIPS incorporated helmet is excellent for resort riders looking for an easy to wear and good-looking helmet to use all over the mountain.

pret cynic x2 mips ski helmet review - fun times are best enjoyed with peace of mind when you have quality...
Fun times are best enjoyed with peace of mind when you have quality protection on your head.
Credit: Isaac Laredo

What Other Ski Helmets Should You Consider?


The Cynic X2 offers a strong value thanks to its feature set like the wool and X-Static liner, magnetic buckle, easily adjustable fit, and MIPS incorporated into the low profile shell all at a mid-level price. However, if the funky vent system or the prominent branding are deal breakers for you, we recommend looking at the Smith Mission MIPS which scored similarly in most metrics but has an infinitely easier ventilation adjustment system. It falls within the same price range as the Cynic as well and is a good product to round out your winter ski gear.

Isaac Laredo
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