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.
Pret Cynic X2 MIPS Review
Cons: Velcro adhesive is easy to accidentally remove from the MIPS insert
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|Pros||Low profile, vents can be closed, magnetic buckle, easy to remove ear pads||Protective features, lightweight, adjustable ventilation, versatile||Warm, rotational impact system, comfortable, anti-microbial liner||Affordable, adjustable vents, MIPS, adjustable dial||Simple, comfortable, good coverage|
|Cons||Velcro adhesive is easy to accidentally remove from the MIPS insert||Earpads are challenging to remove, dial hard to use with gloves, style||Wind noise, heavy||Heavy, larger profile||Fixed 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 value||Equally at home on the skin track as the resort, we reached for this friendly-priced helmet frequently on ski tours||Hardshell impact protection enhanced by an incredible fit and Shred's innovative protective enhancements||Equipped with MIPS, adjustable vents, and an adjustable dial, this model has high-end features and strong performance at a stellar price||A 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|
|Goggle Compatibility (10%)|
|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|
|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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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