Smith Nexus MIPS Review
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Smith Nexus MIPS
|Price||$194.99 at Evo|
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|$148.50 at Backcountry|
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|$143.97 at Evo|
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|$63.00 at Backcountry|
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|$95.96 at Backcountry|
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|Pros||Great third-party features, excellent ventilation, warm when used in below-freezing temperatures||Comfortable, warm, vents well, style points, compatible with most goggles||Magnetic buckle, ventilation, protection features, style, BOA-adjustable fit||Protective features, lightweight, adjustable ventilation, versatile||Affordable, adjustable vents, MIPS, adjustable dial|
|Cons||Expensive, challenging to fit a hood over the top, heavier weight||Pricey||Non-adjustable vents, price||Earpads are challenging to remove, dial hard to use with gloves, style||Heavy, larger profile|
|Bottom Line||A resort-centric model designed for avid skiers and riders looking for top-tier ventilation, comfort, and durability||Deemed best of the best by our testers, there isn't a better combination of performance available from any model we have tested||A lightweight, comfortable, and feature-rich skate-style helmet that is great for those who traditionally prefer not to wear one||Equally at home on the skin track as the resort, we reached for this budget-friendly helmet frequently on ski tours||Equipped with MIPS, adjustable vents, and an adjustable dial, this model has high-end features and strong performance at a stellar price|
|Rating Categories||Smith Nexus MIPS||Smith Vantage MIPS||Anon Logan WaveCel||Smith Mission MIPS||Giro Ratio MIPS|
|Goggle Compatibility (10%)|
|Specs||Smith Nexus MIPS||Smith Vantage MIPS||Anon Logan WaveCel||Smith Mission MIPS||Giro Ratio MIPS|
|Measured Weight (in ounces)||25 oz||17.7 oz||17.1 oz||16.9 oz||21.7 oz|
|Rotational Impact Protection System||MIPS||MIPS||WaveCel||MIPS||MIPS|
|Adjustment System||BOA® 360 Fit System||Boa Fit System||360° Boa Fit System||Adjustable Dial Fit System||In form dial|
|# of Vents?||24||20||10||18||10|
|Number of Sizes||4||3||4||4||4|
|Removable Ear Covers?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Certifications||ASTM F 2040, CE EN 1077:2007 Class B||ASTM F 2040, CE EN 1077 Class B||CE 1077B & ASTM 2040||ASTM F 2040, CE EN 1077:2007 Class B||CE EN 1077|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Smith Nexus helmet uses hybrid construction and premium third-party systems to create a medium-profile helmet with a top-tier feature set. It uses a hard shell exterior bonded to a lightweight in-mold interior shell to reduce its volume compared to its predecessor, the Smith Quantum. This helmet utilizes multiple third-party features within its construction, such as MIPS and Koroyd to increase impact protection, along with a magnetic Fidlock buckle. These are some of the best options on the market, but they drive the price up.
The Smith Nexus is very comfortable, and we found it to fade into the background while testing. It uses the Boa 360 Fit dial adjustment harness system, a medium profile construction, and adequate padding to reduce pressure points.
Like the majority of Smith helmets, this model was able to accommodate a range of different head shapes. The BOA 360 Fit provides a snug fit that wraps around the head. This dial is also easy to reach and operate with thick mittens. While riding, the medium profile of this helmet was not noticeable and resisted any movement or shifting. However, the larger shell size prohibited using our hood on certain jackets due to the increased volume.
The earpieces are very comfortable, and when adjusted correctly, they never place too much pressure on the ears. The padding helps provide all-day comfort with a thin and well-ventilated liner. The liner also employs the brand Ionic+ antimicrobial fabric, claiming to reduce bacterial growth and associated odor. Ultimately, the Smith Nexus helmet is comfortable and suited for day-in and day-out use for those demanding a snug fit and supreme comfort.
The Smith Nexus helmet will keep you warm in various conditions. The ventilation system utilizes adjustable vents that can be toggled to various positions. The two toggles control the front and back vents, allowing for a customizable temperature regulation system.
The removable ear pads are warm and comfortable, and seldomly let in any drafts. To test ear pads, we rode our bicycle at 20 miles an hour and intently observed where we felt any drafts. On days in the teens, we would commonly wear a thin skull cap or balaclava for extra insulation. The mesh-inspired liner offers the same degree of warmth as one would expect from a light skull cap. We found it comfortable to wear this helmet without anything underneath in temperatures down to around freezing.
With its thin liner and well-designed ear pads, the Nexus should keep the majority of skiers warm enough in most mountain conditions. Because of its widely adjustable size range a thin beanie should easily fit underneath for those super cold days.
The Smith Nexus stands out for its ventilation system due to the adjustability and quantity of vents. It features 20 adjustable vents that can be opened wide or closed with the flip of a couple switches. The overall design of the ventilation system is thoughtful and effective as each intake vent has a corresponding exhaust vent. The model also features two intake vents above the small brim designed to aid airflow to your goggles. This is a standard feature but allows your goggles to resist fogging.
In both our stair and bike tests, the ventilation system performed well. While on the bicycle, we noticed the overall effectiveness of the helmet's ventilation system through lots of air movement. During the stair and uphill walking test, we noticed we were less sweaty and ran cooler than other helmets that offered less ventilation. The ventilation system of this model is more than enough for the demands of downhill skiing.
Despite utilizing a hybrid construction to achieve a lighter weight, the Nexus helmet is one of the heavier products within our review, weighing in at 25 oz for a size large. In the resort, the added weight of this helmet is negligible and ultimately provides you with a more protective and robust feel. It still provides an easy-to-forget-about and comfortable ride. The medium profile size makes it challenging to fit under more tapered hoods. The weight of this helmet and the challenge of removing the earpads make it less ideal for backcountry travel. This is a great resort-focused model to fit most needs of dedicated skiers and riders where a few extra ounces aren't a deal-breaker.
The Smith Nexus fits well with all goggle types. The helmet shape and slight overhang of the short brim allow the goggles to pull up and in to provide a secure fit onto your face rather than pushing the goggles down. The model has a bungee and hook goggle attachment system that is easy to operate and secure. While it fits great with each model we tried, it might be worth finding one and trying it on with your goggles to be sure.
Style is an inherently subjective category, and the Smith Nexus divided our test pool. Half of the users loved it, and the rest ranked the helmet in the bottom half of our fleet. We will leave it up to you to decide whether you like the looks. It's offered in five different colorways; if you like the overall appearance of the helmet, there is sure to be a colorway to fit your style.
Should You Buy the Smith Nexus?
If you have a higher budget and are seeking a helmet with a premium feature set and industry-leading third-party protective technology, then the Nexus is an excellent option to consider. We feel it is a great choice for those dedicated resort riders looking for a comfortable, durable, and convenient helmet.
What Other Ski Helmets Should You Consider?
If you're looking for a slightly lower-priced helmet with a great fit, excellent adjustable ventilation, and premier protection technology, check out our favorite, the Smith Vantage. If staying within your budget is a higher priority, check out our value-based favorite model, the Smith Mission.
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