Smith Quantum MIPS Review
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Quantum MIPS is yet another great helmet from Smith and performed well in almost every category we tested it in.
The Quantum MIPS is super well made and comfortable, and it earned similar scores to other top scorers in this metric, such as the Smith Vantage MIPS. The sweat-wicking lining is comfy and does a great job of keeping your head dry on warmer days. Smith's adjustment system, the BOA wheel, located at the back of the helmet, is easy to use with gloves on and does a great job of quickly adjusting the size of the helmet. One of our testers had a much smaller head but could still make the size large we were testing work for him.
Our testers also loved the Fidlock magnetic buckle and comfortable chin strap. It is incredibly easy to use. Just putting the clasp near the other piece will make it snap into place, ready to rock and roll. Taking it off is simple as well. Just slide the pieces apart, and you're ready for après.
Smith helmets are traditionally shaped for rounder heads, so consider looking elsewhere if you've had trouble with the Smith helmet fit in the past. There isn't any helmet on the market that will suit every head shape, but this one works fine for all our testers and feels great.
For us, the warmth of a helmet depends mainly on two things: Whether you can close the vents and how well the ear cups hug your ears.
The Quantum MIPS excels at both of these things. It earned one of the highest scores in this metric. The 22 vents are manipulated using two slider mechanisms, allowing the user to lock the helmet down on the coldest, stormy days. The Quantum also does a great job keeping the ears warm with its ear cups, creating a snug fit without pressing too hard and causing any pain after hours on the slope. All that said, we also realize that on the coldest days, it's crucial for some people to be able to wear a thin beanie or buff under their helmet. With the easily adjustable BOA system, most testers could wear something underneath the helmet and adjust the size to fit on the fly. If you get too warm again, it is easy to stuff this extra layer in your jacket pocket for when temps drop.
The Quantum MIPS excels in ventilation. Its 22 vents open and close via two slider mechanisms located on the top of the helmet.
For our reviewers, the option to open or close the vents is crucial in a helmet. Temperature regulation is important to utilize, and we find it exceedingly hard without ventilation control. The only gripe our testers had about the ventilation of this helmet is that the Koroyd construction underneath the vents makes for a slightly interrupted airflow, but we didn't find it to be a deal-breaker by any means.
This category is one where the Quantum MIPS did not excel and scored near the bottom of the group. This helmet clocks in as one of the heavier models we tested, only being out-weighed by the Shred Totality NoShock. That said, our testers could not tell the difference between a couple of ounces while wearing these different helmets. Additionally, the Quantum is stacked with protective features and mechanisms for adjustment, all of which add weight. So it's up to you to decide what you want in a helmet. Simple and light, or would you like to add a few ounces and some bells and whistles?
For its weight, the Quantum did not feel very bulky to us; it feels sleek and fits easily under the hoods of our jackets on storm days. The weight of the helmet is mostly a non-issue for resort skiers, but those venturing into the backcountry will likely prefer a more lightweight model like the Salomon MTN Lab.
Smith helmets are well-known for providing an excellent seal between the lid and goggles, especially when paired with the goggles they make, and the Quantum MIPS is no exception.
With Smith's rear bungee goggle retainer, it is easier than ever to fasten your goggles and take them off in record time. There is a decently sized pull tab in the rear, which makes it easy for goggle adjustments, even on the hill.
The trick becomes a genuine bonus when a helmet can also create a tight fit with a different brand of goggles. We tested the Quantum with Smith, Scott, Abom, Oakley, and POC goggles. We found that although the tightest fit was with the I/O goggle by Smith, the other goggles created a great seal. We also recommend that when you're purchasing a new helmet and already own goggles, bring them with you, and try them on when you're trying on new helmets to ensure a good seal.
You'd be hard-pressed to find a Smith helmet that isn't at least a little bit stylish, and the Quantum is no exception. Its small visor and rugged lines make this a really good-looking helmet, in our opinion. It comes in a small variety of color schemes, primarily subtle and two-toned, that are understated and sophisticated.
Should You Buy the Smith Quantum MIPS?
Although the Quantum MIPS is the most expensive helmet in our review, we believe you get what you pay for. The Quantum has all the bells and whistles you'd expect out of a helmet at this price point, and the features are sure to keep you comfortable throughout a long day on the mountain. The ventilation, BOA size adjustment, Fidlock magnetic buckle, and multiple protective features make it one of the nicest helmets we've ever laid hands on, and if you're up for spending the big bucks, you won't go wrong with the Quantum.
What Other Ski Helmets Should You Consider?
If you spend enough time skiing, want one of the warmest, sexiest helmets on the market, and have the money to spend, look no further than the Smith Quantum MIPS. But if that doesn't sound like you, we have some other suggestions. The Smith Vantage MIPS is a bit more affordable and is one of the only helmets that scored higher in our tests. If you are on a strict budget, we recommend looking at the Smith Mission MIPS. For those who prefer to spend time in the backcountry, the Salomon MTN Lab is one of our favorite hybrid models that is comfortable in various situations.
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