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Review: Smith Allure MIPS Helmet

Woman wearing Smith Allure Helmet

A super lightweight and plush helmet with MIPS for snowboarding and skiing

The Smith Allure MIPS Helmet is a superb option if you want elevated protection on the slopes. Boasting MIPS technology for added brain protection and an extremely comfortable and well vented interior, this stylish helmet will keep your noggin safe and warm when you need it.

Smith Allure MIPS Helmet: The stats

Weight:410g (size M)
Vents:9 fixed
Certification:ASTM F 2040, CE EN 1077:2007 CLASS B

Features of the Smith Allure MIPS Helmet

Protection

Smith Allure MIPS HelmetInternally, there is a MIPS Brain Protection System which reduces rotational forces caused by angled impacts to the head. Externally, an in-mold construction fuses the exterior shell with the EPS foam to create a one-piece design.

Internal padding

Internal helmet paddingFor optimal fit and comfort, the helmet features a self-adjusting Lifestyle Fit System (LFS) which flexes to match your head shape. The fit can be adjusted underneath the plush, fuzzy lining that is removable for washing.

Goggle Clip

Helmet goggle clipThe goggle clip at the rear of the helmet can be removed by pulling it straight out (don’t twist it!). This creates a streamlined shell for those who prefer to wear their goggles under their helmet. Otherwise, the clip keeps goggles in place whether they’re on your face or sat on top of the helmet between runs.

Ear pads

Helmet earpadsCovered in the same fluffy fabric as the lining and chin strap, the ear pads feel wonderfully soft and warm. The pads are joined together with a padded panel that extends from ear to ear at the base of the skull. This whole pad is removable and stays securely in place when attached to the helmet. There is also a zipper at the rear which enables you to add an Aleck audio system.

Vents

Helmet ventsThe Allure features 9 fixed vents: two at the front, four at the rear and three on top at the rear. The vents are positioned to integrate with Smith goggles for fog-free lenses using the AirEvac system. This system draws warm air out of the goggles through the front vents and is exhausted out of the top vents. I wear Panda Optics goggles and have so far enjoyed fog-free riding!


Smith Allure MIPS Helmet review

I’ve had two big concussions in my life, both of which were on the ski slopes. Thankfully I was wearing a helmet on both occasions yet I still lost my short and medium term memory for about half an hour. The outcome of these concussions doesn’t bear thinking about had I not been wearing a helmet.

From what I remember, both concussions involved falling on my head sideways; real brain rattlers! Unfortunately, standard helmets are tested by dropping them vertically onto a flat surface, not creating an angled impact. As such, realistic impact scenarios from all angles are not accurately tested. So although I was very pleased to have been wearing a helmet, it didn’t necessarily provide the right amount of protection that my fragile brain needed. This is where MIPS comes in.

Thankfully, my recent testing of the Smith Allure MIPS Helmet didn’t involve any concussion inducing impacts. Only a couple of minor clips on the back of the head from slipping out on unseen ice.

What is MIPS?

Before I go into the specifics of how the helmet performed in terms of comfort and fit, let’s talk about MIPS.

MIPS stands for Multi-directional Impact Protection System. It’s a Brain Protection System (BPS) that is designed to add protection against rotational motion transferred to the brain. Rotational motion can increase the risk of minor and severe brain injuries.

MIPS works by redirecting energies and forces otherwise transferred to the brain. There is a low friction layer in the core of the MIPS that allows the head to move 10-15 mm relative to the helmet in all directions. The result is reduced rotational motion to the brain.

You can read more about how MIPS works here.Woman wearing helmet in the mountains

Comfort

I’m a big fan of outdoor clothing and gear that goes unnoticed when you wear it. The less noticeable it is, the more comfortable and uninhibiting it is. So I am delighted that 98% of the time, I completely forget I’m wearing the Allure when I’m snowboarding.

The soft, fuzzy lining, ear pads and chinstrap are super cosy when worn directly on the skin, and the plush padding means that no pressure spots develop with extended wear. Additionally, the extremely lightweight construction of the helmet further adds to how unnoticeable it is to wear.

The one thing that has made me notice the helmet when I’m wearing it is the elasticated strap at the back of the head. This strap is part of the LFS which is designed to be self-adjusting to flex around your head. And although the overall outcome of this system provides comfort and a good fit, the elastic itself can be occasionally a little uncomfortable. Perhaps it’s because I have short hair, but I’ve noticed the elastic catching my hair and rubbing at the base of my skull.

This certainly isn’t there all the time, and it goes away completely when I tuck a buff underneath it. But something to be aware of when trying on the helmet.

Adjustability

The chinstrap uses standard adjustable mechanisms that are easy to customise. Internally, the LFS is straightforward enough to adjust but you have to take the whole helmet off as well as ditching your gloves to do it. Certainly not something to do on the fly, and in theory, you shouldn’t need to do it at all once you’ve got the fit right.

What I love the most about the Smith Allure MIPS Helmet

The peace of mind that my twice-concussed brain is better protected on all angles is, of course, my absolute favourite thing about this helmet. But I also really love how lightweight and comfortable it is.

What I don’t love so much about the Smith Allure MIPS Helmet

The elasticated section of the internal LFS occasionally pulls my short hair and rubs a little at the base of my skull. This is easily remedied by tucking a buff underneath, and may only be a problem with short hair.


Back of skiing helmet

Verdict

With MIPS rotational protection, audio compatibility and plush internal padding, the Smith Allure MIPS Helmet offers very good value for skiers and snowboarders who charge hard on the mountain. It’s incredibly lightweight, comfortable and warm with excellent ventilation. The internal adjustability is a little awkward but once you’re set up with a good fit then it’ll be good to go.

Find the latest price at:
Smith Optics

Disclaimer: Cool of the Wild received this product free in return for an honest review. We only recommend gear that we love from companies we trust and we are under no obligation to give a positive review. All thoughts and opinions are that of the reviewer and we are in no way influenced by the brand or company.

Joey Holmes

Joey Holmes
Joey is based in Cornwall, UK, and runs Cool of the Wild. She can’t get enough of being outdoors – whether that’s lounging around the campfire cooking up a feast, hitting the trail in her running shoes, or attempting to conquer the waves on her surfboard – she lives for it. Camping is what she loves to do the most, but has also spent many hours clinging to the side of a rock face, cycling about the place, cruising the ski-slopes on her snowboard, and hiking small mountains and big hills.

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