Updated November 17th, 2023
Super lightweight MIPS ski helmet with good ventilation
Top Pick – Best Freestyle and Park Ski Helmet
Top Pick – Best Budget Ski Helmet
- Smith Maze MIPS Review and Test
- Recommendation – Buy or No Buy?
- Other helmets to consider
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The Smith Maze has been replaced by the Smith Method for winter 2023-2024. It is a very similar design except they have added Koroyd honeycomb energy absorber in place of some of the EPS foam.
The Smith Maze MIPS ski helmet is designed to be a lightweight snow helmet with basic skater helmet styling. It is one of the lightest ski helmets out there with full ear pads and MIPS. Our review helmet weighed in at just 13 ounces. It has some compromises to achieve that lightweight such as fixed vents and no size adjuster. It has basic skater styling and looks best with lower profile cylindrical lens ski goggles. If you want a lightweight ski helmet, good for riding anywhere on the mountain, the Smith Maze is tough to beat.
What we liked:
- Very lightweight
- Available MIPS
- Low profile skater look
- Removable ear pads that are audio compatible
- Removable goggle clip
- Lots of ventilation
- Goggle defog vents
- Good goggle compatibility especially with Smith goggles
What we didn’t like:
- Fixed vents
- Need to wear a hat under it on cold days
- No size adjustment dial
- Not a lot of ventilation
- Construction – In-Mold
- MIPS – Optional
- Weight – 12 oz
- Ventilation – Fixed
- Goggle Defog Vents – Yes
- Audio Compatible – Yes
Smith Maze MIPS Review and Test
Smith Optics provided us with a Maze MIPS helmet to review. As with all reviews, we will give you the good and bad whether we bought the item or it was given to us. Our Maze MIPS is black color and size large.
The Maze is available in 7 colors and 5 sizes. Small, Medium, Large and X-Large. It is available in non-MIPS and MIPS versions. There is also a round contour MIPS version available.
The helmet comes in Smith’s new sustainable brown cardboard packaging and includes a basic helmet bag.
1 – Style
The Smith Maze helmet follows the latest freestyle skater helmet look trend. It is a basic dome looking helmet with a very small brim in front. It has some slight very subtle character lines across the top. The vents are put on the rear of the helmet to keep the top clean looking.
2 – Construction – 8.5/10
The Maze helmet uses in-mold construction with a polycarbonate shell and EPS foam liner. On the inside there is some removable strips of fleece padding. I wouldn’t call it a liner since it is more like a strip around the edge and a few strips across the top in front. It’s clear that the goal of this helmet was to be light weight. You can see the vent channels cut out in the MIPS liner in the inside.
The earpads are removable but you have to remove the fit adjuster band to do it. They aren’t easy and quick to take on and off.
The overall quality and attention to detail looks good. No sloppy mold flash or misfit parts anywhere.
3 – Safety Features – (9.0/10)
MIPS is available as an option. We always recommend getting the MIPS version of any helmet if it’s available. The helmet is certified to ASTM F 2040, CE EN 1077:2007 CLASS B standards. The helmet does not utilize Koroyd anywhere which is a common upgrade on higher end Smith ski helmets.
4 – Comfort and Fit – (8.0/10)
The helmet has a decent amount of padding in the top and the ear pads have a nice soft fleece covered feel to them. Like other Smith helmets, it is a bit on the narrow side. If you have a wider head you may want to consider going up one size or look for the round contour fit version of the helmet.
There is no size adjuster on this helmet. There is an elastic connection where the adjuster would normally go. You can unsnap the plastic fit system to make the helmet smaller or tighter to some degree. The “Life Self Adjusting Lifestyle Fit System” as Smith calls it, works decently well. It’s not as easy or convenient as an adjustment dial.
5 – Warmth (8.0/10)
We have skied with the helmet down to low 20’s temperature. I need to wear a thin hat under the helmet to be comfortable. There is a good amount of air flow through the helmet that can’t be stopped since the vents are not adjustable.
6 – Ventilation (8.0/10)
The helmet has much better ventilation than I expected looking at the size and number of vents. I could feel a lot of air rushing over my head on a cold weather test day. The only downside is that the vents are fixed and cannot be closed. It keeps your head cool on warmer days. It does a good job of cooling down your head on cold days when you don’t want it to.
The helmet has Smith AirEvac google defog vents on the front. They worked very well with the Smith 4D Mag goggles we used while testing the helmet. It instantly removed any fog from the goggles as soon as we started moving.
7 – Weight (10.0/10)
Our size Large MIPS test helmet weighed in at 13 ounces. This makes it the lightest helmet we have ever tested here. I know there are lighter weight touring and mountaineering helmets out there. 13 ounces is about as light as you can get for a helmet meant for resort skiing and terrain park use.
8 – Goggle compatibility
Most ski helmets and goggles do a good job of playing nice these days. The the Maze is no different. The brim doesn’t stick out very far from the helmet. I find that the Maze works and looks best with smaller profile cylindrical lens goggles such as the Squad or 4D Mag. Large profile goggles such as the I/O Mag bulge out a bit more than I like.
The images below are the Maze helmet with Smith 4D Mag ski goggles.
The Maze has a removable clip in the back for those who wear their goggle strap under the helmet. It is a plastic clip that can easily be removed by pulling it out.
9 – Audio compatible Ear Pads
The helmet has a zipper pocket for installing ear pad speakers. It is a single zipper that goes across both sides. It is a bit stiff but workable for putting speakers in and out and charging. I personally find that the helmet is not wide enough to comfortably wear with speakers in the ear pads. Someone with a narrower head profile will have no problems.
See our guide to the best ski helmet speakers to learn more.
Recommendation – Buy or No Buy?
If you are looking for a lightweight ski helmet with MIPS then the Maze makes a good choice. It has some short comings such as fixed vents and no size adjuster to achieve that lightweight. Overall it is comfortable with good ventilation and basic style. If this is what you are looking for then we would recommend the Smith Maze MIPS helmet.
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Other helmets to consider
The Oakley MOD1, Giro Emerge Spherical, and Anon Rodan MIPS are the closest helmet options from Oakley, Giro and Anon. The Outdoor Master Diamond MIPS is a similar value helmet. They are all designed as freestyle helmets with skater styling and reduced features to save weight.
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Co-Founder & Chief Editor
I grew up back east in Pennsylvania and learned to ski on a family trip to Killington, Vermont when I was 6. I immediately fell in love with the mountains and outdoors and have been skiing across the US and Canada ever since. I went to school for Mechanical Engineering, and have a Master’s Degree in Material Science and Reliability.
I am a total gear nerd and love learning how things work and thinking about how they could be improved. Nothing excites me more than trying out new gear. I’d rather spend 3 hours taking my bike apart and learning how to change something than go to a bike shop. These days I reside in Michigan by the Great Lakes and go skiing, biking, and boating as much as possible.