Updated November 17th, 2023
Are you looking for a good, full featured, ski helmet but don’t want to break the bank? The Smith Mission MIPS Ski and Snowboard helmet could be the helmet for you. It has most common features such as adjustable venting and removable ear pads. It has MIPS for your safety and anti fog vents for your goggles. Read below to see our detailed Smith Mission MIPS review.
What we liked:
- Plenty of room to wear a hat underneath
- Comfortable for a long day on the mountain
- Helps to keep your goggles defogged
- Available MIPS
- Wider width fit than most other Smith helmets
What we didn’t like:
- Size adjuster feels a bit cheap
- Earpads are difficult to remove
- ASTM F 2040, CE EN 1077, 2007 CLASS B, CPSC, CE EN178 Certified
- PC shell with EPS Foam liner and Koroyd
- Size adjustment dial
- 14 air vents – adjustable
- AirEvac goggle anti fog system
- Removable ear pads compatible with Bluetooth helmet speakers
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Smith Mission MIPS Snow Helmet Review and Test
We picked up a black size XL Mission MIPS to review. I wanted a Smith helmet to go along with my 4D Mag goggles and the Mission is the widest shaped Smith helmet and has a bit more comfort built in than their other helmets. Let’s talk about some of the key features of this helmet.
Mission MIPS features
MIPS – Multi-directional Impact Protection System – MIPS is a layer in your helmet under the energy absorber that allows the helmet exterior shell to rotate relative to your head. This means that for angled impacts such as a glancing blow, the helmet shell will rotate without forcing your head to rotate. This reduces the forces going into your head and spine reducing your risk of injury. Learn more about MIPS here.
Zonal Koroyd Aerocore construction – Plastic honeycomb energy absorber on the sides of your head. Zonal Koroyd crushes giving it enhanced energy absorption. Unlike EPS foam, it does not rebound and release the energy. It permanently crushes when hit by something. It weighs less than a solid chunk of EPS foam allowing the helmet to weigh less. Learn more about Zonal Koroyd here.
ASTM 2040F Certified – This helmett is certified to ASTM and CE standards. It is certified to the following list of standards.
- ASTM F 2040
- CE EN 1077
- 2007 CLASS B
- CE EN178
Regulator adjustable climate control – this helmet has adjustable venting for maximum comfort. A tab on the back of the helmet allows you to open and close the 14 vents. It has vent positions, open, middle and closed. It does not have independent front and back vents that higher end Smith helmets have.
AirEvac vent system for goggle defog – Vents located in the front of the helmet direct air down into your goggles keeping them from fogging up. They are designed to work with most Smith ski goggles.
Audio compatible ear pads that are removeable – The ear pads are designed to work with Aleck Nunchucks audio system blue tooth speakers. They can be inserted into velcro slots in the ear pads. The ear pads can be removed for people like me who get headaches from ear pressure or it’s a warmer day and you don’t need them to keep warm.
See our guide to the best ski helmet speakers to learn more.
PC Shell and EPS foam liner – The construction of the helmet uses a polycarbonate plastic shell with in-mold EPS foam liner. The EPS is replaced with Koroyd plastic honeycomb on the sides of the helmet.
Removeable helmet liner – The mesh and fleece helmet liner is removable for cleaning or more space. It is attached with velcro strips into the helmet.
Goggle Clip – There is a plastic clip on the back of the helmet for attaching your goggle strap. The goggle strap is slid under the clip. There is no snap or bungee to hold the strap from sliding out.
Padded neck strap – the neck strap has a thin layer of padding wrapped around it. There is plenty of length to adjust.
Dfs2 adjustable fit system – This helmet has an adjustable dial fit giving you a great fit and instant comfort when you put on the helmet.
Appearance – The helmet has a clean appearance with a few character lines molded in to give it a little styling. It does not have any visor feature such as the Smith Vantage and Smith Level helmets have. It has more shape than some of the lower end Smith Helmets.
Cost – This helmet currently retails for $140 for the MIPS version and $110 for the regular version. I would always buy the MIPS version for the extra $30. You can find last years model (slightly different colors) for close to $100 if you shop around. This puts it a little more expensive then their $80-$100 Scout model. It is far below their $270 Vantage MIPS model.
See our comparison between Smith and OutdoorMaster to see how this helmet measures up to the less expensive OutdoorMaster helmet.
How does it fit, feel and perform?
Sizing and feel
The helmet is available in 4 sizes. Small, Medium, Large, and X-Large. My head is weird round shape and I need a size L or XL in most helmets. The Mission MIPS size XL works for me.
My head fits comfortably in the helmet. It does feel snug around the sides and top. I am able to wear the helmet with my favorite under helmet hat. The ear pads feel tight but don’t feel like they are crushing my ear. I typically get a headache on my left side from the earpad pushing my left ear into my head. It goes away by removing the earpads and just using a hat. I’m hoping this helmet will break the trend.
The chin strap has plenty of extra strap. With a hat and neckwarmer on I have about an inch and a half of spare strap. The chin strap padding is thin. I would prefer a bit thicker padding there.
Ski goggle compatibility
This helmet works very well with Smith 4D Mag goggles and other Smith goggle designs. It has minimal to no goggle gap. The goggle outboard edges fit nicely into the helmet. The strap doesn’t cover any vents. The helmet also works well with OutdoorMaster goggles and other brands. See the image below for how the helmet looks with a set of Smith I/O Mag snow goggles.
Every Smith helmet I have worn with Smith goggles has done a really good job of keeping the goggles fog free. I have no doubts this one will work just as good.
Ear Pad removeal
The ear pads come off but it does take some effort. You must unclip the size adjuster from the left and right side and slide it out of the ear pads. Be careful during this step. I broke a similar size adjuster on a Smith helmet a few years back taking the ear pads off. Then you have to pull the ear pads out of each side. The ear pads have a nice comfortable feel.
Nobody wants to hit a tree while skiing but stuff happens. This helmet has all the latest safety innovations including MIPS system and Koroyd energy absorber.
It goes above and beyond with several safety certifications above the standard ASTM 2040F. I have taken one hard glancing blow off a tree while mounting biking with a MIPS equipped helmet. I flew into the tree with my shoulder and hit the ground. Just about every part of me hurt except my head. That was the most terrifying biking or skiing moment I’ve ever had. I’m a believer in MIPS liner technology after that. I do like glade skiing quite a bit so I ski around trees just as much as I bike.
The goggle clip – The plastic goggle clip works. Not much more can be said about it. I would prefer a snap or bungee that positively holds the goggles to your helmet. I’m concerned that this plastic clip will wear out and snap off with time. Smith I/O Mag goggles are very difficult to swap the lens while wearing. If you swap lenses frequently you’ll be bending this plastic clip a lot. The clip opens downward. If your goggles are hanging off the back of your helmet, it’s possible they can slide down out of the clip.
Size adjuster – The size adjuster on this helmet works. It feels a bit cheap and not smooth to operate. Helmets costing 1/3rd as much as this helmet come with better, smoother feeling sized adjusters.
Helmet liner – The liner is removeable but not too many times. The velcro on the liner has a tendency to pull the glued on velcro pads off the helmet instead of freeing the velcro connection. A better adhesive needs to be used to attach the velcro pads to the EPS foam.
Shell, liner, and padding – The shell construction looks very clean. The helmet straps are attached inside the EPS liner so there is no exposed rivets or other fasteners on the outside of the helmet. The moldings look well done without any flash or other blemishes.
Regulator climate control adjustable vent – The vent feels smooth when you operate it. I can operate it with the helmet on my head. I can get it with a glove on when I can find feel the knob. The sliding knob has a detent for mid position when you want the vent half open. There are enough vents on this helmet to provide good ventilation into your head on warm spring days.
I have had nothing but good experience with the Smith goggle and helmet combination. This has a similar setup to most other Smith helmets that have worked very well. I expect the venting to work really well at keeping the goggles from fogging up as long as you keep moving and keep the air flowing.
Smith Mission MIPS Snow Helmet
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The Smith Mission MIPS helmet would be a great choice for most skiers. It has all the features you need at a reasonable cost. A Smith Vantage MIPS will give you a few more features such as split front and rear vents but at more than twice the cost. For most skiers, the Smith Mission helmet will be a welcome addition to their ski or snowboard gear.
See our Ski Helmet Gear Guide to see our best ski helmet picks.
You might also like:
- The Best Ski Goggles Gear Guide – Reviews, Ratings, and More
- Smith I/O Mag Review – Great Goggles For Under $300
Co-Founder & Editor
Kate is from Taiwan and came to the US after meeting her husband Doug. She has degrees in Fashion Design, Sales, and Marketing. The first thing we did her first winter here was go straight to the mountains and start ski lessons. These days she is an expert black diamond skier and waits for no one at the bottom. She also loves hiking and biking. She comes from Taiwan where people ride scooters way more than cars. She would rather bike or scooter and only drives when she absolutely has to.