2023 SMITH Equipment

2023 SMITH Helmets, Glasses & Goggles

Every year we get to test out different equipment and this season we have been riding SMITH helmets and goggles. This is some of the best gear we've ever had.

You can find a list of Ottawa-Gatineu retailers here.

Smith Forefront2 Helmet

5/5 stars
Unparalleled Fit, Weight and Ventilation

This is hands down the best MTB helmet I've ever owned.  The full Koroyd shell provides completely ventilation and this helmet is never hot for me.  The medium fits me well.  After a few weeks of riding I tightened the VaporFit at the back. (there are multiple snap holes to adjust the fit). The padded inserts actually do a good job of absorbing and holding sweat and do not randomly unload onto your eye protection.  The helmet padding dries out completely overnight.  The chin strap does not loosen during use.  The visor locks solidly into several positions (although I always have it lowest) and is replaceable if needed.  The black shell has a nice matter finish and does not scratch or scuff easily.  The helmet bag is a nice addition.


Smith Session Helmet

5/5 stars
Superior Fit, Low Weight, Very Cool

This helmet is the one I use exclusively for MTB instruction.  We purchased the bright orange and red for all of our instructors this season. The colour is not quite what the catalogue looked like (more pink and orange than bright red) but they sure stand out on the trails!  The medium fit is perfect on me (better than Fox and Bell) and the 1/2 Koryod shell makes it very light and very cool.  I adjusted the VaporFit after the main pads broke in a bit to tighten the overall head retention.  I’m not usually riding too hard during lessons but the pads are absorbent and dry out overnight.  The chin strap does not loosen through the day and is easy standard clip.  The visor locks solidly into several positions (although I always have it lowest) and is replaceable if needed.

I use Attack MAG MTB glasses and the integration is perfect with good airflow to keep the lens unfogged.   For non-instruction riding I use a Forefront 2 with full Koroyd shell and it s a bit cooler than the Session for hard riding.  Overall the Session has a cleaner look and it is 25% cheaper with 90% of the performance. 



Smith Mainline Helmet

5/5 stars
Wow.  Ultra-lightweight, super cool, full oxygen intake

This is my first new full-face helmet in 10 years and I’m blown away by it.  The Koroyd construction makes it so light it’s almost strange to wear at first because it doesn’t feel like the full certified DH rated helmet that it is.  The helmet is quite fitted and comes with different sets of cheek pads to adjust against your face.  The medium shell fits my bean (same as my Forefront 2 and Session)  and the medium face pads feel barely snug and I never notice them when riding.  The chin strap is a classic DH loop and snap with a one-hand release and snugs up with strap pads to eliminate any bounce movement.

The biggest features are the things you don’t notice on the trails.  The helmet is so light, your neck and shoulders don’t get tired at all.  And I found myself turning my head more in corners and tech trails looking for lines.  We rode a full weekend of DH at Bromont, Quebec in super sunny conditions and the Mainline stayed cool the whole time.  The AirEvac ventilation + Koroyd works really well.  So well that I didn’t even bother to remove the helmet on the lifts.  The MIPS system squeaks a bit when riding, but I stopped noticing it after a run or two.

The chin guard an face opening are much larger than what I was used to with previous Giro helmet and provide a high filed of vision and airflow for breathing felt 100% normal.  You could absolutely use this helmet for enduro and trail riding and not worry about breathing and air intake.  (With this level of breathing I can see why SMITH has not yet released a removable chin-strap helmet). The replaceable visor clicks in to multiple positions for extra visibility or sun blocking.

I’m running Squad MTB Goggles with this helmet and the combo is killer good.  The integration and fit are perfect and they maintain the right airflow to virtually eliminate fogging.  The helmet is shaped to retain the goggle strap to keep even but minimal pressure on your face.  The face opening width is huge and the matched goggles provide an unobstructed view and I can’t even see the chin bar when riding.  The Chromapop lens was outstanding in the bright sun this past weekend and really made the trail features stand out even through the forest with heavy shadows and changing light.

The helmet look great and the 3 colour Matte Slate - Fools Gold - Terra is the bomb.  Love the 3 tone and sharp angles.  Comes with a full-size helmet bag.


Smith Attack MAG MTB Glasses

4/5 stars
Great fit and protection with superior photochromic lenses

I’ve been wearing SMITH optics for 8 years since I picked up a set in Utah on a trip.  I have always used multiple lenses and found the vision to be clear and the coverage to be great with my contact lenses.  The 2 lenses in this set are superior to anything I’ve used before.  The photochromic lens changes darkness based on the ambient light and it it fast and smooth.  The Chromapop technology really does improve trail contract and visibility for me.  These lenses provide good coverage for my face and fit perfectly with my ForeFront2, Mainline, and Session helmets.  The fit seems to keep just the right amount of airflow to prevent fogging.

The SMITH MAG arm system is faster and easier than the PIVLOCK system for quick changes.  The nose piece is adjustable to customize how high they sit on your face which is really nice.  The glasses stay put on your face with sticky rubber and the arms stay open so its easy to remove and put them on one-handed.  The case is the standard SMITH case which last well if you take care not to get the zipper dirty or wet.  The cleaning case and rag is essential for cleaning.

I rated these 4 out of 5 because I did have a problem with the MAG magnets rusting due to sweat.  I do ride more than the average rider as an instructor and I have very acidic body chemistry so this is not a common problem, but something to be aware of. I suggest removing and drying the MAG clips after riding to reduce sitting moisture on the magnets.  (If you’re concerned, go with the Ruckus using PIVLOCK instead).  Also, the lenses are durable, but not super hard so they can be scratched when cleaning so be sure to rise the lens first with water if there is any mud when cleaning.

I still have my Utah pair of PIVLOCKs after 10 years.  These are excellent glasses especially when worn with SMITH helmets.



SMITH Squad MTB Goggle

Smith Session Helmet

5/5 stars
Great combo with my Mainline Full-Face Helmet

This is the first new goggle I’ve bought in a long time.  It looked like a good fit to match with my new Mainline Full-Face DH helmet and it is fantastic!  The Mainline helmet has a huge face opening and this goggle fits perfectly to provide a wide and unobstructed view on the trail when riding.

I’ve been running glasses with Chromapop and I’ve become accustomed to the great clarity and detail and this lens also makes the trail easier to read.  The google frame is also very thin so I really don’t see any goggle or helmet in my field of vision.  The dark less has been perfect on bright sunny DH days.  (Haven’t used the clear yet).

The design is frameless and the shape looks bigger overall as it is designed to match SMITH helmets.  The strap has great ant-slip rubber and is exactly the same width as the helmet recess for easy placement and zero slip.  I ran this combo for a few days of DH and had zero fogging or heat build up.

Squad + Mainline is a great combo. 


SMITH Momentum

Check out more products and learn more about SMITH:
SMITH Optics