Smith Variance MIPS Helmet

We’ve read the reviews across the web for the Smith Variance MIPS Helmet and summarize the results below:

Universal Ranking

PeakScore: 90 (out of 100)
User Rating: 4.6 stars 
Expert Rating: 4.3 stars

Number of Ratings Reviewed: 139

Pros & Cons

Reasons to buy:

User Reviews

  • Lightweight.
  • Stylish matte finish.
  • Abrasion-resistant material.
  • Liner is removable and washable for easy cleaning.
  • Ear pads can accommodate audio pads.
  • Ear pads can be accessed with one zipper for efficiency.
  • The chin strap is adjustable.
  • The padding on the chin strap aids in preventing rubbing against your throat.
  • The crash padding inside the helmet is scientifically-placed for impact protection.
  • Comfortable to wear for prolonged use.
  • Protects well in crashes.
  • Versatile and works well with Smith goggles.

Expert Reviews

  • Fits round heads well.
  • The BOA adjustment allows the helmet to accommodate a variety of head shapes and sizes.
  • Keeps you warm in multiple climates.
  • Able to wear a thin hat underneath.
  • 18 vents for breathability.
  • Vents open and close to aid with heat retention.
  • Streamlined and stylish.
  • Vents are close to the top of the helmet, so it doesn’t take a lot of effort to open and close them quickly.
  • AirEvac 2 gives the user control over air flow.

Reasons NOT to buy:

User Reviews

  • Hair can get caught in the adjustable knob.
  • Can take some time to get used to the air-flow adjustment slide.
  • May have to size up.
  • When tightening with the BOA knob, the tightening can be uneven on the sides.

Expert Reviews

  • May not fit ideally if you have an oval-shaped head.
  • Heavier end of the spectrum.
  • More open space at the temples for cold air to come through.


The Smith Variance MIPS Helmet is an affordable yet well featured helmet. While it is a little heavier and less ventilated than some higher-end options, the Variance provides a good look with solid protection for a reasonable price.


Note: User and expert rankings were reviewed across the web, including here: 1, 2, 3, 4.