Smith Holt Ski Helmet - Gear Review

April 16, 2007

Whoever thought up the idea that Smith should make ski poles back in the '90s wasn't really thinking about product line synergies. Why do your goggles need to match your poles? But whoever thought up that Smith should make helmets is one bright guy (or gal). The big gripes I've always had about helmets are that A) they block all that great ventilation that goggles try so hard to give you, and B) helmets generally seem to fit goggle models by coincidence -- not by design. The Smith Holt ski helmet is an example of a helmet that is perfectly designed to work with a complementary piece of critical equipment -- your Smith goggles. Why nobody thought of this before, I don't know. But I think that Oakley, Scott, and Dragon should all take a cue and start looking at selling their own helmets too (or at least partnering). The Smith Holt ski helmet has vents along the front of the forehead rim, which channel air directly downward into the top vents of the goggles. This helps alleviate the poor ventilation and excellent foggilization that most goggles suffer from. What's more, you don't even have to worry about whether the frame of your ski goggles will fit within the face of the helmet because they are expressly designed for each other (match made in heaven). They also have coordinated colors & elements that make it all come together. Nice touch (makes it easy for the fashionably-challenged like myself). One other thing I like is the style of the Smith Holt. It's very similar to the Giro Bad Lieutenant, but not so pronounced -- a bit more subtle shaping of the forehead rim. It also is extremely warm & comfortable with the ear flaps instead of hard plastic ear covers like lots of other helmets have. The helmet fits very average-shaped heads -- similar to Boeri. The one complaint is that the helmet can get very warm -- so I would consider picking up a lighter-weight and well-ventilated alternative helmet for backcountry tours. This helmet is best for the resort. Overall, I'm extremely pleased. If Smith would put out a version with all the good style of the Holt, but slightly lighter-weight and with better ventilation, then I would have no complaints at all. Perfect setup. You can find the Smith Holt ski helmet here, or shop for helmets for cheap at If you've used the Smith Holt helmet, please add your comments here! If you have additional questions for me about it, post them and I'll try to respond. Buy Now: Search for Smith Helmets

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