The Smith Mission MIPS is a stand-out helmet. It covers front and backcountry use in a versatile and relatively low-priced package. It's what we want in a resort helmet but at a backcountry-friendly weight. Its impressive weight, protective feature set, and price set it apart from the rest. The easy-to-carry package contains MIPS and Koroyd to help with rotational impacts and absorb more energy than EPS. It also has user-friendly amenities like an adjustable dial fit system and adjustable vents. This helmet is great for most skiers and snowboarders. We recommend it to those looking for one helmet to meet their protective and functional needs, whether riding chairs or traveling in the backcountry.Editor's Note: The Smith Mission MIPS review was updated on February 25, 2022, with more detailed info on what products we would buy and help to compare competing helmets better.
Smith Mission MIPS Review
Compare prices at 4 resellers Pros: Protective features, lightweight, adjustable ventilation, versatile
Cons: Earpads are challenging to remove, dial hard to use with gloves, style
Compare to Similar Products
Smith Mission MIPS
|Price||$112.00 at Backcountry|
Compare at 4 sellers
$111.93 at REI
$127.96 at Backcountry
|$119.95 at Backcountry|
Compare at 3 sellers
|$44.99 at Evo|
Compare at 3 sellers
|Pros||Protective features, lightweight, adjustable ventilation, versatile||Low profile, vents can be closed, magnetic buckle, easy to remove ear pads||Warm, rotational impact system, comfortable, anti-microbial liner||Affordable, adjustable vents, MIPS, adjustable dial||Simple, comfortable, good coverage|
|Cons||Earpads are challenging to remove, dial hard to use with gloves, style||Velcro adhesive is easy to accidentally remove from the MIPS insert||Wind noise, heavy||Heavy, larger profile||Fixed open vents, goggle compatibility, version we tested doesn't have MIPS tech|
|Bottom Line||Equally at home on the skin track as the resort, we reached for this friendly-priced helmet frequently on ski tours||A helmet that appeals to many riders and has the feature set and price to make it an excellent value||Hardshell impact protection enhanced by an incredible fit and Shred's innovative protective enhancements||Equipped with MIPS, adjustable vents, and an adjustable dial, this model has high-end features and strong performance at a stellar price||A protective, rugged helmet offered at a very reasonable price|
|Rating Categories||Smith Mission MIPS||Pret Cynic X2 MIPS||Shred Totality NoShock||Giro Ratio MIPS||Giro Ledge|
|Goggle Compatibility (10%)|
|Specs||Smith Mission MIPS||Pret Cynic X2 MIPS||Shred Totality NoShock||Giro Ratio MIPS||Giro Ledge|
|Measured Weight (in ounces)||16.9 oz||17.2 oz||22.9 oz||21.7 oz||17.0 oz|
|Adjustment System||Adjustable Dial Fit System||RCS QR Fit System||Adjustable Dial Fit System||In form dial||Removable Auto Loc 2 Fit System|
|# of Vents?||18||12||12||10||8|
|Number of Sizes||4||4||3||4||3|
|Removable Ear Covers?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Certifications||ASTM F 2040, CE EN 1077:2007 CLASS B||ASTM F2040, CE EN1077B06||EN1077B, ASTMF2040||CE EN 1077||ASTM F2040-11/CE EN1077|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Smith Mission is the first helmet we would grab if we were heading ski touring for a common objective. Its lightweight makes it a breeze to carry in the pack, and the MIPS and Koroyd construction provide the protection we would prefer in a resort helmet. It's a slick balance that makes this a great quiver of one helmet for skiers and riders who like to mix it up between resort riding and touring. Overall the helmet's feature set is impressive, even more so when you see the price.
The Smith Mission is one of the most comfortable helmets in our review. Along with other Smith products, this model fits a variety of head shapes very well. The helmet is hardly noticeable when skiing downhill, and the adjustable dial controls a harness to snug up nicely to the back of your head.
Our testers found the helmet to be free of pressure points. The shape is between an intermediate and long oval and provides a versatile fit. The Mission is an in-mold style helmet and exhibits many of the pros associated with the construction method. In-mold helmets are often lighter. The Mission benefits from this construction style to provide a comfortable and discreet feeling when riding. The adjustable dial provides about 5 cm of adjustment to sit on the back of your head. The harness itself has an ergonomic curve and a centimeter-thick pad, which provides a comfortable yet secure fit. The dial used to control the fit is accessible but challenging to use with gloves on due to its shape and resistance.
The earpads use low to medium density padding that fits tightly on the ears. Fortunately, the pads conform to the shape of your ears rather than squishing them. The surface of the pads has a soft micro fleece-like feel when wearing the helmet without anything underneath.
The Mission is a warm helmet based on its consistent lining, draft-free ear pads, and adjustable vents. The model scored quite well in our testing. Its warm but lightweight nature increases its utility for its ski touring recommendation.
The synthetic lining of this helmet is evenly insulated to provide similar heat retention to a medium-weight skull cap. The liner has negative space to line up with the helmet's vents. Ten of the helmet's 18 vents can close to help lock in some heat if you need additional warmth. Adjustable vents are a significant component of the warmth of a helmet. The warmth score was negatively impacted by the inability to close the two vents near the front side of the temples. These can allow for substantial air movement, especially while riding.
The ear pads keep out any drafts from reaching your ears with a snug fit on the chin strap. Overall, this is one of the warmer helmets we have tested with all the hatches battened down.
This helmet offers efficient ventilation based on the number of vents and the time it took us to cool down in the lift line. The Mission is solid at dispersing heat and can help cool you down after high output activities. The main downside to the helmet's ventilation system is the vents' size and the difficulty of removing the ear pads. It earned an above-average score for the group.
This helmet has 18 vents in total. The ten located on the top of the head can open or close using a toggle near the back of the head. We were pleasantly surprised at how quickly we could cool down after breaking out sweating when wearing this helmet. On the same day, one tester had to take other helmets off frequently but could keep this one on. That said, it was not the fastest venting helmet in our review. Its potential is limited by the small size of the vents.
The earpads are rather tricky to take on and off. The adjustable fit system is threaded through the earpads. To remove the pads, you have to disconnect the harness attachment point near the temple side of the helmet and feed it through. While it takes less than five minutes, it does limit the model's convenience.
The weight of the Mission is one of the key reasons it's one of the helmets we reach for first when ski touring. The light 16.9 oz helmet is favorable to carry and wear. It is relatively lightweight, especially in this price bracket and feature set.
We were impressed by a size large with adjustable vents, MIPS, and ear pads. While it may not be our first pick for weight-sensitive ski mountaineering ventures, we are happy to bring it out on big days in the mountains. It felt pretty featherweight on the head and had minimal impact on our riding experience.
The Mission has excellent compatibility with all the goggles we wore. We used two pairs of Smith and one pair of VonZipper goggles. Its low profile shape and neat brim line support each style well.
The helmet also has two vents upfront to direct cold air into your google to help prevent fogging. These vents also give the warm air from your googles an escape route through your helmet. The goggle retainer is a lightweight and flexible plastic tab to help keep the strap in place. It has a well-tested and straightforward design; it gets the job done and holds goggles in place.
In our polls, the Mission alternated between being cool and dorky at the same time. It routinely ranked in the middle of the pack. Some aesthetic lines and aggressive-looking vents give this model a unique look.
Smith offers the Mission in six colorways. Some are poppy, and some are neutral; pick whichever you like. The Mission had a way of splitting the crowd. If you like it, great. If you're indifferent, maybe the value could help overcome your apprehension.
Should You Buy the Smith Mission MIPS?
Although it may fly under your ski gear radar, don't overlook the Smith Mission MIPS. Its lightweight and exceptional safety features make it a solid choice to take on the skin track and laps at your favorite resort. Even better, do both on the same day and stop for a warm meal on the way home with the money you saved by purchasing the Mission.
What Other Ski Helmets Should You Consider?
Simply put, this is an incredible value. The Mission has some of Smith's premium features at their entry-level pricing, and we think most users will be satisfied with this helmet. However, if your budget allows, other helmets perform better than the Mission. The Smith Vantage MIPS is another excellent option that ramps it up a bit on every front.
— Isaac Laredo
Ad-free. Influence-free. Powered by Testing.
GearLab is founded on the principle of honest, objective, reviews. Our experts test thousands of products each year using thoughtful test plans that bring out key performance differences between competing products. And, to assure complete independence, we buy all the products we test ourselves. No cherry-picked units sent by manufacturers. No sponsored content. No ads. Just real, honest, side-by-side testing and comparison.Learn More