Smith and Giro have been creating high-quality protective gear for quite some time. They know how to design a comfortable and high performing helmet, and neither the Smith Convoy and Giro Fixture are an exception.
Both helmets you are looking at are generally classified as budget helmets. They aren’t top-of-the-line helmets, which you would expect to pay up to 5 times the price, but are still very good options if you are looking for a protective and comfortable lid.
When looking for a helmet, we would advise considering a number of things. This includes the ventilation, the comfort, the performance, and the safety features of the helmet.
You want to look for an anti-rotational system, such as MIPS or SPIN, which reduce the energy transferred to the rider’s head from an angular crash. This is a technology we see as essential these days in a helmet! Both helmets are equipped with MIPS technology, which reduces the chances of getting a concussion or more serious brain damage from angular impacts.
Another thing to look at is the fit of the helmet. Having a retention system allows for a better fit than a helmet that just sits on top of your head. The system generally means it doesn’t have any pressure points on your head, and it won’t slip around in a collision.
For more info, see this post on what else to look at when buying a mountain bike helmet.
Smith Convoy Mini Review
A well ventilated and comfortable helmet for the trail rider who doesn’t hit the technical lines in the park, but just wants protection for the day-to-day trail riding.
- Well Priced
- MIPS Technology
- Reasonably well ventilated
- Great adjustment options
- Fixed Visor
Punching well above its weight, the Smith Convoy delivers a good quality helmet for a low price. Being one of the lowest price helmets with MIPS technology, it has become quite the popular choice amongst entry or intermediate level riders.
Smith has designed a highly protective helmet without any of the bells and whistles the majority of riders simply don’t need!
Giro Fixture Mini Review
For the rider who wants to look like they spent more, doesn’t mind a fixed visor, but still wants all the other features that come with a more expensive lid.
- MIPS Technology
- In-Mold Construction
- Fixed Visor
- Tricky fitting system
The Giro Fixture exceeds expectations. For a budget helmet, it does perform surprisingly well. It has MIPS technology to keep you safe following an angular crash, a solid EPS foam that is molded to the outer polycarbonate shell.
The Giro Fixture is similar to the Convoy in that it provides high levels of protection without the unnecessary additions that cause the price to climb up! It still provides a comfortable and well-ventilated helmet that will keep you happy all day on the trails!
Design and Construction Comparison
The Giro Fixture is constructed using in-mold technology. This means the outer shell is molded to the inner foam (EPS) layer, creating a stronger and more durable structure. It is then less likely to split apart in a hard crash.
The Smith Convoy comes in 3 sizes ranging from small to large and uses a retention system to fit the helmet to your head comfortably.
The Fixture is made as a one-size-fits-all, but this is not as much of a niggle as you would expect. Unless you are at the very far end of the typical scales (a very large or very small head), the helmet can be adjusted to fit quite well!
On both helmets, the bottom edge of the helmet is left exposed (not wrapped by the outer plastic). This leaves it open to wear and tear, so just be careful in handling the helmet when it isn’t on your head.
Both helmets also have a fixed visor. I personally find this annoying when riding while the sun is low. The visor does very little in this case as the sun shines in my eyes, which temporarily blinds me, whereas an adjustable visor allows you to block out that sun!
Both helmets are similar in terms of protective features. Both are equipped with MIPS technology to reduce the energy transferred to the rider’s head following an angular impact.
The rear coverage of both helmets is not as great as some of the more expensive helmets, leaving the back of the head a little more exposed. However, it is still a large step up from a road helmet as at least a part of the rear of the head is covered. If you want something that protects the head a little more, consider enduro-style helmets, or have a look at the Giro Chronicle or Fox Speedframe.
Check out the Fox Speedframe vs. POC Tectal Race SPIN comparison here.
Comfort, Ventilation, and Weight Comparison
The padding inside the Convoy is minimal but is not uncomfortable. And when it gets filled with sweat, it doesn’t tend to drip down into your eyes or eyewear. It does have a number of adjustment capabilities, such as tightening of the helmet, but also, you can set the helmet at different angles on your head. This helps get the fixed visor into the right position too!
Giro is well known for producing comfortable lids, and the Fixture is no exception. It’s Roc Loc fitting system creates no pressure points on the head and feels like a top-tier helmet once it is on your head. The main disadvantage of the Roc Loc system is that it needs to be adjusted prior to putting it on your head as the dial is tucked in underneath the shell.
In terms of ventilation, the Convoy is much better than that of the Fixture. The Convoy has 21 generously sized vents, while the Fixture has only 18 vents. The Convoy actually vents similarly to many more expensive lids, such as the Troy Lee Designs A1 and A2.
Have a look here at the best-ventilated helmets on the market!
The Convoy is slightly lighter than the Fixture, coming in at 325 g and 343 g for a medium Convoy and Fixture, respectively. This difference is fairly minimal, though, and unless you have been riding with top-tier helmets for years, you likely would never notice the difference!
The helmets, as you can see, are fairly similar in terms of what they offer. The Smith Convoy does provide a better ventilated, lighter lid. But the Fixture does tend to be more comfortable and comes in at a lower price.
Both are great trail helmets, so it depends on whether you prefer the improved ventilation over the greater comfort or vice versa! I personally love the Giro Fixture. It is comfortable, fits snugly on the head, and as a bonus- it looks more expensive than it is!
If you want a few more helmets to consider, check out these posts!