Smith Venture MIPS – An In-Depth MTB Helmet Review

The Smith Venture is a cross country or trail helmet designed for riders wanting a light and comfortable helmet that can keep them safe.  Smith is a well-known company with a reputation for producing high-end products, and the Venture is no exception. 

It is aimed at the everyday rider who tackles the local bike park, trails, or for a commuter wanting a nice-looking lid. We wouldn’t recommend this helmet for the expert enduro rider wanting to tackle the advanced trails, as you’d need a little more protection.  

This review will look into the details to see if it suits you and your riding style!  

For any kind of rider, beginner through to professional, you need to keep that head safe. Features we recommend looking for include;  

  • EPS foam protected by an outer polycarbonate shell  
  • An anti-rotational system- such as MIPS in the Venture  
  • A visor  
  • Coverage around the back of the head  
  • Adjustable fitting system to keep the helmet snug on your head  

You will find that the Smith Venture meets these criteria, but now we will dive into the specifics.  
 

Smith Venture MIPS Helmet Review

Smith Venture MIPS

A very good looking helmet, perfect for those who love a casual ride on the trails. Very safe and comfortable at an excellent price.

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What’s Good? 

  • Price 
  • Style 
  • Comfort 
  • Safety Features

What’s Not? 

  • Fixed visor is quite low 

Design and Construction 

The Smith Venture looks sleek. There is no doubt that it is a nice-looking helmet! It uses modern styles and looks much more expensive than it is.  

Check out the best looking mountain bike helmets here! 

It uses in-mold technology to bind the EPS foam to the outer polycarbonate shell. This holds the structure together nicely, makes it more durable, and looks flasher! 

The visor is fixed, which means you don’t get an option of where the visor is placed. It is removable if you want to improve the aerodynamics, but that does mean you give up on the sun and low hanging branch protection.  

The main niggle with this helmet was that the visor was very low and cut into my vision. I got a sore neck after a while of riding and realized it was because I was craning my neck to see up ahead properly. To be honest, this could have been due to the positioning of my ponytail. If I moved my hair down further, it became a little better, but the helmet didn’t feel like it sat where it should at that point.  

In saying this, I was riding in an open space rather than on a trail, so I was looking further ahead than if I had been on a more technical trail (e.g., looking 100 meters ahead as opposed to 10 meters!). It was also about an hour into the ride with no stops before I felt my neck straining. So, if you do shorter rides or stop reasonably often, you might not even notice it! Just something to consider.  

Safety  

The Smith Venture MIPS obviously utilizes MIPS technology. MIPS is an anti-rotational technology that dissipates rotational energy in a crash to protect the rider’s brain. Without MIPS, there is a much higher possibility of damage to the brain. Personally, I never ride without an anti-rotational technology, nor do I recommend to others to ride without it, as for a minimally higher price, it could save your life.  

Linear impacts are reduced by the EPS (Expanded Polystyrene) foam, protecting your skull. It is pretty standard in helmets these days, so nothing too fancy here! 

The rear of the helmet extends down the back of the head slightly, offering a bit more protection than helmets without it. This is useful in a crash where you hit the back of the head (very common in mountain bike crashes) as it protects the skull or knocks to the head from rocks, sticks, or other sharp objects. 

Comfort, Ventilation, and Weight 

I have no complaints about the comfort of the Venture. It fit well, the padding was soft, and there were no pressure points anywhere on the helmet.  

The fitting system – ‘VaporFit,’ used a dial at the rear of the helmet to secure the fit and had a decent gap for the ponytail out the back. It was easy to use, even while riding, and had plenty of adjustment settings. 

The straps were easily adjustable, and I never found they got in the way or rubbed against my face. 

The ventilation wasn’t too bad, either. While not as breezy as some of the more expensive Smith lids, it does allow air to flow through quite well. The Venture has 20 vents and two internal air channels, which effectively allows air to flow over the rider’s head to reduce the heat build-up.  

Check out the best ventilated mountain bike helmets here! 

Weighing in at 340 grams for a size medium, it is very lightweight. For comparison, the lightest top-of-the-line helmets on the market at the moment, such as the Specialized Ambush, weigh around the same! 

Final Remarks 

In all, the Smith Venture is a highly protective helmet that will keep you as safe as possible in a crash. The intended use is for trail riders or the safety/style-conscious commuter.  

We wouldn’t recommend it for super long rides as the visor is quite low unless you are happy to tilt the helmet back a little to give you a bit more vision.  

But it looks good, is super comfortable, and great value for money! 

If you want to see more helmets, check out these posts!