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Smith Forefront MIPS Helmet
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Item # SMI00CD

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Item # SMI00CD


Extra protection.

Long known for its on-trend sunnies and sleek lineup of snow goggles and helmets, Smith entered the bike helmet world in 2013 with a bang and the introduction of the Forefront. Almost immediately a favorite for its featherweight construction and forward thinking design, the Smith Forefront MIPS Helmet takes the platform a step further with industry-leading Multi-Directional Protection System (MIPS) technology and its ability to reduce impact force in the event of a crash.

MIPS consists of a strategically anchored, thin liner on the inside of the helmet that looks exceptionally simple, but serves a big purpose. That little liner is designed to move independently of the helmet shell and redirect the rotational forces at play in angled impacts.

MIPS isn't the only hot item here, though. Smith accomplishes a blend of minimal weight and maximum protection through the use of its patented Aerocore technology. This construction employs Koroyd material, which looks a lot like the bundles of straws you may have used in science class to protect eggs when you dropped them off a roof. That's not a coincidence, as this honeycomb construction yields a claimed 30% reduction in forces transmitted as compared to the industry standard EPS foam. It’s particularly useful for building helmets, because it requires a minimal amount of material, so there’s no unnecessary weight. It also has the desirable effect of maximizing air-flow, keeping you cool when you’re working hard.

The minimalist X-Static lining with Reactive Cooling Performance helps manage odor and keeps you cool by not obstructing air flow. Smith’s VaporFit retention system handles fit tuning with a click-wheel adjuster that’s borrowed from the well-proven snow helmet division, so you know it’s solid. The AirEvac ventilation system also comes from the snow program. It channels hot air out of the tops of your glasses, reducing fogging. This is particularly useful if you choose to run goggles, although we claim no responsibility for the heckling that may follow if you do so outside of gravity runs.

While the Aerocore construction has plenty of advantages, unrestricted, large vents isn’t one of them, which is why Smith includes integrated camera and light mounts. Using a threaded brass insert atop the helmet, you’re able to pick up an aftermarket mount kit with custom mounts for your POV camera or light. While it does require accessories, the upshot is that the mounts are far more secure than the standard strap mounts used to mount those items to other helmets, and the benefit is immediately clear when your POV footage becomes a lot less shaky.

  • Lightweight protection boosted by MIPS technology
  • Karoyd material reduces force transmission
  • X-Static lining with Reactive Cooling Performance
  • VaporFit retention system adjust easily on the fly
  • AerEvac ventilation promotes cooling airflow
  • Integrated camera and light mounts

Tech Specs

Shell Material:
Impact Foam:
Multiple Impact:
21 vents
Fit Adjustment:
CPSC, CE EN 1078, AS/NZS 2063
Claimed Weight:
312 g
Recommended Use:
mountain bike
Manufacturer Warranty:

Size Chart


Arrival, Aspect, Camber, Compass, Forefront, Gage, Maze, Overtake, Sequel, Valence, Vantage, Variance
Head Circumference  20 - 22in
(51 - 55cm)
22 - 23in
(55 - 59cm)
23 - 25in
(59 - 63cm)
25 - 26in
(63 - 67cm)
Allure, Holt
Head Circumference 20.5 - 21in
(52 - 54cm)
21 - 22in
(54 - 56cm)
22 - 23in
(56 - 58cm)
23 - 24in
(58 - 60cm)
24 - 25in
(60 - 62cm)
Gage Jr, Holt Jr, Upstart Jr, Zoom Jr
  Youth SYouth M 
Head Circumference  19 - 21in
(48 - 53cm)
21 - 23in
(53 - 58cm)
How to Measure Head Circumference:
Measure around your head where your hat would fit comfortably.

Reviews & Community


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Best Helmet / Helmet Brand on the Market

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Every Smith helmet I've tried has been the most comfortable helmet I've worn, the most reliable, and stories of crashes have told me that they work for protecting your head. This is definitely worth the money, and they look badass too.


    You never want to use a helmet but just in case might as well have the best! I tried a lot of helmets before purchasing this one and the reason this one was the winner is the fit!. Love the fit, I have dreads and It makes it really difficult to put anything over my head. However, this helmet was definitely an exception the overall cut and fit is amazingly comfortable and the ventilation is incredible! Especially for me as my hair is dreaded and just insulates under anything I put on top. Definitely a helmet I would recommend getting.


      This helmet is amazing. It is comfortable but very breathable and light weight which is super nice during those hot summer months. Adjustable fit, which is nice and great colors. LOVE IT

      Ventilation and Protection

      • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

      The Forefront featuring, Aerocore with Koroyd, makes this helmet crazy light, offers great protective value, and keeps you cool on the trail. Smiths tried and true integration means your sunnys, or goggles, will work great with the Forefront. Whether you're crushing downhill, or cruising trail, this helmet does it all.

      Light weight and protective

        Great light weight helmet with very visible color in darker light. Adjustable to fit snug but not too loose or too tight. Well ventilated to keep your head from over heating.

        Expensive But Worth It

        • Familiarity: I've used it several times

        This thing is sweet. I got the "Matte Neon Orange" color, and it looks awesome, makes me super visible on the trail. The Aerocore tech gives me a bit more peace of mind, and does not at all make the helmet any hotter. Most don't know this, but it actually helps cool you down by directing cool air onto your head and letting hot air escape.

        The first time I wore this helmet, I definitely thought it was hotter than my old Giro Hex. Now, after getting more rides in with it, I am almost positive that was all in my head. It was around 90F yesterday when I went on a ride, and I did not even really notice the helmet being on my head.

        It is really pricey, but I think it's worth it to spend a bit extra when it comes to protecting your noggin. The Aerocore combined with MIPS offers ample protection. It's certainly the best helmet I have owned and would be my top recommendation.

        Great Fit

        • Familiarity: I've used it several times

        I like the fit on this helmet, and the added security of the MIPS technology. I have a huge head, so the ability to make adjustments to the fit with the lock-down system made a big difference to me.

        Great helmet

          Love this helmet. The adjustment on the back of the helmet is super easy to use and adjust while riding. It looks great, fits great and protects your head. For me, its worth it to pay the price steeper price to know my head is protected.

          What more could you ask for?

          • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

          I haven't bought a new XC helmet in 4+ years and the Forefront helmet is much more than I was expecting. The helmet fits as expected if you go off of the sizing charts that are provided. It is very breathable while riding uphill and it doesn’t move around a lot when you are riding down, even with the MIPS. Also in my opinion MIPS is totally worth it for a little extra, I have not crashed with a MIPS helmet but a little its cheap insurance in my opinion!

          This helmet is comfortable

            I love it. Comfort: 10. Go with the size range that includes your size at the high end, not the low. Your head isn't gonna grow.

            99 Problems, But a Head Injury Isn't One

            • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

            So recently I went mountain biking down in Moab and wore this helmet. First, this helmet is light. Lighter than my road helmet. I barely notice it is on my head while I'm ripping and rolling. Second, it is comfortable which is my biggest MUST. Nothing drives me more insane than having things scratching my head, pulling my hair or flapping around. This helmet does none of those things which makes it the perfect helmet for me. Easy to adjust and easy to customize to your noggin. You might be thinking, "Is MIPS worth it??". To be honest, even if MIPS works, I don't think it will eliminate concussions altogether. Eliminating the rotational force might reduce the severity of the concussion. But, the fact of the matter is still your head is coming to an abrupt stop in a collision. Thus, your brain is still going to hit your skull one way or another, which is what causes concussions. Here's my personal opinion. Is there a chance that it will reduce the probability of brain injury even a little? Yes. Okay, sold. Can you really put a price on your life? When I crashed down in Moab, I hit my head pretty hard. But as far as we can tell, and by 'we' I mean I went to a couple Dr's to get checked out, I am perfectly fine after hitting my head on the slick rock. ROCK. No dirt. Rock. The only damage done is bursitis on my butt, hip, and knee. Next purchase will most likely be some knee helmets... aka knee pads.

            99 Problems, But a Head Injury Isn't One

            No need for this helmet

            • Familiarity: I've used it several times

            I tried on a plethora of helmets. This one is a great helmet but there are FAR cheaper options with MIPS and with more coverage that this helmet offers. Save your cash and go with a chronicle from Giro or something

            Smith Helmet

            • Fit: True to size
            • Size Bought: Medium

            Wow this helmet fits like a glove! I almost can't feel it when riding. I read the reviews but was a bit hesitant because of the price but well worth it.

            One of the best for MTB

            • Familiarity: I've used it several times
            • Fit: True to size

            This is one of the best half-shell helmets out there for MTB. The coroyd shell combined with MIPS technology and a superior coverage area make for a helmet that really tics all the boxes for safety. It's a bit strange looking but the style has grown on me. Ventilation has been adequate. My only gripe is that it's expensive, but that's the price of superior protection! Smith makes a mount for lights and a GoPro that you can get from their site, so that's worth checking out as well. This helmet definitely offers some of the best protection out there.

            Great Helmet

            • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
            • Fit: True to size

            I recently broke my original Forefront helmet in a crash and replaced it with the MIPS version. It has all the great features of the forefront like sunglasses retaining system and excellent ventilation. But includes an internal MIPS chassis.

            Highly recommend

            Saved my head

            • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

            I had this guy for over a year and never felt like I wasn't protected. Racing Dual slalom I washed out, and went OTB straight to my head. Cracked the foam in the helmet, squished some of the koyord but didn't trigger the mips. Rung my bell a bit but I was perfect ok and very happy the helmet functions as well as it does. Bought another right after. Upgrading my snowboard helmet to a Vantage in the near future. 100% a functioning technology that works and is worth every penny when those freak falls happen.

            Avg. ride time: 3h 46m per week
            • Average ride time is based on Strava activity over the last 3 months. Give your reviews credibility by connecting your account.

            Rad Brain Bucket

            • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

            Ok so I have a slightly funny oval shaped head and its a 22" circumference, and I picked a Medium. It fits well. There are lots of cool colors and the helmet looks rad while keeping your noggin' safe.

            -Some helmets don't fit my head well. This one does.
            -One of the more lightweight helmets, but definitely no doubt of protection here. I had the non MIPS version previous and had a pretty hefty crash coming down the ledge at Horsethief in Fruita, upgraded to the MIPS version this time around.
            -I have the Smith PivLock Arena glasses that can "clip" into the helmet. They pair well with the helmet.

            - This might be a personal issue, but my head can get itchy when its hot out - the Koroyd material makes it pretty much impossible to scratch without taking off the helmet. I don't think it breaths as well as some other helmets with "clear" vents to be honest. That said, you likely won't notice unless you're sloggin' up a brutal climb on a very hot day.
            -Its not cheap. That said, in terms of quality, Smith helmets are nop notch and I would have no qualms about spending as much as I did again!

            -Fantastic helmet that looks rad and keeps you safe that is super lightweight. Feel free to reach out at 801.204.4547 or cojohnson@backcountry.com if you have any questions about the helmet or sizing!

            Rad Brain Bucket