While the Pret Cynic X doesn’t excel in any one particular area, it’s a reliable helmet with good durability, a tough shell, and solid ventilation. It is a stylish model for people who don’t need a lot of extra bells and whistles.
- Where to buy: EVO, Amazon, REI
- Best for: Skiers of all ability levels who just need some extra protection and a bit of added warmth out on the slopes.
- Pros: This helmet has a sharp, eye-catching design. It’s easy to operate and sits comfortably on your head. The snug fit works well with many different goggles and keeps you warm.
- Cons: The basic look and few premium features may not be enough for some people. The vents are fixed, which cuts down on versatility.
- Alternatives: Fornix Freeride, Oakley Mod 5, Smith Mission
Why Trust Me
I’ve been hitting the slopes since I was a kid. I enjoy getting out in the snow and have hands-on experience with a wide range of different skiing items. I have spent ample time researching this helmet and looked at/analyzed key traits to see how it performs out on the mountain.
The Cynic X is a reliable helmet from a reliable company. Not only does it offer excellent protection features, including MIPS, it also has a slick design that stands out on the slopes. There are many additional characteristics, and while it has fixed vents, that’s a small setback in what is a great option for resort and backcountry skiers alike.
Weight and Durability
At 15 ounces, the Cynic X is definitely on the lighter side. Don’t let that worry you. The outer shell has what it takes to protect your head in the event of a crash, and it will last many seasons no matter what type of weather you ride in. Protection is always the first trait to break down when looking at a helmet, and that’s one area the Cynic X succeeds.
The lighter feel is something I truly appreciate in a helmet as well. You never want to skimp on protection, but I found this model is truly able to keep you safe without adding too much bulk to your ensemble. Pret even gives you the option to take out the ear covers if you want less weight. It’s not a necessity, but more choices are never a bad thing.
Fit and Comfort
Another reason many skiers will enjoy the Cynic X is its comfort. The helmet achieves high comfort thanks to the special RCS QR system that enables you to adjust the fit with a simple turn of the dial. Anyone can use it, which is another nice bonus for skiers who don’t want too many extra features.
This helmet also comes with a lot of extra padding. That doesn’t just provide you with extra insulation, as explained in further detail below, it creates a soft fit that cushions all head shapes and sizes. Adding to that are the soft earpieces that give you even more relief as you ride.
Just be aware that the MIPS technology does mean the sizing runs small. Adjust accordingly when making your purchase, or else you might find yourself experiencing added pressure or discomfort.
Warmth, Insulation, and Breathability
The Cynic X is a warm helmet with great insulation. That’s largely thanks to the special blended wool fabric and the eco-smart polyester fleece. Both of those work great as insulation and enable the helmet to keep your head toasty in the coldest winter conditions. The snug fit helps towards that end as well.
Unfortunately, I can’t give the same praise to the breathability. This helmet comes with 12 vents. While they work well enough in terms of promoting proper airflow, they are fixed. That’s not a deal-breaker for some people, but I vastly prefer adjustable versions because they tend to give you much better temperature regulation. Even with the permanent openings, the Cynic X didn’t provide quite enough ventilation on warmer days.
Goggle Compatibility and Additional Features
Something else to like about this helmet is how well it works with goggles. Compatibility is always something to think about when getting headgear, but the Cynic X seems to work with just about every major brand on the market. Not only that, but it does so seamlessly to create a great seal and ensure your face stays protected.
Backing that up is the sturdy goggle strap. This feature, which Pret placed at the back of the helmet, is something I particularly appreciate because it’s incredibly secure. The tough rubber construction ensures your goggles won’t move or slide around no matter how hard you push yourself. That’s quite nice.
It’s also worth mentioning two other features I found to be quite useful. First, the SNAP Fidlock Magnetic Buckle System is incredibly easy to use. That adds to the helmet’s simplicity and ensures all skiers at all levels can operate it. In addition, the comfortable wool ear pads are both soft and removable. That not only gives you a way to cut down on bulk, but it gives you more ways to regulate your temperature.
Price and Value
In my opinion, the Pret Cynic X is a high-value helmet. It gets good marks in this area, not only because of the reasonable price point, but the durable shell that will last for a long, long time. This helmet seeks out to do exactly what it promises, providing you excellent support in a sleek package. As long as you don’t mind a more simple setup, you’re absolutely getting your money’s worth.
What I Like
Besides the durable build, the Cynic X’s stand out feature for me is the comfort. Many of today’s helmets tend to tackle protection first and then focus on feel next. The Cynic X attacks both at once. The fleece is incredibly warm and offers extra padding, while the adjustable fit provides excellent versatility for all head shapes and sizes.
I’m also a big fan of the additional features and clean look. This is not the most stylish helmet I’ve ever seen, but there’s something to be said about the simple approach. Add onto that the magnetic buckle and fully removable earpieces, and you get a helmet that provides you with some decent features without going overboard.
What I Dislike
If there’s one complaint I have about the Cynic X it’s the vents. Fixed vents just can’t compete with adjustable options. Not only that, but the ones built into the Cynic X don’t provide you enough airflow for warmer days. This is not the helmet I would choose to wear when the temperatures start to rise.
The Pret Cynic X is a reliable helmet with a slick design. However, there are many other options in and around its price point. These are some solid alternatives:
- Fornix Freeride – Equipped with a range of vents, the Fornix Freeride works like the Cynic X to keep you cool and your goggles fog-free. It’s also fully adjustable, which goes a long way towards ensuring you get exactly the right fit. The EPS liner offers extra protection as well.
- Oakley Mod 5 – Oakley may be known for their eyewear, but the Mod 5 is a personal favorite helmet of mine. This model has an incredible eye-catching design, and it comes with a unique Boa closure system. The goggle integration is extremely reliable, the anti-fog system works well, and adjustable vents are excellent.
- Smith Mission – If you want a helmet like the Cynic X at a much lower price, the Mission fits the bill. This helmet isn’t the most flashy, but it’s strong and well-made. It uses MIPS technology to protect your head and comes in a wide range of colors. I always enjoy style options, as a little style goes a long way.
Is this helmet comfortable?
Yes. The Cynic X has a snug fit alongside wool fabric and polyester fleece to trap in warmth and ensure you get a soft
How heavy is the Pret Cynic X?
This helmet weighs 15 ounces. That makes it on the lighter side.
Is this helmet adjustable?
You can change the fit through the special dial adjustment system.
Does this helmet have removable earpieces?
Yes. The earpieces on the Cynic X can be taken out or put in as you see fit.
If you want a low profile helmet that can be used both on and off-piste, the Cynic X may well be for you. It doesn’t have a ton of premium features, something that may be a turn off for some, but the adjustable fit and easy-to-use system may be more than enough. You also get a magnetic strap, removable earpieces, and a solid outer shell.
This helmet is stylish and versatile but never forgets about keeping you safe. The tough material, which utilizes MIPS technology, is designed to take impacts without breaking a sweat. It’s comfortable, warm, and while the fixed vents don’t work as well as I would have liked, it still gives you reasonable protection at a relatively affordable price.
Joseph Scalise is an avid writer, editor, and snow sports enthusiast who loves to spend his time outdoors. He began his love of writing early on in life and continued to pursue it as he grew older. While his time behind the computer doesn’t get him into the wild unknown as much as he would like, he never misses a chance to head up (or down) a mountain, across a river, or through a lush forest. When he’s not planning new trips, you can always find him typing away on his next project.