The Smith Holt helmet is one of the best-selling ski helmets around due to its low price, effective performance, and comfortable fit. What more could you want out of a quality ski helmet? How about one that looks cool as well. The Holt comes in a variety of colors and sizes to match your style, making it a quality choice for any skier.
- Where to buy: Amazon, EVO, REI
- Best for: A good option for skiers who want a quality ski helmet that doesn’t cost an arm and leg.
- Pros: Affordable and well-constructed, this is a solid ski helmet option. Looks great and comes in a variety of colors.
- Cons: Some cheaper materials used to keep the cost down. Could be more durable.
- Alternatives: Giro Ledge MIPS, Smith Vantage MIPS, Anon Raider Helmet
Why Trust Me
Born and raised in the mountains of Colorado, I’ve been skiing almost as long as I’ve been able to walk. I have skied all over the world and have decades of experience skiing on, testing, and reviewing different skis and skiing equipment. I used the Smith Holt as my main skiing helmet for a few seasons and have plenty of experience with the item. Below is my detailed review.
The Smith Holt is one of the best budget ski helmets out there. It has everything you want from head protection and goes the extra mile to keep you safe. It has a basic design, meaning it doesn’t come packed full of extra features or the latest and greatest helmet technologies, but it does its job without costing too much. The appearance is great as well.
Construction and Safety
The Holt features a fairly basic but dependable construction that offers reliable safety and durable protection. The helmet is made out of an injection-molded ABS shell that provides plenty of strength to resist impacts from snow, obstacles, or anything else that might hit your head when you’re out on the mountain.
The foam and liner don’t quite have the same quality That hurts the long-term durability, but not in the way that compromises your safety when you’re out on the snow. The helmet is still able to take a good knock without denting. That provides you with peace of mind and ensures the helmet will effectively protect your head in case of an accident.
The Holt comes with three different safety standards including ASTM F 2040, CE EN 1077:2007 Class B, and CPSC CE EN 1078. That means, even though the helmet isn’t constructed out of the latest and greatest materials on the market, it still has safety as its bottom line. A good helmet doesn’t need to be fancy, it needs to be effective.
Comfort and Fit
This helmet is quite comfortable and stands above the rest of the budget options in that regard. You’ll often find budget ski helmets bulky, big, and not quite comfortable. However, the Holt is none of those things. It actually has a nice look and a fit that’s comparable to much higher-end designs. It does have a larger profile than some of the higher-end options Smith offers, though.
This helmet also comes with a decent adjustment system that allows you to dial in your ideal fit, whether you choose to wear it with a beanie underneath or straight on your head. A dial adjuster offers a lot of versatility, and there’s also an elastic band that helps create a good starting point to keep the helmet in place if the adjustment dial ever gets knocked around.
It’s not the most comfortable helmet I’ve ever worn, but it is nowhere near uncomfortable. You can easily wear this helmet all day long without any issues and it’s well insulated thanks to the layer of protective foam. All things considered, the helmet will give you a quality fit and plenty of comfort. Just make sure you get the right size to accommodate for your head and you’ll be good to go.
The Holt has decent ventilation, though I did find it to be a little hot when skiing hard or going out on warmer days. I tend to run pretty hot in general, so this wasn’t surprising. However, there are definitely helmets with better ventilation features out there. If that’s an important factor for you, you might want to explore some other options.
This helmet does have vents built into the design that are placed in ideal situations to encourage airflow. That climate control design helps heat escape from your head without allowing the cold air in. I don’t know that it’s actually a ‘climate control’ system, but it works well enough.
The helmet also comes with AirEvac Ventilation that supposedly helps push the hot air from your head away from your goggles to help with ventilation and reduce fogging. Does it work? I’m not sure. My goggles always fog up even if I use high-end equipment that’s supposedly designed to help. However, it definitely doesn’t hurt.
The helmet also comes with a few additional features that are worth noting. The earpads are removable. That enables you to customize your fit and comfort level by taking them out on warmer days or by using a larger pair to get more comfortable. The pads can be thrown into the wash as well, which is nice after a few days of heavy sweating.
The helmet also comes with a removable goggle lock system that keeps your eyewear firmly in place and attached to your helmet. I found this feature to be a little unnecessary, but spoke to a few other skiers who really seemed to enjoy it. The helmet also has a limited lifetime warranty that reflects its decent construction and reliable durability.
Price and Value
The Smith Holt helmet comes in at an affordable price and offers decent all-around ski helmet performance. Those traits make it a great budget option that has good value for any type of skier. It’s not a high-end helmet with a bunch of bells and whistles. but it does a more than effective job at keeping your head safe and secure. The helmet is at the top of its class in the budget category.
What I Like
This is a fairly basic ski helmet, but there’s still a lot to like about it. The most attractive aspect is its budget price that won’t be a huge hit to your wallet. Every skier should always ski with a helmet on, and with all of the other gear you need to purchase to get started, an extra couple hundred dollars can start to add up. The Holt tends to be much less expensive than that, making it an easy go-to choice for a lot of skiers.
I also really like the Holt’s look. It has a no-frills appeal that isn’t full of space-aged design curves or an extravagant network of vents. Call me old-school, but there’s something appealing about the simplicity. I don’t need a huge fashion statement on my head when I’m skiing, but I want something that looks good. This helmet comes in a few different color options so you can match your style or outfit.
The removable earpads are another nice feature that increases the comfort and customizability. I’m a sweaty guy, and the removable pads allow me to wash the helmet fabric and avoid a stinky winter. I like that.
What I Don’t Like
This is a quality helmet, but it’s also a budget option. As such, you aren’t going to get the best helmet tech here. It doesn’t have MIPS technology, so it doesn’t offer most high-end protection. If I was skiing in a backcountry situation or any other sort of aggressive and dangerous type of terrain, I would feel better with a helmet that had MIPS.
The Hold also doesn’t come with any sort of audio compatibility. I love listening to music on the slopes when it’s safe to do so, and audio capabilities are definitely something I’m missing with this helmet. The ventilation isn’t all that good either. It’s a fixed vent design, meaning you can’t adjust the airflow. If you struggle with overheating, this may not be the best helmet for you.
If you want an alternative option to the Smith Holt, check out these other highly recommended helmets:
- Giro Ledge MIPS – The Ledge is a budget helmet that features MIPS technology for a little added safety and protection over the Holt. It also has a basic look and fit that I appreciate, and offers all of the basic elements you would want out of a ski helmet. That includes quality protection, good comfort, and decent ventilation. This one also has removable earpads and comes in a few different colors.
- Smith Vantage MIPS – Another option is the Vantage MIPS helmet, which is a solid upgrade in safety and comfort from the Holt. This is more of a high-end option and you will pay extra for these upgrades, but if you ski aggressively, a little extra protection always provides good peace of mind. Well-ventilated and comfortable, this is another well-rounded option.
- Anon Raider Helmet – The Anon Raider is another high-quality budget ski helmet that looks and feels great. It has a skate-style design that a lot of new-schoolers will appreciate and features removable ear pads and lining. It’s pretty comfortable overall, but doesn’t offer much in terms of ventilation. Another budget option worth exploring.
How do I know what size helmet to get?
The Smith Holt comes in four different sizes. You want to measure the circumference of your head in centimeters to choose the best size. Small size will fit 51-55cm, medium will fit 55-59cm, large will fit 59-63cm, and X-Large will fit 63-67cm.
Does this helmet come in sizes for kids and women?
The Holt is available in kids sizes, but does not have a women’s specific fit. It’s a unisex design that should easily work for both male and female skiers.
How much does this helmet weigh?
The Smith Holt weighs in at 550 grams. That’s right in the middle of average weights for a ski helmet. It’s not the lightest, but definitely not a heavy helmet by any means.
The Smith Holt helmet is one of the top budget ski helmets currently on the market. It offers good protection and safety, making it a good choice for any skier needing a reliable model that doesn’t cost a lot. Comfortable and durable, the helmet also has a cool look that many skiers will enjoy. It doesn’t have the best ventilation and isn’t an MIPS helmet, but you get a lot for the price.