The Smith Quantum is a warm, sturdy helmet with a sleek look and tough construction. It’s a bit bulky, but perfect for skiers who value extra protection.
- Where to buy: EVO, Amazon, REI
- Best for: Skiers with a higher budget who need a strong, well-made helmet that’s able to keep up through harsher weather.
- Pros: This helmet is extremely solid thanks to the tough construction and powerful shell. It’s well-built, and gets high marks for both warmth and comfort. The fit is quite nice and the extra insulation goes a long way.
- Cons: There’s no doubt that the Quantum is on the expensive side. That will push it out of the range of those on a budget. It may also be a bit heavy or bulky for those who prefer less intrusive gear.
- Alternatives: Smith Vantage MIPS, Giro Zone, Sweet Protection Switcher
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 a lot of time researching this helmet and know a few skiers who have worn it out in different types of weather.
The Smith Quantum is a helmet that can truly do it all. The well-constructed item isn’t just warm and comfortable, it also protects your head during any impact or fall. The solid construction goes a long way, and the interior is quite comfortable. You can also adjust or tweak it as you see fit. Yes, it’s expensive, and might be too heavy for certain skiers, but don’t let that hold you back.
Strong, Reliable Protection
Anytime I look at a helmet, I start with protection. It doesn’t matter how many additional features an item has if it can’t keep you safe. Luckily, this is one area where the Quantum excels. It has a powerful outer shell and comes with an innovative exoskeleton specifically made to protect the front, back, and sides of your head all at once.
However, that extra strength does come at a slight cost. This helmet is undoubtedly on the heavy side, especially when compared to more streamlined models. That likely won’t be an issue for those who stay in-bounds or do most of their skiing at the resort, but it will add to some fatigue for those pushing through the backcountry. Whether that’s a true drawback depends on how you like to ski.
A Mix of Comfort and Warmth
Coming in right after protection is comfort. I found this helmet to be incredibly nice in terms of fit, warmth, and cushion. The stand out trait here is definitely the sweat-wicking liner that both provides extra padding and ensures you don’t get too wet on days where you’re really pushing yourself.
Another home run is the BOA wheel at the back of the helmet. It’s a simple and intuitive adjustment system that works wonders. You can easily get the fit you want and have the versatility to try different configurations depending on the day, weather, and climate. You’re also able to wear something underneath it without any issue. Add on the magnetic buckle and comfortable chin strap, and you get a helmet that has comfort as its primary focus.
Another aspect of the Quantum’s comfort is its warmth. This is a toasty helmet, a trait that only adds to the already excellent protection. There are 22 vents here that you can close through slider mechanisms to ensure no chilly air gets in. In addition, the ear cups are snug and sit right against your head without causing any discomfort. In that way, this helmet will last through cold or stormy conditions.
Goggles and Ventilation
The Quantum also has excellent ventilation. I am a huge fan of adjustable vents. Here, you get 22 of them. They are each opened and closed through a sleek slider mechanism at the top of the helmet that enables you to either get in more air if you’re hot or close things up if it’s too cold.
Another bonus of this helmet is, as with so many Smith models, it creates a strong seal between the lid and the goggles. You can easily fasten in your eyewear or take them off thanks to the rear bungee retainer and the pull tab in the back that enables quick adjustments on the fly. In that way, you get better versatility. You always want to try out your own goggles when buying a new helmet, but the Quantum works with just about every big name on the market.
Price and Value
The Quantum, simply put, is not a cheap helmet. In fact, it’s much more expensive than similar options. However, you definitely get a lot for the price. In that way, I’d say it has pretty good value. This is not something for people who want to save some cash, but the strong construction, BOA adjustment system, plethora of vents, and comfortable fit all make it worth the extra price. That’s especially true if you like to go out into tough or frigid terrain.
What I Like
In my opinion, the best aspect of this Quantum is its adjustability. Being able to open and close the vents goes a long way in terms of comfort and ventilation, while the BOA dial creates an incredible fit for all head shapes. I always value options that give you choices, and here you get a lot. It’s nice being able to get a snug fit when you need it and a looser one when you want to wear a beanie or extra layer.
The Quantum’s protection and feel are both solid as well. This helmet’s sturdy construction will give you much-needed support in the event of a fall, while the soft interior and adjustable fit both work to ensure you don’t have any lasting discomfort. The interior sweat-wicking liner is especially handy for skiers who like to push themselves.
What I Dislike
As much as the Quantum hits all of my marks for a high end helmet, the price is undoubtedly going to turn some people off. Skiing is an expensive hobby, and any time I can get away with saving some cash on more affordable gear, I will. That’s not the case here.
I would also say the heavier weight is a bit of drag. As mentioned, that won’t be a big issue for people who don’t expect to truly exert themselves. However, if you enjoy long trips or spend a lot of time hiking in the backcountry, it’s something you need to know.
It’s hard to beat the Smith Quantum in terms of strength and support, but if you’re looking for something different you should check out some of these options:
- Smith Vantage MIPS – Those who like the Quantum and don’t mind paying for a few extra features will love the Vantage. The vents are awesome, the construction is solid, and I especially appreciate the wide goggle compatibility. There are also many cool colors, which helps with the general design.
- Giro Zone – If you’re looking for a slick look with a solid fit, look no further than the Giro Zone. This stylish helmet is incredibly warm, which makes it another great warm weather option for those who want an alternative to the Quantum. While the ear flaps aren’t the best, everything else sits tight and in place.
- Sweet Protection Switcher – The Switcher is a powerful option that holds up in both strong and mild climates. This has some excellent traits, including amazing vents, an innovative buckle, top tier sound quality, and it’s incredibly adjustable. A solid option for people who want something a bit more versatile.
Is this helmet comfortable?
The Smith Quantum has a good fit through the adjustable BOA system and keeps you warm through its extra insulation.
Can I remove the ear flaps?
Yes. All you need to do is remove the chin strap and then lightly pull on each pad to take them out.
Will this fit my head?
The Quantum uses a special adjustment system that helps create a snug fit. For more accurate sizing, consult an official helmet size chart.
How heavy is this helmet?
This helmet weighs in at 1.7 pounds.
The Quantum is an expensive helmet, but it’s a solid choice for skiers who don’t mind paying more for quality. It has a lot of bells and whistles, including adjustable vents, the BOA dial, interior sweat-wicking liner, and warm earflaps. It’s not the best option for minimalists, but skiers who need a well-rounded helmet with a lot of traits will get a lot of use out of the Quantum.
The helmet is one of the strongest around, which makes it good for skiers of all ability levels. Though the heavy weight does mean it isn’t the best for backcountry use, you’re going to be hard pressed to find something that offers more for in-bounds skiers. If you can afford it, it’s absolutely worth it.
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.