Our take Smith packed a whole heap of tech into this lid while still keeping it light enough for touring. The Level (the women’s version is the Liberty) uses Koroyd—a honeycomb polymer not found in any other ski helmets besides Smith’s—to provide an extra layer of cushioning that will cradle your dome in a crash but doesn’t add much weight. Throw in MIPS (an optional interior layer that allows the helmet to rotate independently of your head, further protecting you from glancing impacts), and it’s a fortress for your cranium.
The details The Level has more than 20 closeable vents, and an easy, glove-friendly size adjustment wheel on the back. The slight visor keeps precip out of goggles but doesn’t impede venting; every goggle pairing we tried fit seamlessly. Bummer: The men’s version has removable ear flaps, but the women’s model does not.
Trail cred “The Level is light enough that I didn’t have any qualms packing it,” one tester says. “It also held up over a season of living on the outside of my pack. No dents.”
$170 or $200 with MIPS; m’s M-XL, w’s S-M