Expert and user reviewers alike approve of the Smith Optics Vantage's venting system, which allows the front and rear vents to be adjusted independently of each other. Each has three possible positions (closed, half-open, open), although one expert complains that the helmet lets in more cold air than he'd like because some vents stay permanently open. Another tester says there's no flat spot for helmet-mounting a camera, although a strap-mounted version works just fine. Several experts also found the short brim to be problematic when trying to shift their goggles to their foreheads. In general, however, the Vantage's Boa ratchet-fit system, light weight, low profile and AirEvac fog-free goggle system make this helmet an overwhelming favorite.
We found only a handful of user reviews for the Smith Vantage, on sites such as Amazon.com, EpicSki.com and Backcountry.com. It receives much more attention from experts, with fairly in-depth reviews posted on FeedTheHabit.com, WhiteKnuckled.com and Mountain Weekly News, as well as "best helmet" picks from Backpacker and Outside magazines.
An experienced skier tests the Vantage and finds that its closeable vents slide shut flush with the shell, so there's no gap to fill with snow if you crash. The dual-zone ventilation system is his favorite feature, but he also likes the lightweight, low-profile design and Boa adjustable-fit system.
Review: Smith Vantage Ski Helmet Review, Jason Mitchell, Feb. 17, 2011
A self-proclaimed "outdoor junkie" does a fairly thorough review of the Smith Vantage. He likes the three-position Dual Regulator vent controls, but finds the brim problematic when trying to shift his goggles from face to forehead. He also dislikes that there's no flat spot to helmet-mount a camera.
Review: Gear Review - Smith Optics Vantage Helmet, "bryan", April 24, 2011
3. Mountain Weekly News
Author Soren McCarty tests the Vantage in various snow conditions, at resorts and in the backcountry, and says it's "the best helmet I have ever owned." He likes the dual-zone ventilation, sleek look and lightweight, comfortable, adjustable fit.
Review: Smith Vantage Helmet Review 2012, Soren McCarty, May 2, 2011
Backpacker picks the Vantage as the "best ski helmet" for its 2010 Fall/Winter Gear Guide. An anonymous tester takes the helmet ski mountaineering and heli-skiing, and likes its "cushy liner" and low profile. The ventilation system does a good job of keeping goggles from fogging up.
Review: Gear Review: Smith Vantage Helmet, Kristin Bjornsen, 2010
5. Outside Magazine
Author Justin Nyberg calls the Smith Vantage his favorite of several helmet models tested, although he doesn't explain the testing methods or who conducted them. Favorite features include the slim profile, adjustable fit and interior air channels.
Review: Smith Optics Vantage, Justin Nyberg, Nov. 1, 2010
The Smith Vantage is one of just two helmets selected for this roundup of new gear. Editors don't mention any hands-on testing, but they seem to like the Vantage's light weight, low profile and ventilation.
Review: New Gear: The Coolest Stuff Out Next Fall, Editors of SkiingMag.com, April 26, 2010