Before you take a look at your battered old helmet and decide to give it one more go-around on the trails this season, we’d recommend giving Smith’s new Rover MIPS Helmet your full, undivided attention. We’ve had nothing but good things to say about the safety-conscious designs Smith has rolled out over the past few years, but budget-friendly has never been a selling point of the brand’s innovative creations. That changes with the Rover MIPS, which is effectively a more economical take on Smith's first mountain bike helmet, the Forefront.
Whether you count yourself as a Lycra-clad fixture on the weekend XC race circuit or prefer to spend your days exploring the unknown on your enduro-leaning trail bike, the Rover doesn’t compromise on safety to decrease price. In fact, by using less of its hallmark Koroyd material, Smith shaved weight from the Rover MIPS and improved ventilation. Smith constructs each of its helmets with the honeycomb-esque Koroyd because it compresses in the event of an impact, furthering contributing to the the standard In-Mold EPS foam shell’s protective properties.
Smith also adds the further protection of MIPS to round out the design. MIPS, or Multi-Directional Impact Protection System, refers to Swedish technology built into the helmet to minimize the damaging effects of angled impacts. The technology takes the form of a thin inner liner, flexible and light, which rotates upon impact to potentially lessen the likelihood of brain injury in crashes that generate oblique, sloshing force.
In addition to all that safety, the Rover MIPS also comes with Smith’s proven VaporFit fit one-handed adjustment system and AirEvac vents—18 to be specific—arranged to usher air through the helmet. As you rally over rock gardens and lean around unexpected corners, the Rover will sit securely, offering extended coverage along the temples and the back of your head. Plus, the integrated visor is built into the helmet’s shell, so it won’t move around or break off in a run-in with the ground when things get rowdy.
- A streamlined, safety-conscious helmet ready for the dirt
- MIPS liner increases side impact protection
- Aerocore construction featuring Koroyd impact absorber
- Extended shell coverage along back of head and temples
- Wealth of vents keep air moving in and out of helmet
- One-handed fit adjustment ensures a secure fit
- Item #SMI00F3
- Q & A
Almost perfect helmet with MIPS
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
So I would really give this 4.5/5 stars if I could, but the negative isn't enough to knock it all the way down to 4 stars. The negative is the visor, which is in a fixed position. Its little too high to be of much use when climbing to combat a low sun. And its a little too low, when really getting into DH, it can obstruct vision slightly when way back off the saddle. I get that Smith would want you to pay for the higher end Forefront helmet for the adjustable visor, but come on, this one needs it as well and would be perfect then.
I like that there is less Koroyd material, to allow it to be more breathable. Also making it more affordable.
As for fit, my prior two helmets were a POC Trabec and Bell Super (1st gen), both of which valiantly gave up their lives to save my head. Its a similar fit to those, the Trabec felt a little more round than the Super or Rover. So this is a good one for people with big noggins (I need as large a size I can get) and more oval shaped. Oddly the Forefront MIPS didn't fit me well at all, but the Rover MIPS was spot on. For a more modern comparison, the Super 2R with MIPS I could barely get on my head at all, and with the chin bar it wasn't happening. I didn't have a chance to try on the Super 3R MIPS to see if they made it any bigger.
Can't give any feedback on crashing with it, nor do I hope to anytime soon.