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Smith Variance Helmet

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    33 Reviews


    A tried and true classic.

    The Smith Variance Helmet protects your dome so you can continue the risky business of shooting tight tree gaps, straight lining gun-barrel chutes, and sending it in the park. Based off the best-selling Variant, the Variance's Hybrid Shell construction combines a Bombshell ABS shell with In-Mold polycarbonate technology to provide a precise fit that can still handle heavy-handed blows. The AirEvac 2 ventilation system pulls cold air in through the brim and pushes warm air away from your goggles to keep your vision fog-free, and the adjustable Regulator vents let you dial in the perfect temperature when you're getting rowdy.

    The Variance can close down tight around your dome thanks to Smith's exclusive Smith x Boa Fit System that offers an intuitive dial in the back for on-the-fly, single-handed micro-adjustments. Its Nanosilver lining has antimicrobial features that keep the lining clean and fresh, and the Snapfit SL earpads provide a cozy seal around your ears while offering the options to remove them if you want a bit of fresh air. The earpads also work with Skullcandy audio systems (sold separately) so your favorite tunes can provide the stoke while the helmet provides the protection.

    • Hybrid shell construction
    • Adjustable Boa fit system
    • Airevac 2 ventilation
    • 18 vents
    • Adjustable climate control
    • Snapfit SL ear pads
    • Nanosilver lining
    • Removable goggle lock
    • Skullcandy audio system compatible (sold separately)
    • Item #SMI00AN

    Tech Specs

    ⚠️ WARNING
    This product can expose you to chemicals including Bisphenol A (BPA), which is known to the State of California to cause birth defects or other reproductive harm. For more information go to
    Shell Material
    Hybrid (polycarbonate & ABS)
    Multiple Impact
    Audio Compatible
    yes, Skullcandy audio system compatible
    Audio System Included
    AirEvac 2, 18 vents
    Fit Adjustment
    Smith x Boa
    ASTM F 2040, CE EN 1077 2007 Class B
    Claimed Weight
    18.5 oz
    Recommended Use
    skiing, snowboarding
    Manufacturer Warranty

    Tech Specs

    • Reviews
    • Q & A

    What do you think about this product?

    Have questions about this product?

    Great Helmet

    • Familiarity: I've used it several times

    Returned the Maze for this helmet, and not looking back. Great helmet, great and easy ventilation. Wore it on a recent ski trip; it held up well, was super light weight and perfect form fitting. Felt very comfortable and forgot it was on, I would highly recommend to a friend.

    Backcountry Gold!

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

    I've had the Variance helmet for roughly two years and its been amazing. The helmet has never failed to keep me warm. I wear a medium, yet I find some mediums to fit slightly bigger. With the boa tightening system in the back it was easy to make the helmet fit like a glove with just a few turns of the knob. I have recently got more into park skiing and further away from backcountry. Im looking to get another helmet that is slightly smaller in terms of the thickness not size. I want a helmet without a brim for park riding. I wear Dragon NFX2s' and they fit great with the Variance. I've also taken a few diggers and I can vouch for the safety of this helmet. Overall, super sick helmet that I would recommend to all mountain skiers and to backcountry skiers.

    Da bomb

    • Familiarity: I've used it several times

    I've bought two of these helmets. One for my GF and one for me. The boa system on the back is on parr when dialing the fit of the helmet onto your head. Only thing for me is the ear pieces seem to fit posterior, or more towards behind my ears then sitting directly on my ears .

    Not so warm

    • Familiarity: I've used it several times

    This helmet is much colder as compared to my previous Giro. Never once felt cold in my old helmet but had to run to the ski shop to buy a thin beanie to wear under the Smith helmet on the first day. The vents are well placed for threading a helmet headlamp mount but that's about the only plus. Integration with my Smith goggles is no better or worse than other helmets I've tried. Overall I wouldn't recommend.

    Get this If you rock Smith Goggles

    • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

    This helmet goes with Smith's line of snow goggles so perfectly! If you rock Smith Goggles and haven't also gotten one of their helmets yet, this one is a great option! No gap and the fit is FIRE.

    Gave as gift

    • Familiarity: I gave it as a gift but have feedback to share

    Gave this as a gift, but he says he loves the helmet, likes the open or closed vents to keep him warmer, or cooler depending on the temps. Also loves the goggle integration with this Smith goggles, no gaps between goggles and helmet. I personally have the Maze and love it, and I'm sure this helmet is just as great!

    Sweet Helmet

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

    I've been using Smith helmets for years. The fit, venting, and goggle integration is top notch. This helmet is no different and the matte ranger color is sweet.

    One of two

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

    I have a few Smith helmets and it doesn't matter which one I go with for the day, they are all super comfy and I know my head is protected! The Variance has a little bit more sleeker, natural fit compared to the Maze. Dual vent options for open and closed allow you to stay warm or cool down on those hotter days. Rocking out with the Outdoor Tech speakers as well makes for a great day on the mountain jamming out with friends. And the Boa fit feature allows you to really dial in this helmet for the snuggest fit out there. Seriously, look no further. This helmet is great!

    One of two

    does the job

    • Familiarity: I've used it several times

    i replaced my old helmet with this one when i took a hard fall and cracked my previous helmet. it fits great and keeps your ears almost too warm. all in all its a good brain bucket

    If you like your head...

    • Familiarity: I've used it several times

    I wish I didn’t have to wear a helmet, I admit it. I grew up speeding through the trees and I loved the feeling of wind in my hair and skull freedom. But, I also value my head and I have developed a healthy fear of hard objects and head injuries. So, helmet it is. If I have to wear one, I will pick this one every day. I have owned a number of helmets, and my complaints usually focus on (1) comfort or
    (2) temperature. What is the point, if they hurt more than a tree or cut off circulation to your brain? This helmet is actually comfortable. And, unlike many of my other helmets, it keeps your ears warm. Another plus: I can still get the sense of wind whipping through my hair. I just open the vents. This seems to be the first helmet I have owned where the ventilation system seemed to make a noticeable difference. My only complaint about this helmet is that I would prefer that the ear pieces were removable for warmer spring days. Overall, I recommend this brain barrier.

    Fits Perfectly

    • Familiarity: I've used it several times

    After having my current helmet for nearly a decade, it was time for an upgrade. In addition to my helmet being old, I recently bought Smith Women's i/o googles and it wasn't a perfect fit. The Variant is the industry standard for fit and function and as soon as you put it on, it's obvious why. It's the most comfortable fit, lightweight and works perfectly with my Smith googles. I would recommend this to anyone.

    great fit and warm

    • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

    My first ski helmet and it fits great and is very warm. Wore it in blizzard conditions and it fits in my hood well. Goggles also fit well with the small brim. Couldn't be happier with it.

    Dome Piece Protection

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

    The Smith Variance is by far the most comfortable helmet I have ever owned or ridden in. Super light design feels like nothing on your head but is super warm and secure feeling. The added boa system in the back makes it easy to adjust the helmet to fit your head perfectly. Vents have an open and closure tab up top that is easy to access and customize. Padding is great especially for the not so ideal edge catch to tomahawk. Great helmet, great company, cannot say enough great things about this helmet. I wear a size 7 1/4" hat and a medium fit me perfect along with Smith Vice goggles.


    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

    Great helmet. Comfortable and warm. Boa system is great as well as the ventilation. I have i/o7 goggles that fit awesome with the helmet. Exactly what I want a helmet to do

    Couldn't be better

    • Familiarity: I've used it several times

    Comfortable helmet and very warm. Fits awesome with I/O series goggles... no gaper gap here! Boa system and vent system are effective and easy to use, even with your hands in your gloves. Low profile elastic goggle retainer is easy to use as well and less bulky than the rubber snap strap that a lot of other helmets have.

    Highly recommend.

    Style & Safety

    • Familiarity: I've used it several times

    This helmet was a gift for my daughter, she loves the boa adjustment system and the cozy lining. It keeps her warm on storm days, and provides excellent ventilation on blue bird days.