As a passionate mountain biker, finding the perfect helmet is paramount to conquering trails with confidence. Enter the Smith Forefront 2 MIPS, the next evolution of the award-winning Forefront series. In this firsthand review, I’ll delve into the features, pros, and cons of this innovative helmet, detailing how it fared during rigorous testing, and why it stands out in the realm of mountain biking gear.
Protection: The Forefront 2 prioritizes rider safety with complete KOROYD® coverage for lightweight, energy-absorbing, and well-ventilated impact protection. The MIPS® Brain Protection System further reduces rotational forces, offering a dual-layered defense. The integrated skeletal structure acts as a roll cage, enhancing strength and impact protection. Certified by CPSC and CE EN 1078, it meets rigorous safety standards.
Fit / Integration: Crafted for seamless integration with Smith performance eyewear and goggles, the Forefront 2 ensures maximum comfort, venting, and storage convenience. The AirEvac ventilation system prevents fogging, providing a clear line of sight. The VaporFit dial adjustment system offers a 270-degree fit adjustment with the turn of a dial, ensuring a snug and secure fit.
Features: Boasting 20 fixed vents for consistent airflow, a three-position adjustable visor, and Ionic+® antimicrobial lining for sweat-activated odor control, the Forefront 2 is loaded with rider-centric features. The lightweight, low-bulk single-layer webbing adds to the overall comfort, while front and rear eyewear storage channels offer secure storage for glasses. Additionally, it is camera and light mount compatible, catering to tech-savvy riders.
- Adjustable Visor: The three-position adjustable visor adds versatility, accommodating both goggles and sunglasses with ease.
- MIPS Technology: The inclusion of MIPS enhances impact protection, reducing rotational forces for an added layer of safety.
- Complete KOROYD Coverage: The honeycomb structure of KOROYD provides lightweight impact resistance and ventilation, covering a large portion of the head.
- Improved Ventilation: The Forefront 2 addresses previous concerns, featuring larger vent holes and an open channel for enhanced airflow.
- Good Coverage: With a shape that comes down low on the back of the head, it provides extensive coverage comparable to other top helmets.
- Pricey Investment: While offering top-tier features, the Forefront 2 comes at a relatively higher price point.
Our In-Depth Analysis:
Design Evolution: The Forefront 2 is a significant evolution from its predecessor, shedding the space-age look for a slimmer, lower profile. Notable improvements include a revamped vent layout, larger vent holes, and an open channel down the center, allowing air to flow more freely. The three-position adjustable visor now offers better flexibility for goggle storage and sun protection.
Protection Prowess: Protection is paramount, and the Forefront 2 excels in this aspect. Complete KOROYD coverage, coupled with MIPS technology, creates a formidable defense against impacts. The integration of Koroyd’s honeycomb structure not only absorbs impact but also allows air to pass through, enhancing ventilation without compromising safety.
Comfortable Fit: Comfort is non-negotiable during long rides, and the Forefront 2 delivers. The VaporFit dial adjustment system ensures a secure fit with a simple turn of the dial. Ample anti-microbial padding adds to the comfort, and the broad fit accommodates a range of head shapes and sizes.
Ventilation Enhancement: Smith addressed ventilation concerns from the previous model, making significant improvements in the Forefront 2. Larger vent holes and an open channel enhance airflow, keeping riders cool in warmer temperatures. While Koroyd limits direct airflow, the strategic design prevents bugs and debris intrusion.
Verdict: Elevate Your Ride with Forefront 2
The Smith Forefront 2 MIPS stands as a testament to continuous innovation in mountain biking gear. With a focus on safety, comfort, and ventilation, it caters to the needs of avid riders seeking peak performance. While the investment may be higher, the features justify the cost for those prioritizing top-tier protection and a superior riding experience. Elevate your mountain biking adventures with the Forefront 2, where style meets safety on every trail.*