Smith Rover helmet first ride review

Technology, style and comfort built for the everyday rider

Smith's Rover helmet is aimed at the can't-get-enough trail rider, with a fantastic design and the colors and protection to match.

The Rover works well with sunglasses for XC and goggles for getting all enduro
The Rover works well with sunglasses for XC and goggles for getting all enduro

Smith Rover spec overview

  • Lightweight Aerocore In-Mold Construction
  • Zonal ventilated protection featuring patented Koroyd material (a tubular core structure that absorbs impact energy)
  • MIPS system available in all colors
  • VaporFit Adjustable Fit System
  • 20 optimized vents
  • X-Static with Reactive Cooling Performance lining
  • Ultra-Light single layer webbing
  • AirEvac ventilation
  • Integrated visor

Smith Rover is for the everyday rider

The mountain-style Rover features more rear coverage and of course, a visor
The mountain-style Rover features more rear coverage and of course, a visor

Smith's Forefronthelmet has won plenty of awards and won over plenty of mountain bikers with its outstanding blend of protection, style, and integration for sunglasses, goggles, lights, and cameras. It was clear to the folks at Smith that they had the high-end nailed, but what they didn't have was a helmet for the common, everyday rider. This is where the Rover (and Route for the road) fit in. 

Coming in at a lower price point ($180 vs $260 for the Forefront), the Rover is still flush with most of Smith's protection and features. To keep the low-profile, Koroyd is featured in the sides of the helmet over strategic impact areas. Smith's VaporFit adjustment fit system is thankfully carried over from their higher-priced lids, as is the AirEvac ventilation system. MIPS is an option as well, and is available in all colors.

The more expensive Forefront has more vents (21 vs. 18), more Koroyd material, an integrated skeletal structure, and an integrated camera or light mount. Plus, lighter materials are used throughout, and the visor is adjustable and removable. 

The road-oriented Route has less rear coverage but still employs smith's VaporFit adjustable fit system
The road-oriented Route has less rear coverage but still employs smith's VaporFit adjustable fit system

Smith Rover helmet first ride impressions

Immediately upon trying on the new Rover helmet and cinching down the VaporFit dial out back, it was apparent that this helmet fitted my head well. The pads gripped nicely, the adjustments felt secure, the straps were simple to use and there were no hot spots or odd padding placements.

Eight colors are available for the Rover, including a sweet Matte Black Cherry (top row, second from left)
Eight colors are available for the Rover, including a sweet Matte Black Cherry (top row, second from left)

Once riding, the ventilation was noticeable. Unlike the more Koroyd-clad, road-oriented Overtake, I could feel air flowing through the helmet. This is likely due to the 18 large vents being paired with only two sections of Koroyd on either side of the lid. Smith chose these locations for the patented protection as their research has shown that most impacts happen on the side of the helmet, not the top, or the rear. 

The visor is fixed and more than once I found myself trying to push it up out of the way, especially on climbs when humped over the bars. That said, while actually descending on trail, I never felt the need to adjust the visor's placement. This was with sunglasses, I've yet to go full enduro with a goggle set up. 

Smith Rover helmet price

$180 MIPS / $150 regular — UK and AU pricing not yet announced

Koroyd is used in both the Route and Rover, and a MIPS liner is available for all colors
Koroyd is used in both the Route and Rover, and a MIPS liner is available for all colors

Smith Rover vs the competition

Smith's new Rover occupies a well-rounded field of helmets. All of the major helmet brands offer MIPS, which is a good thing. What Smith brings is the use of Koroyd. The Koroyd allows Smith to build helmets with a much smaller profile, resulting in less bulk and weight. 

Early verdict

The Rover can hold its own due to the outstanding protection offered by the Koroyd material as well as the MIPS system. Additionally, it's crystal clear that the designers at Smith are paying attention as the matte colors and designs are up-to-date and gorgeous. Plus, if you ride with Smith's sunglasses or goggles, the compatibility between eyewear and helmet is second-to-none. Finally, I love the fact Smith offers a lower price helmet and hasn't skimp on style or features.

Russell Eich

Tech Writer, US
Russell fell head over heels in love with bikes in the '90s, and has been involved in the bike industry ever since. Between wrenching in bike shops, guiding professionally, and writing about bikes, Russell has honed an appreciation for what works, gained knowledge of what doesn't, and can barely contain his enthusiasm for what comes next. His two-wheeled passion continues in the Rocky Mountains high above Boulder, Colorado.
  • Age: 39
  • Height: 6'3"/190cm
  • Weight: 175lb/79kg
  • Waist: 34in/86cm
  • Chest: 42in / 107cm
  • Discipline: Mountain, road, cyclocross
  • Preferred Terrain: High altitudes, forgotten singletracks, bike parks, roads without cars
  • Current Bikes: Custom Meriwether steel hardtail, Specialized S-Works Enduro 29, Kona Jake the Snake, Trek 69er, and a bunch more
  • Dream Bike: Yeti SB5c, Intense Tracer 275C, Black Cat custom road
  • Beer of Choice: Gin + Tonic
  • Location: Rollinsville, CO, USA

Related Articles

Back to top