Updated: May 2
“Smith have taken no shortcuts when designing the Mainline. Everything feels durable and safe.”
Lightweight full-face helmets have become commonplace in the last four or so years. Pretty much every brand has one. Somehow, I’ve managed to own two lightweight full-faces from other brands in the last few years, and I’ve noticed a few commonalities between them. Every brand attempts to balance the following attributes: safety, comfort, weight and looks. Smith were a relative latecomer to the party, with their Mainline helmet. However, there is good reason. The Smith Mainline helmet strikes the balance of all four attributes perfectly and, in my opinion, takes the cake of the helmets in this category.
The Mainline boasts some wicked features. For starters, Smith have had an ongoing relationship with Koroyd for many years now. The Koroyd system has a series of integrated impact absorbent tubes that form part of the protective shell and, in addition to this, the latest version of the Mainline also offers MIPS. This gives the helmet a double tick for safety. The helmet is topped off with an adjustable visor and is fully ASTM F1952 downhill certified.
Smith have added the ‘AirEvac’ system to the Mainline, and this comprises 21 air vents that offer a supreme ventilation system. The vents at the front of the helmet take in hot air and redirect it over the head and out the back. This keeps your head cool, but not too cold on cooler days, making for a comfy ride. The helmet comes with three sets of pads of various thickness. This allows the user to fine tune the fit, which is pretty important when you are protecting your head. The helmet doesn’t have a ratchet adjuster on the back like some brands, but in my opinion the pad options mean you can get the right fit around all areas of the head, ultimately creating a more comfortable and safer helmet. The pads are coated with an antibacterial finish, meaning they are less likely to degrade quickly and start smelling. A simple D-ring closure, traditionally used on DH helmets, keeps the helmet secure. Once I dialled in the fit, I had no issues with the helmet feeling loose or moving when riding.
People are really into how much helmets weigh these days. The Mainline comes in at ~770 grams which is not the lightest full-face on the market, however, it is packed with the safety features mentioned above whilst also being comfortable.
If I’m honest, once I had goggles on and was ready to ride, I didn’t notice the weight of the helmet; it still feels light. You forget it’s there and can even climb with it on, and you don’t feel hot and bothered like you do when wearing a traditional full-face.
The helmet looks good and rides well. It has good goggle integration and is contemporary and stylish but not too futuristic, like some others.
What I really noticed was that Smith have taken no shortcuts when designing the Mainline. Everything feels durable and safe, which is something I haven’t noticed with the other lightweight helmets I have ridden. Others will skimp in particular areas in order to save weight, compromise comfort and reduce durability. The quality of the Mainline is excellent and the finish is superb, making for a great looking helmet.
The Smith Mainline is a safe, comfortable, lightweight full-face that looks the part. What more could you ask for when putting your most valuable asset into it for each ride? This helmet would be top of the list if I was going to be buying a new full-face.
REVIEW: WILL KEAY