Smith’s Forefront line of mountain bike helmets has been a go-to for lightweight protection and comfort. In this Smith Forefront 2 review, we discuss this product according to its comfort, protection, ventilation, weight, durability, value, and other features.

Our Verdict

The Forefront 2 is Smith’s improved flagship mountain bike helmet. The new design includes slimmer profiles all around for enhanced ventilation that allows airflow more freely. In addition, there are open channels inlaid down the middle of this protective headgear where heat can dissipate quicker during hot weather conditions or after long hours on your motorbike. Finally, minor space-age features with updated vent layouts keep you cool under pressure no matter what season.

The new helmet is the best of its kind. It has a sturdier three-position adjustable visor with flip-up high and low positions to keep you safe on those foggy days, as well as an improved ventilation system. You won’t be disappointed by this product’s durability. We expect nothing less than perfection from Smith Forefront 2 because their quality speaks volumes louder than anything else does.

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Technical Details of Smith Forefront 2

Rotational Impact Protection System?MIPS
Weight (Ounces, Grams)13.19 oz, 374g size Medium
Number of vents 20
Goggle or Sunglasses Integration? Sunglass & goggle integration
Adjustable Visor?Yes
CertificationsCPSC, CE EN1078

Pros and Cons of Smith Forefront 2

Pros  Cons 
Great coverage  Expensive price
MIPS system  Less ventilation 
Easy adjustable visor 
Awesome protection 

Are You in Hurry? Here is a Quick Review of Smith Forefront 2

The Forefront helmet might be one of the most modern, high-quality designs around. It’s made up of tightly packed cross-sections that look like honeycomb cells, or straws all stuck together in different shapes and sizes. This proprietary material provides excellent protection from blows to your head.

Smiths has updated its original Forefront to make it more user friendly. The Koroyd was not allowing for the same airflow levels as other open ventilation holes, so Smith’s fixed this issue with an improved design to improve airflow throughout your helmet while still protecting from any side impacts.

The 2018 model year saw the introduction of MIPS technology, which provides increased safety in specific impacts while maintaining an adjustable fit. In addition, it holds to Smith’s reputation for quality construction throughout all head sizes. We found ourselves impressed by this balance between premium features like ventilation design updates and value leaders who don’t skimp on weight or coverage. Our testers loved how protective it felt during brutal falls without feeling too heavy.

Detailed Review of Smith Forefront 2


In the world of mountain bike helmets, protection is everything. The Forefront 2 has a high degree of head coverage, with its shape coming down low over your back skull and dips by the temporal lobe. As well as at the posterior part on top where they meet brow bone area to provide some extra measure against rock blows from behind during falls or impacts. However, it doesn’t have as much coverage as those mentioned above.

Smith’s Forefront 2 helmet is equipped with Smith’s latest innovation, the MIPS liner. The idea behind this new technology in skull protectors was to help reduce rotational forces of an impact by providing a slip-plane that deflects some of its force through movement. Luckily for riders, it doesn’t affect how well your head fits into one.

Smith’s newest model, the Forefront 2, is designed with an innovative EPS foam core that provides exceptional comfort and protection. In addition, the exterior shell of this helmet has been covered in a durable polycarbonate material to prevent scratches or damages from external elements such as abrasion on trails or dirt roads during long journeys.

The Forefront 2 helmet is one of the most innovative in its class. One of the best things about Forefront 2 is its use of Koroyd. This honeycomb structure features lots and lots of tightly packed tiny tubes that can absorb impact while still allowing air through at just enough ventilation pressure. That means you get all the protection without any added weight or bulkiness – it’s awe-inspiring stuff.

The tubes of the Koroyd are perfect for those looking to keep their bikes safe from bugs and other debris. They’re small enough to stop most intruders but large enough so they don’t obstruct anything on your bike during a crash.

Protection of Smith Farefront 2 Review

The MIPS liner of the Forefront 2, note the minimal but well-placed padding and open air vents in the middle of the helmet.

Smith’s new helmet is designed to cover more of your head than any other in our test. With only three open vent holes, it covers more of your head and can keep you safe from hazards like pollen or sunburns. However, it still allows fresh air around the ears for better ventilation. Not only does it have completely open vents, but Smith also placed them symmetrically on either side and behind the top half-editorial part for extra protection.


This latest version of the Smith Forefront 2 helmet has a comfortable and crowd-pleasing fit that fits a broad range of head shapes, sizes similar to previous models. This is partly due to its adjustments called Vaporfit, which allows for quick tightening or losing and evenly distributing pressure when needed on both sides using dials at either end with tensioning strings running through them, making it easy to tighten securely. Without leaving marks where they meet your skin.

The Vaporfit system is adjustable, and each point can be customized to your needs. With four holes for adjustment at the temples and back of the head, you’ll always have a comfortable fit.

The headgear in this helmet has been upgraded to make for an improved experience. The new technology includes minimal but well-placed anti-microbial padding from temples across the forehead, just a little on top of your head. There are also vents throughout, which increase comfort as temperatures rise.

Comfort of Smith Farefront 2 Reviews

Testers found the straps of the Forefront 2 to be one place the helmet could use a little improvement.

The straps leave something to be desired. Locking strap splitters at the bottom of each ear allow you to adjust and secure nylon, as well as a plastic buckle for your chin that is tailored with just enough give. As a result, it won’t cause any discomfort while sleeping or driving in a vehicle.

We agree that the POC Tectal Race SPIN and 100% Altec have a better adjustment system, but this one works just fine. Its straps never contact your ears or sit too low against your cheeks, which can be an issue because they don’t provide enough space for movement around on their own, creating irritation during the ride.

Comfort of Smith Farefront 2 Review

The Forefront 2 has a great fit and improved ventilation making it more comfortable in warmer temperatures than its predecessor.


Smith’s new Forefront 2 has many ventilation holes that allow more air to flow through. Smith accomplished this in two ways: First, making the vents on the outermost part much more significant than before. They’re about 3 inches wide compared with 1 inch or less for previous models (which means you’ll feel more relaxed wearing them). Second – when we say “through,” what comes out? Sometimes, there are extra holes placed near areas where heat may accumulate, like around your neckline and wrist area.

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A comparative view of the old Forefront, left, and the Forefront 2, right. Notice the larger vents on the Forefront 2 version, as well as the open vent holes in the center of the helmet.

The vents are an exciting addition to the helmet. They may seem minor, but these changes improve ventilation over other models in their class by allowing airflow from front to back of the head or changing direction depending on the need at any given time.

The Forefront 2 is outfitted with 20 total vents, 17 of which have Koroyd underneath them. While this material allows air to pass through it in most cases, some holes aren’t facing your direction. At the same time, you ride, and moving breezes hit their faces directly instead so they can flow over the forehead for increased cooling relief.

The Koroyd holes on top of the head face straight up and don’t necessarily catch the air as you move forward. There also is only one air channel inside this helmet, so it can feel a bit stagnant when walking around for long periods in warm weather. The Bontrager Blaze has slightly more significant gaps in its structure, which means there’s more chance that airflow will happen, but at least they’re all facing downward instead.

Ventilation of Smith Farefront 2 Reviews

Testing the ventilation of the Forefront 2 on a hot late summer day.

The Forefront 2 is a great mountain bike helmet, but it’s not for those who live in warmer climates or have sensitive skin. Our testers found that most of the time they spent testing this product was during the late summer months when temperatures often exceeded 90 degrees Fahrenheit at elevation levels. Unfortunately, it did not make them feel more relaxed than previous versions and reasonably excellent by themselves without any protection against sunburns.

During side by side ventilation testing, we found that helmets with fully open vents feel cooler. Yes, the Giro Manifest and 100% Altec allow more airflow around your head than Forefront 2, but it’s manageable until temperatures soar up. Not surprisingly, Smith Session provides extra cooling due to large open areas for ventilation and strategic placement of Koroyd on sides which help reduce hot spots in the rear area near the neckline.


Smith helmet company is known for their premium pricing and top of the line features. The Forefront 2 has many protective measures, including Koroyd, MIPS technology, and a comfortable design that makes it one of Smith’s more advanced helmets available today. In addition, optics integration means there are no worries about your eyeglasses getting in contact with optical instruments while wearing this product.

The Forefront 2 is a seriously cool helmet. Its visor adjusts into three positions and when in the low position. It’s just long enough to block out the sun without obstructing your vision of what lies ahead on trails or descents alike. It also flips up to use goggles if need be without having anything poking around in there as old versions did—no more worries about getting poked by burrs sticking through gaps where they shouldn’t belong. The middle setting with no shield isn’t too.

Features of Smith Farefront 2 Review

Integration with optics is on point with the Forefront 2, which can hold your sunglasses either front or rear in the channel that runs around the top of the head.

The helmet also has a channel that rings the helmet and is designed to securely hold your front or rear sunglasses. The arms of glasses grab onto this secure holder. We’re not so sure about rough trails, though, as it seems like they work best when riding on smoother terrain with more minor inclines for things such as an arm securely holding onto their shades without risk of falling off while out exercising.

The helmet comes with an integrated camera and light mount on the top, which you can use for selfies or take some excellent photos. The small threaded metal insert that hides under its plastic cover is what makes this accessory so unique.

Features of Smith Farefront 2 Reviews

The camera and light mount is a small threaded metal insert that is hidden beneath a plastic tab on the top of the helmet. A mounting kit is necessary and can be purchased for $15.


The Forefront 2, with its microscopic weight of 374 grams (13.19 oz), is lighter than some other helmets we tested, like the Smith Session, which weighs 5-10 grams more at 400gms or 15 Ozs. Leatt DBX 3 0 come in about 12 Grams heavier than 13 Ounces and slightly less than the Specialized Ambush, weighing 350 Grms total, including both size adjustments but not installed cheek pads.

The Oakley DRT5 is heavier than the Forefront 2 but offers similar protection and comfort. The difference in weight will be hardly noticeable for most people wearing them. However, all other things being equal lighter garments are better because they weigh less on your body.

Weight of Smith Farefront 2 Review

The Forefront 2 weighs in at 374 grams or 13.19 oz, slightly less than their claimed weight of 13.4 oz for the size medium we tested.


The Forefront 2 helmet proves to be a highly durable and attractive option for equestrians. All adjustable components, such as the Vapor fit system, straps or even the visor, continue working well through testing. In addition, they would not break easily under pressure from anything, including branches hanging low on trees during unpredictable weather conditions.

The EPS foam outside has been covered with plastic that wraps around edges in vulnerable areas like scratches. It means this product will last longer than most other helmets out there today.

Durability of Smith Farefront 2 Review

The Forefront 2 is up for virtually all types of mountain bike riding, from all day XC trail riding epics to enduro races.


The Forefront 2 is one of the most expensive helmets in our test selection. However, it comes with MIPS liner and Koroyd, significant fit adjustments that will make it easy to get on your head no matter what size you are. This high-quality mountain bike helmet also has a unique look for any biker to protect themselves. At the same time, they ride their bikes out there onto trails across America (or wherever!). This product does cost slightly more than some other models, but we had only one piece of protective equipment. It would be the top spot because quality lasts over time.

This helmet offers a lot of value for your money, and we think you’ll be satisfied with the all-around performance.

What We Like Smith Forefront 2

  • The Forefront 2 is lightweight and very comfortable for my slightly round head.
  • Safety features, including MIPS and an Aerocore construction, are well-integrated into the design.
  • Adjustable fit system is easy to use and keeps the helmet secure.
  • Visor is goggle-friendly and offers a wide range of adjustments.

What We Don’t Smith Forefront 2

  • Although better than the original Forefront, ventilation is still lacking.
  • It’s far from a value leader at $240.
  • The padding is fairly minimalist, and there are plusher options available (including Giro’s Manifest and Troy Lee Designs’ A2).

Other Version and Accessories

Smith makes a full line of cycling helmets, including the Forefront 2 MIPS reviewed here. It is available in seven different colour options to suit your taste and can be found at various retailers for around $80-$100 or less. Smith’s suggested price point if you don’t want it equipped with an upgrade like that feature.

Smith has been a go-to for riders looking for an affordable helmet that offers excellent coverage. The Session is no exception, with its lightweight polycarbonate design and lower price point than other options on the market today.

The Forefront 2’s integrated camera and light mount make it a breeze to take beautiful, high-quality photos or videos from virtually any angle. In addition, you can purchase the ForeFront Mount Kit for $15 – which will work on both original models of this product.

Read More: Bell Stratus MIPS Review

The Competition

The mountain bike helmet market is a competitive space, but Smith’s Forefront holds its comfort and safety.

1. Troy Lee Designs’ A2

One strong challenger against this competitor is Troy Lee Designs’ A2 model that we have been testing throughout our review period for those looking into buying one or want more information before making their purchase decision. We found both helmets offered excellent all-around protection with lightweight build materials in tests. In addition, they provide you ample ride time without being too heavy during hot weather conditions where sweating can become an issue.

The A2 has the edge because of its comfortable fit and cooling vents. However, it’s worth noting that this shoe costs less than other models from Smith, which makes it a better value at just $169.

2. Giro’s Manifest Spherical

A second helmet to have on your radar is Giro’s Manifest Spherical. It’s one of the few bikes helmets out there that are more expensive than Forefront at $260, but we think it’s money well spent. With a unique two-piece shell construction and innovative feature set among trail-ready designs, you won’t be disappointed with this purchase. Its safety benefits are like SHIM+ technology which shifts around impact points to reduce rotational forces on brain tissue after an accident. The look is admittedly a bit polarizing, but the Giro’s clear advantage in ventilation and minor upgrades like a magnetic buckle and her interior make it our preferred premium option.

3. POC Tectal Race SPIN

The POC Tectal Race SPIN is another favorite and stacks up similarly to the Forefront 2 in features, pricing. Both helmets sport great coverage with integrated safety techs like MIPS or other proprietary technologies. They aim to reduce rotational force when impacted at an angle. However, each has its strengths depending on what you are looking for. The design of Mips makes it lower profile while retaining protection via its padding, which also allows some movement during an impact. Unlike many methods, there’s no give whatsoever because everything contacts your head save air pressure. However, does this means increased bulk around edges if the fit isn’t universal enough? It might be worth considering both options before deciding about a purchase.

Smith’s Session MIPS helmet is an excellent choice for those who want to be safe and protected on the mountain but don’t mind paying a little extra. First off, both helmets have Aerocore construction, making them strong enough in case of an accident or near fall. They also come with optional liners so you can feel even more comfortable no matter what type of riding conditions there are. The ventilation levels may differ between these two models. However, Smith has five fewer vents overall due to Koroyd material obstructing some airways. This doesn’t seem too bad since it does allow better airflow through your headgear – though. The Forefront’s upgrades in protection and fit are worth the extra $90.

Read More: Best Mountain Bike Helmet 2022

Comparison Table of Smith Forefront 2 with Other Products

Name CategoryWeightVentsSlip PlaneVisorPrice
Smith Forefront 2 MipsTrail/Xc13.4 Oz.20Yes (Mips)AdjustableCheck price
Troy Lee Designs A2 MipsTrail/Xc12.3 Oz.13Yes (Mips)AdjustableCheck price
Giro ManifestTrail12.2 Oz.19Yes (Mips)AdjustableCheck price
Poc Tectal Race SpinTrail/Xc12.5 Oz.15Yes (Spin)AdjustableCheck price
Smith Session MipsTrail/Xc13.1 Oz.15Yes (Mips)AdjustableCheck price

Final Thoughts

The Smith Forefront 2 MIPS is one of those products that we feel is worth the added expense. This updated version maintains everything we liked about its predecessor while addressing its problems, such as a lower profile shape and more ventilation in favour of your head’s comfortability during use throughout different environments or conditions.

The Forefront 2 is one of the most popular models at our water testing site. It has an updated vent layout that includes 20 vents, three wide open down middle and now performs nearly as well as some other competing respirators. A new design also resulted in a sturdier visor that works better with goggles. Overall, we are incredibly impressed by this product’s performance levels.

Smith Forefront 2 MIPS Price Comparison

Seller  Price 
Backcountry  $240
REI Co-op $240
Amazon  Check Price