Smith Convoy MIPS helmet review

Has Smith set a new budget MIPS helmet standard with its Convoy?

Smith Convoy MIPS helmet
(Image: © Guy Kesteven)

BikePerfect Verdict

Smith’s new Convoy trail lid is packed nose to tail with a premium fit and protection features in a stylish, reasonably breezy design at an impressively affordable price

Pros

  • +

    MIPS protection at a bargain price

  • +

    Excellent fit and comfort features

Cons

  • -

    No lower edge hardshell

  • -

    Fixed peak

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Smith has previously based all its helmets around Koroyd honeycomb protection with distinctive styling and premium pricing. The new Convoy drops the honeycomb and adopts more conventional looks that actually ventilate better. You still get full MIPS protection too and the peak and cosmetic protection compromises they have made are easy to live with.

 Design

The Convoy is designed as a standard trail ‘half shell’ rather than enduro helmet so it doesn’t drop as low at the back at its Forefront 2 helmet. It doesn’t have the Koroyd honeycomb protection layer that Smith introduced into MTB from its snow range, or the removable accessory mount either. You still get four MIPS ‘tethers’ and brushed slider strips between the helmet and the inner cradle to reduce peak G-force loading in a crash though. At 326g for a medium, it’s a reasonable weight for the price too.

Smith shaping always seems to suit more riders than most and the Convoy is no exception with the all our test riders getting a secure, comfortable fit with our sample. The inner cradle is airy and adjustable through three height settings and for circumference via a soft dial at the back. You get two thicknesses of padding to fine-tune fit and they’re a two-piece set so you’re not likely to lose them in the wash. They’re thin enough not interrupt airflow from the 16 mid-sized front and top vents with shallow internal channelling leading to five flared exhaust vents at the back. 

Straps are anchored internally rather on the rim, but the thin webbing gets neat cam-lock adjusters and the rear of the helmet is shaped for secure glasses/goggle storage.

The only obvious cost compromises are lack of hardshell around the lower edge so it can get dented if you drop it. The mid-sized peak is non-adjustable too, but it sits just below the helmet rim where we’d set it for rain/sun protection anyway.

Smith Convoy MIPS helmet

Internal channels effectively ventilate heat out the rear of the helmet (Image credit: Guy Kesteven)

Performance

If you can cope with the concessions the Smith is a really great all-round trail lid. Fit is comfortable all day long with soft contact points that give a premium rather than price point feel. It’s still solidly secure though, so there’s no creep or wobble even when you’re hitting steps down the side of a backcountry dam, or dropping sizeable sends to flat with a helmet lightly strapped on. Ventilation is reasonable too as the flaring of the exhaust vents mean they pull more air through at speed than their size would suggest. It’s still not as obviously breezy as a more XC helmet with deep internal channelling but it’s definitely a lot better than Smith’s own Koroyd designs. 

While we thankfully haven’t needed to try its effectiveness, it’s always reassuring to have some Swedish MIPS science potentially protection your own swede. Especially when it’s priced cheaper than a lot of lids without it. 

Verdict

Convoy opens up the excellent fit and trail kudos of Smith lids while actually venting better than its far more expensive helmets. Add MIPS for less than a lot of helmets without it and it’s very easy to overlook the couple of small compromises if you’re after a top-value, enhanced protection trail helmet. 

Tech spec: Smith Convoy MIPS helmet

  • Price: £65, $75
  • Weight: 326g (medium)
  • Sizes: S, M, L
  • Colours: Sage green, black, white, hornet, pool

Guy Kesteven is Bike Perfect and Cyclingnews’ contributing tech editor. Hatched in Yorkshire he's been hardened by riding round it in all weathers since he was a kid. He spent a few years working in bike shops and warehouses before starting writing and testing for bike mags in 1996. Since then he’s written several million words about several thousand test bikes and a ridiculous amount of riding gear. To make sure he rarely sleeps and to fund his custom tandem habit, he’s also penned a handful of bike-related books and talks to a GoPro for YouTube, too.


Rides: Pace RC295, Cotic FlareMax, Specialized Chisel, Vielo V+1 gravel bike, Nicolai FS Enduro, Landescape custom gravel tandem

Height: 180cm

Weight: 69kg