When it comes to noggin safety, I’m all-in. I mean, it’s your head and insisting on the best safety tech available should be a no-brainer (pun intended). Enter the new Smith Rover Helmet with both MIPS and Koroyd for the ultimate in brain protection.

Smith Rover MIPS Helmet Features:

  • Lightweight Aerocore™ In-Mold Construction
  • Zonal Ventilated Protection Featuring Patented Koroyd™ Material
  • MIPS system available in all colors
  • VaporFit™ Adjustable Fit System
  • 18 Optimized Vents
  • X-Static with Reactive Cooling Performance Lining
  • Ultra-Light Single Layer Webbing
  • AirEvac Ventilation
  • Integrated, removable Visor
  • Weight: 375 grams (Medium, actual)
  • MSRP: $180

The full-coverage Rover features Koroyd and MIPS.

The Rover is packed with safety features

Smith was the first to launch a bike helmet featuring Koroyd material with the Overtake in 2013. Koroyd a honeycomb-like material made from small tubes that almost look like drinking straws glued together. Those straws are a complex design that’s built to crush on impact — nearly eliminating the chances of serious head injuries. I had the full rundown of this technology last summer and it still remains front-of-mind. Adding MIPS on top of the Koroyd protection is arguably the best protection money can buy.

The Rover is built for MTB while its sister version, the Route, is primarily built for road riding. Both helmets use the same upper molds while going with slightly-modified lowers for each purpose. There are vents galore that offer excellent airflow during the heat of the day.

Smith Rover MIPS Helmet Review

Rolling some fine Deer Valley singletrack in the Rover.

Retention and fit are both excellent with the helmet immediately fitting naturally to my head. I do have an oval-shaped head and this one does fit quite nicely. With VaporFit, I can dial in the retention system just how I want it and even adjust it mid-ride or to accommodate a cycling cap on cold days.

Smith Rover MIPS Helmet Review

Here’s looking at you, Mr. Visor (glad it’s gone).

While the fit and protection offered by the Rover is hard to beat, the visor is decidedly no bueno. Pedaling hard with my head down, the visor simply blocks my vision. I found myself trying to rotate it upwards on every ride until I finally just removed it completely. Since the helmet profile is thick and because it sits further down on the skull for added coverage, the visor and front of the helmet block my vision. Instead of straining your neck to see down the trail, you might also want to pull it off too.

Overall construction is absolutely stellar with a reasonable price point to boot. It also features all the fit adjustability you could ever need in an all-day MTB helmet. I’m also grateful for the ability to toss it in the back of the car without worrying about denting or damaging the any exposed foam material. This helmet is built like a tank.

The Good

  • All the best protection you can buy
  • Still breathes really well
  • Excellent fit and retention system
  • All kinds of great color options
  • Fits with all flavors of sunglasses I’ve tried

The Bad

  • Ditch the visor (should be adjustable)
  • A bit on the heavy side

The Bottom Line: Smith Rover Helmet

The Smith Rover Helmet is packed with all the modern safety features you could ever want, yet it still doesn’t break the bank. It’s a good-looking helmet for XC or all-mountain use — just ditch the visor and you’ll be golden. I’ve personally tested MIPS and can vouch for its effectiveness and Koroyd is absolutely amazing at protecting the brain from impacts.

Buy Now: Available at CompetitiveCyclist.com 

About Author

A Seattle native, Jason developed a love for the outdoors and a thing for mountains. That infatuation continues as he founded this site in 1999 –sharing his love of road biking, mountain biking, trail running and skiing. That passion is channeled into every article or gear review he writes. Utah’s Wasatch Mountains are his playground.

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