For me, helmets are mandatory on the slopes. Even in the backcountry… let me re-state that… ESPECIALLY in the backcountry. To me, lids are there to keep all the stuff you’ve worked so hard to put into your noggin’ right there where you put it. Plus, the gooey insides of the skull don’t react too well to sudden stops or collisions with hard, immovable objects.

Our very own Kendall Card is a walking miracle thanks to the protection his helmet provided when he decided to catch an edge and plunge head-first into a slightly-submerged log. Believe me… had you seen what I saw on that MRI, you’d be wearing a helmet too. That said, helmet varieties and styles are plentiful and thankfully both the technology and ventilation has improved dramatically since the first ski helmets were popularized in the mid-90’s.

Along those lines, Smith has now been building a solid lineup of helmets to complement their functional goggle line. The Smith Hustle helmet is the new in the line for this season and a prime candidate for testing.

Smith Hustle Ski Helmet Review

About the Smith Hustle Ski Helmet

New for the 2008/2009 ski season, the Hustle helmet takes the best of the Holt and Variant lines and mixes them together to get a stylish and breathable ski helmet with excellent fit adjustments and on-the-fly ventilation to help you keep your noggin cool.

  • Bombshell ABS Construction
  • AirEvac 2 ventilation maximizes goggle and helmet airflow to reduce fogging and control temperatures
  • Airflow control with removable vent plugs on the 8 side vent
  • Helmet Fit System (HFS) ensures a correct and comfortable fit
  • Low-profile Regulator with 3-stage adjustable ventilation for easy climate control on 8 vents
  • Skullcandy Bluetooth and Twin Tip Link phone/audio systems available
  • X-Static performance lining eliminates odor, regulates temperature, and minimizes static (Cocona fabric used on Evolve model)
  • MSRP $120.00 (Audio: $150 / Bluetooth: $300)

Last Run at Snowbird Resort - Jason Mitchell

Smith Hustle Helmet Review

This lid is one of the most stylish helmets on the market. I like the more skate-style looks while still sporting all the technical features you’d expect from a top-of-the-line ski helmet. One of the best features of Smith helmets is the on-the-fly ventilation adjustment via the Airflow system.  The vents slide closed just below the surface of the shell instead of being plugged from the inside.  As a result, any diggers don’t produce snow build-up inside the vents.

Because Smith engineers their helmets around their goggles, the airflow is maximized to ensure a fog-free goggle experience. I have used the Hustle helmet with both the Smith I/O and the Habervision Highline goggles with excellent success in both fit and fog prevention (and I’m a fog machine).

Luckily, I have yet to pogo into a log or rag doll into a barely-submerged rock band, but I can assure you that this hard-shelled and crash-tested ski helmet will protect your noggin with all its precious contents.

The Good

  • Cool skate-style looks
  • On-the-fly ventilation
  • Bomber construction and fit
  • Goggle/helmet interface is superb with Smith goggles yet still plays well with others

The Bad

  • Made my ears hurt a bit after wearing all day long

The Bottom Line: Smith Hustle Ski Helmet

Stylish, bombproof and functional… if this helmet fits your melon, it’s a no-brainer… err, I mean it’s a brainer.  I’ve been impressed with every Smith helmet I’ve worn and the Hustle continues along that same vein with hip styling to boot. This lid is also available with integrated Bluetooth for no-wire phone or iPod integration or wired audio integration.

Buy Now: Find Smith Ski Helmets at REI

About Author

A native of the Pacific Northwest, Jason quickly 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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