Smith Forefront 2
Words by Nic Hall
The Smith Forefront helmet was a pretty revolutionary helmet just a few years ago. Smith’s integration of Koroyd, a bright green structure of stacked, straw-like structures was both unique in appearance and promising in performance. While the Koroyd material was groundbreaking in many ways, it did not breathe very well. I found the original Forefront to be hot and gave me a few pressure points around my head. We recently received the new Forefront 2 and instantly began to test the new lid. It was the middle of summer and prime time to see if the ventilation and comfort issues we critiqued had been resolved.
The Forefront 2 offers some significant updates from its predecessor. First, the Koroyd material is now split into two channels with large air vents running down the middle of the helmet. The airflow these vents afford is a notable improvement. The Koroyd also runs all the way to the back and sides of the helmet, offering much better total head coverage. A MIPS liner is also available for the Forefront 2 for an additional $30.
The visor on the Forefront 2 is short just like the original Forefront. The visor has three positions for but we found the middle position to be a good compromise of sun protection and maximum visibility. Being that Smith is an optics company, they were sure to include channels below the visor that neatly offer a secure resting place for your glasses as you climb to the top of the hill. While the retention of the glasses is good, we found some airflow to be blocked by having glasses in front of the forehead air intake. If you like to go full enduro, a large channel around the back of the helmet retains a google strap quite nicely.
VaporFit is Smith’s adjustable fit system, which is ultra-lightweight and very flexible. The suspension system is a full wrap that offers good circumferential compression and a moderate amount of occiput adjustment. An integrated accessory mount is available, but I did not use it during my test.
The first thing I noticed about the helmet was the vastly increased airflow. While the Koroyd material is made of small straws, it does not promote airflow unless air is directly aimed at it. But with the new central air channel, the lid stayed much cooler.
Fit was outstanding, no compression points or hot-spots developed and the helmet was very secure. Once the rear adjuster was compressed, the helmet stayed where it was supposed to without being too tight. The Forefront 2 offers one of the best and most comfortable fits of any helmet I have tried this year. I have a 56cm head and the medium fit perfectly.
Protection looks to be above average, with side and rear coverage extending down the temple and wrapping around the back of the head. CPSC and EN 1078 certification with a MIPS liner as well as the Koroyd layer all under 380 grams is a pretty solid protection package. While I was not able to test the full impact protection of this lid, it appears to be up to the task of force distribution.
The Wolf’s Last Word
The Forefront 2 solves all the issues of the previous model while adding a few features. Fit is on par with the best helmets out there and luckily the Koroyd material now comes in other colors than bright green. We dig the small refinements like extending the coverage area and clever eyewear storage. Overall the Forefront 2 is a very solid helmet and one we’ll continue to wear now that our test period is over.
Weight: 380 grams (MIPS, Medium)
Colors: Black, Grey, White