Smith Session Review
Smith helmets have always been on my list of fancy things to try. The Koroyd technology makes a lot of sense and the styling is always on point. The only problem for me was not being able to spend $220+ on a helmet that might last the season or just for one ride (I tend to crash a lot and my head is a ground magnet.) This year, Smith released the Session as an alternative to the flagship Forefront. The Session comes in at a more affordable $160.
The Session features Koroyd protection along the sides of the helmet and open vents down the middle. This increases protection in likely impact zones while allowing for great ventilation and head scratching access (on a side note, the open vents also let bees in. Lesson learned.) Smith claims that Koroyd will absorb 30% more impact than a standard foam shell alone. Luckily I haven't had to put that to the test just yet. The Session comes equipped with MIPS as most new helmets these days have adopted the technology or one of its variations. The Session also offers great extended protection on the sides and back of my head without giving me the dreaded mushroom-head look.
Speaking of looks, the Session looks pretty damn fancy. I am usually a black/grey helmet kind of guy, but the rattlecan look of the Acid Burst colorway was too cool to pass up. At least now my Hi-Viz head will be easy to spot for other riders — safety first. The Session comes in six colorways to fit every style.
FIT & FUNCTION
Now we are getting to the important stuff. The Session fits my head really well. I've gone through quite a few helmets over the years and this is the most comfortable fitting helmets I've had. Noggins come in all shapes and sizes though, so your mileage may vary — I have an oval-shaped head if that helps you decide. The only gripe I have about the fit is the retention strap at the back has two points that can dig in when the helmet it ratcheted down tight. I was able to alleviate this problem by growing my hair out for a little extra padding. Everyone else I've talked to about the strap hasn't had the same complaint however. It's probably just time for me to follow rule #5.
The Session has excellent ventilation and airflow. When paired with Smith glasses the air channels above the brow allow for a lot of airflow to keep your lenses from fogging. My head has never become overly sweaty in the Session, but I haven't had a chance to ride in 90°+ temps. Sweat tends to drip off the outside edge of the helmet instead of the inside and subsequently into my face — definitely a nice feature.
The visor is adjustable and short enough to not impair my vision when riding. It rotates up to make room for storing your goggles when going full enduro. The two vents near the temples have channels in them for storing sunglasses when not in use. I've tried the helmet with 3 different pairs of riding glasses and they all fit comfortably. The helmet doesn't get in the way of the ear pieces.
The session is a great helmet at a good price. It's got all the bells and whistles you'd expect from a $160 piece of plastic and foam. It's comfortable, looks good and doesn't turn your head into an easy bake oven.