Review: Smith Quantum

Two seasons ago, when skiing through some trees, I cracked my helmet colliding with an overhanging branch. I wasn’t going that fast, and its flimsiness was disconcerting. Now, I’ve upgraded to the Quantum from Smith. It’s a tank, and comes with a hefty pricetag to prove it. But if you’re willing to pay $800 for skis, shouldn’t you be willing to fork over less than half that to protect your brain? I know I am.

Once you dial in the customizeable fit using the Boa adjustment system, the Quantum fits snug with very little bobble. I wear a size 7-3/8" fitted cap, and my head lands right between a medium and a large. The medium was a bit too snug to wear with a balaclava, and the large took some tinkering to get snug, plus it makes me look like a middle-schooler with a disproportionately large head, seeing as I'm only 5'8". But I put safety before fashion, and the Quantum definitely gives me confidence to charge hard.

The one-handed chin strap buckle is a bit of false advertising; with gloves on, it's faster to use both hands, but it does unbuckle easily with one hand. Two sets of vents shed heat on warm days or after a leg-burner tram lap, and a simple hook-and-cord system in the back keeps goggles secure.