Smith Portal MIPS helmet review

The Smith Portal becomes considerably more expensive in its MIPS variant – is it worth the extra outlay?

Cycling Weekly Verdict

The Smith Portal is a competent budget helmet, although it’s slightly on the heavy side and a bit bulky. Without MIPS it’s well priced, but the premium for MIPS puts it in a price bracket where there’s a lot of competitors, some of which are better options.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Nicely finished budget helmet

  • +

    Well priced for the non-MIPS version

  • +

    MIPS option – although this is expensive

  • +

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    A bit bulky

You can trust Cycling Weekly. Our team of experts put in hard miles testing cycling tech and will always share honest, unbiased advice to help you choose. Find out more about how we test.

The Smith Portal bears a strong family resemblance to the Smith Route helmet, which we tested a couple of years ago. But gone are the Route’s koroyd inserts, designed to provide better impact adsorption than expanded polystyrene, in favour of an all-EPS construction.

The Smith Portal’s weight has also decreased relative to the Route, shedding over 40g for the size large. Nevertheless, the Portal feels like quite a bulky helmet compared to the best in its class. That’s probably down to the quite large shell profile, so that the Smith Portal and its straps don’t fit as close to the sides of the head as many helmets.

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Paul Norman

Paul started writing for Cycling Weekly in 2015, covering cycling tech, new bikes and product testing. Since then, he’s reviewed hundreds of bikes and thousands of other pieces of cycling equipment for the magazine and the Cycling Weekly website.

He’s been cycling for a lot longer than that though and his travels by bike have taken him all around Europe and to California. He’s been riding gravel since before gravel bikes existed too, riding a cyclocross bike through the Chilterns and along the South Downs.