The Smith Route helmet is comfortable and fits securely. It has nice safety features, including Koroyd inserts and MIPS, but it is on the heavy side.
Koroyd inserts for extra impact protection
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Most helmets use expanded polystyrene for impact protection, but the Smith Route helmet includes a material called Koroyd. It’s a plastic honeycomb structure that channels air towards the head. It’s also much more crushable than polystyrene and so will absorb more energy in an impact.
Its Overtake helmet has been around for a while and uses a layer of Koroyd all around the head, allowing Smith to reduce the depth of the expanded polystyrene and increase the size of the helmet’s vents, which it says reduces weight and at the same time increases impact protection.
In Smith’s new mid-priced Route helmet, the Koroyd layer has been reduced to two sections on the upper front sides of the helmet, where there’s most need of energy absorption in a fall. The rest of the helmet is made of conventional polystyrene.
The Route comes with a MIPS impact protection layer. It’s a system that uses a thin inner liner that is loosely connected to the helmet shell. This slides against the shell in a crash and is claimed to reduce the risk of concussion in glancing impacts to the head. The Route is also available without MIPS, saving £20 on its price.
Watch: Helmet buyer's guide
The Route is a comfortable helmet, with a good array of vents to channel airflow over the head – 18 in total. I found the size large fitted well and low on my head and felt secure with little tendency to move around.
But coming in at 378g for the large, the Smith Route helmet is heavier than the competition at this price point. It feels weighty in the hand, although I didn’t find the weight noticeable once riding.
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