The Venture is a mid-priced trail helmet with a modern look that incorporates the MIPS system. It's extended head coverage and sharp looks meant it performed excellently for the price.
Built using in-mold construction - a hard shell bonded over the lightweight foam most helmets are made from - there are 20 large vents that are effective in channelling air flow and keeping things comfortable. It's not a super ventilated helmet which is due in part to the good coverage, but the vents are large at the front and taper in size to the back. It took some prolonged climbs or sustained efforts to feel the helmet wasn't coping. I have a shaved head, so if you have more hair, you may not find it as cooling.
Smith uses an adjustable retention system called VaporFit that allows you to dial in the fit a little more than others. The usual band tightening dial is at the back, and it can also be lengthened and shortened at the front where the band pulls from. This means it’ll fit the more petite and grand sized of us. There are some rubberised areas on the inside of the dial area, and this helps to keep the ratchet a little more away from the back of the head. It’s touches like this that make the helmet stand out a little more than others.
The fit is quite surrounding, it feels very certain and covers well, but doesn't have a huge amount of ‘stack’- it’s low profile, in fit and looks. The peak is fixed and isn't removable, and offers a decent area to duck and dodge behind if the trail is overgrown or the weather is particularly rough.
Looks wise, its a pretty modern looking style, with geometric style shapes and slight smoothing and rounding on the vents. The matte black looks sharp initially, but one thing I noticed was that the matt finish is wearing on corners and some areas that have taken some knocks and scrapes.
It's kind of a shame that it looks used and marked so quickly. It doesn't make any difference to the performance of the helmet, it's a cosmetic issue, but it'd be nice if it stayed smart a bit longer.
The inside of the Venture features anti-bacterial performance lining that does what it suggests and prevents the foam padding from stinking quite as quickly. The padding is all around the front of the helmet with a little thicker amounts on the side of the temples. It means that, on occasion, the sweat can pool and pour out the front, as there are little segments that separate the padding.
I had some reservations that the MIPS plastic might make things a touch warmer in use - but there is ample space and area for air flow. I have to assume that the MIPS works as thankfully haven’t had to rely on it during the test period. The helmet feels an average weight when riding - I didn’t notice any hot spots either.
The strap is a lightweight webbing and is easily adjusted to fit - the strap is secured with the usual style clip, and I found it comfortable and unobtrusive in use. There is a central vent that is perfect for mounting most helmet lights - unless you have one with a strap.
All in, its a good looking helmet, at a competitive price point that suits most trail riding, with the reassurance of the extended helmet cover. If the matt finish was tougher, it would really make it perfect. The Venture comes in six colours, (MatteJade, White, Gravy, Heat/Charcoal, Black. Mauve/Black) and there's also a non-MIPs option at £70.
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