The Smith Network MIPS is a new helmet for 2018 and offers ventilation, simplicity and style. We have been riding in the Smith Network along with a pair of Smith PivLock Arena sunglasses and it’s a combo that checks all the boxes for our road, trail and adventure rides. It’s a reliable combo providing clear vision and the desired head protection.
The Network has an attractive and simple profile with 20 vents and additional Koroyd protection in key spots. It’s a more conventional look than the Overtake but utilizes many design features from the top end lid. The fit system uses a nob that makes the helmet easily adjustable on the fly. The straps are reasonably light weight and adjustable to ensure the helmet can be held snugly in place. An anti-bacterial lining provides moisture absorption.
In addition to Smith’s Koroyd protection, the Network uses a MIPS lining to minimize potentially harmful forces in the case of a crash. The helmet is made from EPS foam that Smith says has been designed to maximize airflow and minimize glasses fogging.
The PivLock Arena glasses have a curvature that allowed them to sit comfortably on the faces of all our testers. The lens on the glasses is interchangeable requiring a simple, firm twist to release the arms and a pinch to allow the nose piece to come out. The frame of the lens feels sturdy and durable. The pair of Mate Acid Pivlock Arena we tested came with the ChromaPop Sun Green Mirror lens and the ChromaPop Contrast Rose Flash for darker light conditions. The glasses come in a nice protective case with room for two replacement lenses perfect for traveling with the PivLock Arena.
The Network met all our demands on a variety of rides. From commutes to extensive gravel adventures it felt in its element. The PivLock Arena store away conveniently on the helmet for when you stop. On our rides, the Network did a good job of sweat management though we haven’t yet gotten a chance to ride in the sweltering heat in the helmet. All indications are that it’s up to the task with the padding and airflow keeping our heads sufficiently ventilated on our rides.
The PivLock Arena glasses are lightweight and once on are no longer noticeable. The ChromaPop lens provided crisp and clear vision even in conditions with a lot of glare. The Rose lens was good in low light and rainy conditions. There was no vision disturbance from the lens fogging up on our rides. While the PivLock Arena offer good vision coverage, we could see a bit of daylight through the top and bottom when looking at objects at the absolute periphery of our vision.
Riding in Smith’s Network and PivLock Arena combo was comfortable, functionla and gave us confidence on our rides. The PivLock Arena retail for $210 with the extra Rose lens and the Smith Network costs $200.