Designed to be a premium commuting helmet, Smith’s new Dispatch helmet combines a number of safety features into a sleek urban form factor. The Dispatch retails for $170 and combines a MIPS liner with Smith’s zonal Koroyd technology to further improve the safety of the helmet. The combination of the features means the Smith not only meets standard certifications but also the high-speed NTA-8776 certification which covers higher speed impacts. Despite all the tech, the helmet still weighs only 365g in the medium size and retains a sleek urban profile with vents. Some of the notable premium features are the fully finished shell, removable rear taillight and a magnetic Fidlock strap which improves usability.
The Smith Dispatch is an urban helmet that not only has a high-speed E-bike NTA-8776 certification but also has MIPS and Koroyd technology built in.
|Rating||8.8 / 10|
|Measured weight (in g)||365 (size medium), 27 (taillight)|
|Likes||+ High speed NTA-8776 crash certification|
+ Premium feel and fully finished shell
+ Includes both MIPS and zonal Koroyd safety technologies
|Dislikes||– Premium price|
– Removable taillight could be brighter
|Where to Buy (US)||Smith|
The Smith Dispatch helmet comes in a standard helmet box with road graphics printed on it and a slide-out design to access the helmet. Inside the box you’ll find:
- Dispatch helmet
- Branded fabric storage bag
- Removable taillight
- Micro USB charging cable
- Safety pamphlet
The fabric carrying bag is a nice premium touch which makes it easy to travel with the helmet or store it without it getting dusty.
FIT & FINISH
The Smith Dispatch helmet not only has a catchy urban inspired name but it also has a sleek urban helmet profile. That means you have an extended rear profile and a durable dome shape that’s designed to withstand daily commuting. Unlike the Thousand Chapter MIPS or Bern Hudson helmets which feature front visors, the Dispatch has molded a slight bulge into the front of the helmet which Smith calls a micro brim visor. Smith offers the helmet in five matte color options currently: amethyst (purple), slate, white, black and our favorite poppy (orange) which we have in this review. It is a very bright and distinct color which ensures other riders and vehicles won’t overlook you on the road. The Smith Dispatch has a two piece shell with a colored upper portion and a gray bottom accent that wraps around the rim of the helmet for a premium look. There is minimal branding with Smith only printed along the edges.
As with many urban helmets, ventilation is limited to eight total vents with rectangular side vents and top vents. Smith has also incorporated their AirEvac ventilation system which consists of vents along the front rim of the helmet that connect to the two horizontal front vents inside the helmet. This creates a low pressure region that helps suck air away from sunglasses to prevent them from fogging up. You’ll notice that it’s difficult to see through the vents from the outside of the helmet as there is zonal Koroyd instead of open slots. This is a honey-comb style structure that allows airflow through it as well as additional rotational and direct impact absorption. A black MIPS liner can also be found on the inside of the helmet with plush Ionic+ antimicrobial padding Velcro attached to it.
The fit system on the helmet uses a standard rear dial with adjustable height cradle. Smith refers to it as their VaporFit dial adjustment system and boasts the 270 degree fit adjustment via the rear dial. It’s an easy helmet to adjust with wide and thin straps. At the end of the straps you’ll find a magnetic Fidlock buckle which makes it easy to put the helmet on with a single hand. The final feature of the helmet is the removable rear LED which has two tabs that slide into the rear vents. Although it’s a nice wide design, rather than a narrow taillight on the Sweet Protection Promuter, it’s a fairly basic taillight with six surface mounted LEDs. It’s not particularly bright and uses a legacy micro-USB recharging interface instead of modern COB LEDs or USB-C.
ON THE ROAD
We found the medium sized Smith Dispatch to be a comfortable and easy to wear helmet. At just under 400 grams with the taillight it’s fairly light for an urban helmet and something you can wear on long rides without discomfort. Ventilation on the helmet is something we’d describe as adequate and better than some urban helmets we’ve worn. If you’re in a hot climate or do longer rides we’d still recommend a more ventilated budget road cycling helmet like the Lazer Tonic KinetiCore though. For other climates or wet weather, the eight vent setup works well and it’s easy to adjust the fit of the helmet. We were a bit underwhelmed by the taillight which even in flash mode isn’t that bright or visually attractive. Unlike illuminated helmets like the Unit 1 Faro or XNITO which have lights that can replace taillights, the helmet taillight on the Dispatch is best used as a supplement to traditional taillights.
Overall, we found the Smith Dispatch to be a well designed and attractive urban cycling helmet. Particularly in the bright poppy color, the Dispatch looks premium with a fully finished shell and sleek urban helmet profile. The Dispatch boasts a number of higher-end features such as MIPS, zonal Koroyd and a magnetic Fidlock buckle. While the removable taillight is a bit underwhelming, due to the low output and micro-USB charging interface, it helps improve visibility and has a wide design. The only other downside of the helmet is that it’s on the expensive side for an urban helmet without built-in lighting or smart features. That said, if you’re looking for an attractive commuting helmet with premium features the Smith Dispatch is a great option.
Disclaimer: The product for this review was provided by Smith Optics. The views expressed on this website are solely those of the authors and are here to help people make an informed choice before a purchase. The authors or the blog itself does not get any monetary compensation from the product manufacturer or third-party websites/vendor links that are posted here.