POC brings out the most secure helmet for mountain bikers

Consider the benchmark for the safety of mountain bike helmets in the Kortal MIPS Race. The new POC helmet, which is arguably the safest mountain bike helmet, is intended for trail and enduro riders who push their limits.

The big innovation is MIPS Integra, a new invisible, integrated update from Mips. Pads filled with silicone (similar to those used in its SPIN system) slide on a low-friction layer built into the helmet’s EPS foam, reducing the rotational forces on your brain in the event of a crash. The cast-in layer allows the helmet pads to move in any direction upon impact, and the new design eliminates Mips’ nasty yellow plastic layer which was uncomfortable, pulled by the hair and also limited the design of the helmet vent.

But that’s not the only “new” thing in the Kortal Race MIPS. The helmet’s visor, which can be raised high enough to place goggles on the edge of the helmet below, will break off if overstretched, reducing the risk of neck injuries. Aramid bridges between the oversized ventilation slots of the helmet prevent it from disintegrating in the event of an impact. The helmet exponentially exceeds the usual safety standards for bicycles. A RECCO reflector in the helmet helps rescue workers to find you in the hinterland. And if you have an accident that’s so bad you can’t speak for yourself, rescuers can use a scannable chip to access your medical information, name, date of birth, emergency contact and more.

After two weeks of testing, we can also confirm that the helmet is the most comfortable mountain bike helmet that POC has ever made. Eight vents in the front, three on top, and five oversized vents in the back kept my head cool. And the built-in Mips system can be seamlessly synchronized with the POC helmet strap. Gone are the days of my POC helmet riding forward and rattling around on a rocky descent. The Kortal Mips stayed planted in place and were so rattle-free that it felt like they were hung up. [$250, na.pocsports.com]

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