Tested: Giro Montaro January 19 2016
Recently I've noticed the increasing number of helmets that incorporate MIPS technology arriving on the market. Something that began as a trickle a few years ago (with the arrival of the fabulous POC range in our store) has now turned into the veritable flood.
What used to be an option on only high-end helmets has now trickled down to youth and sport-level helmets, and this can only be a good thing.
MIPS, just in case you weren't aware, is an acronym standing for Multi-Directional Impact Protection System. This system was developed by brain surgeons and scientists to reduce rotational forces on the brain caused by angled impacts to the head. In a helmet with MIPS Brain Protection System the shell and the liner are separated by a low friction layer. When a helmet with MIPS Brain Protection System is subjected to an angled impact, the low friction layer allows the helmet to slide relative to the head.
Deciding it was high time I tested this out myself (a helmet, that is, not the angled impact crash thingy) I purchased one of this seasons hottest products - a Giro Montaro. Eventually deciding on the striking Matte Blue & Lime colour scheme, I pushed the "buy now" button. A couple of days later it was ready for me to try it out in the wilds of Mt. Victoria - yeee-hah!
Straight out of the box this is one very comfortable helmet and the amazing hydrophilic padding meant I could forgo my usual headband/cap wearing, as any sweat production disappeared like magic - ingenious! With plenty of vents (16) airflow was set to maximum and the advantages of a P.O.V. Plus™visor became apparent to me rather quickly after smacking my head into a low-level tree branch. Now, if I had only utilised the visor correctly, I would have seen said branch, rather than feel it's impact - a trick for young players methinks. At least the MIPS saved my melon from any real impact anyway, maybe we can put that down to purposeful testing instead.
Several subsequent rides have really reinforced just how good this helmet really is - lightweight, comfortable, safe and with 4 colour options for the XY crew, it's very easy on the eye. Excellent features include; MIPS/full goggle integration with strap grippers/hydrophilic anti-microbial padding/full camera mount integration to name a few make this a very attractive package. I really can't find a fault with this helmet and thoroughly recommend it to anyone looking for a bit of extra safety in a helmet at a very reasonable price. Oh, and by the way, the XX crew are covered with the sister helmet - the Giro Montara. Same helmet, 2 great colours but without the Large size option.