For 2013 POC is adding a few more items to their growing line of protective gear. Hailing from Sweden, POC spends a considerable amount of time developing and improving safety gear for both mountain biking and skiing. Both sports produce a similar accident pattern: heavy oblique forward collisions with immovable objects (trees, rocks… you get the idea). As a result, the company has become expert on creating products that can handle such impacts.
A while back I reviewed the VPD 2.0 line of gear. This year a new VPD II DH knee guard makes its debut, using the same VPD absorption material with an added patella cover, for those harder hits that happen from time to time.
POC also released an improved glove line with five levels of protection, ranging from the full-on DH with padded palm, fingers, and wrist, to the minimal half-finger smooth-palm slip-on glove. Looking at the line-up, I noticed a perfect blend of gloves with padded exterior fingers and a convenient slip-on fit. All the gloves (minus the fingerless) have wrap-around ends and work with touch screen devices.
The new VPD 2.0 hydration system is not only a pack, but it also doubles as back protection, thanks to a VPD pad. As you can see below, the VPD material (green stuff) is perforated to allow some cooling while providing optimized spinal protection.
Another unique feature of the pack is the adjustable-height waist strap, which I thought was a great idea.
For head protection, the new commuter helmet will come in at about $120. This helmet is an in-mold polycarbonate (PC) shell with a dual-density expanded polypropylene (EPP) liner. Slightly larger vent holes and a nice PC cap around the outside of the ridge seal the whole unit together.
I have to admit, the POC booth was one of the cleanest-looking booths around, with a mix of white and an abundance of colors. IKEA, watch out!
Look for more neat stuff from POC in the near future.