5 MIPS Mountain Bike Helmets, Tested – Which is the best?

Giro Montaro MIPS Mountain Bike Helmet, $150

Giro

New to the Giro lineup, the Montaro has understated styling and the complete head coverage commensurate with a trail-worthy mountain bike helmet. With 16 large vents, it has excellent air pass-through at speed, and the large ports at the crest of the shell allow for heat to escape even when not moving. For low speed climbs and hike-a-bike sessions, small details like those can provide welcome relief from sweltering heat.

Weighing in at 425 grams for our medium sample, the Montaro is on the heavy side, but it feels well-balanced. The Roc Loc retention system suspends the helmet off the user’s head to help augment air flow and provides a snug, uniform fit. I was impressed by how well the MIPS liner is integrated into the inner shell, carefully sculpted as to not impede the vent performance. If I have one quibble, it is with a lack of padding at the top of the helmet where it rests against the head. It seems like a curious oversight, although it doesn’t feel uncomfortable.

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Available in three sizes, the range of fitment should accommodate most riders, although those with XL noggins may need to look elsewhere. As I have come to expect of helmets in this category, the Montaro comes with an adjustable visor with positive detents to secure it in one of three riding positions. I found I could substantially increase airflow to the forward aspect of the helmet by lifting the visor up two notches.

Additional features include a removable camera mount at the peak of the outer shell and a detachable goggle retention strap at the back. The vents at the rear of the helmet also have raised rubber bezels to help retain a goggle strap. Like many Giro helmets, the overall shell thickness is relatively thin, so the Montaro doesn’t have as large a presence as some mountain bike helmets. At $150, the Montaro is of high quality, full-featured, and worthy of the ask. www.giro.com

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Giro Montaro Mips Helmet
$79.99    Jenson USA   AD 

Pros:

  • Best visor in the bunch
  • Excellent ventilation
  • Excellent quality of materials and construction

Cons:

  • Heavier than most in the category
  • Would benefit from more pads in the liner

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