POC Ventral Air SPIN NFC Helmet is Comfy and Cool for Hot XC Rides [review]

Sometimes a full-on visored helmet is just too much for certain rides, like XC and gravel outings, where ventilation and comfort are a higher priority than heavy protection. When you’re grinding it out, and powering up the watts, your head can get hot enough.

I’ve been wearing the POC Ventral for the last couple of months on such rides and it has kept my head as cool as possible. POC introduced the Ventral Air SPIN NFC (available at Backcountry.com) this past year and adds the feature of an NFC (Near Field Communication) chip to the helmet.

The NFC chip offers a way to store your medical information that first responders need to know if they happen to come upon you after a crash. Whether that’s allergies to medicine or something else, it could make a huge difference in an emergency response.

The POC Ventral SPIN NFC has an exceptional amount of vents, both intake and exhaust, designed and tested to keep the temps down inside the helmet. This Ventral also gets the proprietary Shearing Pad INside (SPIN) rotational force reduction system.

The helmet is wrapped in a unibody shell construction with a “High-performance” EPS liner. My medium Ventral weighed 267g. The Ventral Air SPIN NFC retails for $275. The Ventral Air SPIN without NFC retails for $250.

On the trail

Photo: Hannah Morvay

The POC Ventral has a total of 19 vents designed to control air intake, and release air at both high and low speeds. At high speeds, the trailing edge of the helmet is designed to reduce turbulence.

I can’t say I hit a speed with the helmet where I would have felt turbulence, but it does indeed have exceptional ventilation properties and it can even be a little chilly in spring temperatures.

I have been using the Ventral as I mentioned on gravel and XC rides and have yet to find anything to complain about — although, at this price point, that should be a given. At nearly $300, the Ventral Air SPIN NFC is pricy. But, there is a version without NFC for $250, and POC recently introduced a more affordable option, the Omne SPIN for $150. The Ventral SPIN Air NFC is only available in black/white, but the Ventral SPIN Air is available in quite a few colors.

The pads inside are soft and feel light against the forehead. The fit can be adjusted with a dial on the back of the helmet, and using the chin cinch strap.

The Ventral Air is easily forgotten, even after a few hours in the saddle, and keeps airflow on the rider’s head, like the copy says, at high and low speeds. I’ve been happy with the appearance, and it keeps a low profile, and doesn’t look too aggressive — or nerdy, which most dirt riders appreciate when donning a visorless helmet.

The sunglasses “garage,” is made up of little silicone patches on the inside of two of the vents. These do a good job at getting shades out the way and keeping them in place.

The NFC chip can be set up with an app call twICEme. It’s a quick one to download on the phone, and sets up easily as well. Make a profile, upload it to the helmet with your medical information, anything that is important to note, like allergies, if you’re an organ donor, emergency contact numbers, insurance numbers, and more. Once it’s uploaded to the helmet, you can read it back via the app to make sure it’s uploaded. In the event of an emergency, this should be helpful to first responders.

Thus far, I don’t have much else to report on the POC Ventral Air SPIN NFC. It’s comfortable, cool, it vents well, and looks good too.

Closing thoughts

Although it’s pricy, the POC Ventral Air SPIN NFC performs like a premium helmet should. It looks good whether you’re wearing Lycra or baggies and feels great on the dome, while logging big miles. The added NFC feature should comfort those who want to feel a little more secure on solo rides, or when their medical information is vital to first responders.

⭐️ Find the POC Ventral Air Spin NFC Helmet at Competitive Cyclist.

Thanks to POC for providing the Ventral Air SPIN NFC helmet for testing.

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