For heavy sweaters, or riders who wish mountain bike helmets provided more ventilation, the Caipi half shell from Kask was designed with maximum airflow in mind. The light 250g (size M) lid is a featherweight sibling of the brand’s more gravity focused Rex helmet. Shaped with XC or “trail” shredding and gravel grinding in mind, it might be better described as a robust road helmet with a visor than a mountain bike helmet.
Each of the Caipi shell’s 22 vents is connected by a channel in the inner foam layer to provide maximum airflow throughout. The ports beneath the visor are shaped to force air into and through the shell, and when you’re moving it feels a little like a built-in hairdryer set to “cool” mode. The Caipi is the most well vented and breathable helmet I have tested in a few years, and it will be a perfect lid for hot rides. The low weight and breathability also make it a smart option for bikepacking trips where it will eventually end up strapped to the bike that is on my shoulders through hike-a-bike excursions.
For riders who want to wear one helmet all year, Kask offers a winter padding layer to cut some of the cool hairdryer effect.
Kask opted for a widely adjustable fit system in the Caipi, in place of a broader size selection. The helmet comes in sizes medium (52-58cm) or large (59-62cm), and seven different colorways (black shown). Like the rest of the Italian-made helmet, the company’s Octo Fit system is 100% their design, down to the buckle and strap adjusters. The Octo Fit cradle can be slid up or down between 20 micro-clicks to dial in the perfect angle and place the tensioning wheel where it best fits your skull shape.
The rear chin strap anchors can be moved fore and aft between three fixed positions to further dial in the fit, and to keep them from interfering with the temples of your sunglasses. The leather segment of the strap that touches your skin, or beard, feels soft and comfortable.
The Caipi meets EN 1078, CPSC 1203, and AS/NZS 2063 safety standards. There is no MIPS or similar device inside, but Kask says that the helmet significantly exceeds all of the current helmet safety standards.
The Kask Caipi half shell is a go-to lid for warm rides on flowy singletrack or dirt roads, and it will certainly be strapped to my head and frame on a number of bikepacking adventures throughout the coming summer. The fit is unnoticeably comfortable, and the clean design doesn’t stand out and scream bike racer like other lids sometimes do. Though I wish the visor had more than one fixed position, the hardware that makes that possible would add weight, and this helmet wasn’t drawn up with goggles in mind to begin with. The Caipi is a solid piece of protection that’s worth a look as winter marches back into its cave.
We would like to thank Kask for sending the Caipi over for review.