What It Is: Swedish helmet maker POC is laudable for raising awareness about concussion risks in cycling and snow sports, and they pioneered a system called MIPS that you’ll see in their higher-end AVIP MIPS lid. But that helmet only fits guys with larger heads. On everyone else it looks huge. Now there’s the Octal Raceday, an alternative that more cyclists can wear.
Why We Like It: While it doesn’t feature MIPS, which allows the helmet to rotate and better absorb the force from an impact, the Octal Raceday is reinforced in key zones, thicker at the temple and the back of the head. It’s also one of the most comfortable helmets we’ve ever tested. It fit well when we put it on, and unlike many helmets with a perfect fit, it also breathes superbly, with fewer, but much larger vents that really did the trick on a steamy mountain bike ride. The fact that we didn’t bake during this kind of testing won us over. Plus, the lightweight lid (200 g) made us forget we were wearing it.
Nitpick: POC helmets can still feel and look overly thick if you’re used to other options, which will probably turn off some buyers. POC argues that even though other lids pass certification, their internal testing is more stringent, requiring thicker shells. We’re happy to wear the larger, less-sleek lid if it means preventing brain injuries.