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One of the main issues in using softer foam and adding venting is, because the material isn’t as good in sheer, you have to use less larger vents to maintain a CPSC (etc) passing structure.
There are a couple helmets I see on the trail that have such large vents I can’t help but wonder what level of protection they offer if I’m crashing in rock gardens or even in some of the stick piles I’ve found myself laying about in over the years.
I don’t think it’s hyperbole to suggest that if that’s the way helmet design is going there will eventually be a reckoning as foreign objects - like sharp pointy sticks or rocks - end up bypassing the helmet and directly interfacing with the rider. To at least the same extent that many riders, even on the road, and looking at the exoskeleton-reinforced - highly vented - lids they’re wearing and realizing they compromise safety by being rigid enough to pass tests and look cool and have venting.
When I reviewed the Kali Viva I was rightly called out for the time of year I tested it in (neither the hottest or muggiest periods of the year) and in response to that criticism, which again was totally legit, I road the helmet through an entire years worth of conditions - night and day.
I’m a sweaty guy and run hot and there were certainly days this summer when the pad-set was overwhelmed and sweat cascaded down my face. But then, because of climbs I’m never going fast enough for active-venting to matter, that happens to me with every helmet I own.
I took it off a couple of times trudging up epic fireroads in the sun... but then I do that with other lids too.
Anyways, I did write a follow up piece on it about taking the pad-fit helmet challenge. I think there are a lot of riders who’d be surprised how little extra venting matters and how comfortable these lids are.
Worst case they aren’t expensive (even ones with premium features like the Quarter MIPS) and can do duty commuting, at the pump track, etc if they don’t work out as a go to trail lid.
I don’t see myself going back. A properly fitting pad-fit lid is just too damn comfy never mind the protection/$.
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