I bought this for general purpose ski touring, light ski mountaineering, and recreational skimo racing. I chose it over the Speed because I just don't trust the durability of the Speed for use in the mountains.
I have only used the helmet twice so far, but I like it pretty well. The shell itself feels solid but is fairly compact size-wise. The headlamp holder clips feel flimsy but they do hold my headlamp securely and in a good position. The tightener in the back operates smoothly and snugs down comfortably. The liner is comfortable and doesn't have any scratchy spots.
The straps are easy to adjust, however, the forward straps attach to the shell a bit too much in the vicinity of my ear. This can be annoying when it's windy and the straps are flapping around in my ear. The chin strap also has quite a bit of slack that I need to tuck out of the way.
Here are some things to know:
- I bought the Large, which is specified to 62cm, but it barely fits my head which I measured at 59cm. I doubt I could even fit a thin skull cap under this helmet. I own a climbing helmet that is specified to 61cm and fit into it with plenty of room to spare (regularly wear it with a hat).
- The ventilation holes narrow toward the inside of the shell, making the effective ventilation area MUCH smaller than it would seem by looking at the product photos. There is a silly mechanism on the front of the helmet to open and close the front vent holes, but it does not work very well and I wish they had done without it. A headlamp or goggle strap also covers up some of the holes, including the rear ones which are the largest. I did a race a little over an hour long in about 28F and needless to say the liner was completely soaked with sweat by the end. This is obviously not a racing helmet and I suspect it will do better on a mellower paced winter tour, but wearing it on the uphill for spring and summer mountaineering in the PNW will probably be very hot.
Despite these minor issues, it's a great comfortable helmet, and the best one I could find that fit my criteria of being minimalistic but not compromising on safety. I was also looking at the Smith Maze, but ruled it out due to having very little ventilation. I will probably pick up a Speed eventually for better ventilation while racing, but this is likely to remain my helmet for skiing in the backcountry.
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