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Giro Range MIPS Helmet

Cy Whitling reviews the Giro Range MIPS for Blister Gear Review.

Giro Range MIPS

Giro Range MIPS Helmet

Size Tested: Medium (55.5-59cm)

Available Sizes:

  • Small (52-55.5cm)
  • Medium (55.5-59cm)
  • Large (59-62.5cm)

Color: Matte Dark Shadow

Stated Features:

  • Articulating Hard Shell construction
  • Removeable integrated GoPro mount
  • Fidloc magnetic buckle closure
  • Super Cool Vents with Thermostat Control
  • Removable, speaker compatible ear flaps

MSRP: $240

Test Locations: Craigieburn Valley Ski Area & Porters Ski Area, Canterbury, NZ

Days Tested: 5

 

Intro

Giro’s new Range MIPS is the flagship of their snow helmet line. It features a new fit adjustment system, and a plethora of top-of-the-line features, with a price that reflects that.

Fit

My 59cm head sits right at the edge of the Range MIPS’ size Medium fit range, but I’m able to adjust the helmet to fit my head comfortably, with or without a light balaclava. However, if you are on the fence about sizing the Range MIPS, I would recommend sizing down due to the unique nature of the adjustment system—the helmet looks and feels more solid at the tighter end of its range.
Features

MIPS

Probably the most important feature of the Range MIPS is its incorporation of MIPS. MIPS (Multi-directional Impact Protection System) is basically a low friction layer in the helmet that allows it to move independently of your head in the event of a rotational impact.

Cy Whitling reviews the Giro Contact Goggle for Blister Gear Review

Cy Whitling in the Giro Range MIPS helmet.

While it’s currently somewhere between difficult to impossible to quantify the added safety benefits of MIPS, it is a promising technology to mitigate rotational impacts that cause a large number of brain injuries. And as MIPS has matured and become more available, it’s gotten to the point where the additional cost and weight are minimal, making it less clear why one would opt for a helmet without it.

Adjustment System

While a number of other helmets feature MIPS, what really sets the Range MIPS apart is its fit system. Basically the shell is actually two different pieces, that join along the top of the head connect in the back via an adjustable dial. Turning this dial tightens or loosens the entire shell, not just an inner adjustment system.

Cy Whitling reviews the Giro Range MIPS for Blister Gear Review.

Giro Range MIPS fit adjustment system

Initially I was pretty skeptical. While wearing it the back of the helmet kind of looks like an alien eating your head. But after a few days in the helmet, I came to trust the system and didn’t ever really notice it. And it definitely gives the helmet a more snug fit than any other adjustment system I’ve used. Plus, the fact that the whole shell adjusts down to fit my head—and not merely some adjustable inner suspension system—gives me a little added peace of mind.

But this snug fit also means that goggle straps do not work well underneath the Range MIPS. So if that’s the style you’re looking for, look elsewhere.

As I mentioned above, if you’re on the fence about sizing the Range MIPS, I would size down because the helmet just looks more solid the lower it is in the adjustment range. There is less separation between the adjustable portions of the shell, and less of the track they adjust on showing.

I did have part of the shell pop out of the adjustment tracks at one point after it was thrown around in the back of the car for a few days, but it popped back in easily and I haven’t had any other issues with it.

NEXT: Venting, Other Features, Etc.

3 Comments

  1. Spencer November 16, 2015 Reply

    An important thing omitted from this review is the fact that the Range uses EPP foam instead of tradition EPS foam as the shock-absorbing material. EPP is supposedly good for multiple impacts while EPS is only good for one impact. However, with a big impact it’s still probably best to replace the helmet.

  2. Kenward Vaughan January 19, 2016 Reply

    As I read your review (which I find very helpful!) I thought perhaps you had made an incorrect suggestion about the sizing…

    You state

    “My 59cm head sits right at the edge of the Range MIPS’ size Medium fit range, but I’m able to adjust the helmet to fit my head comfortably, with or without a light balaclava. However, if you are on the fence about sizing the Range MIPS, I would recommend sizing down due to the unique nature of the adjustment system—the helmet looks and feels more solid at the tighter end of its range.”

    and

    “… the helmet just looks more solid the lower it is in the adjustment range. There is less separation between the adjustable portions of the shell, and less of the track they adjust on showing.

    I did have part of the shell pop out of the adjustment tracks at one point after it was thrown around in the back of the car for a few days, but it popped back in easily and I haven’t had any other issues with it.”

    All this suggests sizing *up* instead of down, doesn’t it? If I were on the edge, I don’t want to literally stretch the system to its limit to accommodate my “big” head, yes?

    I’ve got a 59 cm noggin. Sounds like the large is my best choice.

  3. Blister Member
    OddB March 24, 2017 Reply

    It’s not the size of your head that matters most, it’s the shape. Size is secondary when it comes to helmets. Finding a helmet that fits well has always been challenging for me because I fall right on the line between medium and large. Medium is usually on the verge of being uncomfortably tight and large is almost always too loose.

    I have a freakishly large oval-shaped head that measures between 59cm to 60cm depending on the thickness of my hair.

    The Fit:
    1. The Giro Range MIPS fits oval-shaped heads. Check.
    2. The medium (fits up to 59cm), even when fully opened up, was very very tight on my head.
    3. I went with the large.

    The articulating fit is tremendous. Per my comment above, just like every other helmet I’ve owned, I fall right on the line between a medium and a large. If not for the excellent fit adjustability of the Range, this helmet would not fit either … I have to cinch the adjustment almost all the way down to get it to tighten around my head. This, however, means that there is plenty of space to loosen up the fit if I wanted to wear a light cap, pull up a hood, or wear a balaclava (not that I would ever wear a balaclava). I did wear a light buff pulled up over my head on many occasions during rather unpleasant weather conditions.

    The Look:
    Contrary to the sales description, the Range in not low-profile. Yes, the rise off the top of my head is slightly, minimally lower than my old round-head POC helmet and slightly less than the Pret Effect X helmet I purchased and sold after a few days of use, but it is still a big-ass helmet. Even after dialing in the fit and feeling the shell conform to the shape of my head, the lateral space this beast takes up disqualifies it as “low-profile”. It just shifts the vertical savings to the sides of the helmet. Kind of feel like an Imperial Storm Blooper. Whether it looks less bulky, well, let’s be honest … it doesn’t look less bulky*.

    *But no one will notice if you pair the helmet with the Giro Contact Goggles because you’ll look like a total badass.

    Random Features:
    • Adjustments: I found the fit adjustment dial and ventilation toggle very easy to manipulate with thick gloves.
    • Goggle venting: It works. Can’t imagine why so many helmet makers don’t include goggle vents. I only ever had an issue on very wet or rainy days.
    • Helmet venting: Terrific. I’ve never once felt overheated, even after boot packing the Headwall at Jackson in knee-deep powder. When closed, the vents are basically flush with the external shell, so you don’t get snow packing in the divots.
    • Magnetic chin strap: Awesome.
    • (included) GoPro mount: Funny how such a simple tool can be so useful. This forward-facing mount is excellent, easy-to-adjust, and prevents you from looking like a Jerry wearing an idiot box on the top of your head.

    Final thoughts:
    I’ve skied in this helmet for nearly thirty days this season without any issues whatsoever. I dare say it is the best-fitting, most comfortable helmet I’ve ever purchased. That being said, despite the excellent fit adjustability of the Range, because of the fact that I fall squarely on the border between a medium and a large, I would love it if manufacturers like Giro would include an additional set of optional padding for users — a thin set and a thick set to help people like myself dial in the fit even better. I don’t particularly like the fact that my “fit” requires me to dial in the adjustment almost to its limit.

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