Weight: 340 g / 12 oz
Size: M/L (55-58cm)
Available Sizes: XS/S (51-54), M/L (55-58), XL/XXL (59-62)
Duration of Test: 6 weeks, 10-15 hours of riding per week.
Test Locations: Lake Tahoe, California
Test Conditions: Warm, sunny, California weather. 70-85 degrees, low humidity, lots of sunshine.
POC began distributing ski helmets and goggles in North America five or six years ago. Since then, they’ve begun to apply many of the concepts and technologies of their ski helmets into multi-sport, DH, and freeride helmets for mountain biking, but the Trabec is their first lightweight, in-mold helmet designed for the XC/AM/Enduro market.
The Trabec is made from EPS (expanded polystyrene) foam reinforced with a layer of Aramid, a woven ballistics fiber similar to Kevlar, which adds support and spreads the forces of an impact out over a larger area. All this is molded inside a three-piece outer shell (upper, lower, and back panel), which POC claims has no seams in the most exposed areas, to optimize strength and durability. The outer shell covers the EPS foam almost entirely, with the only visible foam in the vent holes and the inside of the helmet.
Out of the box, the fit of the Trabec was a little different than I expected. I have worn a Large helmet for the past 15 years—a straight Large in all brands—and I’ve never had a concern about whether something would fit. POC’s sizing is different than other brands I’ve used, however, combining medium and large into one size (M/L), which is what I went ahead and ordered rather than the next size up (XL/XXL). The M/L shell fit, although it was a bit snug at first.
After several rides, however, I squished the inner pads down slightly, and it fit fine. (The Trabec has a single molded foam pad that follows the contours of the inside of the helmet; a replacement pad is also provided.)
I’d also ordered the Trabec in blue, the most subtle color scheme available that wasn’t black. When my helmet arrived, it was a lighter blue than I was expecting. But the adjustment was pretty quick and painless—when in use, I can’t see any part of the helmet except, on occasion, the underside of the visor. My friends, however, took a few days to warm up to the solid blueness that now rests atop my dome. (POC’s helmets are all solid colors, by the way.)
One of the next things I noticed about the Trabec was the coverage. Unlike many other helmets that I’ve used, the Trabec is designed to fit around your head as opposed to on top of it, which POC claims offers better protection. For me, that meant the shell came down very close to the top of my ears and lower on the back of my head. But while it covered more of my head, it didn’t feel like there was any more contact between my head and the helmet, at least compared to other helmets I’ve used (e.g., GIRO Xen, UVEX XP100). The added coverage is something you might notice when looking at someone wearing a Trabec, but it wasn’t something I noticed while it was on my head.
The Trabec’s adjustable retention system snugs the helmet nicely to the back of the skull, similar to GIRO’s RocLoc. The system is also height adjustable, with three positions to accommodate lots of different head shapes.
The R.E.D. Mutiny is a hard-shell helmet that offers a snug, comfortable fit without sacrificing venting. It also comes with a removable Gaper Gasket. (Don't worry, we'll explain.)
Said by Smith to be the lightest certified snow helmet, The Maze is super sleek, versatile, and comfortable, but it isn't heavy on features.
The POC Cortex Flow helmet is an impressively light, well ventilated, comfortable helmet that also offers good crash protection. (Yes, we checked.)