POC is a Swedish protection brand that has rapidly made a name for itself with it's innovative, advanced designs. Founded just fifteen years ago they have already received over 60 safety, design and innovation awards and protected Olympic athletes and world champions. To top it off they also claimed the bike industry 'Brand of The Year' award. It's an impressive resume but, what do their helmets look like? Are they suitable helmets for Australian MTB riders?
POC Tectral SPIN
POC helmets are classy and high end, the Tectral being no exception. Designed for trail / Enduro riders the Tectral has ample coverage over the head while still offering great air flow with a highly ventilated design. There is an 'Aramid' layer of protection on the helmet which greatly improves the shell's structural strength, specifically against penetration forces.
POC have also integrated a RECCO reflector into the helmet design which is a rare, but great touch. The RECCO reflector is used by rescue crews world wide to locate missing or injured people. Something you hope to never use but you'll be glad you had it if it's needed.
POC's spin technology increases rider safety but letting the helmet 'slip' a little in the event of an impact, actually reducing the potential damage. It's designed to address the same issue as MIPS but goes about it in a different way. The slip movement is created using silicone gel spots in the helmets padding. By doing it this way the helmet feels extra comfortable to wear and ventilation isn't effected.
POC Kortal Race MIPS
The Flagship trail / Enduro mountain helmet of POC's line-up packs all the tech and design innovation you'd expect from such a forward thinking brand. The helmets shape specifically covers vulnerable zones of the head like the temple and lower back of the head. The 'uni body' shell design offers great strength while also keeping weight to a minimum. Just like the Tectral SPIN the Kortal Race MIPS has a 'Aramid' layer and RECCO reflector but, taking it a step further the Kortal can store your medical ID and emergency contact details with a NFC tag.
Unlike normal MIPS, the MIPS Integra liner is actually built into the adjustable fit system of the helmet. This creates a more secure and comfortable fit with all the benefits of MIPS technology still being applied. This new design of MIPS is currently only found on a select few top of the line helmets!
POC have developed their very own break away peak design for the Kortal Race MIPS. A large peak can force uncomfortable positions onto the rider in the event of a crash that can even lead to neck injuries. With the breakaway design your neck is protected in the event of such a crash!
Yes, it's a thing. The Dutch have created a standard for E-bike helmets which takes into account higher impact speeds and the POC Kortal helmet passes with flying colours.
As a whole these POC mountain bike helmets offer a lot of high quality features designed to make you safer and more comfortable, what every Australian MTB rider should be looking for in a high quality helmet. In a category full of marketing gimmicks it's great to see such quality designs that put mountain biker's safety first.