Giro XAR Review

Helmets Pro Reviews

The stylish All Mountain helmets are comfortable, with smooth and rounded lines, has good coverage and adjustment systems, and a trick and superb adjustable visor. The helmet incorporates some innovative safety features, such as a three piece shell and a reinforced foam liner, and has a well engineered ventilation system, with 17 vents. In comes in five colors and three sizes, to cover the gamut of styles and fitting.

The helmet uses the industry standard In-mold EPS liner with polycarbonate shell, for impact absorption, durability, ventilation design and strength. For additional safety, the liner uses their Roll Cage, which uses a reinforced web of DuPont Nylon molded inside the EPS foam, and the shell uses three separate pieces for reduction of scratches and abrasions.

Giro XAR – Impressions
The helmet has a fairly round shape, with smooth lines throughout, and only the rear has any distinctive angulation. The colors and graphics are subdued (except for the Matte Neon), and I really liked the Black with Cyan/Lime lines of my test helmet. It has good coverage for your head, and has a nice extended rear section for additional protection.

The chin strap system is sort of interesting for a modern helmet, as both sides are molded directly into the liner, and are not attached in the usual manner to the rear circumference adjuster. The side adjustment claps for the chin strap are easy to open and close to make the proper and even tension around the ear, and they stay locked down without any slippage. Since the straps are attached, it did take some extra fiddling to get everything set properly.

The helmet stabilization system for the XAR is called the Roc Loc 5, and it uses a small wheel to adjust the circumference strap, which reaches around 75% of the inner helmet, and has a three position vertical setting. This gives plenty of adjustability for proper fit, although I do wish the wheel was a bit larger, since it can be difficult to use with gloved hands. The vertical position fitting, has three very distinct clicks, and it’s simple to squeeze or spread it with one hand to find the required spot. I sometimes found that when I had the wheel cranked down hard for downhills and technical terrain, that I got a slight binding around my temples and the front of my head?

The ventilation system is pretty nice, and was especially noticeable when getting some speed going, which allowed optimal functionality. The system has 17 Wind Tunnel vents, which are designed with an active vent and an internal exhaust channel to pull in the cool fresh air and expel out hot stale air. The air channels rise above the head to let the air move freely. On steep slow climbs it did seem to get warm, although that is a common issue for most helmets.

About the author: Brian Mullin

Brian has been part of the Mtbr team since 2007, where he has become an integral member of the review and test staff, specializing in technical articles. He likes to push the limits in all the sports he obsesses in, whether it's mountain biking, whitewater kayaking, extreme skiing, or sport climbing. He takes those same strengths and a good dose of insanity to his reviewing and writing on mountain biking products, creating technical, in-depth and hyperbolic articles. Whenever he's not on the bike, he might be found watching MotoGP racing, otherwise look for him out on extremely technical singletrack.


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  • cesalec says:

    I whish the Giro XEN had this graphic pattern =/

  • Your worst Nightmare! says:

    I need this helmet for my AM bike it matches my GIRO Descent full face perfectly, Same graphics. They make sweet headgear.

  • Comfortable says:

    Xar replaced an ill fitting and defective Athlon. Much better fit and comfort level!

  • fit is different from Xen and Hex says:

    word of advice for people buying online – go try it on. i ended up with a Giro Hex only because of fit. the Hex, Xen, and Xar all fit slightly differently. weird because it’s all made by Giro. fit-wise, it went Hex, Xar, Xen from best to worst fitting. of course this differs for everyone. Fit should be a helmet shopper’s first criteria, then style/aesthetics of course.

  • Alex says:

    I’ve upgraded from my trusty Giro E2.. no regrets so far.. fits my melon better than E2 actually, Roc Loc 5 is definitely an improvement from what was on E2.

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