Kali Avita Carbon Review

Helmets Pro Reviews

Impressions
I really liked the Avita Carbon helmet, as it was quite comfortable, well constructed, and looks pretty sharp. It has six nice soft anti-microbial padding on the front 75% of the liner, while the rear retention system uses two slightly stiffer foam pads. All the padding except for the rear, was removable, so it could be washed when it started to get nasty or dirty.

kali_rear

The retention system floats, and is attached on the sides by the temple and then up inside above the ears, so it is free to move about, and it sort of self adjusts itself to fit the oddities of your head. The retention uses a dual ratcheted system, and could be used on the fly, especially for tightening, which was nice when you were approaching more technical terrain, but it was more difficult to loosen, and took some practice and technique to make that adjustment. The ratchets worked really well, and they wouldn’t accidentally loosen up on you during a ride. The chin buckle closure was quick and easy to use, and the strap adjustment had a locking clamp, as did the ear adjusters, so it stayed exactly where you left them. On really long rides when my head swelled up, and I found that the front of the helmet caused a slight bind, and although I could loosen the retention to alleviate it somewhat, but it was still an annoyance (my head shape?).

kali_top_bottom

The 22 vents worked really well, and had a good throughput, and I never overheated, which is surprising since the rear ones seemed a bit constrained compared to the rest of the blocky holes. Attaching helmet camera’s was really simple, due to the placement and shape of the vents, and a nice flat spot on the top. I enjoyed the extended rear coverage (like a skate helmet), which protrudes downward decently, and it provided excellent sun and back of the neck and head protection. It also provided better fit, cradling a larger portion of the head, and it decreased the tendency for the helmet to roll backwards. The breakaway visor sat really low, which helped block the sun, but on occasion if the helmet creep forward and started to droop, you lost a tad of peripheral vision?

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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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  • Dan says:

    392 grams for an XC helmet is heavy.

  • Dan says:

    And $189 is expensive.

  • Brian Mullin says:

    I would tend to call it more of an All Mountain and Trail helmet than a XC one, though it can be used for any of them. I actually never noticed the weight myself? And yes, it is expensive, but the materials used for the Carbon model bumped it up into that realm of roadie helmet’s, and I was glad for the extra strength (though untested).

  • MCStumpy says:

    I have owned this helmet for a season now. Best helmet I have owned. Fits my head great and vents very well. It is super adjustable and holds its adjustment well. Set it and forget it along with a light solid feel! Also, its good looking and nobody else I know has one…

  • Wonko says:

    There are quite a few AM helmets that do not weigh 392g and protect you head. Besides, if they printed some funny animals on the helmet it would look pretty much exactly like the helmet my three year old wears. But that’s just a question personal taste. The price is ridiculous.

  • Brian Mullin says:

    Like any product, the weight can vary, and I seemed to have gotten a heavy one. I cross checked with others, and they all came in with it at 345 grams, which is close to the Giro Xar. As I noted in my review it is expensive, and the addition of carbon for added strength pushes up the cost, as does the manufacturing of their Composite Fusion technology, and it is difficult to put a price on protection for the noggin? Try checking the costs of some good roadie helmets for sticker shock! Kali and POC are both pushing the envelope of research and design in helmet safety, something that is currently a very inexact and primitive science. The testing standards have stagnated, and might not be factual in regards to how a human skull reacts, and much criticism has been raised into how effective the current designs are in real accident cases?

    The problem is that our heads are soft and malleable, and the brain itself moves around inside a gelatinous ooze (cerebrospinal fluid), so the testing with a hard headform may not be very appropriate for the human skull? One of the major things a helmet cannot prevent is the occurrence of coup-contrecoup (brain rebound) injuries, which can cause concussions, contusions, DIA’s (diffuse axonal injury) and even epidural hematoma.

  • GoGo says:

    Too expensive for XC lid.
    but would look kool with some lions or tigers stickers on it. ;}

  • Andywalker722 says:

    Bell Sequence best helm on the market, best looking IMO, 325 grams, $90 bones. this one is plain “underachieved overkill”… huh, good name for a band :) Of course as my wafe says, my opinion isnt worth squat.

  • Cleo says:

    I can appreciate the folks comments around price, as this is up there, but I don’t quite understand the push-back based on price alone. If I could afford it, I would love an XTR equipped Turner Sultan tricked out to the T’s, but that would cost me many (many) thousands of dollars (other items on the wish list are in keeping with the helmet theme: a POC Trebec Race, bike theme: a Super Record Bianchi Infinito, home theme: granite counter tops, etc.). For some the cost wouldn’t make sense, and would think that a Huffy fit the bill perfectly. I figure that as long as someone is using and loving their gear and ride, then what they want to spend, well, go for it.

  • Warren says:

    I have the non-carbon Amara model and absolutely love it. By far the best fitting helmet I have owned over my previous Specialized and Giro models. If you can’t afford the carbon bling, certainly consider the Amara.

  • IJBCape says:

    Hi,

    Is this better suited for pointy narrow heads or big round heads?

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