Kali Protectives Aatma
|Weight:||1278 grams size L 59-60cm|
|Materials:||Fiberglass Shell, Composite Fusion Dual-Density EPS Liner|
|Safety Ratings:||AMA, FIM, CCS, Formula-USA racing standards, ECE 22.05, DOT (FMVSS 218)|
|Goggle||No trouble with large goggles|
|Strap Style||D-Ring with grab tab and plastic snap|
|Extra Padding for Custom Fit:||No|
|Fully Removable Liner:||Yes – Easy to remove and re-insert|
|Liner Held In Place How:||Metal buttons and hard plastic tucked between EPS liners and shell|
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Kali Protectives is a new company on the scene out of the San Jose region of the Bay Area. To get straight to the point, what make this helmet special is the dual density composite fusion EPS liner. Basically the EPS liner is formed inside the shell rather than outside and glued in. This technology allows for no air gaps between the shell and EPS liner and reduces weight of the helmet because no clue is required. Another bonus is that the liner is dual-density. Heavier EPS on the top of the head, lighter on the sides. The EPS liner is thick and the helmet is strong enough to meet the DOT safety certification at a mear 1278 grams (for the size tested). Bonus the liner has very large air vents for a DOT helmet. Compare the EPS liner to the O’Neal Series 9 which has vent holes but no grooves to help heat escape. This is pretty awesome.
The helmet does have a larger profile than the TLD, SixSixOne Carbon Evolution and the Dainese D-Raptor. It also has a very round profile, and on the wrong person could give a Jack-in-the-Box head look, but this is your brain we are talking about protecting, image shouldn’t be all you think about.
One thing to notice is the paint on the shell. At least on this white color model, is a flat white and scratches very easily. All helmets obviously get scuffed at some point, with this one the honeymoon period was a bit shorter. The no gloss finish probably helps shave down a few grams.
The quality of the parts of this helmet appear to range from excellent to average. Most likely to keep below a $300 price point. The plus side, or rather plush side, Kali has gone far and above in making this helmet amazingly comfortable. This is flat out an amazingly soft and plush helmet. Also Kali has made sure to add the extra little things to the helmet like a D-ring grab strap and a snap for the strap. The plastic molding, the thick padding, the screens on the vents, the stitching of the fabric…all these things are great.
Kali definately didn’t skimp where it counts but it seems they did cut cost in some ways. If the TLD D2 Carbon is an example of perfect overall part quality than the Aatma is a bit below that. Of course it is $75 cheaper. The average parts seem to be the bolts that hold the visor on and the visor adjustment parts. Cheap side bolts, yeah I’m being a bit picky, but it is best you know. A bit of a trouble from the visor adjuster for me could lead to frustration for someone else. Similar to my frustration with the Dainese D-Raptor visor adjust bolt falling out, twice!
The visor itself is much smaller than most others at the front. Roughly a mere 5 inches. I’ve not had a chance to test this one in the rain but I am looking forward to it. The visor has about an average range of movement. There is no trouble with getting it up and out of the way. Though being so small it is hard to see how it could ever be in the way. One curious thing is the visor is made out of 4 parts. It seems a bit much. At the time of press I’ve still not got an answer to why the visor has so many parts.
With Helmet On:
When putting the Aatma on you get the since that this is a real helmet. The helmet fully engulfs the head, with the shell settling a bit below the jaw line and covering a good deal of the back of the head. Compare how my hair line is not visible at all with the Kali on compared to other helmets. It feels like something you could take a major hit in and hopefully come away with little head or brain damage.
The Aatma in this test is using an earlier padded liner, the next version might feel or vent differently, I’ll seek out the next version of the liner and update the review when I’ve had a chance with it.
The inside does have a bit more of a rounded shape than the TLD D2. Almost more in line with the Mace Gurka, which I’ve been told has the same universal head form as the Giro Remedy. I haven’t tried on a Remedy yet so I can’t be sure of the similarity between the three. Needless to say so much can change with padded liner. I can feel a tad more left/right play in the Kali helmet Aatma about an inch above the ears. Though, unlike the the TLD, there is a fairly large amount of room for the ears. If the Kali doesn’t fit completely sung, I would suggest, as with any helmet, hunting down some liner padding to help fill up the space. It had a pretty close OTB while where the Aatma and it did slide forward and down on my head. If I had padded it up like I was able to do to the TLD D2 than that probably wouldn’t have happened.
On the padding fit around the face. The padding does not fully seal the rest of the head off from the face. There is a small gap between padding and face right above the ears. At least on my head. Nothing wrong with this, just suggest I might need a bit snugger a fit.
Getting earphone on and adjusted was easy.
The leather and fabric inside the helmet are amazingly soft. I mean, so soft you actually take notice of it. The padding has a ton of cushion. I have to really press down hard on the helmet before I feel the EPS liner. There is also a little patch of fabric in the back just near the bottom of the helmet which gives a bit more grip to your head. If you rub it with your fingers compared to the rest of the material inside you definitely feel more friction. Not too sure if it actually makes a difference with hair or sweet. Maybe bald guys could benifit.
The helmet has eight screened vents that work but the helmet definitely give you the wind in the hair sensation that the TLD D2, SixSixOne Evolution, or Dainese D-Raptor do. Though you only really notice when you have something to compare to.
On the chin guard there is one nose vent and there appears to be two vents along the side but it seems they are just for show. They look cool, but maybe next year Kali can make them do something or ditch them to save weight.
Being that this is a well vented DOT helmet, those of you riding in hot conditions who demand the safely rating of DOT should snatch one of these helmets up.
The helmet meets and/or exceeds the 105 degrees of peripheral vision standard laid out in the CSPC standard and easily has enough room for large goggles.
The space between the chin and the chin bar seems about normal. The cheek pads come down to just about even with my lips and are a bit more robust than the TLD or SixSixOne. The padding in the pads is just enough to let your cheeks know they are there without giving you a case of fish lips. Where there is no padding further down the chin bar there is only a bit of medium hard plastic liner. Not as inviting to smash your mouth against as some other helmets but the chin bar is well out of the way.
Getting the padded liner out of this helmet is simple. The cheek pads are held in with metal snaps and a hard plastic that is pinched in between the EPS liner and the shell. The rest of the padded liner is held in with hard plastic pinches between the EPS liner and the shell and some plastic clips. The clip design in the back seems a bit weak, but I’ve not had any issue of the liner coming undone and you’ve got to have some softer plastic back there for a crash.
Fits Similar To:
This helmet has a bit more of a rounded feel, rather than oval. The space between the helmet and the sides of my face feel more open compared to the D2, Evolution, 9 Series and Dianese. Fit is similar to the Mace Gurka with less play.
This helmet had no trouble fitting larger goggles or smaller ones for that matter.
For $299, this helmet amazing. DOT safety rating, light weight, comfortably plush, vented and good graphics. If you are looking into a moto-style DOT helmet this should be in your top choices.
Overall if you are looking for a DOT helmet this is worth your time and if the fit is right, worth your money. If Kali just sends along a bit of extra padding (like the TLD does), add a roost guard or gets the visor (including the visor hardware) settled, this might be a perfect DOT helmet.