POC Cortex DH Review

Helmets Pro Reviews

Impressions
It was a nice warm day to take the POC Cortex DH full face helmet out for its maiden voyage. The helmet comes in 2 sizes (M-L and L-XL), and my 59.5 cm head fit just perfect in the L/XL size. I am used to wearing a street motorcycle helmet, so it felt pretty normal shoving my head into the helmet. At first the upper edge of the helmet padding seemed slightly hard, and it poked me in the brow, but after wearing it for a few minutes it softened. It was surprisingly comfortable, and I had no pinch spots. It comes with two sets of cheek pads (thick and thin) for fitment, and has a removable liner, which is a nice touch for cleaning purposes.

The only trouble is, how the heck do you spit with it on?

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Once you start moving the subtle ventilation ports actually start working just fine, and the helmet stays fairly cool (for a full faced helmet). The adjustable visor offered lots of shade relief for the face, and acted as a great air scoop. I wore sunglasses with the helmet, since I completely forgot about getting a set of goggles for it, and like any full faced helmet some sunglasses might not fit properly. I immediately felt a greater sense of security wearing the helmet, and it even made me creep up the speeds in many sections of my usual rock gardens. I always worry about what could happen if you took a chin dive onto the rocks with a normal helmet? Sure it will do fine for a head first shot (done plenty of those), but what about chin first or anything oblique? I have taken a couple of minor tumbles with it on, and I worked just fine, and I felt a lessened impact in direct comparison to a normal helmet. It is nice to know that it’s a multi-impact helmet, and will not need to be tossed away after most crashes.

Measured Weight: 2.26 lbs / 36.2 oz / 1025 grams

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I had to get used to the subtle roar that the wind would create when you got going, which was due to a combination of the vents and the visor, and it sounded like after burners kicking in. I got to speak with someone when I had the helmet on, and I had no issues with a conversation, so the little ear opening/ports do just fine. Sometimes while moving along, the air movement makes some strange noises, and you swear someone is walking and talking on the trail near you, like ghostly voices! I had worn my normal helmet when I rode up the trail, figuring (rightfully so) that I was going to get quite hot with a full faced helmet. If any sort of long uphill slogs are going to occur, then it is highly suggested to strap the big boy on your pack, and stick with a usual helmet until the danger zone begins.

Revvin’ up your engine
Listen to her howlin’ roar
Metal under tension
Beggin’ you to touch and go
Highway to the Danger Zone
Ride into the Danger Zone

Yes, I know it’s Kenny Loggins, but the darn song started to poke around in my head.

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With the Cortex on, I did a long rolling traverse out in the sun, and it was fine until I started to pull up some steep terrain and my head built up some heat. Since I wasn’t moving fat enough, the venting system wasn’t coming into play, and I soon had to take the helmet off. Breathing inside the helmet was fine, albeit somewhat slightly constrained due to the tight cheek pads. One nice aspect is the front chin bar vent, which power jams air to straight you.

Next » Bottomline

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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  • jaji says:

    Thank you for the comprehensive review. I was thinking about getting the POC, but the lesser expensive version – not sure if you’ve tried that one out, but what do you think of it?

  • Brian Mullin says:

    I haven’t tested one, it uses Fiberglass not Carbon Fiber, it’s heavier, supposed to have better ventilation and be more durable, plus it’s cheaper. They make a great product, and I would imagine it is very comparable.

  • Maple says:

    “Breathing inside the helmet was fine, albeit somewhat slightly constrained due to the tight cheek pads.”

    How does it compare with some other helmets? I have a Spec Deviant, and I might as well be wearing a muffler in terms of breathability.

  • Brian Mullin says:

    I haven’t tried that helmet, this one breathes fine, in comparison to a normal helmet the cheeks pads cause a slight lose but it’s minor

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