POC Cortex DH Review

Helmets Pro Reviews

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Helmets 101
The major components of a helmet, are the outer shell, the foam liner (SEPP for the POC Cortex DH), the retention system and the padding. The hard shell helps spread the impact over a larger surface (specifically to the liner), accentuates sliding and prevents object penetration. The foam helps prevent or reduce brain injury by managing the energy of an impact through its own compression or destruction, and it does that by converting a small part of the crash energy to heat. Its main duty is to slow the stopping process so that the head slows down during its inertial of the impact (deceleration). Our heads are soft and malleable, and the brain itself moves around inside a gelatinous ooze (cerebrospinal fluid). A major issue in crashes, is the coup-contrecoup (brain rebound) injuries, which can cause concussions, contusions, DIA’s (diffuse axonal injury) and even epidural hematoma.

Bottomline
All things considered, the POC Cortex DH is an excellent helmet! POC is at the forefront of safety in regard to multiple sports (snow, bike, skateboard) protection, and the Cortex DH helmet is the epitome of their substantial engineering and research prowess. I not only felt safer while riding the steep and gnarly, but I found myself riding with more speed and freedom down the trails. The multi-impact, anti-penetration and impact softening abilities are really nice features in this safety juggernaut. The ventilation works fairly well, but even for a full faced helmet it was slightly warm. The helmet was comfortable, lightweight and the simple buckle closure system was easy to adjust and put on.

I am looking forward to more continued adventures in the Danger Zone using the fine POC Cortex DH!

Strengths
-Light
-Comfortable
-Removable Liner
-Multi-Impact
-Safety engineered!

Weaknesses
-Slightly warm
-Expensive
-Only 2 sizes

Overall Rating: 4 Flamin’ Chili Peppers

Specs
Color: White
Size: M-L (55-57cm), and L-XL (58-60cm)
Weight: 1050 grams
Outer Shell: carbon
Inner shell: PC
Membrane: Aramid
Core: SEPP
Fit: LD Foam
Comfort: SynVal
MSRP: $599

POC Cortext DH url: http://www2.pocsports.com/products/showproduct.asp?category=10-Bike&id=10310

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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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  • 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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