The Kali Avita Carbon helmet is a stunning looking helmet, that was comfortable, durable, and full of innovative safety designs and materials. Kali and POC are some of the protection companies that are at the forefront of a new wave of helmet safety performance, and the aptly named Avita, which in Sanskrit means “protected” certainly defines their focus.
The major components of a helmet, are the outer shell, the foam liner, 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 EPS foam helps prevent or reduce brain injury by managing the energy of an impact through its own compression or destruction. Its main duty is to slow the stopping process so that the head slows down during its inertial of the impact (deceleration), by cushioning and redirection.
The Kali Avita is their crown jewel of their XC helmets, and comes in two versions, the Carbon, which I tested, and the less expensive Texalium model. The Carbon is composed of two entities, the shell, which is made with carbon fiber, Texalium aluminized fiberglass and polycarbonate, while the core is made with their Contego EPS foam. Texalium was developed by Hexcel, the large advanced composite’s corporation, whom I remember mostly from their cool honeycomb ski’s of the 70-80’s. Contego is a special formula of Expanded PolyStyrene (EPS), that provides an excellent combination of densities for shock absorption. The helmet uses their Composite Fusion technology to incorporate the EPS foam as an integral part of the shell, much like the industry standard in-mould microshell. This process entails steaming small Polystyrene beads directly into the shell (in-mould), which then expand as a foam, and fuse to the exterior, giving better impact energy transfer and greater material connection strength.
The helmet includes many safety features, such as the extended rear coverage, the breakaway visor, the extra strong shell (carbon, fiberglass and polycarbonate), and the Composite Fusion technology. There is also a portion of the shell on the bottom outer edge of the helmet for additional strength and reinforcement. The helmet is well padded, and uses a rear mounted ratcheted floating retention system for fitting adjustments, has 22 vents, and a buckled chin strap with adjusters below the ear. The helmet comes in two sizes, small/medium and medium/large, and five color schemes, Pattern White or Black, Stars White, Black or Anthracite.
- Weight (medium/large) – 392.6 grams