We test the POC Kortal Race MIPS helmet, technology and safety

Mountain bike 11 ago. 2021 18:08 Migue A.

In a new demonstration of its commitment to safety, POC presented the Kortal Race MIPS helmet a few months ago. A robust model loaded with technology that promises to be one of the best options for Gravity modalities such as Trail or Enduro. We have tested it and here we tell you in detail all the innovations that it integrates and our impression after riding with it for several kilometres.

We test the POC Kortal Race MIPS

Unlike the ultralight POC Ventral Air we recently tested, the Kortal Race MIPS avoids minimalism to try to position itself as the safest helmet in its category.

This is one of the most technologically advanced helmets in its segment. The Kortal Race MIPS was the first model in the world to incorporate the MIPS Integra system, it also has an internal aramid mesh, a RECCO reflector and an NFC chip to store the user's medical information. We are going to look at each of these points separately.

Fit and design

Aesthetically this is a robust model, high in the parietal area and low enough in the rear area to protect the occipital area of the head as much as possible. The design itself is already a key safety factor against impacts, but the truth is that it is perhaps the least innovative aspect of the Kortal Race, as it reminds us a lot of the popular POC Tectal. Even so, the lines of this helmet feel original and have all the essence of POC.

The helmet has 17 ventilation holes and in our tests they were enough to ride with it above 30 degrees without feeling hot.

The front visor has 3 positions that can be adjusted practically with one hand and the brand assures that in case of impact it comes off without any resistance. For our taste, the visor is a little high and in some conditions it does not stop the sun's rays.

The rear dial adjustment system works well and allows the helmet to be tightened and released with one hand. It is a model that on its own fits well to the contours of the head, but with the dial we can easily and quickly achieve the perfect fit.

If we have to put a downside to its design we would say that we missed a rear clamp for goggles. It is true that we have tested them and the mask strap remains firmly in the back thanks to the large flat surface of the helmet, but we do not understand why POC has not included this adjustment element in a helmet intended for gravity.

MIPS Integra and aramid mesh

In terms of safety elements in the event of a fall or impact, the POC Kortal Race MIPS is perhaps the most complete helmet of the moment along with the SPHERICAL series by Giro. The structure of the helmet itself is the main safety system with its large volume design in the areas most exposed to impacts, but inside it hides an internal mesh that has proven to be the differentiating element in all safety tests.

The most safety helmets include one and in the case of the Kortal Race it is made of aramid and is visible from the outer shell through a "window" to the inside of the helmet.

If the internal mesh works as a passive element against impacts, the MIPS Integra system comes into action when we suffer a crash, transforming the frontal energy of the impact into rotational energy and avoiding greater damage to the skull and brain. The Kortal Race has an evolution of the MIPS system called Integra, and the only thing it does is to enjoy the benefits of the original system but completely integrated into the whole.

NFC and Recco 

Finishing with the technological innovations of the POC Kortal Race MIPS we have to talk about its NFC chip and its RECCO reflector.

RECCO technology is probably well known among snow sports enthusiasts, as many snow sports garments include it. It is a reflector that, in the event of loss in the mountains, helps rescue teams to locate the individual by means of a detector. 

The inclusion of this RECCO reflector has made us wonder why other helmets don't have it. It is a very simple technology that adds very little weight and can be vital in the event of a loss or accident.

Finally, the NFC chip of the POC Kortal Race MIPS works as a medical information storage. Using the twICEme app we can enter all our important health information (name, age, contact telephone number, blood type, allergies, etc.) and by simply bringing the phone close to the helmet this information will be stored in it so that in the event of an accident the medical teams can access it if we are unconscious.

The reality is that currently we do not know if all emergency teams have the necessary technology to extract the information and we can only recommend that we continue to carry this information in the medical app on our mobile phone or even in the documentation we use to go out cycling with.

Price and weight

In size M, our version with MIPS Integra, the POC Kortal Race weighs 390 grams and costs 250€, from which we would have to subtract about 40 grams and 50€ if we choose the option without MIPS system.

Conclusions about the POC Kortal Race MIPS

From the moment we received it we already had the feeling that we were looking at an outstanding helmet and this was confirmed during the test. It is one of the most robust helmets without chin guard that we have tested and without a doubt the one that incorporates the most technology at the moment, all this with a very contained weight. Even so, we can't overlook its high price, and in our opinion this is perhaps its main handicap.

Overall, we can confirm that the POC Kortal Race MIPS is a comfortable, weight-balanced and technologically advanced helmet and together with the Giro Spherical Manifest they are the two best helmets in their category


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