This Chakra model follows the growing trend for mountain bike helmets to have a blend of venting, deep coverage ﬁt with lightweight construction – the full in-mould design Kali calls Composite Fusion (where the EPS core is bonded directly to the plastic microshell to create a stronger, safer more durable helmet). This is the same technology as you’d ﬁnd on helmets costing three times as much.
We spotted this ‘new for 2012’ helmet at the Eurobike show. We were looking to see what improvements had been made to Kali’s top of the range Avita, but instead were drawn to the Chakra model by its chunky good looks. When we learned the price, we thought we’d misheard by a hundred quid…
We’ve spent time looking the Chakra over from peak to chin strap and apart from wanting an inner shell-mounted strap guide to stop the rear straps from getting pushed up into the helmet when you put it on, there is nothing lacking. Looking is one thing, riding’s another and with some unusually warm autumn miles plugged in we’re happy to be running such a well-vented helmet. The 22 large scoops pull in the air as well as any of the top of the range helmets from Giro, Specialized, Bell and so on.
At 334g it doesn’t feel heavy and we’ve used it on stripped-for-speed XC blasts as well as traily day rides and felt well protected and suitably dressed in both instances. The peak is the right length (though not adjustable), the chinstrap is easy to tailor to length and the liner pads are removable for washing. Given they all have to pass the same safety tests, truth be told, we often buy helmets on looks ﬁrst with weight and venting vying for second. The Chakra is cool in both respects.