Bell and Giro belong to the same company and what one does, the other usually counters with a similar helmet. This is Bell’s response, formerly to the Xen and latterly the Xar. A more rounded internal ﬁt than the Xar, the Variant has a similar adjust-by-hand visor, and twist dial retention system.
The overall look and feel of the Variant is compact. Having worn one of these while slipping off an alpine ledge before landing on our head, then collecting the bike on the back edge of said helmet, it most deﬁnitely is up to the job. If there’s a chink in the Variant’s armour, it’s that it’s not very sexy or dangerous to look at.
This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine.