Lazer Nirvana helmet review£109.99

Belgian dirt lid

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Lazer have given their Nirvana off-road helmet a modest facelift for 2012, with a newly height-adjustable rear retention that improves on what was already a well-fitting lid.

Total adjustment range is a fairly generous 25mm but we found the most secure fit with the cradle set as far down as possible. Even in the uppermost position, though, the new cradle sits a bit lower on your skull than the previous version and the helmet is notably more stable over rough terrain.

Though secure – even with lights installed – the Nirvana is still very comfortable thanks to the even pressure distribution of Lazer's excellent Rollsys retention system. Rather than use some sort of ratcheting dial or stepped buckle, the Nirvana instead uses a single top-mounted dial that tightens or loosens a stainless steel cable that's anchored up around your forehead and wraps around the circumference of your noggin. All of the plastic bits are pleasantly flexible, so nothing digs into your skull even if you have a shaved head.

Aside from the revised retention system, not much has changed on the Nirvana from last year and that's mostly a good thing. The gaping vents do a good job of exhausting hot air, overall styling is Euro without going over the top, there are lots of color options available, X-Static antibacterial pads are comfortable on bare skin and pretty adept at warding off odor, and the single-density foam holds up well to being stuffed into luggage and day-to-day abuse.

Deeper interior channels would help more cooling air pass across your head at speed, though, and we'd still like to see a full lower shell to minimize visual dings. Also, the included visor does the job but it's not adjustable, the traditional nylon webbing is starting to feel a bit thick as compared to lighter, sleeker and more flexible options from some competitors, and Lazer only offer the Nirvana in two sizes – neither is all that light, either, with our smaller size coming in at 283g.

James Huang

Technical Editor, US
James started as a roadie in 1990 with his high school team but switched to dirt in 1994 and has enjoyed both ever since. Anything that comes through his hands is bound to be taken apart, and those hands still sometimes smell like fork oil even though he retired from shop life in 2007. He prefers manual over automatic, fizzy over still, and the right way over the easy way.
  • Age: 40
  • Height: 173cm / 5'8"
  • Weight: 70kg / 154lb
  • Discipline: Mountain, road, cyclocross
  • Preferred Terrain: Up in the Colorado high-country where the singletrack is still single, the dirt is still brown, and the aspens are in full bloom. Also, those perfect stretches of pavement where the road snakes across the mountainside like an artist's paintbrush.
  • Beer of Choice: Mexican Coke
  • Location: Boulder, Colorado, USA

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