Louis Garneau Venturi helmet

Good value, comfortable all-round lid

BikeRadar score 4/5

The Louis Garneau Venturi helmet cools the head, doesn't pinch the temples, and is one of the more comfortable helmets we've tested this past year.

The Venturi is one of the more competitively priced (US$129) and heavily vented (25) helmets on the market, and for those not familiar with the Canadian company, its 25-year heritage goes far and wide in nearly every clothing category.

Technology: strong and able to handle abuse

On eof the most likeable features of the 304g/10.72oz Venturi is the one-hand dial adjuster at the rear that customizes the halo fit. This is especially helpful when you need to change a cap or bandana under the helmet. A simple twist of the dial and voila! you're ready. Adjustments for different sunglasses or hair thickness are similarly easy.

The bike industry's mantra is usually 'light makes right' but most times lightweight costs money, and the Venturi not only looks good, it holds up to standard rider abuse. During our four-month test, the straps withstood plenty of salt-lick sweating, direct UV rays and extreme heat.

The 25 vents channeled the air over our heads, providing a much-needed cooling in the summer heat. Although the Venturi has more venting than most helmets, several 21 venters we've tried feel the same way.

We wore sunglasses from Giro, Oakley and Specialized during this test, and all interfaced comfortably with the shape of the Venturi.

The Venturi meets CPSC, ASTM, and CEN standards.

Verdict: the alternative helmet

Yes, Giro, Bell and Specialized are the more popular and accessible helmets on the market, but Louis Garneau does helmets well, and sometimes it's worth giving the other guys a try. The Venturi is durable, comfortable, easy to adjust and wears well. I've had other Louis Garneau helmets and never experienced premature wear, discomfort or frustration with the webbing or straps. You'd do well to wear the Venturi.

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