Giro's Advantage lid is aimed at those people who like to go fast and where every second counts, namely time trial racers and triathletes.
It meets UCI regs so there are no problems for any races you might enter. Inside is a full EPS foam lining to save your bonce should you stack it, and which is moulded to the sleek protective outer. Rather than use all regular pads inside, the Advantage uses three large strips of foam rubber to keep it comfy. That said, one regular-style pad is used around the back and side of the head. This is fixed to the rear cradle and is velcro adjustable to get the perfect fit.
As for the straps, they use Giro's well-known Roc Lok 2 adjustment system with an easy to use Fastex clip on the chin strap. The sides, which cover the ears, also use foam rubber protection but have a material covering to soak up any sweat. The first thing we noticed once on was its lightness, weighing just 337g. Being an aero lid means it's not as vented as a regular helmet and the trade-off is that it's not as cool. It's much cooler than most, though, with six vents that channel the air through, but it does get warm when you're working hard in longer events or in hot weather. For most people, the aero advantage, which is all wind tunnel tested, will outweigh this.
In terms of comfort, it does feel a little weird at first because it covers the ears, but once on a ride you don't really notice any discomfort. Hearing is a little muffled but you can still hear people if you're doing multiple rider time trials and, more importantly, you can hear traffic on the road.
The Advantage is CE 1078 certified, this is a quality standard rather than a safety one so we are not talking SNELL or ANSI type levels of crash protection, but if we're honest that's not what lids like this are about. If you're serious about speed then the Advantage is a good way to buy some free time, although it's really aimed at a specialist market and isn't that practical for regular use. Try before you buy to get the right size.