In a refreshing twist from the norm, Mongoose's Capture helmet features extended rear coverage, 15 airy vents, a removable camera mount and an almost unbelievable price tag of $30.
The important detail about helmets is that they all meet the same baseline safety standards. Cost differences come from weight, ventilation, aerodynamics and looks.
Some brands of helmet fit certain heads better than others, but that's a personal thing. The main point is that the $30 Capture helmet meets the same CPSC safety standards as more expensive versions.
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Mongoose Capture helmet specs
- All-mountain design with extended rear coverage
- ABS outer shell
- Removable action camera mount
- 15 vents
- Youth or adult size option
- $29.99, available in US only
If it seems like I'm going to mention price over and over, you're right. The Capture costs $30 and it's not a completely worthless pile of foam and straps. It's pretty far from it actually. To save manufacturing dollars, the Capture is not in-molded; the shell and EPS foam are separate pieces.
The fit is enhanced by soft, cushy pads and the straps appear to be solidly integrated into the shell. The 15 vents are well placed and let the breeze roll in on par with other all-mountain helmets. I'd go as far as to say it's better ventilated than Troy Lee Designs' popular A1 lid or a first generation POC Trabec helmet.
The overall size of the Capture is well within the norms of today's MTB fashion with it finding the Goldilock's middle ground of being not too small and not too big.
It's a good selling feature to include the action camera mount, but I really liked the fact that it's removable. The mount itself is solid and rattle-free, but being on the top of the helmet does make the camera much more likely to smack and/or snag low branches.
The outer shell is comprised of hard, plasticy ABS. I've found it to be a positive trait as inevitably my helmets always tumble to the ground, get bounced around in cars, or get dropped on the concrete garage floor.
Heavy and a low-end fit
The Capture costs about a 1/4 of most helmets and does have a few compromises. The most noticeable one is the fit. The adjuster works well but feels as if it only moves the rear of the fit system band, as opposed to around the entire head. The adjuster dial is also somewhat hard to rotate as the top of the dial is tucked under the helmet foam.
The fit system also lacks any sort of height adjustment, so where the helmet settles on the head is where it's going to stay.
Other things of note; the fixed visor seems a bit narrow and lastly, it weighs a bit more (30–70g) than vastly more expensive helmets.
But honestly, these are nitpicks that most new or recreational riders would never notice. The Capture costs $30; it almost feels unfair to complain. Compared to helmets that can cost well over $200, it seems almost disposable.
Mongoose Capture bottom line
Would I recommend the Capture to a new or returning mountain biker? Yes, without a doubt. The fit is easily adjustable and more than adequate, the ventilation is quite nice, and it boasts some nice features all at a price that seems to good to be true.