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.