POC has some new gear on offer today, with arguably the burliest half-shell helmet and widest sunglasses in the MTB market. We’ve had a chance to test both on a few rides now, and here’s the news along with our first impressions.
At a whopping 480g (size large), the Kortal Race MIPS is not the lightest piece of brain protection, however that heft comes with a lot of tech. At the top of the list, the Kortal uses a new MIPS Integra system that places rotational impact protection inside the foam layers, eliminating the noisy yellow plastic layer. That integration also means that the helmet’s foam is deep. I’m able to slide more than half of my index finger into a helmet vent before touching my head.
With that thick outer protective layer, POC has created large front-to-back channels for air to flow through, making this helmet noticeably less sweaty than much of the competition. The front vents scoop up air and blow it over your head like a hairdryer that’s lost its heating coil. While this shell is a bit bulky and extra-protective, it’s also comfortable when the pace picks up and the sweat flows freely.
The Kortal visor can be positioned at three different angles, with ample space for a large pair of goggles, and it has a breakaway feature to keep from twisting the rider’s neck when they hit the deck. The lid tightens into place with the usual rotary dial and adjustable straps. The only downside to this helmet is the plastic-trident buckle where a magnetic Fidlock clasp would be preferred.
In addition to its MIPS Integra tech, this new half shell includes an NFC Medical Aid chip so riders can enter their medical information to share with emergency staff if they’re unconscious, and a RECCO Reflector so search and rescue crews can find you in the backcountry.
The POC Kortal Race MIPS construction feels as solid as ever, and there is no question that it will protect your dome with the best of them. If you enjoy long backcountry trips with some aggressive riding mixed in, this helmet is a good one to consider. The MIPS Integra version is available now for €/$250, and the non-MIPS Kortal sells for €/$200.
The Devour Clarity sunglasses from POC offer the broadest eyeball protection of any non-goggles I’ve seen, and they integrate nicely with the larger helmet shell for a clean look. They are essentially a goggle-lens clamped to a frame, and apart from the dust that blows in the side door, they will protect your eyes just as well as a strapped-on shield.
The temples are fully adjustable, and while the lens will look huge on people with smaller faces, they will fit a wide variety of head shapes and sizes.
The lenses appear super dark from the front, since the mirrored face makes it difficult to see your eyes, but from the wearer’s side the tint is light enough to wear on the trail on a bright day. In overcast conditions I have found them too dark in the shade, but there are interchangeable lenses with less tint available.
The lens gets loads of fancy treatments, including what POC calls “Ri-Pel hydrophobic and oleophobic treatment to protect from dirt, water, sweat, salt, oil, and dust,” as well as an anti-scratch treatment and protection from both UVA and UVB rays.
When I first saw these glasses I assumed they would be far too heavy, sliding all over the place on rough descents. Instead, they fit well on my 61cm melon, and the soft rubber at the nose and ears can be bent to cinch them in place.
The Devour glasses are also available now, retailing for €/$250. Available online at Amazon.