Kali interceptor helmet nano layer ldl enduro mtb xcEurobike 2016-144

Shortly after launching their newest Lunati, Kali is back with another all new helmet, only this time on the other end of the spectrum. The Lunati is an incredible value at $80 building in a number of Kali’s safety features, but the Interceptor steps in as the new premium helmet in their line. Even though the Interceptor tacks on another $100 to the price, the amount of technology packed into one helmet is amazing, and may just protect your brain the next time you hit the dirt…

Kali interceptor helmet nano layer ldl enduro mtb xcEurobike 2016-148

More companies than ever are talking about building a safer helmet, and to Brad Waldron, that’s music to his ears. As he puts it, he doesn’t have to agree with what every company is doing to appreciate the fact that the industry is starting to take the safety conversation seriously.

The story of the Kali LDL or Low Density Layer is actually pretty interesting. After working with ArmourGel to develop the specific shape of the LDL inserts (shown above blown up to a comically large scale), the inserts were installed into helmets to add another layer between your head and the helmet. The viscoelastic material of the inserts and the shape of the cylinders reduced the rotational impact to the brain during a crash supposedly even better than MIPS at 24-30% less, but takes it a step further adding a low G energy absorption that addresses the void in helmet testing standards which exists for lower speed crashes which can still damage your brain.

When Kali first started experimenting with the LDL inserts, Brad actually glued a bunch of them into Nicholi Rogatkin’s helmet right before his death defying crash at the Redbull Rampage. Captured by his GoPro above, the crash was an insane reminder of just how real the dangers are at Rampage, but it also turned into a real life test scenario with a crash that was bigger than almost anything most of us will ever encounter.

Working with ArmourGel’s physicists, they were able to estimate all of the forces and exact speeds of the crash to recreate the same impact in their laboratory. The results of the 30 some foot fall to flat were replicated on the same helmet with LDL and without LDL, and the results showed that while the helmet without was 80% likely to suffer a concussion where you would black out, the helmet with LDL was only 40% likely. As you see in the video, that very well could have been the difference between serious injury and Nicholi just getting up and finishing his run (!!)

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Now that same technology is starting to make its way through the Kali line up including the new Interceptor. Inside, you’ll find 14 LDL pads tucked under the standard anti microbial helmet padding as well as a 15th LDL layer at the front of the helmet with a different shape.

Kali interceptor helmet nano layer ldl enduro mtb xcEurobike 2016-150

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But the LDL inserts are just the start. Inside the shell of the helmet instead of just standard EPS or even Kali’s Composite Fusion Plus, there is a Nano Core layer sandwiched in EPS foam. In the past, Kali has been experimenting with this to create a multi impact helmet, but in this case it isn’t used to make the helmet multi impact, but to add a bit of flexibility to the shell. The helmet also features their reinforced Super Vents with a PC shell and underwrap.

Helmet fit is dialed in by a Boa adjustment system, with S/M and L/XL sizing. The Interceptor also features a full light and camera mount system that is completely removable when not in use.  Priced at $180, the helmet will come in 6 colors and will be available in October.

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Kali also had a few new colors of the Maya to show off as well as a new Shiva with an ABS plastic shell rather than the carbon of the pricier version. It does bump the weight up to 1050g, but the helmet comes in quite a bit cheaper and still offers DOT certified protection.


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Mike D
5 years ago

I’m all for this! Been in a Kali for several years now, love watching this company progress. This helmet looks good, nice work guys!

Art S
5 years ago

So happy that there are lots of helmet companies trying to push safety forward. Kali is somehow doing it without charging and arm and a leg which is a bonus. Thank you and this is my next helmet.