Kali Protectives’ founder has always been focused on making the safest bicycle helmets he can, with aesthetics coming second. We’ve always really liked their looks, but for 2019 the helmets not only get a bump in safety features and tech, but also a much more coordinated color effort that gives them looks to match their features. Starting with the Maya 2.0 shown above in foreground, you’ll find straps and pads that match the shells’ colorways, better and softer materials, and higher end finishes throughout.
Perhaps the biggest news is something they’ve actually been doing under the radar for a couple years: A lifetime crash replacement program. If you crash in it, they’ll replace it for free. More on this at the bottom of the post…
The Maya 2.0 also adds a full complement of LDL (Low Density Layer), which is their solution for rotational energy dissipation. Unlike systems that use a sliding plane between the head and the helmet, Kali’s green LDL material also provides impact protection. It’s much softer than the EPS found in a helmet’s shell, so it’s better at absorbing low speed “sub-concussive” impacts.
Inside the Maya 2.0 is an all-new anti-microbial padding layout that provides a soft textured cover with full frontal bug mesh coverage.
This cutaway shows all the places they add LDL. The Maya 2.0 comes in at a claimed 360g, is available in three sizes, and retails for just $100.
The new Alpine full face helmet borrows an existing shell from a prior model, but gets all new internal pads and materials, as well as adding LDL.
Other features include a breakaway visor, removable pads for easy washing, and a helmet sock to store it in so it won’t get scratched up during travel. During riding? Well, that’s another story. It comes in five adult sizes for $300, plus one youth size for $250.
New for 2019 is the Central, a simple but well ventilated commuter bike helmet with an integrated blinky tail light.
For $80, it also has reflective rear accents and in-molded construction with adjustable rear retention.
Across the entire lineup you’ll find brighter colors and fresh graphics on most every model. Their goal is to continue to add LDL and other enhanced safety features to more helmets at lower and lower price points every year.
You’ll also find a lot more color coordination on the pads as well as premium rubber bits and bumpers on the straps and retention mechs.
As for the crash replacement program, they want to keep you riding in a safe helmet. If you’re willing to snap a few pics and describe the crash, then send your helmet back to them, they’ll send you a new one for just the cost of shipping. Considering Kali’s helmets are already some of the most affordable for the feature set, this makes them all the more compelling.