Kali’s big on safety. They like to say, if you’re going to crash, you want to crash in their helmets. They take data from some of the biggest crashes (like Nicholi Rogatkin’s 2015 Red Bull Rampage crash) and recreate those forces in the lab. With that, they’ve developed things like Armourgel, low density foam, and multi-impact foams. Like any brand, these products first appear on top end products. What Kali does particularly well, besides pushing new safety tech, is bringing that tech down to lower price points quickly. The Lunati is a great example of that, with dual density foam at $80. And they’re pushing the Armourgel into all of their helmets by 2019. Why? Because as they say, safety should be a standard, not an upgrade.

For now, they’re offering two new helmets with it, the Alchemy and Therapy. Both are $100 and use the same shape, but the Alchemy adds a visor for mountain biking. Check ’em out…

The only difference between the Alchemy (mountain bike) and Therapy (road) is the visor. The body, shell and all details are identical, including the 21 vents, locking strap sliders and Micro-Fit closure system on the rear retention cradle.

The front vents are gaping to let a lot of air in. The styling is similar to their Maraka helmet, which was one of their first bicycle helmets and still one of their best sellers (and one of our favorites).

Providing the safety is their Composite Fusion EPS construction, which pairs a low density foam with a standard one to create more cushion during impact and better control the rate of brain movement by slowing down the initial hit more than the harder standard EPS required to pass certifications. Rather than use MIPS, Kali’s founder Brad has been working with ArmourGel to create their own anti-rotation solution. Made of soft, pliable rubbery nubs on strips places all around the head, these flex to allow the helmet to rotate a small amount prior to the head rotating. It’s minimal, but in their testing, it provides equal or better protection with less weight.

It also keeps all of the vents fully open since there’s no sleeve or shell inside the helmet. Retail is $100 for either model, and they should be available soon. Final production weight TBD.

Across the rest of their range, you can expect some new colors and patterns coming through the rest of the year…

…like this killer gray-on-black matte option for the Maraka.

Kali had some pretty standard knee and elbow pads in the past, but now there’s a renewed push on their end to make something lighter and more flexible. These prototypes should move into a product version soon and use an impact sensitive material on the kneecap and upper shin that hardens on impact to disperse the forces, but is otherwise very soft to move with you while pedaling. The back has a mesh panel to breathe, and production versions will get a small Velcro tab at the top to help them stay up.

The new Venture Gloves add more padding than their original gloves, and add TPR bumper protection on the outside edge of the hand and fingers. A simple Velcro strap secures them, and you’ll want to err on the side of ordering too big. The XL fit me snug, but they say the microfiber palm (feels like synthetic leather) should stretch a bit with use.

The knuckles are gusseted to flex with you, and the palm padding runs only across the lower section where your weight is usually resting. It, too, is shaped to flex, which should prevent any bunching up and help you maintain good bar feel. Silicone graphics on the palm and fingers enhance grip. Retail is $40, available soon.

KaliProtectives.com

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TheKaiser
4 years ago

It is ironic to say for a helmet company but Kali have been killing it lately! It is great to see so much continual innovation that goes far beyond the usual rearranging of vents, new colorways, and weight reduction that other brands seem to think passes for progress.

DRC
DRC
4 years ago

That looks like a much better solution than MIPS. Nice work!

mudrock
mudrock
4 years ago
Reply to  DRC

Actually that looks like a gimmick, compared to MIPS, which encompasses the whole helmet. I don’t see those little strips of nubs having much of an effect in a crash.

If you want your helmet to slide slightly on impact, as they say is the purpose of the nubs, just don’t strap it as tight on your head.

MIPS, however, provides more crushable impact protection. Obviously though MIPS are single use protection.

Jon
Jon
4 years ago
Reply to  mudrock

Mudrock,
It’s actually the opposite. These little LDL nubs are crushable Unlike a mips liner. The LDL addresses both the linear and oblique impact in one helmet. They also react to a wider range of impact. (they can start to break down at a much lower G-Force)

TheKaiser
4 years ago
Reply to  Jon

Yeah, what Jon said. Mips proves no linear impact (or “crushable impact” as mudrock said) protection. LDL has a clear potential advantage over MIPS in linear impacts. As to how they compare for rotational protection, I’d still like to see some 3rd party testing.

TheGerman
TheGerman
4 years ago
Reply to  TheKaiser

Yes same as Leatt 360 Turbines do, made out of Armourgel as well. I prefer the Kali and Leatt approach way more because of also dampening low speed linear (and not only rotational like mips).

David Lewis
David Lewis
4 years ago

Kali also has an amazing warranty: crash in one of their helmets and they’ll replace it. At least that was the case a year ago. They’re really a stand-up company.

Robin
Robin
4 years ago

Neither Kali nor the MIPS people have presented data. Both seem better than the standard helmet, but there’s nothing presented so far which would indicate that one is empirically better than the other.

The good thing is that helmet manufacturers are now looking at ways to improve safety and decouple torques on the helmet from torques on a riders neck and head.

Tyler Durden
Tyler Durden
4 years ago
Reply to  Robin

Robin – it’s hard to compare with the competition since there isn’t any standardized testing or reporting, but Kali continually publish results from their R&D department. Last week on PB they had a big writeup on the LDL material and while there is some marketing in there, there is also real data, which I found encouraging enough to purchase a helmet from them.

Casper
Casper
4 years ago
Reply to  Robin

Which is better; a seatbelt or an airbag? It’s not directly comparable, because “better” is a subjective assesment depending on how you crash. Perhaps MIPS is better if you crash in one way and Kali in another? Either way, there are also laws against claiming that a product is better than the other, especially if there’s not sufficient data to back it up.

S
S
4 years ago
Reply to  Robin

Agree with Robin. There should be an independent organisation testing helmets with multiple standardised crash tests like EuroNCAP or NHTSA that they crash test cars and compare the results. It is was the competition that rocketed the safety level on passenger cars. Nowadays there are various basic standards but they are pass or fail without any possibility for comparison. Furthermore the manufacturer themselves aren’t very eager to showcase such results and focus in venting and weight.

Dockboy
Dockboy
4 years ago
Reply to  S

Like Friction Facts, but for impact. Impact Facts.

typevertigo
typevertigo
4 years ago

At the very least, this ArmourGel nubbing doesn’t seem to impact ventilation as much as adding a MIPS liner to an existing helmet.

I have a Lazer Blade MIPS, and I notice the MIPS liner blocks many of the internal ventilation channels cut into the helmet’s interior foam – making it a bit warm to wear. A friend drilled a few holes into his Blade’s MIPS liner and it did help ventilation a bit. Bell’s new Zephyr addresses this concern by integrating MIPS into the retention cradle.