Kask C-50 Vertigo Helmet Review
Cycling helmets all look fairly similar and their primary job is to protect your head in the event of a crash. Thanks to British Standard safety regulations they all therefore provide at least a certain level of protection so you can be assured that safety levels are fairly similar from the cheapest £25 helmets right through to the most expensive £200 helmets.
So, what is the difference between them and is it really worth spending more on a helmet? Well, it comes down to two things really.
The first is aesthetics. They all look a little different, they are all different colours and have different styling and although we might not admit it, most cyclists like to look good when they are out on their bikes, so a helmet can be a bit of a fashion accessory as well as a safety device. As with most fashionable things those that look nicer are usually more expensive.
The second is comfort and fit. Obviously to work properly in the event of a crash then a helmet has to fit properly, but to be comfortable it has to have suitable adjustability to fit a wide range of head shapes and sizes and has to have various features such as suitable padding in the right places and adequate ventilation to keep your head cool.
I tried a Kask C-50 helmet on recently from a stand at the Bontrager 24/12. At the time I was impressed with the quality of the helmet and the comfort of it so have wanted one since, but with a list price of £170 I just couldn’t justify it or afford it. OK, my head is worth £170, but a £30 helmet would afford the same amount of protection in a crash.
I then found one brand new on eBay for £85, still pretty expensive for a helmet, but I needed a new helmet for the road and I knew this one would be comfortable. There was only one colour available and it wouldn’t have been my first choice, but now that I have it and have worn it I don’t care about the colour, because this really is the most comfortable piece of headwear that I’ve ever worn.
The ‘up ndown’ technology cradle moves the adjustable ratchet system common to many helmets down lower on the back of your head so that it fits snuggly into your nape. This is not only more comfortable but makes the helmet more secure. This is further helped by the gel pads on the cradle that not only add padding and comfort but also help secure the lid in place. In fact, once the helmet it is in place and tightened up you barely need to attach the chin straps as the helmet fits firmly to your head and would stay in place without them.
That said, you do need to fasten the chin straps and there is nothing wrong with these either. In fact they are lovely. They are covered in leatherette (I can’t believe I’ve just used that word), it’s some sort of fake-leather covering anyway that gives a nice soft feeling to the straps rather than the usual webbing straps on most helmets. The ‘leatherette’ has the words ‘Made in Italy’ printed on them and you can see from the attention to details and finishing touches that this helmet exudes Italian quality at its best.
The rest of the helmet is well padded too with plenty of dual-density padding in the top of the helmet and the usual foam padding around the side. These are of course all removable, washable and replaceable. Another nice touch that does actually add to the safety aspects of the helmet is the fact that the straps have reflective material built into them and there are reflective stickers on the back of the helmet too, helping to make you more visible from all angles.
It really is the most comfortable helmet I’ve ever worn. It sits nicely on your head as well, rather than being perched on top of it like many helmets, so looks quite good as well.
So, it might be more expensive than most helmets and at list price of £170 it is up there at the top price-wise, but you do get what you pay for with this one. If you’re going to be wearing a helmet for hours on end then you want it to be comfortable and I don’t think the Kask C-50 Vertigo can be beat in terms of comfort at the moment.