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Kali Protectives Releases Updated Maya 3.0 Helmet

Feb 19, 2021
by Alicia Leggett  
The Maya 3.0 in Matte Thunder Blue with some matchy-matchy Kali Cascade gloves.
The Maya 3.0 has nice aesthetics, with clean lines and a large moto-inspired visor.

Kali Protectives has updated the popular Maya helmet by adding a new vent and updating the dial system.

The helmet features Kali’s proprietary Low Density Layer, which is designed to protect against low-g linear and rotational impacts, as well as a technology called Composite Fusion Plus, which layers different densities of foam in a way that Kali claims acts as a progressive damper to absorb multiple levels of impact and direct energy sideways away from the brain.

The new Kali Protectives Maya 3.0 gets the all-new Frequency Fit System with vertical adjust.
One of the changes compared to the Maya 2.0 is the new retention system, which allows for both vertical and horizontal fit adjustment.

The Maya 3.0 is available in red camo, khaki, moss green, blue, and black, and comes in three adjustable sizes. It is currently available for $120 USD at local Kali dealers, and will soon be for sale on the Kali website.

Alain Lanusse testing the new Maya 3.0 in Matte Khaki on the campus trails at UCSC.

Author Info:
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Member since Jun 19, 2015
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  • 39 0
 I like Kali as a company and their interaction here is always good, so if they're around, could someone explain what they think it is that makes them not do well in the Virginia Tech style helmet tests? I know that there is always "Any test isn't inclusive of all real world situations," but most other major brands seem to be scoring much more highly in those protection tests, so I would appreciate Kali explaining what they think it is that is not being captured with their helmets there vs. the competition.
  • 4 0
 Ive always been curious about this too.
I work at a shop that sells these and absolutely love them. (I've also hit my head in them 3 times in the last 5 years and havnt had a serious injury yet), so I'm 100% confident that these helmets are top notch.

Only thing that's always confused me is the virginia tech ratings.
  • 10 0
 Good question. Part of the answer, I think, is that the VT testing methodology uses tightly strapped helmets and grippy bald headforms with no neck/torso, which almost certainly causes technologies like MIPS to test better than they perform in real-world use. But it's notable that Kali helmets test worse than those with comparable technologies like Leatt's and 6D's.
  • 40 0
 Brad "the Boss" Waldron has taken his new Maya and gone for a lunch ride. He assures me he will respond to this question upon his return.
  • 33 0
 @MarcusBrody Dude, excellent way to ask a question. Props for bringing this up in a respectful, open minded manor, which invites a response from the company, instead of insulting them. I think us Merican's and pink bikers can learn from your tact.
  • 1 0
 @KaliProtectives: looking forward to updates.
  • 123 0
 Hey Everyone! Brad from Kali here. One subject I never get enough of and never afraid to talk about … testing. We do a lot of our own testing and for years have tested in labs around the world to gather as much objective data as we can. We test at the labs at our factory, ACT in Southern California, Dynamic Research in Southern California, Imperial Collage of London, Rheon Labs (London), Unistra (University of Strasbourg, France). What we have learned is each lab has their own unique results or bias. Not bias in a bad way, just different testing methodology. V-tech for example uses a Nocsae head form which is used in American football. No other lab does this, does that make it wrong, no, just different testing. We found we had better results in some labs than others. Some better oblique impacts and some better linier impacts. Last year we asked two of the labs to try to duplicate V-tech results. Dynamic research and Unistra, it took some time to understand and get comparable results some of that had to do with the algorithms written at V-tech to come up with their Star system. After several rounds of testing and discussing the algorithms directly with V-tech we think we know the ‘secret’ formula. For me V-tech puts a lot of weight on rotational forces which is important, but I believe that linier forces are still just as important to control and to take that one step further we need to focus more on low g impacts. Our standards and labs (all Labs) are not testing down there enough for me, so I am testing in those lower g’s myself. Our testing will continue and will continue to consider V-tech results along with the other labs I trust. I’m not ready to change my design philosophy just to get a 5 star rating at V-tech.
  • 18 0
 @Brad-Kali: This was very informative for me and certainly opens the eyes to different testing results. Thank you.
  • 14 1
"I’m not ready to change my design philosophy just to get a 5 star rating at V-tech."

Please don't ever!
  • 13 0
 @Brad-Kali: Thanks a lot for the reply!

Do any other labs publish data like Virginia Tech does? I'm very much a data person and end up relying on the VTech ratings because they're the only ones that I've found.

Also, I'm more than certain you've seen it, but Vtech does publish a pretty good description of their methodology and the weighting functions that they use when doing the test. Obviously headform will make some differences, but I would think that the document would be very informative to other labs as to what Vtech is doing:

I've always enjoyed your pro-science, pro-testing approach to helmets and your willing to talk about it on here. I've tried to buy two Kali helmets so far (one didn't fit, the other - for my son - came with the retention system messed up in how it attached to the shell) which didn't work out, but I remain open to a third in large part to you openness here.
  • 15 0
 @MarcusBrody: Hey Marcus, at this point no other lab has wanted to create a rating system, I think because the are so many variables in testing. I have seen the link and studied fairly closely. When we set out to duplicate the results it was important to get as much information as possible. V-tech uses different equipment then most other labs so that accounted for some of the difference. The University of Strasbourg just completed a study of 128 helmets and put their own 4 star rating system to it. Having our helmets tested their for some time now I do like their methodology, I have not heard how they will publish this data as of yet but I am pretty sure it will be Euro based. We sell helmets into Europe so this is important to us, besides the way Euro's test allows for much softer hemets then our testing requires. I personally believe that is a good thing!
  • 2 1
 @butters1996: basically, they put helmets on people and shot them out of a canon and into a wall. The helmets that didn’t explode on impact were given higher ratings. You can read the study on the VA Tech website
  • 1 0
 @Brad-Kali: Thanks! I couldn't find the Strasbourg study, but I'll keep a lookout. I did find this article on variance across testing methodologies done in Sweden that was quite interesting and spoke to your earlier point (if anyone is interested):

There was one helmet in particular that did really well in many of their models, save their attempt to recreate the VTech methodology (though using less points than VT uses).
  • 10 0
 @MarcusBrody: I'm not sure that UNISTRA has published the data yet. It's not my place to publish their data .... BUT .... You will be blown away at which helmet got the only five stars .... I'm not sure I'm supposed to say ... BUT .... Hovding yes the inflatable helmet that we all laugh about got 5 stars. Like I said I trust their testing, I have concerns about that helmet inflating in all situations and it inflating when you do a few foot drop, but it is probably good for commuting in a European city. It does not pass CPSC though. The Kali Avatar (full face) received 4.5 stars but sadly that helmet is too round and boring (and safe) for the current market tastes. It tests out well for us too I tell everyone that might listen that if I know my kid is going to crash that is the helmet I want them in.
  • 4 0
 @Brad-Kali: That's really interesting. I'll keep my eyes open as - for some reason - helmet testing is pretty interesting to me.

And thanks one more time for the info and explanations!
  • 23 0
 I will be Kali customer for the foreseeable future as I had a tumble and rang my bell a bit. There wasn't much visual damage to my helmet but I still made a claim through the lifetime warranty program. I initially was questioned because of the lack of visual damage and simply said "hey, I was always told helmets are one-and-done so I thought I would reach out". By that point the helmet was a few years old so it was probably time to replace it anyway. However, Brad then emailed me personally and said I was taking the right approach and that the protection could still be compromised despite not a lot of visual damage. He then arranged to send me a brand new Maya - I only had to the pay the shipping (which was in-country and minimal). Cheers Brad and co!
  • 7 0
 Bonked my noggin a couple times, these kept me from surely getting a concussion. Would recommend to anyone, but also keep in mind different helmet companies fit various heads differently. Find the one that best fits you
  • 2 0
 Best advice anywhere! FIT is king. I had an old Maraka XC that I picked up at Sea Otter the year they were introduced. LOVE IT. Tried their more rugged helmet a year or 2 later and hated the fit. Then a moto helmet from them that was also amazing. No safety feature will make a poorly fit helmet worth wearing. Which means the safety features are meaningless when the helmet sits on a shelf. I've loved the brand since that year at Sea Otter, when they were out of stock on what I wanted, with lines at the booth all day long. One of their crew promised me one the next day, and sure enough, it was set aside waiting for me when I showed up to buy it.
  • 4 0
 ...and you know what else? been riding 30 years and never had a better pair of gloves than the Kalis my buddy gave me. Didn't fit him, gave them to me, lasted almost two years, and I ride a ton. Been buying their gloves ever since.
  • 1 0
 Then you are going to really like the new ones that just came out over the last couple of months.
  • 4 0
 I really liked my old Kali helmet. Will definitely have them in the running for my next helmet as I've seen no empirical proof of any rotational system really causing a must-have difference.
  • 4 0
 I can't say enough about the Kali Maya, sooooo comfortable! I can mount a heavy light on the visor and it doesn't shake around or fall down at all, It breathes very well and even the helmet hair post-ride isn't too bad!
  • 5 0
 Shortest product launch= most informative comments section. Pinkbike is silly sometimes. You gotta mine the nuggets out of the fields of dung. This one is a hidden nugget....
  • 3 0
 I sell Kali helmets because of my own curated slow-mo gopro footage of me using one to its fullest. I find them to be softer on the head. I only ever have one gripe(been telling the reps for years); ALWAYS MAKE A WHITE VERSION OF THE HELMET! IT IS HARD FOR ME TO SELL DARK HELMETS IN THE MOHAVE DESERT!!! (sorry for the caps) I look forward to replacing my 2.0 with a 3.0 as soon as they can...
  • 3 0
 I've had Kali helmets for over a decade. The thing I like best is the soft initial hit the helmet gives. I hit the ground on a regular basis (yesterday to my head) and I've never had that sharp clack you hear when you rattle your brain like some other edgier, stiffer helmets. Even if it's cool to have a edgy shaping, the low profile, smooth and round shape of Brad's helmets slide instead of snagging the ground, dissipating the hit as good as I could hope for. Keep up the good work guys.
  • 4 0
 i've been on the look for a new lid, loved the CS i was seeing today in the comments, definitely will have to check it out once they're available online
  • 3 0
 @KaliProtectives: Hell of a time to be asking, but it has been an issue for a while, what's up with international distribution?
  • 3 0
 Ktron, where are you based. I can help with Feel free to email me jon@kaliprotectives.com
  • 2 0
 @jonnymanbikes: Australia
  • 2 0
 @Ktron: I feel your pain, I've yet to find someone in AUS who stocks them Frown

@KaliProtectives, can you enlighten us?
  • 1 0
 Very hard to find in Europe. None of the big online shops carry them. UK distribution seems to be working though.

PS. What's up with the minimalist paint scheme on the composite Alpine?
  • 1 0
 @KaliProtectives is a new Interceptor coming out? I’m not seeing it on your website. I currently have two and while I love them, the visor retention system & attachment needs some updating. Hoping the new version has this update.
  • 1 0
 Its not often I really praise products but it must be said my kali helmet has been on my head for 3 years now. Multiple seasons racing enduro, 24hr endurance and the odd xc lap and it just keeps going. Padding is worn but even after multiple washes it still sticks on unlike other helmets. Great price too. Not the best for fitting a light onto it must be said but I likely have the v1 version?
  • 4 0
 Was waiting for it come out - already all sold out!
  • 4 0
I can help you find one no problem. Just email me at jon@kaliprotectives.com
Let me know where you live and I’ll find a local IBD that we are shipping to.
  • 4 0
 @jonnymanbikes: Thanks! Live very close to you guys in Morgan Hill, in Santa Clara Smile
  • 5 0
 @hasank2: I think Jason used his cargo e-bike to deliver some to bike therapy on his lunch break.
  • 1 0
 @jonnymanbikes: @hasank2 I got around the corner from the office and I was not able to make it on my bike. But @Brad-Kali rescued me and I was able to complete my delivery. The shop will have them ready to sell Saturday for you.
  • 1 0
 @coghogjay: thanks all. Got one on order now at my friends shop also here - Belmont bikes. Love my current Maya, but its has random dings here and there from years of use.
  • 4 0
 I love my Kali helmets! Best fit I’ve had!
  • 2 0
 Snap! I am just about to buy my 4th one of their helmets (i change them out every 2-3 years).
  • 1 0
 I like my Kalie helmet. And the customer service is spot on. I would be curious if this new version has done anything to improve the "visor chatter". That might be my only complaint. Otherwise the fit is great.
  • 2 0
Does this one come again with a light mount like the first Maya?
  • 2 0
 Yes it does. It comes with an after market mounting system just like the invader/interceptor. Available for $6
  • 2 0
 @jonnymanbikes: any chance the light mount could be revised? I find myself having to crane my neck to get the light to shine where I want it. I would happily pay a few more bucks for an adjustable mount or one that is slightly angled up a bit more.
  • 3 0
 @Avanwin: What model are you having problems with? We use two main attachments one it a round shape that accompanies lights that go on a handle bar style mounta with a rubber O-ring... so that easy to adjust up. The other is a go-pro style mount. We have seen lots of light brands use this interface. That one has plenty of adjustability as well. You can him me up and jon@kaliprotectives.com I'd be happy to jump on a zoom/video conference and show you these mounts any time.
  • 2 0
 @jonnymanbikes: y'all should put that somewhere in the features or description on your website. A light/gopro mount isn't the most important thing, but definitely something I consider. I love being able to cleanly mount a light without weaving velcro straps through my helmet... It's a nicety that a lot of helmets seem to skip over.
  • 1 0
 @jonnymanbikes: I was actually referring to the third option, an attachment that holds a small flashlight. I use a Smith&Wesson LED light that is perfect for a head lamp, minus the mounting options.
  • 3 0
 My next helmet. Hopefully our local shop will have it available!
  • 2 0
 If conventional helmets had inflatable tech under a hatch for deployment in high g wipeouts that would be cool...
  • 3 1
 Damn. Wow @kaliprotectives. I am impressed by the engagement and I will certainly be looking into my first Kali helmet!!!
  • 1 0
 I don't own one of their helmets but I'm very grateful for what they are doing with pushing technology in this field.
  • 5 6
 Looks great, but the one size fits all system is marketing BS. There no possible way some with an XS head will fit an XL helmet and have it fit nicely and vice versa.
  • 2 0
 Weirdly Giro's one size fits all helmet mold fits me better than any of their sized helmets. I was also right on the edge of sizes with Kali, so maybe this would work better for me than either too. Not saying you're wrong at all as my head size is somewhat in the middle of the spectrum, but I have oddly good luck with one size fits all helmets.
  • 8 0
 Lucky the website shows it coming in 3 sizes then.
  • 3 0
 I think that was a mistake, the website is showing 3 sizes and I would be surprised if they only had one.
  • 2 0
 Because like you said there is no way you can get away with just one size helmet across the board
  • 15 0
 Sorry for the confusion, but the Maya 3.0 does indeed come in three sizes. And with the new fit system we believe this lid will fit even a wider range of helmet than the previous version. And we have partnered with RHEON for the 3.0's Low Density Layer.
  • 1 0
 @MarcusBrody: It may be relevant to split the issue into two parts: 1. Comfort and stability during normal riding; 2. Security during a crash.

I normally fit a size S/M helmet. Small occasionally works and Medium is usually slightly larger than necessary. A "universal fit" is usually around a Large or L/XL, and, like your experience, I've had some very comfortable and stable fits from universal-fit helmets. These helmets leave a gap between the helmet and my head, though, and shift considerably if I forcefully move the helmet around on my head. As such, I question whether the protection is as good as that of a more precise fit.
  • 6 0
 @KaliProtectives: I hope you didn't improve it too much. Your helmets fit me better than any other brand. Smile
  • 1 0
 How do these fit for large oval shaped heads?
  • 2 0
 I guess I’d be considered an oval head. I find they fit great.
  • 2 0
 Love my Kalis

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