Review: POC's New Kortal Race MIPS Helmet

Mar 2, 2021
by Daniel Sapp  


The Kortal Race MIPS helmet is POC's latest high-end mountain bike helmet and it comes with a host of features to make it trail-ready. Additionally, there is a new pair of glasses which are designed to seamlessly mate with the lid.

Along with a brand new look, there's an adjustable breakaway visor, aramid bridges, a NFC Medical ID chip, and a RECCO reflector. For rotational safety, there is a new MIPS Integra system. The helmet is designed to pair well with POC's new Devour sunglasses with glasses storage. In addition to the Kortal Race MIPS, there is a more affordable 'Kortal', which comes with a pared-down amount of features.

Kortal Race MIPS Details

• 360-degree adjustable fit system
• MIPS Integra
• NFC medical ID
• RECCO Reflector
• Weight: 391 grams (medium, actual)
• Goggle and glasses compatible
• Sizes: XS/S, M/L, XL/XXL
• EN1078, CPSC 1203, AS-NZS, NTA 8776 standards
• MSRP: $250 USD
www.pocsports.com

There are three sizes available and several color options. A size medium weighs about 390 grams and will cost $250 USD.



Details

There are a lot of features on the Kortal Race MIPS, and one of the more eye-catching features is the new MIPS Integra system. MIPS claim this is the most integrated protection system yet and it takes the layer which is typically very visible on the inside of the helmet, with the liner, and makes it part of the helmet's EPS foam structure, similar to how a shell is molded onto the outside of a helmet.

This allows the helmet's padding to slip and slide on a low friction layer keeping everything minimalistic and low-profile, which helps keep from interfering with ventilation, adding bulk, etc. MIPS calls this their lightest and slimmest system designed to reduce rotational forces to the head on certain angled impacts and the Kortal Race MIPS will be one of the first helmets to use it.

Additionally, the helmet now features an adjustable breakaway visor which snaps off in the event of a crash to reduce the chance of neck injury to the rider. There's a 360-degree adjustment system for precise fitment, and extended protection zones around the temples and the back of the head for those higher risk areas.

As far as other features are concerned, there's a NFC Medical ID which stores medical info and emergency contacts in the helmet for emergency responders, a RECCO reflector, and places for goggles and glasses to play nicely with the helmet. There is a generous amount of ventilation, and care was taken to ensure the vents aren't obstructed when using goggles.



Ride Impressions

Helmet fit is different for everyone and what works for one person doesn't always work for another so I'd always suggest starting with trying a helmet on before buying, if at all possible. I have historically found POC helmets to be comfortable, although some ride a little low on my ears.

The Kortal Race MIPS doesn't ride as low on my ears as other POC offerings and fits well in that regard. I did, however, find two pressure points on the top of my head, behind my ears. My colleague on the other side of the continent, Mike Kazimer, who has had good luck with POC's Tectal helmet in the past, also found that the fit of the Kortal wasn't as comfortable at the back of the head.

The aesthetics of the helmet are great and fitting and adjusting the retention system and visor is simple and straightforward - the middle position on the retention system and visor seemed to fit me well.

It's only March, so I haven't been able to test the helmet in any sweltering conditions yet, but so far the ventilation seems more than adequate. The padding is comfortable, minus the pressure points I found, and it manages sweat and moisture very well.

I didn't have any issues with glasses compatibility, but I couldn't find any way to practically store them on the back of the helmet when climbing. Although POC claim there is a 'glasses garage', there is no way to put the glasses on the top of the helmet, without them falling off. Putting them on the front seems a touch more feasible but it's still not very secure.

In regards to the Devour glasses, as they're new, they're also worth a mention. The fit of the glasses is excellent and the adjustable arms will make them versatile for most riders. The full-coverage of the lenses is excellent and I like that they offer a great deal of protection from trail debris. In my experience, they don't have a lot of issues with fogging up, but it is unfortunate they don't integrate with the helmet as advertised.




Pros

+ Aesthetics
+ Lots of safety features
+ Good integration with sunglasses while wearing them on your face

Cons

- Fit may not work for everyone
- No glasses storage integration, even though advertised




Pinkbike's Take
bigquotesThere are a lot of features loaded into the Kortal Race MIPS, with safety being paramount. It offers good coverage, and the MIPS Integra doesn't seem to affect the fit at all, although the overall shape didn't work that well with my head. As always, make sure to try one on before you buy if at all possible. The lack of an easy way to store sunglasses when they're not in use is also a bit of a deal-breaker for me, but as long as you keep your glasses on for the entire ride this won't be an issue.  Daniel Sapp








114 Comments

  • 204 5
 My virginity would go undisturbed if I rode that helm/glasses combo.
  • 27 0
 PP protection!?!
  • 53 1
 @stainerdome: INCEL foam structure
  • 25 0
 Prospective Partner: "Have you got protection?"
@AllMountainNEXT: "Sure do..." **dons POC 'mut and gogs.**
PP: "Errr.... K then... Byeeee"
AMN: "Mission successful, zero chance of getting an STD, what a winner I am."
  • 12 0
 41-year-old virgin
  • 10 0
 I agree, what an ugly helmet compared to the poc tectal spin.
  • 5 0
 Now I know why so many people laughed when I wore my original Oakley Factory Pilots! Smile DORK...
  • 11 0
 @Sprockingcrail: if you wear that your virginity grows back
  • 2 0
 did anybody actually went to see the 'high-res' gallery of it? or low res was sufficient to be unable to unseen it?
  • 9 0
 Kortal mombat!!!
  • 4 0
 Helmets not too bad glasses on the other hand i wouldnt wear for anything other than using an angle grinder
  • 3 0
 Your virginity goes undisturbed now, even without the helm/glasses
  • 1 0
 @endurogan: grinding, or re-entering the earth's atmosphere.
  • 1 0
 @Sprockingcrail: waiting for the right one
  • 1 0
 @stainerdome: PowerPointProtection...this modality protects you from Bill Gates and his swarm of viruses that infest your computer when you use Windows 10.
  • 1 0
 @mi-bike: That's why the owner of this helmet will always (and only) touch themselves.
  • 82 1
 The glasses need to be bigger.
  • 9 3
 Maybe they just look that size because they are nearer and not far away.
  • 4 1
 They are for the enduro bros who want an alternative to goggles.
  • 5 1
 They might look ridiculous but I find glasses like that are pretty functional. I have Smith Wildcats and while they aren't quite as big looking as those POC glasses, I think they're pretty close. Like them much better than goggles.
  • 5 2
 Just go to a face shield....
  • 1 0
 I can't even see DSapp's frown they're so big. Big Grin
  • 9 1
 Are these the version that go over the old person’s normal glasses?
  • 1 0
 they have to be at least... three times bigger than this!
  • 1 0
 Bring on fullface glasses...NOW!
  • 72 9
 The holy trinity of POC - over priced, ugly and uncomfortable
  • 85 12
 I've been with women like that....
  • 8 56
flag mi-bike (Mar 2, 2021 at 8:11) (Below Threshold)
 Jeez who upvotes this crap? @JonnyTheWeasel
  • 15 1
 @mi-bike: Everybody except you and 2 other people
  • 2 4
 @JonnyTheWeasel: It has to happen from time to time. Can't appreciate the ups if you never go through the downs. #AmIRight ?
  • 3 0
 My experience with POC is different, POC VPD 2.0 knee pads has been pretty stellar. Protective, comfortable enough for me for all day rides. I still might look ugly and overpriced though.
  • 1 0
 @endurogan: Ive ridden bikes like that too.
  • 29 0
 I dunno why I read Mortal Kombat, what kinda helmet is this again?
  • 63 0
 POC Kortal Mombat
  • 3 2
 Kortal mipsbat
  • 21 0
 Court a wombat? No thanks, more of kangaroo man.
  • 6 0
 @codfather1234: Portal Wombat
  • 3 0
 @codfather1234: that was awful but funny
  • 4 0
 *Put glasses on*
Johnny Cage wins!
  • 2 0
 Well, their last helmet was definitely called the Rectal Ace so I can see how you'd read that.
  • 1 0
 @warpcow: Pectoral taste?
  • 1 0
 Hopefully one that does not end in a... FATALITY!!!!
  • 1 1
 Helmet for melt head.
  • 17 2
 Hey Poc if you see this can you start answering your warranty claims please. If you can sell and promoter your gear you should have time to back it up
  • 3 0
 Hey, I've been trying to get a hold of them as well for a warranty claim. It seems that their North American office is closed. What's your experience been?
  • 2 0
 @matt-johnson: same thing buddy. No reply. I contacted the shop I bought it from and they seem to think it’s business as usual with stock coming in and such. I bought a brand new Tectal which is my fourth and the little tab that the liner snaps into pulled out of the shell the very first time I went to adjust it for my head. Hopefully they get back at it soon
  • 1 0
 @rescuetool: I smell a Gorilla Glue challenge.

Ultimate grip?
  • 1 1
 @rescuetool: I had a knee pad split in half after a dozen rides. Just from pedaling, no crashes. Pretty disappointed in POC.
  • 1 0
 @matt-johnson: that sucks. I’ve found the helmets are great, tough and fit well. Clothing is way overpriced and cheaply made.
  • 1 0
 POC's customer service is garbage. I emailed POC NA and POC Europe with an enquiry about my helmet. Even hit them up on social media. Didn't get a single reply. Fkin joke, especially when considering the price. Compare this to someone like Fidlock, whom I emailed about a worn old bottle and they replied in a day offering to send a free one. Sure, its only a bottle but that's how you keep customers. Even thought that POC was bloody comfortable, my next helmet was a Fox.
  • 1 0
 @matt-johnson: funny enough I just got an email from them today regarding a question I sent a month ago. I guess they are backed up and just slow getting to claims
  • 1 0
 @rescuetool: Yep they emailed me today as well and apologized for the delay.
  • 1 0
 @matt-johnson: or home base in Europe read your posts and got on the horn with the US side to step it up?
  • 10 0
 Interesting they went with MIPS instead of their SPIN tech. Also, $250usd... SHEESH.
  • 13 0
 MIPS sued POC over SPIN and won.
  • 2 0
 Tough to tell, but looking at the photo of the inside of the helmet it looks almost exactly like a tectal spin. Seems like maybe they did use spin technology, perhaps with a slight tweak, and have rebadged it MIPS integra to satisfy some type of legal obligation. I have a tectal spin and it's great so if that's the case then in not complaining. When I heard spin was being replaced with MIPS I was sad, but maybe it's just been renamed.
  • 6 0
 @Konyp: MIPS spelled backwards - awfully close to SPIN. Wonder if they thought they were being clever?
  • 1 0
 @Konyp:
"MIPS sued POC over SPIN and won."

Well of course MIPS sued. That's what they are here for. Who's next?
  • 2 0
 The yet to be released TLD A3 is rumored to be coming in at over $300 USD. I've always argued that you should buy as much noggin protection as you can afford but they're making it really tough.
  • 2 0
 @Trudeez: Considering MIPS helmets start around $100 and a lot of $100 helmets pass safety tests with flying colours, it's getting a bit ridiculous.
  • 9 0
 There was a leak of this helmet/glasses combo earlier this year - someone was wearing them in the cantina on Tatooine in the Mandalorian. I'm sure of it.
  • 9 0
 Poculiar glasses.
  • 4 0
 Pocsy prices
  • 5 0
 I'm glad I got a regular Tectal a few months ago, this new Kortal looks quite ungracious. Poc used to be good in combining simplicity and harmony, it seems that someone has left the company.
  • 2 0
 Like my POC Tectal Race Spin and fits perfect. Had a over the handlebars and the helmet aboard the impact better on than any other helmet I’ve sure for over 15+ years. They helped MIPS design their tech. Never had an issue getting in touch with customer service in US and Europe, but that was before COVID. Hopefully can pick an extra set of pads before they are gone. Don’t like the looks of the helmet reviewed. Will try Troy Lee for next purchase.
  • 2 0
 It feels like MTB is having a retro throwback with huge wraparound mirror glasses. They looked stupid back then and they do now too. Ive had POC knee pads, a poc DH helmet and a bunch of POC riding tops. All higher quality and more comfortable than other top tier brands. All have to put up with the abuse of British year round riding and all have delivered where other products have fallen apart over time.
  • 5 0
 High and short visor = useless.
  • 3 0
 Agreed.... but you can fit a GoPro in there, which is all that matters these days.
  • 2 0
 I thought visors were just for looks anyways
  • 4 0
 Am I the only one who likes the look of the helmet? But €250 is too much.
  • 2 0
 I find it harder and harder to ride without a chin bar the older I get, and for a similar price, with similar protection AND the option to take off the chin bar, the Bell Super 3R seems like a better choice.
  • 4 0
 This is the same helmet I used to wear when I bullseye'd womprats in my T16 back home!
  • 2 0
 Looking at this helmet - what is the point of a visor on an MTB helmet again? Most likely it’s for fashion, but let’s hear all the “reasons”...
  • 1 0
 i like it my downhill helmet to prevent mud
  • 1 0
 And my Go pro
  • 6 0
 I actually like keeping the sun from blinding me on late evenings.
  • 1 0
 It keeps the sun out of my eyes so I don't run into things and my eyes don't hurt?
  • 1 0
 The one on my Bell is adjustable and does actually work as a visor. I can push it up out of the way or pull it down when the sun is in my face. The problem though is helmets like this are not adjustable and basically useless.
  • 1 0
 This one looks a bit high up but the one on my Troy Lee helmet stops so much rain getting on my glasses....especially as I live in the UK.
  • 1 0
 That's by far the worst color, why'd they pick that one?

Also, I was kind of a fan of this integrated approach until I found out it's be about $500 for the upgrayedd. No thanks
  • 4 0
 Kali - lets make the ugly helmet, Lazer - hold my beer, POC - boom!
  • 2 0
 Seamless fit means air vents between glasses and helmet and non-matching colours, apparently?
  • 1 2
 The other colors look significantly better than this guy is wearing. Honestly, that brown/grey is the worst color to debut.

I still love my Tectal Race Spin helmet for protection, but my Troy Lee A1 definitely takes the cake on fit for my particular head. Though, after trying on the 100% Altec, I may spring for the 100% this year due to its hefty ventilation and protection.
  • 2 0
 Are the Macho Man Randy Savage glasses included with every purchase of this helmet?
  • 2 0
 The Brett Hart glasses will come with the Texas Tornado rotational protection technology version of this helmet.
  • 1 0
 What is the purpose of the reflector? The only feature I’d be really interested is how much polymer could be safed with the new design compared to the old one.
  • 2 0
 Cortal Race for the Mortal case.
  • 2 1
 Designed to seamlessly mate with new sunglasses, yet they failed to design it to allow said sunglass to be stored on helmet.
  • 2 0
 "The helmet peak raises high enough on the helmet for goggles to fit underneath while not in use" — pocsports.com

Not sure why Sapp thought they were supposed to fit on the back. keyassets.timeincuk.net/inspirewp/live/wp-content/uploads/sites/11/2021/03/poc-kortal_devour_3.jpg
  • 2 0
 mountain biking is cool. proof: these pictures.
  • 2 0
 one CON would be the price tag.... like over 300 Canadian for a lid.
  • 1 0
 "Fit may not work for everyone" well I think you can put this con for every rider part of the world
  • 1 0
 Modern riding glasses are sure getting closer and closer to goggles....just triple the price and goofier looking imo.
  • 1 0
 Con: A $220 CDN helmet without rotational tech (standard version). Piss off, POC.
  • 3 0
 Over priced and ugly
  • 1 0
 I have a poc helmet, fits nice, looks a bit sterile, but I like it....this one though....hmmmmm
  • 1 0
 Hooooly, the size of those glasses!! might as well be a fold down wind shield!
  • 1 0
 I'd rock the helmet and the glasses but not for that price. My 2015 POC helmet and my Costa's will have to suffice.
  • 1 0
 Poc has always been faultless for me, love the new helmet but those glasses!!!I’ll be sticking with my allycats.
  • 1 0
 POC's always make me look like Gazoo.
  • 1 0
 I've got Kool Moe Dee in my head now..."wild wild west"
  • 1 0
 Looks like a giant Lego piece
  • 1 0
 I was told there would be spy shots
  • 1 0
 They forgot CONS - PRICE
  • 2 0
 KORTAL MOMBAT!!!
  • 1 0
 :'D
  • 1 0
 Roadie glasses look so wrong with mtb lids
  • 4 4
 Improvement in looks for sure.
  • 1 0
 Nice goggles.....bro
  • 1 2
 My dome isn't worth $250.
  • 5 7
 Here we see a Sapp in the wild, gazing over his territory.

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