All mountain bike helmets adhere to a standard level of quality and protection, it's just that some have a little more oomph than others.
The Giro Feature helmet caught the industry by surprise. While it isn't on the top shelf in price, it's on the top of the list for many shops and riders.
From a busy Second Avenue Sports in downtown Durango, Colorado, Luke Orr called the Feature a modern day helmet.
“It's one of our most popular sellers,” he said.
Giro wanted a feature rich helmet that would speak to a broad spectrum of mountain biker, from the gravity, enduro and trail riding crowd to the cross country rider. The helmet is as appealing as it is proactive, with unique colors and style and a emphasis on protection. The result is comfortable helmet with a so-called urban style and useful features that are accommodating for nearly every type of rider.
The low profile, poly carbonate shell is round and smooth, not geometric like other MTB helmets.
The In Form harness fit system that wraps around your dome is micro adjusted by a dial at the rear, making fine tuning fit easy and on the fly.
An adjustable visor is helpful, and the helmet can accommodate goggles if needed.
An available option for the Feature and several other Giro helmets is an intriguing European development called MIPS: Multi Directional Impact System.
MIPS is essentially a slip-plane liner interface between the inner shell of the helmet and the skull. In the event of impact, the plane creates a few millimeters of extra movement that can decrease any generated rotational force, thereby reducing the potential of injury due to impact.
Some riders may notice an altered fit due to the MIPS addition, and in general some may also notice the Feature's heavier weight and less ventilation, but it wasn't designed to be the lightest or the coolest.
“You get a little less venting, and a little more protection,” Orr said.
The straps are not adjustable, eliminating a more custom fit around the face and chin.
The MIPS increases the cost of the Feature, from $75 to $100, but if Giro is right, that extra $25 and a few millimeters could save your life.
In an off road world of high speed and hard knocks, every little bit helps.