Kali Interceptor Helmet - Review
DesignThe Interceptor is a trail / enduro helmet, and as such it makes use of extended protection at the back of the head that supplies more coverage than a cross-country focused helmet would. Being an enduro lid, the Interceptor's three-position visor can be pushed up to make room for your goggles when you don't have them on your face, and Kali even includes an integrated light and camera mount that can be easily installed or removed in seconds. The shell sports twenty-four vents, and Kali say that they were able create such large vents by reinforcing the leading edges with composite inserts. There are five of these 'Supervents' (Kali's words, not mine) at the front of the Interceptor, and nineteen exhaust ports at the back to let the heat escape.
Low Density Layer - Kali's Brad Waldron, the man behind several of the helmet brand's inventive safety solutions, believes that a lot of helmets on the market are sacrificing some day-to-day safety for protection against that relatively rare, worst-case blow to the head. How so? The EPS foam used to construct most lids has to be so rigid that it's not great at dealing with smaller, less violent impacts, even though those are arguably far more common than the kind of crashes that leave you feeling as if you were hit by a train. Waldron's solution was to add another element between the head and the helmet, much like how MIPS sits between the shell and the rider. Waldron said that he wanted something more effective than MIPS, however, so he worked with a company called Armourgel to come up with LDL (an acronym for Low Density Layer) which are odd looking green strips placed under the pads inside of the helmet's shell.
Nano Fusion - It might sound like it's something from a NASA science lab, but it's actually an in-molding process that joins acrylic self-healing foam and carbon nano tubes with the Interceptor's EPS shell. In simple terms, what all that means is that Kali has used a different density foam, one that they say "dissipates energy more efficiently and in a smaller volume than any other material on the market,'' in places on the helmet's shell that are likely to make contact with things that don't move, like the ground.The multi-impact material is also said to allow for a thinner shell, which in turn should mean that the helmet is applying less leverage to the rider's head and neck when it hits the dirt, rocks, or trees.
PerformanceFrom dual-shell designs to inserts to MIPS to the LDL system that Kali employs on the Interceptor, there's no shortage of helmets touting improved protection. I can't honestly tell you if one is any better than the other (I'm sure the helmet companies could, of course), but it's a no-brainer to assume that any helmet that has an added element of safety is a good thing. I'll pass on the real world MIPS and LDL testing, thank you very much. In light of that, however, the next most important thing to note is that regardless of whatever added safety features that a helmet has, they must be absolutely undetectable until you need their help. And Kali's LDL system does exactly that; you can't feel the odd looking green inserts, but they're there to do their job.Fit-wise, the Interceptor feels neutral, being neither overly round or too oval-shaped. Yeah, the usual "try it on before you buy it" always applies when it comes to helmets, but I suspect that most riders will feel good about what Kali has done with its shape and fit.
With the BOA tension applied, the Interceptor refused to slide down the forehead, and it felt all but invisible the large majority of the time. The one caveat comes down to the helmet's visor that's attached on the sides but not in the center, thereby allowing it to rattle a bit as the unattached center portion of the visor (pictured at right) would make contact with the shell when riding over fast, rough ground. It seemed to need just the right frequency to happen, but it'd rattle at least once every few rides. The solution? Double-sided tape. ''We are making a running change to the visor material which will resolve the issue,'' Kali's Julian Coffey said. ''All Kali bike helmets are covered by our free Lifetime Crash Replacement warranty as well.''