After years of mountain biking in either a road biking helmet or a full face helmet, I finally purchased a mountain-bike-specific helmet. Specifically, the Giro Feather Women’s MTB Helmet.
Giro’s website describes the Feather:
“The Feather™ provides a little more coverage than traditional trail helmets, with vents that draw heat up and out of the helmet—perfect when you’re climbing at lower speeds. In-Mold™ construction keeps it light, and when the trail drops, our rugged In Form™ fit system offers one-handed fit and stability adjustment, so you can dial in the perfect feel and stay focused on the trail ahead.”
I’ve worn this helmet on every mountain bike ride I’ve been on this year, and so far – I love it! I was a little worried that the fewer vents + fuller coverage would = an overly hot head, but so far so good! I even wore it on an 81-degree ride this week, and it didn’t seem any hotter than my more ventilated road bike helmet and obviously much cooler than a full face helmet.
Visibility is the same as the traditional helmet and I had more peripheral vision than in a full face helmet. Range of motion is not impacted, though I did have to slightly adjust where I wear my hydration pack. When I stood up on the downhills, the part of the helmet that covered the lower head bumped into my hydration pack, pushing the helmet forward. I just had to adjust my hydration pack so it sat a touch lower on my back, and that solved the problem.
The only other (extremely small) downside of the helmet is that it limits how I can wear my hair. The low back, close fit of the helmet prevents any sort of high ponytails or buns. I’ve found the only hairstyles for long hair that work with the helmet are two braids (as pictured), hair down or extremely low ponytail (like base of the neck low). As someone who tends to run extremely hot when exerting myself, hair down and low pony are too hot on my neck.
I haven’t yet put this helmet to the ultimate test of a major crash (and hope to avoid doing so!), but I’ve had great experience with Giro helmets in the past. Another thing I appreciate about Giro is that they have this to say about this “women’s specific” helmet
“Although there is no difference between male and female head shapes other than a smaller average size, we offer women’s specific models to keep up with the fashion forward kit found on the mountain. Finishing details and a sophisticated color palette set these models apart.”
I appreciate that they admit there isn’t really a difference between men’s and women’s helmets, and this helmet cost the same as the men’s version. All in all, I highly recommend the Giro Women’s Feather MTB helmet as a great option for a fuller-coverage, mountain-bike-specific helmet. You can purchase the Giro Feather Women’s MTB Helmet. Note: As of 2019, Giro isn’t making the Feather anymore, though you can still purchase past years’ versions on Amazon. The current equivalent is Giro Montara MIPS Helmet .
I’ll leave you with this picture of the gorgeous trail I rode this week, Tahoe Mountain in South Lake Tahoe. Trail Report available here!
Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I receive a small percentage of the sale as compensation – at no additional cost to you. I promise to only recommend products that I use and enjoy!