Since this is our first review of any POC products a little background on the company is in order. POC is officially called POC Spots and was founded in 2004, it’s a Swedish company that manufactures skiing and snowboarding helmets, cycling helmets, apparel, and sunglasses. At the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin Italy, US alpine ski racer, Julia Mancuso was wearing a POC helmet and goggles when she won the gold medal in giant slalom. As pictures of her win spread across the world so did the demand for POC products. In 2012 Black Diamond bought POC and more recently sold the company to Investcorp Group which is an investment management firm. Today POC is established in 25 countries and has a strong reputation for gravity sports protection.
Not only aesthetically pleasing but well designed and safe.
So let's get back to the POC Tectal Helmet and see what makes this companies products so sought after. The POC Tectal Helmet is a combination of design elements from two of this brands most popular helmets, the Octal and one of its first half shell bike helmets, the Trabec. This hybrid design of the Tectal provides coverage in vulnerable areas such as along the temples and the back of the head and uses a unibody shell construction to lessens potential stress points along seams and around vents. Aramid fibre (the stuff used in folding tire beads) is integrated into the EPS foam liner at key point to provide increased protection and durability. This comes in the absence of MIPS technology which is commonly found in helmets of this quality.
With 17 strategically placed vents, 9 up front, 3 over head and 5 at the back, the Tectal is extremely well-vented and ideal for aggressive trail rides and enduro races. The venting layout and design on the Tectal was optimized and evaluated through wind tunnel testing to optimize airflow without minimizing safety or increasing weight.
A snug fit is achieved with a simple one-handed turn of the dial at the back of the helmet which allows you to micro adjust the Tectal for just the right fit. The visor on the brow of the helmet can also be adjusted to improve the rider’s line of sight. Two anodized pivots and a single setscrew hold the visor in place and provide a nice high-end detail to the Tectal.
The Tectal helmet also incorporates a Recco reflector which can be used by first responders and Search and Rescue to locate a lost or injured rider, should it be required. There is also a Pro version of the Tectal which will cost you $20 more, but for this you get a built in goggle clip and Aramd fibres throughout the entire EPS liner.
A simple chin clip to keep it fastened.
The POC Tectal Helmet is the best fitting helmet I’ve had on my head. Period. This is not due to excess padding because the Tectal is very minimal in design, it just comes down to the shape of the helmet and to some extent the shape of my head. After a day of 50km on the trails I’ve had no hot spots or reasons to complain with the Tactal. I’m also never in a rush so get the Tectal off my head after a ride as it’s still very comfortable even after 4 or 5 hours. A lot of this has to do with the large vents found all over the Tectal. With 17 in total, there’s a lot of ways for heat to escape and cooler air to enter and keep you comfortable. Sure, things get a little warm on the ride up as you are working hard but on the way down the airflow is quite good and keeps you from overheating on all but the most humid summer days.
The Tectal is a minimal design helmet, meaning there isn’t anything that doesn’t serve a purpose and all the lines are fluid yet simple. The low profile back provides good coverage of your head and protects your temples well. This all has to do with the superior fit I mentioned above. The size adjustment system at the back of the helmet synchs the Tectal around your head like a bear hug and the mechanism itself is small and simple in design. The chin strap is also well designed and placed so that your ears are nowhere close to the webbing. The adjustment is also intuitive and easy.
While I have not had to adjust the visor it’s nice to know I can, similarly, with the built-in Recco reflector, I hope I never have to use it but it’s nice to know that it’s there should I get lost.
One feature that POC does not talk much about is the Polygiene Odour Control Technology used on the Tectal’s padding. A fellow Swedish company, Polygiene really ads value to the Tectal in that it will fight bacteria that will inevitably build up in the padding. We reviewed this technology in depth over here so give that a read to get up to speed on how it works as you’ll no doubt be seeing it in more and more products.
There’s only thing I would change on the Tectal, this would be to include MIPS in order to justify the helmet’s price point and add even more safety to the POC Tectal. Perhaps this may come in a future version but it would have been nice to have on the Tectal as I’m a believer in MIPS and am always persuaded to buy a helmet with that safety feature included.
Price: $200CAN / $190US
Weight: 340g / 12oz
Sizes: XS/S, M/L, XL/XXL
Colours: Reson Blue, Unobtanium Yellow, Hydrogen White, Adamant Orange, Harf Green, Thaum Red, Uranium Black, Amosite Grey, Actinium Pink
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