A great combination of protection, coverage and style but at flagship prices
Nov 19 2017
Good amount of coverage
A tad heavy
Visor can move if not secured tightly
Fiddly camera mount
You want a well thought out lid with a comfortable fit that will hit the nail on the head in most trail situations
The Giro Montara MIPS Helmet offers deep coverage in a well ventilated and good-looking package. With plenty of features and a comfortable fit, it’s a lid that hits the nail on the head in most trail situations.
The Giro Montara is the female version of the popular unisex Montaro. Both lids are exactly the same with an identical spec and sizing, just in some equally cool colours for the guys (or girls) making this review being applicable for both lids and both sexes. I tested the Giro Montara MIPS lid because I’ve got a slight affinity for turquoise.
At £149.99 The Montara is the flagship model in the Giro open face lid range, available with the MIPS (Multi-directional Impact System), the protection system proposing to reduce rotational forces that can be generated with certain impacts. For cheaper non-MIPS lids in the Giro range there is the Chronical and the Compound.
The sleek shape of the Montara suits most riders I’ve seen wearing it with no ‘mushroom heads’ to be found. The sizing is a tad on the small size, no doubt something to do with the MIPS liner making the helmet size up smaller than it usually would.
That suited me just fine though as I’ve got a tiny (53cm diameter) head, a size small fitting great with the RocLoc Air ratchet system allowing plenty of fine-tuning widthways and three height options for the cradle.
The lid offers good coverage at the rear and at the temples whilst fitting close to the head. The 16 vents keep things cool and comfortable, with plenty of air being allowed through the large front vents and being expelled at the rear, I only overheated on the hottest days last summer. The shell of the helmet didn’t interfere with the arms or rims of any style of glasses when riding either, perfect! The inner pads are of a decent depth and retain their shape well after being well saturated with sweat.
The multi-position visor can be lifted to accommodate goggles, although this wasn’t something I did often as I prefer a clear pair of glasses. The arms of my current favourite Smith Pivlock Asana glasses slot into the front vents and sit on top of the visor securely when I’m too sweaty to wear them when climbing, not all glasses are compatible though. It’s best to keep the adjustment dials at either side of the visor done up fairly tight (with a two pence piece) otherwise you’ll be inadvertently riding along with a wonky peak. Leave the peak too low and I found it did restrict vision slightly, making me feel like I was looking out from under it.
The chin strap is easily adjusted and has a nice thick rubber keeper to store the excess. Another example of a well thought out feature is the break-away integrated helmet mount. An extra (removable) plastic base mount sits inside the very top vent, a small disc mount with the camera attached can then be inserted into this base, this is the part that will 'break away on impact'. It’s secure and rattle free but I found I needed to take the lid off to mount it quickly and correctly and without braking the slightly fragile disc-shaped piece.
I’ve been a fan of the Montara for some time, this being the second one to grace my head and I’m sure it won’t be the last. At 370g the Montara is not the lightest but it offers a great combination of protection, coverage and style. It’s so comfortable you’ll forget you are wearing it!
Deputy Editor here ar off-road.cc, Rachael is happiest on two wheels. She's been riding bikes for a good few years now after horses got too expensive! Partial to a race or two Rachael also likes getting out into the hills with a big bunch of mates. She's been writing for publications such as, Enduro Mountain Bike Magazine, Mountain Biking UK, Bike Radar, New Zealand Mountain Biker and was also the online editor for Spoke magazine in New Zealand too. For as long as she's been riding and is equally happy getting stuck into a kit review as she is creating stories, she also coaches mountain biking and when she's not busy with all the above she's serving coffee from a horse trailer!