A well ventilated trail/enduro lid that offers loads of coverage, at a price
Feb 1 2018
Provides loads of coverage
Lots of nice design touches
No MIPS liner
You want a premium trail lid with great ventilation and don't care about MIPS
KASK's Rex helmet is a well-ventilated, high coverage lid for trail and enduro riders, but it's expensive considering it's up against well-proven and MIPS-equipped rivals. That said, it does impress with good comfort, some tidy features and quality construction.
The Rex uses a fully in-moulded shell, meaning the soft, shock-absorbing EPS foam underneath is well protected from small bumps and scratches. It's covered in 20 vents, with five long and deep ones at the front providing excellent airflow over your head. It's up there with the best ventilated high-coverage open face lids that I've used in that respect. The low back provides plenty of coverage at the back of your head as well as the temples, which is always reassuring.
The attention to detail continues with an adjustable peak that has a high pivot point to allow you to sit a pair of goggles underneath it if you're going full enduro. That's matched at the back by a neat clip that secures your goggle strap in place. It's a really cunning bit of design that means you don't need to worry about your goggles shifting out of position when taking them on or off and it's also removable if you prefer.
Inside the helmet, there are removable and washable Coolmax pads. The brow pad is made from a foam-like material that's said to offer better airflow for wicking sweat away and it did the trick for mean, preventing any sweat that did accumulate - and there's inevitably a lot - from trickling down into my eyes. It's got a bit of an odd, slightly rough texture but I didn't suffer from any irritation though it did look like I'd been branded a while after removing the helmet.
The retention system itself wraps all the way around your head in a 'halo' style, meaning you don't get any pressure points. At the back, it's adjustable vertically and you can tweak the two foam covered 'wings' laterally to get the fit just so. It's comfortable, secure and with two size options - medium and large - it should be possible for heads from 52cm to 62cm to get a fit, though you're on your own if you're under that size range.
The side straps themselves are non-adjustable for height, which is perfectly fine in my opinion as I'm yet to find a system that isn't a huge faff to set up evenly. One slightly quirky feature of the Rex is the leather chin strap. Despite writing it off as a gimmick, it turned out it was really comfy and sat nicely against my skin without catching any errant stubble. Who knew?
The only real issue I had with the Rex was the price. At £150, it's more expensive than MIPS liner equipped lids from some very big names indeed, such as the sublimely comfortable Troy Lee Designs A2 MIPS, and it's on a par with Giro's Montaro MIPS as well. While MIPS is yet to be proven independently, when it comes to safety I'm inclined to err on the side of caution and want all the technology I can get, even if there's an outside chance it's snake oil.
That said, if you're not fussed by having MIPS and like the looks of the Rex, then it's still a solid option for riders that want plenty of coverage and comfort.
Jon is the editor here at off.road.cc. Whether it's big days out on the gravel bike or hurtling down technical singletracks, if it's got two wheels and can be ridden on dirt, then he's into it. He's previously been technical editor at BikeRadar.com, editor at What Mountain Bike Magazine and also web editor at Singletrackworld.co.uk. Yes, he's been around the houses.