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The Poc Ventral Air Mips helmet is very comfortable, light and well vented. The fit is excellent and easily adjustable, and it also works well with a variety of sunglasses. I'd say it's challenging for a place in our best cycling helmets buyer's guide. You'll also see this in the pro peloton on the heads of EF Education Easy Post.
While the Ventral Air Mips is designed to be aerodynamic, it incorporates much better ventilation than a straight aero road lid. It achieves this with lots of vents at the front and rear to aid airflow and keep your head cool. I found it great – my head was noticeably drier than when wearing my usual helmet. I didn't feel like it was holding excess sweat, even when I was riding on the limit trying (and failing) to hold on to the superfast guys on the club rides.
The vents are quite large and sometimes my hair would stick through, but it didn't really bother me as I often wear a cycling cap. With such large vents, you'd definitely need some suntan lotion or a cycling cap in summer if you have a closer haircut.
I found the padding very comfortable, even after hours in the saddle. It is absorbent enough to soak up excess sweat, and also easy to remove for washing (which I should really do more often).
Poc says the helmet has an aero optimised design. I clearly couldn't test the aero performance, and wouldn't say it felt any faster than my usual helmet, but that is going to be very hard to test in the real world.
I enjoy cycling in warm weather and doing hard training rides outdoors, so I prefer the balance of ventilation and aerodynamics of the Ventral Air to a specific aero road helmet.
The fit is optimised through the cradle and dial system at the rear. The cradle runs all the way round and is easy to adjust and dial in the perfect fit. I often wore it with a headband, cycling cap or nothing and it was easy to adjust the fit quickly and accurately when switching between them.
I found it didn't interfere with my Oakley Sutros at all, and they worked well together. I have also been testing Poc's Propel sunglasses, and as you'd expect the interaction between the brand's helmet and glasses is seamless.
If you want to take your glasses off then you can store them in the helmet. The 'eyewear garage' is essentially some high-friction pads so that the glasses don't move around. It works really well and I was never worried about my sunglasses falling out.
The straps are the conventional Y-style with a standard buckle closure, which worked as expected for a premium helmet.
As the name suggests, the helmet features the latest Mips technology. Mips stands for Multi-directional Impact Protection and is a rotational management system designed to reduce rotational energies in the event of an impact, energies that would otherwise be transferred to your head. (Read our feature, All you need to know about Mips, to find out more.) The latest iteration of the technology is light and hardly noticeable.
At 260g the Ventral Air Mips is slightly lighter than some of its rivals, and I found it comfortable on rides of all durations.
I tested the 'Himalayan Salt Matt' option, which I think looks good, and the helmet is available in a wide range of colours so you should be able to find one that matches your kit/bike.
It also comes in three different sizes and also a wide-fit option designed for round head shapes.
Though not cheap, at £230 the Poc Ventral Air Mips isn't as expensive as some we've tested here at road.cc.
The S-Works Prevail 3 got a good review from Stu, and comes in at 273g, but is £45 more at £275. And the Met Trenta 3K Carbon Mips is £290, though it is very light at 223g, and Jamie thought it was excellent.
And the Rudy Project Egos Helmet received a 9/10 review from Stu and looks well vented for warm weather riding. It is priced at £169.99.
Overall, the Poc Ventral Air Mips is a bit on the pricey side, but it's an excellent helmet, ideal for warm days when its great airflow keeps you cool. It's comfortable, quick and easy to adjust, and worked well with different pairs of sunglasses. It looks great, too.
Great ventilation, light, comfortable and looks good
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Poc Ventral Air Mips
Size tested: 54-59
Tell us what the product is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
"Our new performance helmet is designed to deliver coolness in ways like never before. With precise ventilation ports and internal channels to control air intake and release at both low and high speeds, the helmet provides a supreme cooling effect over the whole head. Ideal for long rides in the mountains or hotter days in the saddle. The Ventral Air Mips works to enhance a rider's aerodynamic profile and minimize drag. Specific airflow zones enhance ventilation and cooling, while the aerodynamically optimized trailing edge reduces turbulence. The exceptionally lightweight road cycling helmet has been developed according to POC's Whole Helmet Concept™. It features a fully wrapped unibody shell construction and an EPS liner, delivering an ideal balance between weight and safety. The addition of Mips enhances rotational impact protection. Practical features include a lightweight size adjustment system that guarantees a personalized fit, and an eye garage for easy and secure storage of eyewear mid-ride."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
POC lists these details:
Mips Integra - The latest technology from brain protection specialists Mips enhances rotational impact protection.
EPS liner - The EPS liner is optimized to provide crash protection at a low weight.
Unibody PC Shell - The fully wrapped unibody PC shell improves the structural stability and enhances helmet integrity.
Adjustable 360° Fit - A lightweight 360° adjustment system makes it easy to find a secure, comfortable fit.
Internal Airflow Channels - Uniquely designed internal airflow channels provide ventilation at high and low speeds without impacting aerodynamic performance.
CFD Tested - Unique aero design optimized through extensive CFD testing to minimize turbulence.
22° Trailing Edge - Residual air travelling around the helmet is controlled by a 22° aero trailing edge: the perfect angle for minimizing turbulence.
Eye garage - Specific high-friction pads to the front of the helmet mean it is easy to securely store sunglasses while riding.
At 260g this is lighter than some of the competition, but not quite as light as the Met Trenta 3K Carbon Mips.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
The helmet was very comfortable with great airflow.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Good airflow, light, and worked well with my sunglasses.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It's in line with most other top-end helmets we have tested at road.cc.
It is a bit cheaper than some, such as the S-Works Prevail 3 and Met Trenta 3K Carbon Mips, but slightly more than the highly rated Bell XR Spherical Road Helmet.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
Overall, the Poc Ventral Air Mips is an excellent helmet. It's comfortable, well ventilated and easy to adjust, and though it is quite expensive it's in line with a lot of the competition.
About the tester
I usually ride: Specialized Roubaix My best bike is: Cervelo S3
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, touring, club rides, general fitness riding, Indoor