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Carnac Croix road and gravel helmet review

Can you really get a decent road and gravel helmet for under £25? Carnac’s Croix is a lot better than you’d expect on a budget

Carnac Croix
(Image: © Guy Kesteven)

Our Verdict

Decent shape with reasonable ventilation, fit and comfort at a super low price, but side buckles need TLC

For

  • Good looking shape
  • Hardshell for protection
  • Lightweight
  • Lots of vents
  • Washable pads
  • Reflective straps
  • Loads of colors

Against

  • Only two sizes
  • Side buckles are delicate
  • Limited through venting

Bike Perfect Verdict

Decent shape with reasonable ventilation, fit and comfort at a super low price, but side buckles need TLC

Pros

  • +

    Good looking shape

  • +

    Hardshell for protection

  • +

    Lightweight

  • +

    Lots of vents

  • +

    Washable pads

  • +

    Reflective straps

  • +

    Loads of colors

Cons

  • -

    Only two sizes

  • -

    Side buckles are delicate

  • -

    Limited through venting

Planet-X sells a range of helmets from £20 upwards so the Croix is a comparative luxury item at £25. Despite most other brand's entry-level helmets costing considerably more it manages to compare well with lids twice the price and above, too.

Styling of the Croix is certainly on point with 24 mid-size vents and a raised ‘spoiler’ built into the rear. The EPS foam liner is protected right to the edge with a hardshell ‘skin’ and it exceeds the EN1078 safety standard for bike helmets.

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Carnac Croix

Lack of internal routing mean high speed ventilation is limited (Image credit: Guy Kesteven)
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Carnac Croix

We managed to snap the closing cam off one of the straps (Image credit: Guy Kesteven)

In use, there’s a decent amount of radiation ventilation from the numerous holes and slim pads don’t get in the way. There are no internal channels that limit airflow at higher speeds but that’s the case with most helmets under £50. While there are only two sizes and the cradle isn’t height-adjustable it’s a decent shape that fitted most testers without too much wobble. You get an occipital pad to stop the dial section digging in and there’s a pad on the chin strap too, which is removable if you want to look more ‘Pro’. The straps also have reflective bits which are a nice detail at any price. The adjustable sliders are a bit flimsy and we’ve already snapped the closing cam off one but it still works, it just doesn’t lock. There are 13 different matt or gloss colors available to make it easy to accessorize. Molding is surprisingly clean too with only the rear strap anchor protruding slightly more than you’d see on a top-quality lid. 

If you fancy treating yourself to an upgrade, Planet X has the Carnac Podium SL comes in three sizes, with internal channels and anti-bacterial pads for just £29.99.  

Carnac Croix

The fit is well managed over two sizes using a rear dial tightened cradle (Image credit: Guy Kesteven)

Verdict

Detailing is basic up close and the side buckles are a bit fragile but Carnac’s Croix is light, comfortable, reasonably well ventilated and looks decent in a wide range of colors for an absolute bargain price.

Tech Specs: Carnac Croix helmet

  • Sizes: Small / Medium (54-58cm), Large / X Large (58-61cm)
  • Rotational protection: No
  • Vents: 24
  • Colors: Gloss black, blue, orange, white, red, fluoro yellow and neon green. Matt black, blue, orange, white, red, fluoro yellow
  • Weight: 241g (S/M)
  • Price: £24.99 

Sean has old school cycle touring in his blood, with a coast to coast USA ride and a number of month-long European tours in his very relaxed palmares. Also an enthusiastic midpack club cyclocross racer and XC racer, he loves his role as a junior cycle coach on the Kent/Sussex borders, and likes to squeeze in a one-day unsupported 100-miler on the South Downs Way at least once a year. Triathlon and adventure racing fit into his meandering cycling past, as does clattering around the Peak District on a rigid Stumpjumper back in the day.


Height: 173cm

Weight: 65kg

Rides: Canyon Inflite CF SLX; Specialized Chisel Comp; Canyon Aeroad; Roberts custom road bike