Lazer's Coyote helmet is the latest in its range to receive the KinetiCore treatment, where the MIPS system used by most MTB helmets has been replaced by Lazer's own proprietary KinetiCore technology. Lazer is rightly proud to advertise that the Coyote KinetiCore has received a 5-star rating from the Virginia Tech Helmet Lab, an industry-recognized independent test facility, providing unbiased ratings on a 1 to 5-star scale.
On first look, the Coyote KinetiCore is very similar to the highly-rated Lazer Jackal KinetiCore already reviewed, but somehow Lazer has managed to seriously reduce the asking price to a reasonable $109.99 / £79.99.
Design and specifications
There is certainly more than a passing resemblance to the more expensive Jackal helmet, and that is no bad thing. The side profile is very similar, and it provides good coverage to the back of the head with the overall appearance being very understated. The branding is also very subtle, with a small Lazer logo molded into each side of the peak and a discreet decal on the rear. Our sample reviewed is labeled as Matt Light Blue, but this doesn’t appear to be available in the UK. However, there are four other colors to choose from, listed below.
The Coyote has 21 various sized cutouts to provide ventilation, with very large forward facing vents and accompanying channels on the inside to direct airflow over the head. The openings have a slightly more rounded profile than the Jackal's, but share the same overall appearance. The outer shell fully covers the more fragile EPS core, and it is on the inside surface of the helmet that you will find a series of tiny blocks and shapes molded into the EPS. Lazer calls these controlled crumple zones, and they are designed to protect your head in the event of a crash, redirecting impact energy away from your brain and into the helmet itself. The added benefits of Lazer's KinetiCore technology are a reduction in overall weight, and fewer dissimilar materials being used in the construction, making recycling at the end of the helmet's life a little easier.
The Coyote KinetiCore is available in small, medium, large and extra large sizes, and the weight of the large sized Coyote KinetiCore on review is a competitive 398g.
The Coyote's peak has three distinct positions, with the high position providing ample room for goggle storage. The Jackal has rubber elements on the back to help keep goggle straps in place but these must have been omitted on the Coyote to help achieve the reduced price. Similarly, the Coyote isn't supplied with a GoPro style mount or branded carry bag that were present with the more expensive Jackal.
Fit adjustment is achieved by what Lazer calls a TurnSys system; essentially a small textured wheel at the beck of the helmet adjusts the circumference, and a ratchet system allows for plenty of height adjustment. The straps are easily adjusted to achieve a level fit on the head and the straps are secured with an excellent magnetic buckle for really easy securing and removing even in winter gloves.
I received a size large for review, whereas I would normally choose a size medium based on my 56cm noggin. However, the excellent TurnSys system provided sufficient adjustment that I could easily achieve a comfortable fit. Out on the trail the Coyote KinetiCore felt very comfortable and stable, with no noticeable movement or bounce, despite it being slightly too big for me. Rock gardens are normally where a helmet's weaknesses can be found, and I couldn’t find any fault with the Coyote. Lazer has done a great job with its fitting system, and it should accommodate a wide range of head shapes and sizes.
On higher paced rides I did notice a few hot spots on my head where the internal padding makes contact, and when I compared the padding with the Lazer Jackal, the Coyote's pads are slightly larger, particularly over the top of the head. The padding looks to be designed around the vent openings, and the shape of the Coyote openings dictate slightly more pad coverage. The general ventilation felt good, but the larger pad contact area was noticeable when things heated up, through physical exertion or warm sunshine.
I would say the visor has been improved compared to the Jackal, with the lowest position not sitting as low and therefore not encroaching on my field of vision so much. The indents for each of the three positions also felt more definite on the Coyote.
Fit was fine with the variety of glasses I tried, with shaping on the bottom edge to help with arm clearance, and I never suffered with any fogging issues.
Lazer has managed to squeeze all of the innovation and its excellent fitting system that we highly rated on the Jackal KinetiCore into a much more affordable package, with little, if any compromise. The same understated performance has been achieved with the only slight negative being the large pads resulting in potential hot spots in certain conditions.
Tech specs: Lazer Coyote KinetiCore helmet
- Price: $109.99 / £79.99
- Sizes: S, M, L, XL
- Colors: Matt Black, Matt White Black, Titanium, Matt Dark Green
- Weight: 398g (size L tested)