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Lazer Impala MIPS helmet review: a well-specced trail all-rounder

In the jungle of a crowded marketplace, does the Impala have what it takes to stand out from the herd?

The Lazer Impala MIPS helmet
(Image: © Rich Owen)

Our Verdict

With good looks, plenty of features and a high level of head protection, there's much to like about the Impala. It's only minor failings are that the internal air channeling could be better and its retention straps are a little thin

For

  • - MIPS protection
  • - No exposed EPS foam
  • - Well-padded
  • - Three peak positions
  • - Good rear coverage

Against

  • - Runs a tad warm
  • - Fiddly straps

For general, non-threatening, trail riding use, we reckon slightly shallower fit MIPS-equipped helmets like the Lazer Impala MIPS are the best bet. Yes, you can get more security from deeper fitting options in the best mountain bike helmets space but they usually run warmer and that extra protection means more weight on your head.

There's an abundance of MIPS equipped helmets around these days, which is great as the MIPS layer adds an extra level of protection over and above a standard helmet. However, choosing the right one for you can be difficult, so why not have a look at our guide to the best MIPS mountain bike helmets?

The Lazer Impala MIPs helmet

A sleek looking helmet that offers plenty of protection (Image credit: Rich Owen)

Design

Like many similarly priced trail helmets, the Lazer Impala MIPS provides decent levels of head protection from every angle with a slightly extended rear to help protect the base the the skull. The Impala's softer EPS foam is protected by a hard shell with coverage that extends right under the brim which guards against damage and helps the Impala look good, too.

The rear of the Lazer Impala MIPS helmet

While the Impala doesn't lack for vents, the cooling effect is a little tame (Image credit: Rich Owen)

The Impala doesn't want for vents – there are 22 of them in total. Helmet padding is pretty substantial, too, with four parallel lines of of padding running over the top of the head, plus padding around the forward-facing section of the brim.

The visor has a three-click positional adjustment and provides enough room to happily park a pair of goggles when in the highest position. The cradle is easy to adjust via the dial at the rear and you can tune the depth of the rear section to suit the shape of your bonce.

Lazer Impala MIPS internals

Shell coverage continues right under the brim (Image credit: Rich Owen)

Performance

Our test helmet weighed 357g for the medium-sized model, which is a touch lighter than some similarly priced rivals like the Giro Montaro MIPS. The Impala feels nice and light while wearing and the 55-59cm size range of the medium fit my 58cm head just fine. There's plenty of room to accommodate wearing large lensed glasses and goggles, while the slightly narrowed peak is just long enough to give a little shade.

Virginia Tech (one of the chief arbiters of helmet safety) awarded the Impala a five-star safety rating and having had a fair few offs while wearing the helmet in which I only suffered a bruised ego, I've no reason to doubt them. 

Security-wise, the Impala stayed firmly in place in all trail conditions and felt comfortable throughout, too. Given the multitude of vents, I was a little disappointed not to have felt any noticeable rush of air across my head at any point and, while it's not the warmest trail helmet, it's not up there with the coolest either – which could be down to the amount of padding.

My only other gripe is that the chin strap webbing is a tad on the thin side and is a little fiddly to adjust as a result. 

Lazer Impala MIPS helmet

There's plenty of parking room for eyewear under the peak (Image credit: Rich Owen)

Verdict

Over several months of testing, the Lazer Impala MIPS has proved itself to be a solid, dependable MTB helmet with good looks that have shrugged off the rigors of use over a typically wet and muddy British winter.

It comes in three sizes, three colors and a slightly cheaper non-MIPS variety too. It's not the coolest feeling trail helmet I've worn and the webbing straps can be a little awkward to adjust, but these are very minor moans in what is overall a very good lid.

Tech Specs: Lazer Impala MIPS helmet

  • Price: $159.99 / £149.99
  • Weight: 357g (size medium) 
  • Sizes: Small, medium, large
  • Colors: Black, white/black. blue/green

A seasoned journalist with over 20 years experience, Rich heads up the Bike Perfect team having previous been editor of What Mountain Bike magazine and written for MBUK, Bikeradar, Cycling Plus as well as many other magazines and websites. He’s been riding mountain bikes since the mid-nineties and mostly likes hitting flowy yet technical trails that point downhill. A jack of many trades, Rich has competed in cross-country, enduro and long distance events, not to mention also now adding  gravel to his riding repertoire. Rich resides in North Devon and can mostly be found pedaling furiously around his local trails, or slightly further afield in the Quantocks, the Mendips or Exmoor. 


Rides: YT Jeffsy Uncaged 6, Mondraker Foxy Carbon XR, Vitus Substance VR

Height: 175cm

Weight: 70kg