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?
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 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.
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.
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