The Gem is a trail helmet from online action sports superstore, Outdoor Master. Well put together helmets that give the added protection of a Mips slip plane liner are pretty common these days, but what's remarkable about the Gem is that it costs less than 60 bucks.
With a price tag of $55.99 (rising to $65.99 for certain colorways), it's never going to rival the best Mips mountain bike helmets that cost three or four times more, but as far as value for money goes, the Gem takes some beating. Does it deserve a place in our best mountain bike helmets under $100? Well, read on to find out...
Design and specifications
Like most modern bike helmets, the Gem basically consists of an EPS foam body covered in a tough polycarbonate shell. Apart from exposed EPS inside the vents and on the underside of the brim, outer shell coverage is better than on most entry-level helmets which helps protect the more easily damaged EPS and looks good too, particularly with its nice matte finish.
As is common on more expensive helmets, the Gem has a Mips layer that sits between its internal padding and the EPS. The Mips is there to help reduce rotational injury following an impact to the head and so provide an extra level of protection.
25 vents of varying sizes are designed to help keep the wearer as cool as possible, while an adjustable dial makes it easy to get a secure fit. You can also adjust the depth of fit of the retention cradle's rear section for maximum security and comfort.
There's plenty of low-profile padding on the interior of the helmet and it also has a built-in bug net. The adjustable webbing chin straps also have a padded section to stop any potential chin chafe.
The Gem gives average levels of head coverage and while there are many trail helmets that give a deeper fit (for extra protection), they are heavier and usually much more expensive. The outer shell does a decent job of deflecting branches and flying debris without suffering any real damage.
Weight-wise, the Gem comes in at 11.14oz (316g) which is light enough to sit gently on my head without being too noticeable. The fairly open vents do a decent job of keeping my head cool enough to avoid overheating on long exposed climbs during hot days in the saddle too.
The peak is pretty short so doesn't do a great deal except for improving the helmet's looks. Though if you wanted to take it off for gravel or road riding, it's easy to unclip and clip it back on.
For beginners, riders who prefer less threatening trail riding or those looking for a lightweight helmet for longer days in the saddle, the Gem is a great option. It's a good-looking and very well put together helmet that's a proper bargain with Mips protection.
$55.99 gets you the Carbon Black and Misty Sakura (aka pink) options, while the other colors $58.99, $61.99, or $65.99. The Gem is available online from Outdoor Master.com (opens in new tab).
Tech Specs: Outdoor Master Gem MTB helmet
- Price: $55.99, $58.99, $61.99 or $65.99 (depending on color choice)
- Sizes available: Medium (tested), Large
- Weight: 11.14oz / 316g (medium)
- Colors available: Carbon Black, Aqua Blue, Chalk Cliff, Pavement Gray, Ocean Blue, Midnight Blue, Palm Green, Speed Yellow, Misty Sakura, Mint Green