POC’s Omne has been their most affordable drop bar helmet covering all riding from road, gravel, and XC mountain biking for a while now. Despite not being the brand's best gravel bike helmet, it's still packed with plenty of premium features.
POC recently broadened the range too, releasing an unusual adventure helmet featuring a cargo attachment and the race-focused Omne Lite on test here. For the Omne Lite, POC has taken a page out of Colin Chapman's book by simplifying and adding lightness to produce a budget-performance helmet.
Design and specifications
The Omne Lite follows the same basic shell shape as the genesis Omne although there are a few differences. There are three extra vents added to the top and sides, as well as larger rear vents, which help lower the weight of the helmet and improve ventilation. Channeling has also been modified to take advantage of the new air holes too.
It wouldn’t really justify the ‘lite’ name if the POC Omne Lite wasn’t completely stripped out. On the outside, POC has trimmed back the polycarbonate shell, especially around the side and rear of the helmet. The PC shell that remains is very neatly integrated into the helmet and protects the most at-risk areas.
On the inside, there's an extremely minimum head retention system. Rather than a long plastic section that connects the front of the helmet to the rear cradle, POC has used a cable that laces through a small section of plastic at the front of the helmet. The Retention dial and cradle at the back remain the same and there are three vertical positions to fine-tune fit. POC has opted to forego any rotational protection like Mips to save further weight.
The Omne Lite is available in small, medium, and large sizes, along with shorter but a wider ‘Wide Fit’ shape in small and medium.
POC’s Omne Lite has got a properly feathery feel when you pick it up and pop it on your head. The lower weight is instantly noticeable to everyone that handled it. Put it onto your head and it quickly fades into the background becoming unnoticeable.
I find POC helmets very agreeable to my head shape already and the Omne Lite was as comfortable, if not more comfortable due to its low mass than the Ventral and standard Omne that I regularly ride in. The minimalist head retention still assures a secure fit with simple adjustment and doesn't feel any different from the retention I have used in POCS other helmets.
Ventilation is decent too and the extra venting over the standard Omne helps aid airflow. So far the spring conditions haven't really challenged the helmet's heat-dissipating properties yet, that said during a trip to Girona recently the helmet performed well in the warmer conditions.
Cutting out the extra vents, stripping out the Mips, and being sparing with the PC shell means the Lite version earns its name by being 74g lighter than my standard Omne Spin (Spin has since been replaced by Mips, so weights may differ).
With my medium test helmet weighing in at 233g it really undercuts POC’s more expensive Ventral Mips although it can't beat POC’s Ventral Lite, which is their lightest helmet coming in at sub 200g. Interestingly, the Omne Lite is in direct competition with POC’s own Octal in terms of price and weight, however, the Octal also includes Mips and a more comprehensive PC shell.
POC has been smart with the PC Shell and made sure to keep all the important edges protected. That said there are some exposed sections so if you're rough with your helmet this might not be the lid for you as the EPS liner is noticeably more exposed on the back and sides.
The low weight and secure fit means the POC Omne Lite becomes unnoticeable when you are riding in it. I wore it for all manner of rides from high-intensity training rides to 200km of gravel racing at the Dirty Reiver and everything in between with zero issues with comfort or security.
The Omne Lite looks great and the performance is superb but on paper, it's bested by POC’s own Octal which is claimed to be just as light but also comes equipped with Mips for just $10 / £10 / €10 more.
Tech specs: POC Omne Lite
- Price: $190 / £170 / €190
- Sizes: S (50-56cm), M (54-59cm), L (56-61cm)
- Colors: Hydrogen White, Uranium Black Matt, Epidote Green Matt, Purple Amethyst Matt, Fluorescent Pink/Uranium Black, Uranium Black/Prismane Red Matt, and Uranium Black/Lead Blue Matt
- Weight: 233g (medium tested)