A softshell helmet, sounds a bit strange, doesn’t it? When I bought the Giro Combyn earlier this year, I just bought it because it fit really well, it was very comfortable, and I thought it looked cool. I wore it in Austria, temperatures between -15 and 10 plus degrees, and in North Sweden, temperatures between -25 and 0 degrees. The helmet was brought to market in 2014, pioneering Giro’s soft-shell construction and for this year is still quite up there as far as really fresh new line of products is concerned.
Together with the Soft Shell Construction, the Dual Density Vinyl Nitrile (VN) Liner is purpose built to really absorb and slow down the impact, and due to its good “fatigue span” you get a bit of rebound energy as well, so that should make for a pretty durable helmet as well. So it will be able to handle multiple impacts whereas with rigid foam helmets you can throw away your helmet after impact.
Added to that, the soft shell of the outer helmet will fit better to a wider range of head shapes than a real stiff, hard shells of many other helmets. Before we get carried away by the term “soft shell” the outer shell is hard in itself, and will take a knock, but it is soft in the sense that it is not rigid but flexible. Check the pics below to see what I mean.
There are a number of cool featrues that really add to the comfort and pleasure a.k.a. fun in wearing the Combyn:
- Seemingly simple, but nive nonetheless is the fleece lined chin strap. Simple and comfortable.
- Audio compatibility. The ear pads (which can be taking off completely if you want to go skating in the summer), fit separate headsets which you can slip into the ear pads. If you do enjoy some tunes on the mountain this is a great feature. No cable sizzle to worry about, no ear buds popping out of your ears at annoying moments.
- The air vents have been smartly positioned to add to the airflow through the air vents of goggles. Adding to the draft you need for that anti-fog effect to really kick in. I used the helmet with Uvex Downhill 2000 goggles, a great combination.
- Goggle retainer strap is removable, but drawback was that I just lost it quite quickly.
- The ear pads themselves, the extra fleece lining, everything works, together with the soft shell, towards comfort and wearability. The principle being that a better fitting helmet is a safer helmet.
All in all it’s great helmet. It fits well, handles (multiple) impacts well (trust me I have fallen often enough with it, luckily no extreme impacts), is comfortable, ventilates well and looks good. And moreover it retails at around just € 130,- / € 140,- euro. So quite a bang for your buck!
Check some of our earlier reviews to see the helmet in action.