My first impressions of POC’s Tectal helmet actually took place before I even got it out of the box.
At 340 grams, it’s certainly lightweight. Once removing the helmet from its cardboard container, I couldn’t help but wonder which one was lighter, the helmet or the box—if you’re curious, the helmet was more than a 100 grams lighter.
In a well-executed design move by POC, the largest contributing factor to the Tectal’s lightweight properties also gives it strength. Aramid fiber bridges are molded to the helmet core, spreading impacts throughout the helmet while simultaneously reducing the overall weight. So what in the hell is Aramid? It’s a fair question.
Aramid is a classification of synthetic fabric weaves that are up to 5 times stronger than the same weight of steel. Perhaps the easiest way to explain would be to call it a form of Kevlar, but that would be a wee bit backwards since Kevlar is a form of Aramid. Science aside, the helmet is very easy to forget you’re wearing on your head, partially due to its weight.
On top of being lightweight, the Tectal is instantly comfortable out of the box with very little tinkering needed. Should the fit need to change, the size adjustment system is easy to use and well designed with even contact and no gaps around the skull. Sliders on the chin strap make getting the perfect fit simple.
The overall helmet shape is designed to increase coverage on the back of the skull, as well as around the temples. POC pulled off extra coverage and made it look good at the same time.
The Tectal fits true to size, with the medium/large fitting a 55-58cm head well. My dome measures 57cm and I have the adjuster set slightly toward the 58cm side with a centimeter more to play with. Honestly the padding seems minimal, yet the comfort is undeniable. I think it says good things when the comfort credit should be awarded to the overall refinement and shape of the helmet, not simply plush padding.
The Tectal vents better than most. Actually, the Tectal is the best ventilating helmet I’ve used. With other helmets, I’ll occasionally take them off while climbing a road to manage my thermal nuclear reactor of a human body. However, this lid stays on, even during hot summer rides. Yet more impressive is the fact that once I’m relaxing at the top, I’ve found the Tectal still sometimes remains on my dome because nothing about it is uncomfortable. Next thing you know, I’ll accidentally wear it into the grocery store.
After a solid six months of use, I have zero complaints about the Tectal, and it has been seamlessly integrated into my riding kit. At $190, the Tectal is not a cheap option, that’s for sure. But a helmet that bests it in fit, comfort and weight is going to be nearly impossible to come by—that’s also for sure.
POC Tectal Helmet
See more at www.pocsports.com