FIRST IMPRESSIONS: The most race-specific helmet in this year’s test, POC’s Skull Orbic Comp H.I. MIPS is also the most feature-laden. First, a bit of background: the initial iteration of this helmet was the Orbic Comp (sans acronyms), designed after researchers identified the risk posed to some ski racers using their helmets to deflect gates. Over time, those repeated impacts would wear down the helmets. POC created a deflector panel and proprietary material to keep the impact from completely transferring to the skier’s head. This year’s helmet is the second generation of that concept, adding a sensor to monitor impact and determine whether the helmet has been compromised. Perhaps as a result of its racing inclination, the medium/large size was tight on nearly everyone who tested the prototype, a fit that representatives for the company tell us will be less snug when the actual product hits shelves. We’d suggest trying this on in person to get the perfect fit.

FAVORITE FEATURES: New this year, POC adds the H.I. feature, which keeps track of impact over the helmet’s lifespan. As with any helmet, one serious impact or a series of impacts will compromise the protection it offers. POC developed a button that you can press to see if the helmet is still good to go. When it’s been hit beyond the point of safety, sensors turn red and you’ll want to replace the helmet.

MANUFACTURER DESCRIPTION: The Skull Orbic Comp H.I. MIPS helmet introduces the H.I. sensor that monitors impacts and deformation of the helmet liner. The system allows the user to check the integrity of the helmet by pressing a button on the back. The severity and history of the impacts are calculated and stored in the device. If one or a combination of impacts exceeds the pre-defined level, the helmet is not recommended for use and the light turns red. The helmet is also equipped with MIPS (Multi-directional Impact Protection System) to help reduce rotational forces to the brain in the event of a crash. The helmet is the second generation of the award-winning Skull Orbic Comp, which has a patent pending deflector panel with multi-impact EPP and POC’s VPD 2.0 compound in the front that allows gates to be deflected with reduced energy transmission to the head.