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Buckle up.

Giro's Xar Helmet represents the best blend of value, protection, and ventilation for a mountain bike helmet. It's a bit more substantial than, say, the road-specific Atmos II, but that's because its job is different. It's made to provide more coverage to the sides and back of your head while also resisting the every, branch-bumping nature of trail riding. A lightweight, barely-there road helmet is designed to protect against a single, serious impact — like an airbag. The Xar is more like the constant support of a seatbelt.

The Xar begins life as a roll cage made from DuPont Nylon, which provides a structural skeleton for the impact-absorbing EPS foam body. This keeps the helmet from shattering under impact. The In-Mold construction process fuses the EPS layer to the outer, polycarbonate one to reinforce the helmet — especially the spots around the vents and ribs. It makes them lighter, more durable, and better ventilated than helmets with shells that are glued to the liner.

The Xar's 17 Wind Tunnel vents and internal channeling shuttle air across your head while pulling heat up, up, and away. The P.O.V. visor increases comfort in a different way, by deflecting the sun, rain, and the odd twig or errant pebble kicked up by your riding buddies. The visor's internal clutch system allows for 15 degrees of vertical adjustment achieved by a very precise and technical quick whack of the hand. Its removal is just as easy and tool-free. The Roc Loc 5 fit system uses a ratcheting dial to adjust the helmet's fit.

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Here's what others have to say...

4 5

Great Fit and Ventilation

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I recently purchased another Giro Xar after using my previous Xar for about four years.

I think one of the best features of the Xar is its ventilation. It has kept me very comfortable, even on hot Southern California summer days.

The fit is also dialed. I have a pretty large head and the Large sizes fits very well with no pressure points. I tried on a lot of different helmets before purchasing my latest Xar and I have to say that it fits true to size.

The only minor issue I have is that the plastic on the roc-loc dial separates (same issue described by the previous reviewer).

However, this has not prevented me from using the helmet and has not interfered with it's functionality.

Overall, a great helmet for Trail and All-Mountain riding.

3 5

It's ok.

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Fits great, comfortable too. HOWEVER, the padding will peel and the roc loc plastic will break. Giro calls this normal wear and tear. I've owned my Xar for less than a year and now I have the option to spend $40 on replacement parts. That said, I guess I can't get a helmet this good for $40.