The Kask Caipi is a lightweight helmet that surprised editor Mike Blewitt.
Words and photos: Mike Blewitt
Kask are a big name in the helmet world, providing safety items for snowsports and equestrian uses alongside their cycling range. Having enjoyed a lot of popularity on the road, Kask's off-road options are slowly expanding. We had a Kask Rex reviewed a few years ago, and while it was expensive, it proved to be a very popular trail helmet due to the coverage and comfort it afforded.
Kask have recently released the Caipi, a light weight helmet that brings a lot of the fit and comfort of the Rex to a cheaper package. In fact, Kask aim to put the Caipi between their road helmets and the Rex, with the helmet targeted at riders who are venturing from the road to the dirt.
As such, the helmet is actually quite light, with my medium test helmet weighing 270g. Theer are small and large models available as well, covering a 50-62cm size range. The Caipi has extended coverage at the rear of the helmet. It's more than a road lid, but not as much as some dedicated trail helmets. With 22 vents, the helmet is well vented, and the padding means it's comfortable as well. There's a highly adjustable retention system, with heaps of height adjustment. This feature can be missed on some helmets and I think it's one of the leading adjustments to truly make your helmet stable.
Kask stick with quality straps and fasteners, and the synthetic leather strap is really comfortable against your skin, with the straps not holding sweat as much as straps on some cheaper helmets do. These are small details you may not notice when trying a helmet on, but on a hot day it counts.
Kask do have a single position visor on the Caipi. This stopped me in my tracks, as who wants a visor you can't adjust? I put my aesthetic sensibilities aside and I put the helmet on and went riding.
ON THE TRAIL
As a light helmet with a visor, lots of ventilation, very comfortable strap, and a really adjustable retention system – I just got on and rode after fitting the Kask Caipi up. I used the helmet for general riding around with sunglasses on, and I never felt the need to adjust the visor for greater clearance for vision. Sure, visor up is what the cool kids do, but without goggles to store up there, if the visor is in the right place – does it matter?
After a new lid? Check out some of our recent helmet reviews.
I took the visor off and realised the Caipi isn't a terrible looking helmet without it, not unlike the Scott Fuga Plus I tested a few years back. So, maybe, the Caipi can cross into the gravel or XC realm besides being used for general trail riding.
Like other Kask helmets I have used, the Kask was very comfortable and easy to get fitting well. A lot of the comfort comes down to high quality pads, straps and fittings, and a really adjustable retention system. It was light and airy even on 30 degree days, and the visor was a bonus for sun protection. Whether it's stylish or not is your call.
Kask say that the helmet is for those breaking free from the shackles of the road, and for those who crave adventure. Sure, maybe it is a halfway house for road riders venturing onto the dirt, who want a light lid with some trail features like extended coverage. But I just found it to be a seriously comfortable helmet. No, it's not going to let you pus your goggles beneath your visor. Yes, all the colours are pretty common and not matched to this seasons in vogue palette. And no, there's probably zero chance you will see the Kask Caipi ontop of a social media influencer in your feed. But it's a great helmet for light trail riding and getting out on the trails. If you want something more XC race specific, get a road helmet. If you want more coverage, get a beefier trail lid. My only concern is that at $239, the Caipi may not be priced to suit the market it needs to reach, with a lot of high quality helmets selling for $50-80 less. But do yourself a favour, try one on at your local Kask dealer when you're helmet shopping. You may be surprised.
- Light weight
- Very comfortable
- High quality straps and padding
- Very adjustable
- Kooky visor
From: Kask Australia