Kali Prana Carbon Facts
Price: $349.99 Buy on Amazon for $249.99
Weight (size large): 2.93 lbs For comparison the Shoei VFX-W weighs 3.6 lbs, this may not seem like a big difference, but is very noticeable in a helmet.
What makes the Kali Prana Carbon Helmet Special? At less than 3 lbs the Kali Prana Carbon is definitely lightweight. Part of this is due to the use of Carbon Fiber and Composite Fusion, using the ECE standard instead of Snell sheds some weight as well. ECE is beginning to be known as a more appropriate standard for motocross helmets. The Snell standard creates very stiff helmets, more suited to car racing, where the ECE standard is motorcycle specific. Recently Racer X covered why ECE is a better standard for Motocross than Snell with “Between the Motos: Airoh Helmts”. The Kali Prana Carbon also features composite fusion plus, a technology I’ll explain below.
What is Composite Fusion? In typical helmet construction the shell and the eps liner are two separate peaces glued together. With composite fusion the eps liner is formed inside of and bonded directly to the shell. This transfers impact energy more efficiently and allows Kali to use a thinner shell that absorbs impacts better.
What is Composite Fusion Plus? Composite Fusion Plus is the same as composite fusion, but with the addition of geometric shapes that are a different density. The softer eps is closest to your head and the stiffest is closest to the shell. In the event of an impact the geometric shapes collapse directing the energy sideways instead of directly to your head. The video below talks more about how this works and even claims a 25% reduction in g-force upon impact vs typical helmet construction.
Fit: The Kali Prana Carbon fits very well and I would say is true to size. At first it did feel different though, almost too big. I found out this is because the liner is thicker than most helmets. The thick, soft liner made the helmet feel a bit big at first, but really added to the comfort once I got used to the feel. I ended up using the thicker cheek pads to help perfect the fit.
Ventilation: This helmet ventilates comparably to other helmets in the price range. It doesn’t bring in the air like a Shoei or 6D, but is very comparable to One & 661 helmets I have used in the past .
The other stuff: Other than the composite fusion plus there are a couple other cool things worth noting. The Kali Prana Carbon comes with two helmet bags. One thin one, like what comes with most helmets and one really nice one that you would typically have to spend $39.99 on. It also comes with two sets of cheek pads to customize fit. Lastly it has something Kali calls the “pop out system” (insert dirty joke here). The pop out system is basically a two piece visor, that in the event of a crash, comes apart saving the visor (more on this in my crash test).
What could be improved: This is a great helmet for the price. Probably the be best helmet you can buy for $350, but a few simple changes could put this helmet’s build quality up there with premium helmets.
- The ventilation. It vents decently, but doesn’t vent as well as more expensive helmets. A cheek pad redesign could help, they are very big.
- Liner attachment. It isn’t bad, and is pretty typical, but isn’t as good as more expensive helmets.
- The visor and mouthpiece. I don’t know what it is, something about these seems cheap.
- The chin strap is kind of long.
None of the things above are a big deal at all. Maybe Kali will come out with a top of the line helmet, fix the things above and charge an extra $100… They still would be offering the public a great deal.
My Crash test: This review even comes complete with crash test, that’s how thorough I am, I sacrificed myself for this review. I went over the bars in third gear basically landing head first. My whole body was pretty banged up, had the wind knocked out of me horribly, even bent a knee brace somehow. I’m not a doctor, but there didn’t seem to be any signs of concussion. The helmet did its job-it protected my head. The pop out system worked and the visor wasn’t damaged. As you may know after a serious crash like this you are supposed to replace the helmet. I inspected the helmet and there were signs of stress in the EPS. The helmet seems to have done a great job protecting my head, but it did need to be replaced.
Is it any good? The Kali Prana Carbon offers a very high value for the price. With a couple little changes the helmet build quality would be on the same level of a top of the line Shoei. It is very lightweight and comfortable and offers advanced technology that probably protects your head better than any other helmet out (besides 6D). It comes with a very nice helmet bag and two sets of cheek pads to help customize the fit. I think you would be crazy to not consider the Kali Prana Carbon as an option when looking at new helmets.
Before testing the Kali Prana Carbon, I had a chance to talk to Kali Founder Brad Waldron. In the write up there is some very interesting info and a great chance to learn more about Kali’s technology and helmets in general. Check it out here: 9 Q’s With Kali Protectives Founder Brad Waldron.