Select Page

Table Of Contents

Bell Stratus MIPS Review: The Best Road Bike Helmets of 2020 – Cycling Helmet Review

Best Mid Priced Road Bike Helmet

  • Comfort, Fit, and Adjustability 80% 80%
  • Weight 60% 60%
  • Ventilation 70% 70%
  • Aerodynamics 70% 70%
  • Safety Tech and Additional Features 70% 70%

Price: $149.95

Weight: 296g

Vents: 18

Fit System: Float Fit

Safety Tech: MIPS

What We Like: Premium Features in a Mid Priced Helmet

What We Don’t: Lacks Some of the Safety Features of the Bell Z20 MIPS

The Bell Stratus MIPS road bike helmet is Bell’s second-tier offering, behind the premium Z20 MIPS. If you like what the Z20 has to offer but can’t justify the price, then look no further than the Bell Stratus. The Stratus offers nearly all of the same features as the Z20, although without some of the fit and finish, in a lighter, cheaper package.

Compare to Similar Products

See Our The Best Road Bike Helmets of 2020: Cycling Helmet Review!

POC Ventral SPIN

  • Comfort, Fit, and Adjustability 100% 100%
  • Weight 70% 70%
  • Ventilation 90% 90%
  • Aerodynamics 100% 100%
  • Safety Tech and Additional Features 100% 100%

Pros

Unparalleled Combination of Weight

Safety

Ventilation

Cons

Price

Weight: 280g

Vents: 14

Fit System: Proprietary 360 Degree Retention System

Safety Tech: SPIN

Giro Synthe MIPS

  • Comfort, Fit, and Adjustability 100% 100%
  • Weight 70% 70%
  • Ventilation 80% 80%
  • Aerodynamics 90% 90%
  • Safety Tech and Additional Features 90% 90%

Pros

Highly Adjustable

Well Ventilated

Aerodynamic

Great Sale Prices

Cons

MSRP is Nearly as Expensive as the POC Ventral Spin

Weight: 268g

Vents: 26

Fit System: Roc Loc 5 Air

Safety Tech: MIPS

Lazer Z-1 MIPS

  • Comfort, Fit, and Adjustability 90% 90%
  • Weight 60% 60%
  • Ventilation 100% 100%
  • Aerodynamics 60% 60%
  • Safety Tech and Additional Features 90% 90%

Pros

MIPS

T Pro

Highly Adjustable

Magneto Eyewear Doc

Cons

Heavy

High MSRP

Weight: 284g

Vents: 31

Fit System: ARS Advanced Rollsys System

Safety Tech: MIPS, T Pro

Giro Aether MIPS

  • Comfort, Fit, and Adjustability 100% 100%
  • Weight 70% 70%
  • Ventilation 80% 80%
  • Aerodynamics 90% 90%
  • Safety Tech and Additional Features 100% 100%

Pros

MIPS Spherical

Roc Loc 5+ Air Fit Retention System

Cons

Staggering Price Tag

Weight: 267g

Vents: 11

Fit System: Roc Loc 5+ Air

Safety Tech: MIPS Spherical

Smith Trace MIPS

  • Comfort, Fit, and Adjustability 90% 90%
  • Weight 70% 70%
  • Ventilation 60% 60%
  • Aerodynamics 90% 90%
  • Safety Tech and Additional Features 100% 100%

Pros

Top of the Line Safety Features

Improved Ventilation Over Smith Overtake

Cons

Still Not the Best Ventilation

Price

Weight: 280g

Vents: 18

Fit System: VaporFit

Safety Tech: MIPS, Koroyd

Giro Foray MIPS

  • Comfort, Fit, and Adjustability 80% 80%
  • Weight 60% 60%
  • Ventilation 70% 70%
  • Aerodynamics 80% 80%
  • Safety Tech and Additional Features 80% 80%

Pros

Premium Features at a Budget Price

Cons

Doesn’t Vent or Fit Quite Like the Giro Synthe

Weight: 298g

Vents: 21

Fit System: Roc Loc 5

Safety Tech: MIPS

Bell Stratus MIPS

  • Comfort, Fit, and Adjustability 80% 80%
  • Weight 60% 60%
  • Ventilation 70% 70%
  • Aerodynamics 70% 70%
  • Safety Tech and Additional Features 70% 70%

Pros

Premium Features in a Mid Priced Helmet

Cons

Lacks Some of the Safety Features of the Bell Z20 MIPS

Weight: 296g

Vents: 18

Fit System: Float Fit

Safety Tech: MIPS

Kask Valegro

  • Comfort, Fit, and Adjustability 80% 80%
  • Weight 90% 90%
  • Ventilation 100% 100%
  • Aerodynamics 70% 70%
  • Safety Tech and Additional Features 50% 50%

Pros

Lightweight

Great Ventilation

Cons

No MIPS

Issues With Octo Fit Retention System

Weight: 234g

Vents: 37

Fit System: Octo Fit

Safety Tech: In Molding, MIT

Kask Protone

  • Comfort, Fit, and Adjustability 80% 80%
  • Weight 80% 80%
  • Ventilation 70% 70%
  • Aerodynamics 90% 90%
  • Safety Tech and Additional Features 50% 50%

Pros

Highly Adjustable

Aerodynamic

Cons

No MIPS

Falls Short of the Giro Synthe’s Adjustability and Ventilation

Weight: 248g

Vents: 20

Fit System: Octo Fit

Safety Tech: In Molding, MIT

Bell Z20 MIPS

  • Comfort, Fit, and Adjustability 90% 90%
  • Weight 50% 50%
  • Ventilation 80% 80%
  • Aerodynamics 70% 70%
  • Safety Tech and Additional Features 80% 80%

Pros

Float Fit Race Retention System

Ventilation

Cons

Weight

Nowhere to Stash Sunglasses

Weight: 305g

Vents: 18

Fit System: Float Fit Race 

Safety Tech: MIPS

Kask Mojito X

  • Comfort, Fit, and Adjustability 70% 70%
  • Weight 100% 100%
  • Ventilation 60% 60%
  • Aerodynamics 60% 60%
  • Safety Tech and Additional Features 50% 50%

Pros

Solid Performer in Every Category

Cons

Doesn’t Vent or Fit Quite Like the Giro Synthe

Weight: 220g

Vents: 26

Fit System: Up & Down Fit System

Safety Tech: MIT, In Molding

Comfort, Fit, and Adjustability

While the adjustability of the Bell Stratus MIPS falls behind premium offerings like the Bell Z20 and Giro Synthe, it is not far behind. The Bell Stratus MIPS employs Bell’s Float Fit retention system, which is similar to the Float Fit Race found on the Bell Z20, but without a few of the features.

The Float Fit system handles the retention adjustments, while there is a sliding flip just above it to adjust the vertical position of the helmet, which helps dial in that just right fit. However, this is a bit more cumbersome than the same process on the Bell Z20. Meanwhile, the Stratus features the same “No-Twist Tri-Glides” as the Bell Z20. Coupled with the easily adjustable Y shaped ear straps these make getting the fit of the straps dialed in a breeze.

Inside the helmet, there is no X-Static liner, but the liner employed is thick and does its job well. The liner also culminates with a sweat guide in the front of the helmet, which works just like the one on the more expensive Bell helmets that we have reviewed.

Weight

Weighing in at 296g, the Bell Stratus is about 20g lighter than the more expensive Bell Z20. If you are looking to save both weight and money, then the Bell Stratus MIPS road bike helmet is one of the rare chances to do just that. Part of this comes from the single polycarbonate shell, rather than the dual laminate in molded shell of the Z20. While we tend to be more safety conscious than weight conscious, this change is a large part of the reason that the Bell Stratus can be both cheaper and lighter than the Z20.

Ventilation

With 18 vents, the Bell Stratus is shaped very similarly to the Z20, and it features very similar ventilating capabilities. If there is a drawback however, it is that the Float Fit system employed by the Bell Stratus might not be quite as cool as the Float Fit Race of the Bell Z20. However, we are really grasping at straws here, as the two helmets ventilate very similarly. Like the Giro Synthe, the Bell Stratus MIPS’ vents do a good job of working together to draw air in through the overbrow vents, channel it across your head, and release it through the exhaust ports in the back.

Safety Tech and Additional Features

The Bell Stratus MIPS uses a standard MIPS insert to guard against rotational impacts, and uses in molding to bond the polycarbonate outer shell to the EPS foam molded inner. However, gone is the progressive layering and dual laminate polycarbonate shell of the Bell Z20 MIPS.

Aerodynamics

Like the Bell Z20 MIPS, the Stratus is aimed more at those who are looking for comfort and ventilation than aerodynamics. However, it is a sleek and low profile helmet and should be about as aerodynamic as most well-ventilated road bike helmets.

The Bottom Line

Overall, the Bell Stratus MIPS helmet is a mid-priced road bike helmet that offers almost all of the features of its premium counterparts. While the Giro Synthe and Bell Z20 might do everything the Stratus does a bit better, the Stratus does almost everything that they do a bit cheaper. And when you consider the fact that the Bell Stratus, which retails for $149.95 can be found on sale as low as $90, you would be hard pressed to find a road bike helmet that offers a better bang for your buck.

Compare Prices From Retailers Below

You help support Gear Hacker by purchasing from our retail partners.