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Kali Interceptor ReviewBest Open Face Mountain Bike Helmet Review

Best All Around Open Face Helmet

  • Coverage 90% 90%
  • Safety Tech 100% 100%
  • Weight 80% 80%
  • Ventilation 100% 100%
  • Features 60% 60%

Category: All-Mountain/XC

Weight: 388g

Vents: 18

Price: $180.00

What We Like: Insane safety tech, great ventilation

What We Don’t: Subpar visor, slightly less coverage than other top picks, only available in two sizes

Kali is a small brand, but one utterly committed to pushing the cutting edge of innovation when it comes to helmet safety technology. The company has a grassroots feel, eschewing the advertising methods of larger brands. However, the likes of Jeff Kendall-Weed and others can be found vouching for both Kali, and for the Interceptor.

Compare to Similar Products

See Our Best Open Face Mountain Bike Helmet Review HERE!

POC Tectal Race Spin

  • Coverage 90% 90%
  • Safety Tech 90% 90%
  • Weight 80% 80%
  • Ventilation 100% 100%
  • Features 90% 90%

Pros

Innovative

Well Ventilated

Great Coverage

Cons

Price Tag

Category: All-Mountain/XC

Weight: 354g

Vents: 15

6D ATB-1T EVO

  • Coverage 100% 100%
  • Safety Tech 100% 100%
  • Weight 50% 50%
  • Ventilation 70% 70%
  • Features 90% 90%

Pros

Innovative Safety Technology

Best in Class Coverage

Cons

Hot and Heavy

Category: All-Mountain

Weight: 484g

Vents: 15

Troy Lee Designs A2 MIPS

  • Coverage 90% 90%
  • Safety Tech 80% 80%
  • Weight 80% 80%
  • Ventilation 90% 90%
  • Features 70% 70%

Pros

Well Ventilated

Great Coverage

Great Looks.

Cons

Limited Visor Adjustability

Category: All-Mountain/XC

Weight: 377g

Vents: 13

Smith Forefront 2 MIPS

  • Coverage 90% 90%
  • Safety Tech 90% 90%
  • Weight 100% 100%
  • Ventilation 60% 60%
  • Features 100% 100%

Pros

Very Lightweight

Comfortable Fit

Innovative Safety Technology

Cons

Sub-par Ventilation

Expensive

Category: All-Mountain/XC

Weight: 340g

Vents: 20

Kali Interceptor

  • Coverage 90% 90%
  • Safety Tech 100% 100%
  • Weight 80% 80%
  • Ventilation 100% 100%
  • Features 60% 60%

Pros

Insane Safety Tech

Great Ventilation

Cons

Subpar Visor

Slightly Less Coverage than Other Top Picks

Only Available in Two Sizes

Category: All-Mountain/XC

Weight: 388g

Vents: 18

Leatt DBX 3.0 All Mountain

  • Coverage 80% 80%
  • Safety Tech 100% 100%
  • Weight 80% 80%
  • Ventilation 80% 80%
  • Features 100% 100%

Pros

Epic Safety Innovation

Lightweight

Well Ventilated

Cons

Not quite as much Coverage as our other Top Picks

Category: All-Mountain

Weight: 360g

Vents: 18

Kali Protectives Maya 2.0

  • Coverage 80% 80%
  • Safety Tech 90% 90%
  • Weight 90% 90%
  • Ventilation 70% 70%
  • Features 40% 40%

Pros

Premium Helmet Protection with a budget Helmet Price Tag

Cons

Two-handed Retention System

Category: All-Mountain

Weight: 360g

Vents: 12

Giro Chronicle

  • Coverage 70% 70%
  • Safety Tech 70% 70%
  • Weight 80% 80%
  • Ventilation 60% 60%
  • Features 60% 60%

Pros

All of the Features of a Top of the Line Helmet at half the Price.

Cons

Warmer than average, not the greatest helmet liner.

Category: All-Mountain/XC

Weight: 371g

Vents: 14

Bell Sixer MIPS

  • Coverage 90% 90%
  • Safety Tech 80% 80%
  • Weight 60% 60%
  • Ventilation 80% 80%
  • Features 70% 70%

Pros

The tried and true features of the Super 3 in an updated package

Cons

Average Weight and Pricing

Category: All-Mountain

Weight: 411g

Vents: 26

Smith Session MIPS

  • Coverage 70% 70%
  • Safety Tech 80% 80%
  • Weight 70% 70%
  • Ventilation 90% 90%
  • Features 60% 60%

Pros

Great Ventilation

Cons

Price to Performance

Chin Strap

Category:  All-Mountain/XC

Weight: 377g

Vents: 15 vents

Giro Montaro MIPS

  • Coverage 60% 60%
  • Safety Tech 80% 80%
  • Weight 70% 70%
  • Ventilation 90% 90%
  • Features 90% 90%

Pros

Decent Coverage

MIPS Tech

Well-Ventilated

Cons

Not as good of a value as the Giro Chronicle, and not on par with our Top Picks

Category: All-Mountain/XC

Weight: 369g

Vents: 16

Coverage, Weight, and Ventilation

The Kali Interceptor might not be the highest coverage open face mountain bike helmet that we have reviewed, but it is not far from it. While it might be just beat out by the likes of the 6D ATB-1T EVO and POC Tectal Race Spin, the Kali Interceptor provides great coverage, particularly in the back, where many helmets fall short. However, it seems to sit higher on some heads than others, and this is likely due to the fact that it is only offered in two sizes. We rarely comment on fit, because it is a factor unique to each individual. However, it stands to reason that it would be easier to get a proper fit from a helmet offered in three or four sizes than it would be in a helmet only offered in two.

Meanwhile, the 18 massive vents provide ventilation as good as any helmet that we have reviewed. However, the vents are so massive, that they made us a bit nervous. In fact, we actually deducted slightly from the Interceptor’s coverage score, out of fear that an oddly shaped object might find its way through one of the large vents in the event of a crash.

At 388g, the Kali Interceptor is just average when it comes to weight, but that is the price of the safety features that make it one of our top picks.

Safety Tech

This is where the Kali Interceptor has no equal. It boasts all three of Kali’s proprietary safety features: Composite Fusion, LDL (Low Density Layer), and Nano Fusion.

The “Composite Fusion” system uses in-molding technology to merge the helmet’s EPS foam liner and shell together. This actually allows Kali to use a softer variant of EPS foam, complete with a pattern of cone-shaped crumple zones, to better dissipate impact.

Kali’s LDL (Low Density Layer) is Kali’s answer to, and improvement on, MIPS tech. This system is similar to Leatt’s Turbine technology and POC’s Spin technology and focuses on protecting your head from both lower speed and rotational impacts. The LDL tech is essentially a series of gel pads placed strategically throughout the helmet. These pads are softer than eps foam and Kali claims that they absorb an additional 30% of low G impacts. In addition to crushing to absorb low G impacts, the LDL gel inserts also rotate and sheer in order to better absorb rotational impacts.

Finally, the Kali Interceptor’s Nano Fusion system consists of in-molded multi-density EPS foam with carbon nanotube-infused acrylic self-healing foam. This allows for a smaller and lighter helmet, rather than the bulkier, heavier helmets that often result from the addition of low G and rotational impact dissipating technologies.

Other features

The Kali Interceptor’s cheaper sibling, the Kali Maya, was one of our favorite helmets, save for its two-handed retention adjustment system. Not surprisingly, this is a non-issue on the more expensive Kali Interceptor, which features a Boa dial that is as effective and effortless to use as any that we have reviewed.

The fact that the Kali Interceptor sits slightly higher on the head than some high coverage helmets means that your sunglasses should not be bothered by bumping into it. However, this brings us to a low point of the Kali Interceptor, and that is the visor.

Unlike the cheaper Maya, the Kali Interceptor features a very short visor that just feels cheap and flimsy. There was even an issue with the earliest Kali Interceptor models, which resulted in the visors breaking off, though Kali has since remedied this issue. Still, there is not much to the visor, and it is difficult to get larger goggles underneath it.

Finally, a huge plus for the Kali Interceptor and Kali, in general, is Kali’s lifetime crash replacement policy. Most helmet manufacturers offer a 20-30% discount for crash replacement, should your helmet be crushed between your skull and the ground in the line of duty. However, Kali will provide you with a brand spanking new helmet, for only the cost of shipping, after they determine that your old one was in fact crushed in the line of duty.

The Bottom Line

The Kali interceptor is an amazing helmet. Its strengths lie in its innovation, particularly in regards to safety technology. As with anything as innovative as the Kali interceptor, there are bound to be some growing pains, and the Interceptor is not free from them.

Nevertheless, at $180, the Interceptor is right in the middle of our favorite high-end helmets, from a price standpoint, and it is loaded with the most next-gen safety features of any helmet that we reviewed. If safety tech and ventilation are your cups of tea, and one of the two sizes fits your head, then the Kali Interceptor is a hard helmet to pass up.

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