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Kali Protectives Maya 2.0 ReviewBest Open Face Mountain Bike Helmet Review

Best Bang For Your Buck

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

Category: All-Mountain

Weight: 360g

Vents: 12

Price: $100.00

What We Like: Premium helmet protection with a budget helmet price tag

What We Don’t: Two-handed retention system

Kali Protectives does not get the name brand recognition or the advertising budget that many of the brands on our list enjoy. However, that doesn’t stop them from being on the cutting edge of helmet safety innovation. That safety innovation and the ability to package it in a budget-friendly helmet is what ranks the Kali Maya 2.0 as our co-top pick as the best open face mountain bike helmet for your money.

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

At 360g, the Kali Maya is a fairly light helmet, particularly for one at its price point. Furthermore, it also provides very good coverage for a budget, open face mountain bike helmet. While it might not provide the coverage of the POC Tectal or 6D ATB-1T EVO, the Kali Maya is about on par with the Leatt DBX 3.0 All Mountain helmet, in terms of temple coverage. It also provides coverage down low over the back of the skull, an area where many helmets fall short.

Like most helmets that do all of the above well and don’t cost an arm and a leg, the Kali Maya suffers a bit when it comes to ventilation. A quick look at its 12 vents makes it easy to see why it is not nearly as cool as the helmets like the POC Tectal Race Spin, or the Maya’s own sibling: the more expensive Kali Interceptor.

Safety Tech

If you want to make a great helmet at a bargain price, you have to skimp out on something. However, that something should never be safety. Apparently, the folks at Kali agree. The Kali Maya 2.0 comes with a set of safety features that is as impressive as just about any mountain bike helmet on our list.

The Kali Maya 2.0 features Kali’s own proprietary “Composite Fusion” system. Composite Fusion uses in-molding technology to merge the helmet’s EPS foam liner and shell together. This allows Kali to use a softer variant of EPS foam, complete with a pattern of cone-shaped crumple zones, to better dissipate impact.

Most companies would have been happy to stop here, or at best to throw a MIPS liner in for good measure. But not Kali. Instead, the Kali Maya 2.0 also comes with Kali’s LDL (Low Density Layer). This system is similar to Leatt’s Turbine technology and POC’s Spin technology. It 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 even the softest eps foam, and Kali claims that they absorb an additional 30% of low G impacts. In addition to crushing to absorb low G impacts, they also rotate and sheer in order to better absorb rotational impacts.

With most of the same safety tech found in more expensive Kali Protectives helmets, the Kali Maya is an obvious choice for anyone looking for a budget mountain bike helmet that offers the best set of safety features on the market. In fact, we felt that the innovative safety solutions of the Kali Maya are on par with those of just about any helmet in our review.

Other features

The Kali Maya 2.0 features your standard chin strap buckle with the usual adjustments available for each ear. The system is not flashy, but it is tried and true and helps keep the cost down.

Unfortunately, the retention system is neither tried and true nor terribly easy to use, and that is the main thing that keeps the Kali Maya from being one of our top picks. Unlike most modern mountain bike helmets that use a single, rotating dial to adjust the retention system, the Kali Maya uses a two-hand pinch system.

It is not that it is terribly difficult to use, nor terribly ineffective. It is simply the fact that it requires two hands that holds it back. Many riders will adjust their helmets retention system over the course of a ride, and that is generally an easy enough task, requiring only one hand. However, to adjust the Kali Maya, you will either have to stop or do some hands-free riding.

Getting back to the positives, the Kali Maya features a “Flex-Moto” style visor, that is easily adjustable and can easily handle a pair of goggles.

The final “feature” of the Kali Maya 2.0 is really more a feature of Kali as a company and one that instantly made us raving fans. 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 you send them your old one in for inspection.

The Bottom Line

The Kali Maya Helmet Rocks. Seriously. We firmly believe that a helmet’s first and only purpose is to protect your head. And at ~ $100 the Kali Maya proves that this can be done for less than half of what some of the premium helmets on the market cost.

Granted, there are a few places where the helmet might feel inferior to its higher-end competitors, but safety is not one of them. Sure, we wish that the Kali Maya was a bit cooler. And, sure, we are not big fans of the two-handed retention system adjustment. However, at the end of the day, if you are buying a helmet and you have a hundred bucks, there is no helmet that we would recommend more highly than the Kali Maya 2.0.

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