Bollé Halo React MIPS helmet review - high quality commuter lid with integrated lights

The famous French manufacturer’s top-of-the-range commuter helmet blends classic styling with a host of contemporary features that tick all the right boxes for today’s eco-conscious rider

Male cyclist holding the Bollé Halo React MIPS helmet
(Image credit: Future)
Cycling Weekly Verdict

As commuter helmets go, the Bollé Halo React MIPS is good-looking. Hunky even. It packs a range of extra features, from integrated lights and a fabric peak to the inclusion of the MIPS safety system. It is expensive, but not out of line with other similarly well-equipped commuter helmets. Just be warned if you live at more northerly latitudes - the large vents do let in more wind and rain that you might appreciate.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Feels robust with conventional styling

  • +

    Integrated peak is handy

  • +

    Rechargeable front and rear LED lights increase rider’s visibility

  • +

    Environmental sustainability credentials

  • +

    Large vents will keep you cool on hot summer days

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Expensive

  • -

    Relatively heavy

  • -

    Large vents make it more spring/summer than year-round

  • -

    Size needs carefully checking for best fit

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    Just two choices of colour

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Taking its design cues from more conventional road helmets - featuring no less than twelve air vents - Bollé’ has given the Halo React MIPS a cool twist with the inclusion of a fabric peak, integrated front and rear LED lights and recycled materials throughout.

It's certainly fighting in the 'bells and whistles' category of the best commuter helmets - but how well does it stack up in this increasingly crowded market? We took it out in all weathers, day and night, to find out.

Bollé Halo React MIPS: construction

Bollé has put a clear commitment to sustainability into their impressive range of urban helmets, with the first clue being their use of ‘Eco’ in front of different versions of their React and Stance lids. The lining of the Halo React is made from 100% recycled material, as is the webbing of the straps.

Another key selling point of the Halo React is the incorporation of the MIPS safety system. This adds a low-friction layer between the padding and the cork/EPS foam protective layer, it allows a multi-directional movement of 10-15mm on certain angled impacts, intended to help reduce rotational force to the head.

Along with the two chin straps, which fasten with a magnetic clip, Bollé’s Click-To-Fit system is located at the back of the helmet, allowing the wearer to tighten or loosen the helmet by turning the rubberised wheel, about the size of a Boa dial.

Male cyclist holding the Bollé Halo React MIPS helmet

(Image credit: Future)

Also located at the rear of the Halo React is a good-sized red rear light, which can be activated by simply pushing the rubber button in the centre. Pressing it a number of times allows you to select your preferred mode, from ‘solid’ to ‘flashing’ or ‘off’. Two rows of hidden LED white lights located on either side of the central vent at the front of the helmet add extra visibility.

Bollé Halo React MIPS: the ride

Male cyclist wearing the Bollé Halo React MIPS helmet

(Image credit: Future)

The initial feel of the helmet was that it was heavy (the Medium size supplied weighs in at 410g) but was well-constructed and felt ‘solid’. If you’ve ever pulled on an open-face motor bike or car racing helmet, there’s a certain similar weight and snugness that feels reassuring.

The chin strap closure is a little fiddley, as it uses a magnet to lock the two parts together and rather than conventional systems that click into one another, the ‘Fidlock’ slides together. Releasing it also proved quite challenging on several occasions, as the procedure is counter-intuitive if you’re familiar with conventional locking clips. In-ride, the straps remained secure, but the supplied chin strap was constricting if the helmet was fastened a touch too tight. However, the adjustment wheel at the back was easy to use, even while wearing thick gloves.

Male cyclist holding the Bollé Halo React MIPS helmet

(Image credit: Future)

The internal padding is generous and does give the Halo React a cossetting feel. Sadly, the brow padding did create some pressure on the brow ridge. It wasn’t a huge issue but on a long commute or general ride, it did begin to feel like I was developing a slight headache. This left me wondering whether my normal size S would have been more comfortable. As it was, the Medium did fit but if you’re going to pay $260 / £220, I’d recommend you try before you buy.

The peak was super-handy during winter rides with the rain falling, as it kept the worst of the wet stuff out of my eyes. It also acts as a handy sun visor on more clement days. The peak is removable and Bollé provide a replacement pad which is a cinch to press onto the Velcro tabs to cushion your forehead from the quite sharp edge of the MIPS liner.

The large vents are very effective, and the helmet channels the airflow superbly from front to back. You can feel it exiting at the back of the lid, which will be delightful as the mercury rises, however in the teeth of winter, the size of the vents may be problematic. Unless, of course, your signature style for work is ‘wet, windswept and shivering rescue dog.’ If not, having a secondary layer to wear under the helmet should be considered.

Bollé Halo React MIPS: value and conclusion

Male cyclist holding the Bollé Halo React MIPS helmet

(Image credit: Future)

The commuter/urban cycling market is burgeoning, with a variety of established brands competing alongside smaller manufacturers. Bollé alone has four different iterations of the React; ranging from the Halo with MIPS at $260/£220 through to the React Visor at $222/£180 and the Eco React (with or without MIPS) at $148/£120. 

The choice of what type of helmet you invest in will usually be based on aesthetics, individual needs, budget, trust in the brand and capabilities in an accident. In terms of price, the Halo React MIPS is at the upper end of the market and with their own website offering a similar product at a fraction of the price, it begs the obvious question: why spend more?

The answer might be the environmentally friendly qualities of the former, which are really quite outstanding. Add in the features such as the integrated lights and build-quality and you can see why Bollé has set the price and the standard so high.

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