An icon of helmet design, we check out the Catlike Whisper helmet
It’s rare that something like a helmet becomes iconic, but that’s exactly what’s happened with the Catlike Whisper helmet with its unique design going largely unchanged since it was first released in 2006. Since then it’s been worn to two mountain bike World Championships, two Olympic gold medals, a time trial World Championship and road race World Championship. Not bad, eh?
Designed in Spain by a Spanish company and ridden by a Spanish WorldTour team (Movistar), it’s probably no surprise that ventilation is the Catlike Whisper helmet’s strong suit.
Perforated with 39 vents, some of the largest of which are on the rear to allow hot air to escape, this is an excellent choice of helmet if you’re planning to do a lot of riding in hot weather, even if things can get a little chilly when using it on cool spring days in the UK. The only downside of all those vents is that, like its more expensive sibling the Catlike Mixino, and despite its name, the Catlike Whisper helmet generates some pretty loud and annoying wind noise. It’s not unbearable, but is certainly irritating if you can’t block it out.
The other possible price to pay for the excellent ventilation of the Catlike Whisper helmet is its unique looks. This is a helmet that has split the Cycling Weekly tech team down the middle, so while I have to admit a big admirer of its appearance, others are more positive. However, one thing none of us like is the fact that it sticks out quite a bit at the sides to give a mushroom-like look.
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The fit and comfort of the Catlike Whisper helmet cannot be faulted. It’s quite a wide helmet, but don’t let that put you off if, like me, you’ve got a narrow head, as I still found it sat securely, with the rear dial adjustment system offering plenty of flexibility to get the fit just right.
Comfort-wise it’s a similar story, and despite the minimal padding on the inside of the helmet, I never found it to dig in or rub.
If ventilation is your main priority, then the Catlike Whisper helmet cannot be faulted. All those vents might look a little weird, but they do their job, and it's also comfortable and fits well. The only downsides are the loud wind noise and the fact that it sticks out at the sides.