Kask’s Wasabi helmet offers a quick and easy switch between aerodynamic optimisation and greater ventilation. For the performance minded, that might be reason enough, but there are palpable benefits for more general riding too. With merino wool padding, the helmet is pleasantly warm in wintery conditions, whilst also being notably cooler with the vent open.
Very warm with vent closed
Noticeably cooler with vent open
Reasonably light for an aero helmet
The vertical adjustment of the retention system doesn’t always stay in place
No front sunglasses port
The Kask Wasabi is quite rare amongst the best cycling helmets (opens in new tab) in promising to increase your aerodynamic performance as well as trapping in heat for cold weather conditions.
But should things take a turn for the warmer, the sliding front panel allows you to draw in some cooling airflow – with a claimed aerodynamic penalty of only 1 watt at 50kph.
Kask Wasabi: the construction
If you’ve used Kask helmets before, then many of the features will be quite familiar to you. The Octo Fit retention system includes a Micro Dial adjuster for quickly setting the tension to your desired setting. The cradle can be easily raised or lowered at the rear to accommodate a ponytail – or to simply fit better with the shape of your skull.
The look and feel of the chin strap gives a real air of quality to the helmet. I was quite surprised that it’s actually constructed from synthetic leather, but that does bring benefits of being both hypoallergenic and washable.
Although boasting aero qualities – Kask claims the Wasabi is second only to the Utopia in its wind-tunnel test – it’s fair to say that winter and foul weather riding are what this helmet is really pitched at.
To that end, the helmet’s padding uses merino wool for its temperature regulating properties – which also has natural bacterial resistance, helping to combat odours and itchy scalps. There are also reflective details for better visibility in low light conditions.
But, of course, the party piece is the sliding vent. When down, it boosts the aerodynamic performance of the helmet by a claimed 1 watt at 50kph. Perhaps more pertinently, it also serves to trap more of your body’s heat and keep out the worst of the elements.
With the testing period spanning the transition between autumn and winter, this helmet quickly became my go-to lid. It really kept me so much warmer than even typical aero helmets – I suppose because those have been designed to marry aerodynamics with airflow, whereas the Wasabi is purpose built for warmth, right down to the merino padding.
Although the vent doesn’t open super wide, the difference it made was really palpable, feeling noticeably cooler once I had opened it up. But while Kask says that the slider is operable with one finger, that may be true, but it omits the fact that generally you’ll have to use your other hand to steady the helmet on your head.
Given the time of year this came, I haven’t put it through its paces in any particularly hot weather. So far the warmest I rode this helmet in was about 18 degrees, but with that being in the full sun and including sustained 20 pe rcent climbs, it was a lot warmer than it might sound – but that didn’t faze the Wasabi at all. So whilst I might not be able to say yet what the upper limit of comfort is – it is at least higher than that.
I did experience two niggles, though. The first was that the vertical adjustment of the retention system moves a bit too easily, resulting in it sometimes slipping from the setting I put it in mid-ride. The second is the lack of a sunglasses port on the front of the helmet.
To some extent I can see why an aero/cold weather helmet wouldn’t have extra holes. But at the same time, even with the vent open there isn’t anywhere good to stash a set of sunnies on the front of the helmet. There are some vents which do the job on the back, but given the price sunglasses can go up to, I much prefer to have them in my peripherals.
At £269.00, the Wasabi is unquestionably an expensive helmet, but it’s by no means an outlier – POC’s Ventral SPIN helmet (opens in new tab) costs £270 and the Giro Aether MIPS (opens in new tab) is £260. The Scott Cadence Plus (£169.99) is the nearest competitor to the Wasabi, with an aerodynamic design which includes plugs to further boost the aerodynamics and also the weatherproofing. But you can’t switch between aero and ventilation quickly and easily while out on a ride with that design.
The Kask Wasabi offers both an aerodynamic boost and good weatherproofing with its adjustable airflow system. It is genuinely much warmer than other aero helmets and the effect which opening the vent has is genuinely impressive. Although the price and lack of a sunglasses port do count against it.
- Weight: 268g (size medium, measured)
- Colours: White Matt, Black Matt, Burgundy Matt, Grey Matt, Jade Matt, Navy lue
- Sizes: S, M, L
- Contact: kask.com
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Starting off riding mountain bikes on the South Downs way, he soon made the switch the road cycling. Now, he’s come full circle and is back out on the trails, although the flat bars have been swapped for the curly ones of a gravel bike.
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