Versatile enduro helmet with all-day comfort and innovative safety features.
The Kali Interceptor is one of the Californian company’s latest mountain bike helmets. With a focus on enduro and trail riding, it is comfortable and well ventilated, cutting an impressively slim profile.
A more traditional arrangement of vents than some other popular trail helmets lend it a sleek look.
Kali Interceptor fit
Adjustment is via a proper BOA dial, used to pull two very thin wires attached to the retention cradle. It might be my OCD but the dial sat off to one side, not in the middle of the helmet. This is a minor irritant that has no major effect on the mechanism, but it does mean that one side could potentially endure more stress than the other.
The fit of the helmet (for my head) is reassuringly limpet-like. Testament to which, after a shake down ride to get the straps adjusted, it needed no fiddling with until it came to take it off at the end of a ride.
The one thing to note is the feel of the Interceptor is more like a beefed up xc/trail helmet than a full-on, full coverage enduro helmet such as the Giro Montaro. This is certainly not a negative though, as it should extend the appeal of the Interceptor to a broader spectrum of riders.
Innovative safety features
Kali takes head injuries seriously and is aiming to develop helmets that can reduce brain trauma, as well as protecting the skull from injury as per most safety standards. To this end Kali has adopted a novel system of added cranial safety.
Small rubberised sections Kali calls LDL (Low Density layer) work similar to a MIPS layer. In the event of a crash these little green strips deform in a rotational manner. This deformation aims to reduce the rotational forces that can act on the head and that potentially cause serious injury.
Kali claims that they can reduce rotational forces by up to 25% but (fortunately) I didn’t get the chance to really put this technology to the test!
The Interceptor is certainly light enough to wear all day, but at over 400 grams, there are lighter helmets on the market. The internal padding does a good job of absorbing sweat, although the non-ventilated structure around the forehead generates heat. The slightly higher shaping around the ears allows better compatibility with a range of glasses and goggles, but larger lenses can still foul at the front.
The peak on the Interceptor has multiple positions to eliminate any peripheral vision issues. Kali also manufactures it from a material engineered to minimise permanent damage in the event of the inevitable crash. Riding with my head slightly down meant that the peak kept obstructing my view, so after the first ride I ended up shoving it into the highest position and leaving it there.
A neat touch from Kali is the bag of accessories used to attach lights and cameras to the helmet. Despite having no obvious instructions, it soon becomes obvious that there is only really one location that the adapter can be mounted.
As a word of caution, make sure you use the thick rubber O-ring to secure the adapter in place, as there are no security lips to prevent expensive cameras or lights being jettisoned off into the bushes. Exposure-type helmet light mounts can still be fitted normally towards the back of the helmet.
Kali offers the Interceptor in a wide range of accent colours to complement the predominately black shell. A neat touch is the colour-matched right temple strap.
The Interceptor is a reassuringly solid helmet with a raft of innovative safety features. The slim, ventilated profile should appeal to a broad spectrum of riders. The (relatively) heavier weight when put against other comparable helmets is the only real sticking point.