Kali’s reputation is built on putting safety first. The UK distributor told us that for this exact reason Kali don’t offer a removable chinbar helmet.
Even with the protective, locked-down feel, the Kali Alpine Rage feels very light on the head and the exterior silhouette and size isn’t especially bulky either.
Instead preferring to make the safest, lightest, helmet at any price point in either fixed full or open face mode. The full face Alpine is still plenty light though, weighing less than most DH helmets and also convertibles like Giro’s Switchblade and Sweet Protection’s Arbitrator.
The brand’s many proprietary technologies reflect its commitment to protection. The Alpine’s visor is ‘breakaway’, and the internal construction uses ‘LDL’ (Low Density Layer) and ‘Composite Fusion Plus’. These tongue twister names describe firstly a layer of viscoelastic pads under the padding, and secondly a thinner exterior shell moulded directly to a structure built from interlocking foam pyramids.
Explained in order, the viscoelastic pads use an impact-hardening material (like D30) that solidifies under impact, but also work like memory foam, shaping to the skull for extra comfort and reduced hotspots. The foam pyramid part is formed of two layers of cone-shaped foam spikes that intersect with a ‘mirror’ layer surrounding the head. There are two densities of material used, and in an impact, these cones act as a progressive damper to absorb different strike velocities. As they collapse, the cones also direct energy sideways and away from the brain.
The Kali Alpine Rage feels super solid and protective like a proper full face, and is secured with a sturdy d-loop strap. It’s fully lined with snug padding, and only has minimal, small vents, which combine to make it easily the hottest helmet on test. Temperatures are equivalent to a regular DH lid then, but, by virtue of being around 200g lighter than even full carbon helmets, it’s only this interior warmth that feels like a DH lid.
You also feel really reassured by it being absolutely rock-solid on your head, so charging downhill on e-bikes during testing, there was a very locked-down feeling with the Kali staying totally motionless no matter how wild the trails got. With this in mind, this would be the helmet for Alpine riding or enduro racing if protection was a sole priority.