The Camber is big on performance but little on price
Visually the Camber looks like the more expensive Ambush 2, but it’s the features rather than the looks that make this lid one of the best mountain bike helmets around.
To keep the cost down it runs a single EPS layer rather than the better helmet’s dual-density construction. To add protection there is a MIPS SL liner but again due to budget constraints this is slightly thicker than the one elsewhere, although it does move more easily than the Ambush 2’s version.
The padding is pretty minimalist, and there’s no antibacterial treatment to it, but Specialized helmet engineers have built in 4D brow cooling, which is just a fancy way of saying they left a ventilation gap between the shell and the brow pad.
The Camber features an Integrated Fit system adjusted via a ratchet at the back. It takes up slack quickly but the indents on the dial are too big, so it’s easy to fall between two stools. It also sits too high, so doesn’t cup the occipital bone (that’s the lump at the back of your head) very well and of all the open face helmets here, the Chamber felt the least secure when riding rough terrain.
Specialized has also opted for a fixed visor, but not to cut costs, it says, but because a moveable peak can block the front vents and cut down on ventilation. The Camber is well vented but it’s not anything special. And if you’re wondering about the visor getting damaged in a crash, apparently it has a breakaway feature.
Specialized does add two rubber pads underneath the visor, creating a storage solution for your eyewear – you simply poke the arms of your riding glasses into this space they’re going to be held fast. Despite the claims there’s not really enough space for goggles but the visor does look incredibly sleek.
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We can’t fault the comfort of the Camber, and Specialized really nails the details. We really like the Tri-Fix splitters that keep the straps clear of your ears and although it’s not that stable, it’s lightweight and cracking value for money.