- Economical price point
- 16 large vents provide ample airflow
- Rear dial for easy one-handed fit adjustment
- Kali’s proprietary helmet safety technology – Contego 3 foam and QuadCore
- Locking side strap slider customizes fit
- Lightweight at 291g for size S/M
- The front brim shape accommodates winter goggles
- Lifetime Crash Replacement Policy
- Didn’t fit my narrow face properly; more designed for a fuller, round-shaped head
Price: $100.00 MSRP
Colors: Black/White, Blue/White, Red/White, Black, Camo Blue
Sizes: S/M (54-58cm), L/XL (58-62cm)
Weight: 291g (size S/M per my gram scale)
How obtained: Company sample
Available: Online, retail, Kali website (currently sold out on Kali site, ETA early March)
RBR advertiser: No
Economically Priced with Kali’s Proprietary Technology
Kali’s founder comes from an Aerospace R&D background, so I’m not surprised that they developed a proprietary safety technology. Not having to pay licensing fees to companies like MIPS allows them to keep prices down. The Uno helmet is reasonably priced at $100 MSRP and has all the key elements pricier helmets offer; lightweight, adjustability, and ample ventilation.
Kali’s QuadCore, a proprietary Low-Density Layer (LDL) consists of specially designed viscoelastic padding placed throughout the helmet (see image below). According to the company, it reduces rotational impact forces by up to 25% and low-g linear impact forces up to 30%. Also, the Uno helmet has Contego 3 foam which the company states is used to disperse energy in the most efficient way possible during larger impacts.
Placed between the hard foam liner of the helmet and the wearer’s head, LDL strips are distributed throughout the helmet to ensure maximum airflow and comfort. Their primary function, however, is to react to multiple-vector linear and rotational acceleration. LDL has multiple-vector elasticity – that is, LDL responds by stretching under pressure from a variety of different directions and force levels.
Linear concussions are the result of direct impacts that stop the head from moving forward. Unfortunately, your brain continues moving and collides with the interior of the skull. Rotational concussions result from lateral impacts that spin the brain on its axis causing brain structures to tear.
Features for Comfort and Fit
The Kali Uno has many of the features found on more expensive helmets. There are 16 large vents for ample airflow and cooling. A rear dial allows for easy one-handed fit adjustments and locking side strap sliders to customize the fit.
The front brim of the Uno allows for goggles to fit comfortably if you need them for winter riding.
A lifetime crash replacement policy backs up your purchase. If you crash, Kali will replace the helmet. They ask that the damaged helmet be returned so they can inspect it in their labs by cutting it open, taking measurements, and dissecting it for key R&D information.
Not for Every Face Shape
I wear a small helmet in virtually every manufacturer’s helmet, however, Kali sizing is S/M. When I tried on the sample it was too wide at the sides for my narrow face. The straps wouldn’t lie flat against my face and there was too much play in the helmet. I asked Mitch, who wears a medium helmet, and has a wider shaped face, to try it on. The helmet fit him much better and was more secure.
He took it out for a test ride and his first impressions were that it was lightweight and comfortable. Initially, he felt the LDL strips against his head, but this could be because he shaves his head. Mitch stated once he hopped on his bike, he didn’t notice the strips again the whole ride. When I put on the helmet, I didn’t feel the LDL strips.
Like with so many recreational products, supply chains have been disrupted. The Kali Uno is temporarily out of stock on the company’s website but should be available in early March. They are just waiting for the shipment to arrive. If you don’t want to wait, check online or an LBS that carries Kali.
The Kali Uno helmet provides comfort and safety for an affordable price. However, I’d recommend when possible try it on as it fits a more rounded face than a narrow one.
Sheri Rosenbaum regularly contributes articles and reviews products for RBR. She’s an avid recreational roadie who lives in the Chicago area and a major advocate for women's cycling, serving on the board of directors and volunteering with the Dare2tri Paratriathlon Club. Click to read Sheri's full bio or visit her web site sunflowersandpedals.com.