Kali Protectives shook things up when
they entered the world of bicycle helmets. The old guard had its established
shell, liner and vent designs, which Kali
then came at from a whole new angle.
The $189 Maraka XC helmet is a showcase for the company’s different take on
protection, comfort and style.
The Maraka XC is
made with Kali Protectives’ Composite
Fusion Plus technology, a helmet liner
that uses a unique pyramid design that
the company feels better distributes the
energy of an impact. The vents, dubbed
Supervents, are reinforced, so they offer
structural integrity as well as airflow.
There are five large vent openings in the
front, and those are complemented by
another 20 smaller intake and exhaust
vents. The Kali Bumper Fit system is the
interior polymer-padding fitting system.
The Maraka XC offers an adjustable
dual-closure band to adjust the helmet’s fit. It comes in three sizes: extra small/
small, small/medium or medium/large.
The colors available are Gonzo Graphic
Red, Zone Graphic Blue and black/
white. Our medium/large Maraka XC
weighed in at 10.5 ounces.
Field test results:
The Maraka XC
helmet fits snuggly and evenly without
any noticeable pressure points. The
BumperFit system gets the credit for
this comfortable fit. The dual-closure
band requires two hands to adjust and
to line up the closures evenly on the
back of your head. The dual closure
firmly positions the helmet before the
retention system is snugged. This is a
big plus, because a helmet that doesn’t
jiggle around when hitting the rough is
a big plus.
The Maraka XC weight is barely
noticeable because the helmet is so well
balanced. The stubby visor is ideal. It is
just big enough to deflect branches and sunlight, but not so large that it limits
forward visibility. It is also designed
to break away during an impact. We
kept pretty cool during the hottest
parts of the day due to the large air-vent openings in the front of the helmet, and the padding does a great job
of wicking away sweat from entering
The Velcro tabs that secure the
helmet’s padding are minimalistic
and came loose after pulling the padding too quickly. We suggest you
push firmly on the Velcro-glued tabs
to make sure they are really stuck to
your helmet before your first ride.
The Maraka XC offers a sturdy construction and attention to detail that
inspire confidence. While Kali calls it an “XC” helmet, we would press it
into service for our epic-length trail
rides because of its comfortable fit,
light weight and ventilation.