With styling that marks a move into the all mountain and freeride market, will the performance of Bollé’s new Instinct MIPS helmet match its fresh look? The Ski Club tested the French brand's new lid 

Opening the box of the new Bollé helmet, I was immediately impressed with the quality feel of the product. Finished well with several features commonly found on top-level helmets, the Bollé helmet had a few extra features to boot.

Donning the lid for the first time I was first struck by the comfortable fit. I have often struggled to find helmets that fit my funny shaped head, but the Instinct felt secure without any pressure points. The BOA fit system ensured that with the simple twist of a dial, the helmet’s lining tightened to improve security and comfort all around the skull. After tightening the BOA system to a comfortable level, the helmet took some persuasion to remove, even without the strap done up. 

On the mountain, the close fit and warm lining had no problems with keeping my head and ears warm and remained comfortable all day. Ample vents and low weight kept me cool even when boot packing through waist-deep snow in the sun, and when closed, the vents kept the snow out during more inclement conditions. Should you get the lining a little wet then it is possible to easily remove it to wash it ready for your next trip.

The peak on the helmet is removable, however, it really helped keep the snow out during snowy spells. The matching Bollé goggles that I was testing simultaneously fitted perfectly with the helmet with vents that lined up and yielded a seamless integration between the two products.

The Instinct is Bollé’s first snow helmet to be fitted with the innovative Multidirectional Impact Protection System or MIPS for short. The anti-friction layer helps to limit damage to the brain caused by rotational impacts. These have been proven to cause some of the most severe brain traumas, which have strong links to more serious issues later in life.

Bollé worked closely with the Swedish company and invited the Ski Club to MIPS’ headquarters and development lab in Stockholm. Find out more about the pioneering safety system here.

Thankfully I avoided any sticky situations that asked too much of the helmet, but the few knocks on the head I got from chairlift bars and the occasional wayward ski in resort crowds left me feeling confident the helmet could handle bigger hits well.

One component that could possibly be improved is the goggle clip on the rear of the helmet. Although I am not in the habit of relying on these too much, should your goggles ping over the top of your head while resting on the top of the front of the helmet (something which has happened to us all at après), they will most likely end up on the floor. Not a deal-breaker by any means but something to consider.

While I had no issues with the chin strap’s comfort, it would be nice to see a more advanced buckle on the helmet to aid removal and application when wearing gloves. This is something many manufacturers have solved using a number of effective systems, Bollé’s use of the classic black plastic snap-fit clip is an effective one but isn’t the easiest we have seen.

Despite these slight niggles, the Instinct MIPS helmet offers riders a mid value helmet that performs extremely well across a variety of applications. At £169 RRP and available in khaki, blue and red, there is a version of this helmet to match all outfits without breaking the bank.

The Instinct helmet is also available without MIPS for £139 RRP.

For
- Fantastic fit thanks to the BOA system
- MIPS integration provides additional protection
- The technical look will suit All Mountain riders and Freeriders

Against
- Functional clip design could be easier when gloved up
- Goggle clip at the back could be more substantial (we really are nit-picking here though)