How do you make something Gravel Specific? Well, it’s got to be olive green, and it’s got to have pockets. The design team at POC has clearly taken these two rules and, rather madly, applied them to the Omne helmet, one of the more aero offerings from the brands helmet range.
Do you need a gravel-specific helmet when so many of the best road bike helmets will also work perfectly well? POC thinks so. We’re not so sure, but that’s not going to stop us from testing it to find out.
Gravel specific helmets?
The POC Omne does seem to be the testbed for the brand to try out some slightly more unusual ideas. The standard Omne is a very capable helmet, but then we’ve got the solar-powered Omne Eternal, an Omne Air Rapha collaboration, an Omne Lite, and here we have the Omne Ultra, which is packed with adventure-ready features.
POC states this helmet “embodies the spirit of gravel”. If the spirit of gravel is, as I suspect, strapping things to other things in increasingly aesthetic ways then POC has very much got my backing on this claim. The standard Omne chassis has been upgraded with a Velcro patch on one side, in order that riders may attach an easily visible ID patch to one side, and on the other is a small bungee cargo holster. There is also a rear strap running vertically that has a buckle, in order to strap… other things to? I believe this may be in order to secure a rain cover but it is hard to tell from the pictures and it’s not specifically stated anywhere.
The final bit of gravel-specific tech is a Recco reflector, more commonly seen on higher-end snowsports jackets so that, in the event that you become entombed in a badly timed avalanche, mountain rescue can more easily locate your (hopefully still alive) body. Whether this poses any use in day-to-day applications it’s hard to say, but should any of us attempt to cross a glacier as described in the Rough Stuff Cycling in the Alps guidebook it could well be the difference between life and death. Perhaps less so for your local club run.
A more useful feature day to day than the Recco reflector is the inclusion of MIPS, as per the other helmets in the Omne range, and most of POC’s higher-end helmets across the board.
Has cargo gone too far?
I am, to a certain extent, being facetious here. There are a number of perfectly valid things that you could well want to strap to your head. Unlike…
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