Bern Allston Helmet Review: Superb Ventilation and Protection
Apparel reviews, Reviews
Bern helmets have become very popular for riders looking for protection without the racy look of the average bike helmet. So it comes as a surprise that the Allston is its first bike-specific helmet; the other models are all multi-sport helmets that are just as often found at the ski slopes as on city streets.
The Allston makes ventilation a priority, boasting at least 50 percent more airflow than the multi-sport models. Bern uses a liquid foam injection process, Zipmold, which allows for a lower profile helmet with no loss in protection. It sits snugly on the head with substantial side and rear coverage. A flip-up visor is handy for rain and sun, although I found it cut off my vision when in an aggressive riding position.
While there is a sizing adjustment on the back of the helmet, it does little to change the feel. This isn’t a big deal, as there are six sizes, from small to XXX-large, to fit almost anyone. Beware, though: the Alston seems to run small, as many normally medium heads around here felt a little cramped in a size large. The padding does break in a bit, so what might start out feeling a smidge too snug will probably end up comfortably secure.
Bern has you covered for colors, with black, grey, or neon green in a matte finish, or a satin finish white with contrasting red visor. Snap-in cold-weather liners (with ear coverage) are available, which is good since the snug fit doesn’t leave room for a hat. At $90, this ain’t cheap, but neither is your skull. And as the sticker says, “you’d be hotter in a helmet”—safety is sexy.