The Giro Montaro MIPS is one of Giro’s top-tier helmets and has been one of the top-selling trail helmets for the past few years. We test and review the Giro Montaro MIPS helmet to see if it lives up to its reviews!
The latest version of the Montaro utilizes MIPS technology, top-notch ventilation, and an integrated camera or light mount.
This is a high spec helmet, aimed at trail and enduro riders wanting a light, comfortable, breathable helmet to keep them safe if they happen to take a knock to the head.
One of the top-of-the-line helmets from Giro, made for trail riders who want all the features and to look good while shredding up the trails.
- MIPS Technology
- Adjustable Visor
- Goggle compatible
- Lots of color combinations
- Limited ventilation compared to similar lids
Comfort and Fit Review
I was a little skeptical about the minimal padding at first. It’s not quite as push as the Giro Source or the Giro Chronicle, but once you put it on it is actually very comfortable. Because the padding has been placed strategically, you won’t realize how minimalistic the padding is, even in long rides.
The Montaro uses Roc Loc 5 Air, which is integrated with the MIPS system. This allows the retention system to also tighten the slip-plane technology around your head, which increases the effectiveness of the technology in a crash.
When you tighten the Roc Loc 5 Air system, you can clearly see and feel the retention system tighten evenly around the head. It doesn’t just tighten the rear of the helmet but closes in around the front, sides, and rear equally. It does so in very small increments, so you can really fine-tune the fit.
For those with longer hair, there isn’t really a ponytail port between the fitting dial and the helmet. This does mean you do need to ride with your hair low and against your neck, which can be a little hot and sweaty sometimes!
The Montaro features MIPS technology. MIPS stands for Multi-directional Impact Protection System, which is a slip plane between your head the helmet. The MIPS liner significantly reduces the possibility of brain damage to the rider in a crash.
It works by allowing the outer shell of the helmet to move relative to the ground under an angled impact, while your head does not rotate as much. This dissipates much of the energy, so it is not transferred to the rider’s head. Hence it reduces the potential of brain injury.
The Montaro MIPS, like most trail helmets, has extended rear coverage to protect the back of the head in a crash. It also stops sharp objects such as sticks or rocks from penetrating the back of your head.
The other main feature of the Montaro that makes it a step above more basic helmets is the roll cage reinforcement. The reinforcement is embedded into the EPS foam (so you can’t see it), but it holds the helmet together in case of a high energy impact. The helmet will not crush or cave in if you happen to hit the ground really hard, which keeps your head better protected.
Visor and Eyewear Compatibility
The visor on the Montaro is a little longer than your standard helmet visor. This comes in use when you are descending in open areas, and the sun is low. It is also quite useful if you are hitting trails in dense bush and need the visor to protect your eyes.
The visor is adjustable, so if you do find the visor being a bit long, you can always tilt the visor up and out of the way.
Giro has very cleverly managed goggle integration on the Montaro. The visor tilts up high enough to store goggles beneath the visor. This is super handy for those who use goggles but don’t want to wear them while climbing etc. The back of the Montaro has a ‘goggle gripper’ on the rear of the helmet. This is a rubberized section of the rear three vents to stop the goggle strap sliding down.
The Montaro MIPS helmet has 16 vents which are all generously sized and strategically placed. There are 3 vents placed below the visor, and the shape of the visor directs the air into these vents. Another 7 angled vents cover the top of the helmet, and 6 exhaust vents at the rear of the helmet.
Roc Loc Air 5 is the fit system used in the Montaro. The ‘Air’ part basically means that your head is slightly away from the shell of the helmet. This allows air to flow over the head, keeping the head cool while riding.
Overall, the ventilation is good, but not great. Helmets such as the Fox Speedframe, Troy Lee Designs A2, or the 100% Altec do have better ventilation systems, but it still beats the Troy Lee Designs A1 out of the park! I personally didn’t find the limited ventilation much of a problem (and I have a fair bit of hair!) so it is up to personal preference, or where you ride for this one.
How it Looks
The Montaro is a clean-looking helmet. The edges are fully wrapped in polycarbonate plastic, including the edges of the rear vents and the top vent, which can be used for the camera or light mount. It also comes in a huge range of color combinations, so you can ensure you will find one to match your bike or kit!
The visor is slightly longer than the standard styles, but it doesn’t really stand out, and I find it quite useful when you have the sun glaring into your eyes while descending in the open sections.
Camera & Light Integration
If you want to record your lines as you shred down the park or do some night riding, the Montaro has an integrated camera mount. You purchase the mounts separately. However, it means you can add a GoPro mount or a light without worrying about the safety issues with attaching objects to your helmet.
The breakaway mount means that the camera or light will break away under impact so your head and neck do not go under any pressure or awkward angles. See our article on helmets with GoPro mounts, which explains the safety aspects in more depth.
Another handy feature is the Hydrophilic X-Static padding. The X-static padding is anti-microbial, which prevents odor build-up, regulates temperature, and eliminates static. It is soft to touch and very absorbent. You are able to remove the pads from the inside of the helmet to give them a wash, or replace them entirely if need be.
In all, you can tell this is a high-quality helmet. From the extensive protection technologies to the durable design, everything on the helmet is well finished.
Our review determined that the Giro Montaro is a popular helmet for a reason. It is well equipped as a trail helmet in terms of safety features but also performs well with good ventilation and comfort. It also isn’t as expensive as other similar helmets, such as the POC Tectal Race SPIN or the Specialized Ambush Comp.
The Montaro is aimed at the all-mountain ride, and is often used for enduro riding. The adjustable visor and goggle grippers make it ideal for use in any weather, and it comes in bright colors to help you be seen on the road!
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