The Bontrager Quantum MIPS Helmet is a comfortable fit and features the latest helmet safety technology, but it's heavy and misses a few simple features.
At 330g in the medium size tested, the Quantum MIPS is a fairly portly beast – helmet weights of around 200g are commonplace now, and you can get a 240g MIPS helmet such as the Lazer Blade for roughly a tenner less than the Bontrager if you shop around (we liked the non-MIPS-but-MIPS-like Lazer Blade back in 2015). Although 90g might not sound like much, when it's on your head, for hours, that weight does make a difference to neck muscles, especially the further forward you lean, as the angle changes from vertical.
I certainly noticed the difference between the Bontrager Quantum and my go-to lid for the past four years, a C Originals weighing 270g.
It's not the MIPS technology making the Quantum heavy – a thin plastic liner inside the helmet that allows the outer shell to rotate slightly a few mm around your skull (more info here). Put simply, this is a bulky helmet, and bulk, when you don't have many vents, means weight.
As I tested the Quantum over the winter months in temperatures never above 10°C and always with a casquette or thermal cap, I didn't get to assess the cooling aspects of the internal channels. There are three, recessed to allow airflow from front to back and out an 'exhaust port'. There's an argument to be had that fewer holes in your helmet must mean more protection, but there's no hard data (as indeed there isn't for helmets in general, but let's not go there).
The Quantum is available in six colours, including this commuter-friendly high-vis yellow – even the straps. Annoyingly for an £80 helmet, Bontrager doesn't provide any way to tidy away the straps beyond a rubber band. Adjustment is a bit of a faff, too, as the strap is one piece, passing through a single loop at the rear. If you're needing to adjust the strap fit regularly to allow for headwear, this might become annoying.
Bontrager does provide a twist fit system that tightens the helmet. This works well, coming down just far enough to make a difference but not so far as to feel odd when bent over, looking up. When adjusted correctly, the overall fit was perfectly stable on me.
The peak is removable, with small black inserts filling the holes, if you want to swap fashion looks between off road and on.
Out on the road for two or three hours, I didn't feel the Quantum held me back any, but I could notice a bit of extra momentum up top, when swinging about at low speed, battling climbs. On an all-day or casual ride you might well come to regret the extra weight.
Overall, the Quantum does the job, staying put and offering a reasonable degree of flexibility in fit and use. But you can't get away from the fact that it's heavy compared with other offerings.
An average helmet that, while doing the job and with the latest safety technology, fails to impress
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Bontrager Quantum MIPS Helmet
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
It's for someone wanting the comfort of a well-fitting, latest-technology helmet, who isn't concerned about weight.
"Quantum helmets feature superior ventilation, excellent coverage, and Bontrager's signature out-of-the-box comfort. A removable visor feature adds incredible ease-of-use by allowing Quantum to be your go-to helmet no matter what the type of ride.
"MIPS, "Multi-directional Impact Protection System," sets a new standard in helmet safety. Developed by brain surgeons and scientists, MIPS helps reduce rotational forces on the brain caused by angled impacts to the head."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Equipped with MIPS Brain Protection System
In-mold composite skeleton increases helmet integrity and larger vent variations
Intuitive, one-handed Headmaster fit system adjusts height and circumference
Soft, comfortable, moisture-wicking, and washable helmet pads
Internal, recessed channels manage airflow through the helmet and over the head
Removable snap-on visor with visor port plugs
Crash Replacement Guarantee provides a free helmet replacement if involved in a crash within the first year of ownership
It's heavy for what it is and the price.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Well enough for the price.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The fit worked well for me.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Did you enjoy using the product? Ambivalent
Would you consider buying the product? Not really.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Not really.
Use this box to explain your score
If it were 100g lighter and came with a chinstrap wrap, it would be a 4-star product. But it isn't/doesn't, leaving it pretty average for the price.
About the tester
I usually ride: Merida Ride 5000 Disc My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, club rides, general fitness riding, mountain biking, Dutch bike pootling