The Catlike Vento is an aero helmet that offers a good amount of ventilation, combined with a comfortable fit (dependent on head shape) and a respectable weight for the price.
- Pros: Aero qualities, strong ventilation
- Cons: Long chin straps
As the name might suggest, the Vento has been designed to combine aerodynamics with ventilation – something that many helmet makers have tried in the past, with mixed success. The key to the design of this helmet is that, rather than concentrating on the number of vents, Catlike has made larger ones.
The main challenge with this is that you also need to maintain the structural integrity of the helmet, while keeping the weight as low as possible. Catlike has used 'Aramid injected inner mesh' for this.
As the road.cc wind tunnel was unavailable (as it doesn't exist), I was not able to review the aero qualities of the helmet, but given its low profile and large areas of slippery coating it is likely to give you a couple of extra watts when needed.
In terms of ventilation it was very effective, and the use of larger but fewer vents, rather than multiple smaller vents, in combination with internal channels, seemed to push air over the top of the head very effectively.
As with all helmets, fit is dependent on your individual head shape, but one thing that sets Catlike apart from most other manufacturers is the temple pads. These can either make the helmet very comfortable or a little frustrating. Whenever I use Catlike helmets it normally takes two or three rides before I can adjust them correctly, but once I have there is no argument that they increase the comfort of the helmet.
Adjustment comes from the harness at the back, which allows for micro movements with the dial. It sits comfortably at the back of the head and the harness itself wraps around to the temples, meaning pressure is shared across the head rather than only forcing the head forward from the back.
The straps are relatively comfortable, with a large splitter keeping them away from your ears nicely, and the straps themselves are fairly soft and comfortable on the skin. The only slight downside to the Vento is the amount of excess strap beyond the clip, as there is too much to comfortably tuck which means you need to cut it to size.
The Vento comes in on the road.cc Scales of Truth at 247g, which is about where I would expect an aero helmet in this price range to sit. The HJC Furion that Stu looked at last year comes in 30g lighter but doesn't offer the same level of ventilation and also costs £40 more, while the Endura FS260 comes in at 24g lighter despite being £20 cheaper, but doesn't have the same aero qualities.
An RRP of £109.99 is about right for the qualities that the helmet possesses and its weight. You can certainly get lighter aero helmets at a higher price, and cheaper aero helmets but without the same level of ventilation.
Overall I was impressed with the Vento, which offers good ventilation and seems to have decent aerodynamic qualities. As with all Catlike helmets, it requires a little more adjustment than others, but once you get it right it can be very comfortable.
An aero helmet that also manages to incorporate good ventilation
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Catlike Vento 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?
An aero helmet that also offers good ventilation compared to others.
Catlike says: 'Catlike has developed Vento, a new helmet concept in which ventilation and aerodynamics are the fundamental pillars.'
This seems about right as Catlike has clearly made a real effort to incorporate both, with excellent channelling combined with larger but fewer vents.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Excellent ventilation and aerodynamics
Aramid injected inner mesh
Larger open surface connecting incoming and outgoing channels
Weight: 230g (Small)
Well made helmet, especially given the size of the vents combined with the aero design and comparatively light weight.
The helmet performs well; it's not possible to get exact aero numbers without a wind tunnel, but in terms of ventilation it certainly does what it sets out to do.
Seems well made, the straps are strong, and it's likely to last for a long time.
Not the lightest for the price, but given the balance struck between aero and ventilation this is no surprise, and it isn't a neck strainer.
As with all Catlike helmets, it takes a little more adjustment thanks to the temple pads, but once you get these positioned correctly it is impressively comfortable.
Given its competition, weight and ventilation this is pretty much exactly where I would expect it to be in terms of price.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very well. I can't vouch for the aerodynamic elements, but there is no doubt that it's one of the most ventilated aero helmets I have used.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The ventilation is a real highlight. There is no getting around the fact that it's aero, so doesn't stand up to traditional helmets, but it's not far off.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The straps are too long and require cutting.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
The HJC Furion that Stu looked at last year comes in 30g lighter, but doesn't offer the same level of ventilation and also costs £40 more. The Endura FS260 comes in at 24g lighter at 223g despite being £20 cheaper, but doesn't promise the same aero qualities.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
Since aero helmets have become popular there haven't been too many that have managed to balance the aero element with the comfort and ventilation that most want. The Vento does a good job of delivering both, with a breeze constantly running over your head while still offering an aero design.
About the tester
I usually ride: Cinelli Gazzetta My best bike is: Cannondale Supersix Evo
I've been riding for: Under 5 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking
George spends his days flitting between writing about data, running business magazines and writing about sports technology. The latter gave him the impetus (excuse) to get even further into the cycling world before taking the dive and starting his own cycling sites and writing for Road.cc.
When he is not writing about cycling, he is either out on his bike cursing not living in the countryside or boring anybody who will listen about the latest pro peloton/cycling tech/cycling infrastructure projects.