Catlike's Vacuum helmet is a distinctive and well thought out helmet that is a good all round bet for a wide range of riding styles. Described as 'very European' by my local bike shop owner the styling is certainly original and it's available in a variety of colour schemes. The silver white, black and grey that I tested certainly looked the part.
Catlike highlight the air venting of this model as a key feature, describing it as having been designed to 'expel air as quickly as possible, even at low speeds'. It certainly seems to be a very well ventilated helmet, making it cool on chilly spring mornings and comfortable on hotter afternoon rides. The large central vents allow plenty of air over the top of your head, although I also seemed to pick up more than my fair share of insects on evening spins -as with the Catlike Sakana maybe some sort of insect mesh might be a good addition. Extra bugs or not I think it compares favourably to other similarly priced helmets for cooling, and I'd certainly reach for the Vacuum throughout the summer months for training rides.
Compared to other helmets the Vacuum is also pretty light, at an advertised 280 grams for the medium (55-58cm). Once the straps had been trimmed down to size, mine actually came in at slightly under this figure. As for those straps they were easy to adjust, and remained in place where I'd set them throughout the test. Adjustments on the fly were pretty easy with the plastic buttons and strips at the rear of the helmet, although this initially took a bit of a fiddle to work out. As you'd expect the Vacuum conforms to EN 1078 safety standards, and although I managed not to crash in it, it feels solid and appears well made.
The Vacuum is a very comfortable, robust and well-ventilated helmet and I used it while riding all my different bikes without feeling like I had worn the wrong lid for the job. It's a great helmet for riding in the heat, and despite being categorised as an mtb helmet in many places, I can see no reason why it shouldn't be used on a wider range of machines
Distinctive-looking, comfortable and highly ventilated helmet that could be used for many different riding styles.
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Make and model: Catlike Vacuum helmet
Size tested: M
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?
The Catlike Vacuum is a design directed at sports which experience middle/high velocities such as mountain biking. It has been designed to expel air as quickly as possible, even when at the lowest speeds, making it good for warmer riding conditions.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
19 Wide air intakes interconnecting for wider ventilation(Dual Flow technology)
Extra protection in every sense (air tube system + ces technology)
In Mould technology
New MPS-3d rear retention system
There are lighter helmets out there, but not by a lot.
Once adjusted correctly, this was a really comfortable helmet.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Simple adjustment and excellent ventilation.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
Age: 36 Height: 1.78m Weight: 76kg
I usually ride: Surly Long Haul Trucker My best bike is: Litespeed Saber
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, touring, Triathlon