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The Catlike Kompact'O is a neat and simple helmet that keeps a lid on volume, weight and price. I've worn it for an extended period of racing and training. Rival road helmets may offer more in terms of features or fashion, but this one is competitively priced, well ventilated and lightweight.
It tips the scales at just 230g in the medium size. While there are lighter helmets out there, they're generally more expensive. The Giro Prolight, for example, is only 172g - but almost twice the price of the Kompact'O. Compared to Catlike's top of the range helmet, the Whisper Plus, the Kompact'O saves you a stack of cash and 20g.
The Kompact'O is not as distinctive looking and has fewer vents. But the 21 that it does have provide very good ventilation all the same. The anti-insect netting in the three main front vents didn't noticeably affect this, and I preferred having that extra bit of protection from wasp attack without having to resort to wearing something else under the helmet. In terms of impact protection, the Whisper Plus and Kompact'O do the same job: they both pass the same EN1078 standard for safety.
I'm at the upper end of the medium size range and found the Kompact'O a snug, comfortable fit. The helmet seemed much less bulky than others I have worn recently. It was easy to adjust for fit, and the retention system was simple and functional.
Negative points are minor. I needed to use a little bit of glue to stick down the padding on the rear of the cradle. One of the strap anchors on the top of the helmet seemed to work loose and pop up slightly every now and again (although this wouldn't affect the integrity of the helmet). And, if you're bothered by this sort of thing, the styling could be more extravagant and the range of colours wider.
For the road racer who doesn't want any fancy features or frills, the Catlike Kompact'O is a good, lightweight helmet that won't break the bank.
A lightweight and low-bulk helmet for race-level performance at a reasonable price
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Make and model: Catlike Kompact'O 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?
Catlike have designed the Kompact'O as a compact, reduced-volume, lightweight racing helmet.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
21 air intakes
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Functional and simple design coupled with light weight.
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