When we planned our review trip to Hintertux we were sure we wanted the opportunity to review a set of protective gear. We reached out to POC, a Swedish manufacturer of high-end protective material. We have reviewed their products before and were looking forward to the newest of their material. Unboxing the POC Auric Cut and the Lobes goggles that went along with the helmet was a pleasure; just well designed, wel built products. Please be sure to check the review of the POC Lobes goggles as well.
We spent three intensive days on the glacier. With -20 celsius, high winds, a bit of sun, a lot of clouds and heavy snow on the last day the circumstances were challenging to say the least. So I was thrilled to have a good helmet on my head. And it turns out I would need it.
But before we get into how the POC Auric Cut saved me from a concussion, just some technical info about the helmet. The most important materials are the ABS outer shell and the multi-impact EPP liner. EPP of Expanded PolyPropylene, is a material that recovers its initial form after impact, a very important point providing more durability to the helmet. EPP helmets are a bit more expensive than EPS helmets, but generally you have to throw out EPS helmets because the Expanded PolyStyrene deforms permanently at impact and loses its impact absorbing properties.
The helmet fits well and is comfortable to wear. The adjustment systems ensures you can set it to the size of your head, though I found the adjustment wheel a bit difficult to handle. But once it was set it was set well. The padding for the ears provide extra protection and warmth. They are actually removable, and I can imagine you could wear this helmet for skateboarding or mountainbiking (street or park) as well. Gonna try that out one of these days.
I did not really need the ventilation, (because it was freezing cold) but it is good to know the various ventilation vents are adjustable, and the vents at the front of the helmet help the ventilation of your goggles. These seemed to work rather well in combination with the POC Lobes.
We don’t normally try to proactively test the protective qualities of protective gear; so we just have to get “lucky” to experience that. The proof is in the pudding, as they say, and the pudding hit me in the back of my head something awful. In the form of a snowboard I was carrying on my back during a descent.
Because we had eight snowboards with us during the review trip, we took multiple boards up the mountains and had to bring them down as well. So on a number of occasions I strapped the extra boards to my back and descended. On one of these descents during a back side carve I lost grip and slid onto my ass. The board on my back hit the snow violently and hammered my head with one vicious thump and three of four subsequent thwacks. I was dazed for a few moments and had a momentary head ache, but after taking a some minutes to regain my composure I was off again with no lasting effects. So really happy with the impact absorption performance and happy that it was an EPP helmet that I could continue to wear.