Expert Review: POC Fornix MIPS POW JJ HelmetPublished on 04/03/2023 · 5 min readThis review is my honest opinion of the helmet, which I purchased with my own money in September of 2020.
All photos courtesy of Grant R.
About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the helmet, which I purchased with my own money in September of 2020.
The POC Fornix MIPS Pow JJ Helmet is a great fit for any rider who is looking for solid protection with a sleek look.
About the helmet I own
- Model: 2020 POC Fornix MIPS Pow JJ Helmet
- Size: XL-XXL
- Height: 6’3”
- Weight: 170lbs
- Head circumference: 60.96cm
- Goggles: Oakley Line Miner L
- Experience: 12 years of snowboarding
- When I bought this helmet: September 2020
- Days tested: 100+
- Where I’ve used it: Park City Mountain Resort, Utah
- How I’ve used it: Big mountain, resort riding, backcountry
How it performs
What I was looking for
I was on the hunt for a new helmet because I wanted something really protective, preferably with MIPS, as I had taken a crash which forced me into buying another helmet. Some characteristics I was looking for were affordability, or value for the price, good ventilation, protection, durability, and comfort. I was seeking better protection in this new helmet, and with the MIPS system, I knew I was in for that.
Why I chose this gear
I chose this particular helmet because I could justify the price with the features it provided. Plus, it is comfortable, well-protected, and very adjustable. I considered getting the same helmet I had before (The Smith Maze MIPS), but I wanted a model with features such as better ventilation and better protection.
What I love about it
- Protection: Due to the MIPS system, I definitely feel well protected from varied impacts to the head when wearing this helmet. I have taken some decent crashes—some being what would otherwise be considered “season-ending” kind of crashes—but with this helmet, I was protected from that outcome.
- Comfort: It is quite comfortable, which adds to its protective feel. Though I did notice there can be some odd pressure points on my temples.
- Sizing: For me, this helmet fits pretty well, though it can feel a little bulky at first due to its protective padding.
- Fit system: The fit system is super adjustable, as it includes a BOA dial in the back that controls the entire fit around the circumference of my head. Mine also came with some extra padding to slim down the size if needed.
- Liner: The liner is high quality, soft, and comfortable.
- Breathability: Breathability was one of this helmet’s big selling points for me. The helmet includes 10 vents: six that can be opened and closed simultaneously with a single slide mechanism on the top part of the back of the helmet; two in the front that can be opened and closed separately to one another; and two in the back that remain open. This makes for some awesome ventilation and versatility. There are also some more mesh-like vents on the ear pads.
- Goggle compatibility: This helmet has a flat brim, allowing no gap between the goggles and the helmet. Further, an elastic “clip” keeps them secure on the helmet—which I find is a lot harder to break off.
- Weight: This helmet is surprisingly lightweight for having a little more padding than normal. I wouldn’t say it is the lightest of helmets, but it doesn’t feel too heavy. POC claims the weight is 450 grams.
- Durability: While it has held up very well, I will say the helmet’s finish can be a little easy to scuff. However, the overall construction of the helmet feels really solid and not cheap at all.
- Quality of Materials: From the fabric in the liner to the plastics used and everything in between, this does not feel like a cheap helmet whatsoever. However, I felt that it took a little while to break it in, as some of the paddings—such as the earpads—felt stiff at first.
- Style: A more traditional helmet style with no brim or any strange lines; it’s just a straightforward brain bucket.
Issues I’ve encountered
- Earpads: These keep my ears nice and warm and have some soft padding around the outer portion, which allows for a better fit with headphones. However, they aren’t compatible with drop-in speakers. On the other hand, the ear pads can be removed without removing the liner.
Favorite moment with this gear
While I was climbing a ridgeline in Park City in order to ride the Murdocks Bowl, I noticed how much the opening and closing vents came in handy. This helmet was so comfortable and breathable. I didn’t even feel the need to take it off while I was hiking through the snow.
Value for the money vs. other options
For a slightly higher price, there are certainly other great helmet options out there. Though I found I could justify the POC Fornix’s price due to it being a high-quality helmet with a lot of cool bells and whistles. While my model is a 2020, the 2023 model offers more comfortability, as well as an even more adjustable fit. Another more basic helmet I would compare this to is the Giro Ledge FS MIPS. While the Giro has a lot less going on, it’s a great helmet for the price—especially for those who are just looking for something to protect their head.
This helmet is great for someone who is looking for a high-quality helmet with lots of cool, usable tech.