Expert Review: POC Fornix MIPS Helmet · 2022

This review is my honest opinion of the helmet which I purchased with my own money in January of 2021.

Skier wearing the POC Fornix MIPS helmet.

All photos courtesy of Luke Hinz

Published on

About the Review: This review is my honest opinion of the helmet which I purchased with my own money in January of 2021.

My Take

The POC Fornix MIPS Helmet is a dependable, protective, and stylish entry-level helmet for adult skiers of any skill level who want to protect their dome and look good doing so.

A skier makes turns through the snow wearing his POC Fornix MIPS helmet.

About the gear

  • Model: Fornix MIPS: 2021
  • Size: XL-XXL

About me

  • Height: 6’2”
  • Weight: 200 lbs
  • Head circumference: 61 cm
  • Goggles: POC Orb Clarity
  • Experience: I have over 25 plus years of skiing experience

Test conditions

  • When I bought this helmet: January 2021
  • Days tested: 100 plus days
  • Where I’ve used it: Park City Mountain, Utah, and various other resorts, including Canada
  • How I’ve used it: I’ve used the Fornix MIPS both skiing in resorts and in the backcountry.

How it performs

Adjustability
5/5
Comfort
4/5
Durability
4/5
Protection
5/5
Ventilation
5/5
Waterproofing
5/5

What I was looking for

I have continually been on the hunt for a helmet that fits well and protects my head while skiing fast at resorts but is lightweight enough also to carry during long days hiking in the backcountry. Lastly, I was looking for a helmet that performed all of these functions and looked good aesthetically.

Why I chose this gear

I picked the Fornix because I have always marveled at POC’s streamlined designs; POC gear is linear, well built, and pretty to look at. On top of that, the addition of MIPS into the construction ensured added protection that gave me confidence in the helmet’s practicality. I had considered other helmets, such as the Smith Vantage or Giro Jackson. Still, I ultimately went with the Fornix because it was the lightest option, a factor for any helmet applied in the backcountry.

A skier at the top of a chute wearing his ski backpack and helmet.

What I love about it

  • Protection: The Fornix has protected my vast dome during numerous crashes, both at the resort and in the backcountry. It has also protected my head from branches, chair lifts, and the occasional tourist’s ski flailing about outside the ski lodge. I ski more confidently, knowing I am wearing my Fornix, and the MIPS technology only adds to the protection.
  • Comfort: POC recently updated the internal shape of the new Fornix MIPS, and the new style is much comfier and snug than the original Fornix. The older model had more of a circle shape, which led to unwanted pressure on the front of my forehead. The new Fornix was designed as more of an oval shape, which more naturally fits my head.
  • Fit system: Much like other brands, the Fornix includes a height adjustment knob on the rear of the helmet. Designed by POC, the adjustment allows me to quickly and easily adjust the tightness of the helmet to my head with a simple twist of the knob, keeping the Fornix secure. Very simple and very effective.
  • Liner: The EPS Liner in the Fornix is cushy and comfortable. Just as important, it has held up very well to considerable use, showing little to no signs of wear or tear.
  • Goggle compatibility: POC designs its helmets and goggles to combine seamlessly with each other. In this case, I also wear POC Orb Clarity Goggles, and they seal incredibly well to the Fornix, where the goggle meets the helmet. That being said, numerous other brand goggles fit just as well with the Fornix. Google chimneys at the front of the helmet help prevent fogging, and a rigid clip on the back of the helmet keeps my goggles securely in place.
  • Weight: The Fornix MIPS is incredibly lightweight for the amount of protection it provides. It rests lightly on my head, and during long missions in the backcountry, I do not even feel it on my pack. The weight was a huge factor in my decision to purchase the Fornix.
  • Style: The Fornix MIPS is a lower-profile helmet. In my opinion, it closely resembles a skate helmet, but at a much lighter weight and with more enhanced fitting adjustments and cushion in the liner. It just plain looks good.

Issues I’ve encountered

  • Sizing: Sizing is one area to pay attention to when considering the Fornix. While POC’s sizing guide is listed accurately, it is a bit different than how other brands list helmet sizes. Namely, you can choose either an XS-S, M-L, or XL-XXL. Because this sizing guide is different from other brands, it’s important to pay attention to the actual head circumference listed with each size. I went with an XL-XXL, and it fit my large head great.
  • Breathability: This is one area where the Fornix MIPS was lacking. Despite having ample chimney vents located on top of the helmet, the Fornix runs hot. The Earpads are removable, which helps with the heat, but even so, the Fornix still retains heat more than I would like.
  • Earpads: As comfortable as the Fornix is, the Earpads do tend to be a bit bulky. I’ve found that after a day of use, my ears often ache under the earpads. While it is not a deal-breaker for me, I have used more comfortable earpads on other helmets in the past, namely Smith helmets.
  • Durability: The Fornix does suffer from some basic durability issues. Namely, it shows scratches and knicks on the surface of the helmet very well, and I have noticed two dents on the outer surface that were most likely from simply bumping it around while moving, not from a crash.
A skier stands wearing all his ski gear. There is a mountain range in the background.

Favorite moment with this gear

As I’ve stated before, I have always enjoyed POC’s overall look and design. My favorite moments with this helmet are when people compliment me on how well the Fornix and my POC goggles look together. POC designs gear that not only works well but looks good too.

Value for the money vs. other options

Although POC helmets tend to be a bit more expensive, you are paying for POC’s extensive research into head protection, as well as the added benefit of MIPS. Higher-end helmets, such as the Smith Vantage, are considerably more expensive than the Fornix while providing the same protection. The Giro Jackson is another comparable lightweight MIPS helmet, but I like the aesthetic look of the Fornix much more.

Final verdict

The Fornix MIPS is a reliable, well-built, and good-looking option for skiers and riders looking for a medium-tier helmet with enhanced protection features. While it lacks the ultimate bells and whistles of high-end helmets, such as a built in mic, it will allow riders to push their skills on the mountain, confident that their most precious organ is well defended.

Selling POC on Curated.com
POC Fornix MIPS Helmet
Ski Expert Luke Hinz
5.0
Luke Hinz
Ski Expert
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Written By
If my parents could have foreseen how deep my obession for skiing would become, they might never have put me on skis. I've been fortunate enough to experience the entire spectrum of skiing; from growing up racing on icy Midwest slopes, to exploring every nook and cranny of the Wasatch Range backcoun...

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