For many years, California-based Kali Protectives has been manufacturing helmets which challenge the status-quo. Kali has spurred the growing industry-wide push toward developing safer cycling helmets, specifically by expanding the use of lower and multi-density foam liners, and complex foam layering designs.
In the crowded category of “trail” or “enduro” helmets, the Kali Maya stands out. While most of the helmets in this category look as big as a small planet, the Maya has a low profile, scoring big style points and also, as Kali claims, a hefty safety bonus. Larger helmets are more likely to catch and stick on the ground instead of sliding, which sends more impact energy into your skull instead of being dissipated by the helmet.
Here our Web Content Manager, Scotty Ender, tells us why the Kali Maya is his favorite mountain helmet.
What do you prefer about the Kali Maya compared to other extended-coverage helmets?
The Maya has an incredibly low volume look and feel. Most extended-coverage helmets look like watermelons on your head and feel the same way, but the Maya is light and thin and super low-bulk.
Have you had any experience with Kali’s customer service, and what has it been like?
Kali has an exceptional Lifetime Crash Replacement program where, if you crash, they’ll replace your helmet for free! Even the owner Brad is always more than happy to have a conversation with you about most anything, especially when it comes to actual product help.
How does the Maya integrate with glasses or goggles?
For those wanting to go full-on “enduro,” this helmet fits goggles on your face really well. Its visor doesn’t flip up quite far enough for those wanting the fastest goggle drop technology though. However, I’m more than happy to wear my goggles in reverse on my helmet until I need them.
Kali is a tech-heavy brand. Do you feel the Fusion Plus foam liner construction is an improvement over traditional techniques?
Absolutely. Building a helmet where the shell and core are molded together (rather than pieced together separately) creates a much more cohesive unit where everything works together for safety. The multi-density layers of interlocking cones also sounds like brilliant impact diffusion technology, and their research backs that up.
Any other stand-out features about the Maya that you appreciate?
Between the helmet pads and the helmet itself, the front half of the Maya sports a mesh netting that helps prevent bees, bugs, and bushes from coming through the ventilation ports and into your helmet. Much appreciated.