Agilis MIPS - Testers Favourite Helmet
Your tester's new favourite helmet: the Giro Agilis MIPS is a great fit for narrow craniums. It's also high quality, well vented and decent value.
It's a rare and happy day for a hard-working product tester when he can plonk on a new arrival and everything feels just right from the off. I didn't even need to adjust the straps; though our charming model must have done this at the office before it came to me so I can hardly thank Giro for that. What I can applaud is a helmet that fits my narrow head so well. (I always maintain the midwife delivered me by trapping my head between a couple of house bricks.)
As a size 58, I can sometimes find myself between helmet sizes, as 'medium' often means 52-58cm and 'large' 59+, so I'd have to choose between a helmet that only fits properly if I don't wear anything under it or one that's too big. Giro's size guide shows this medium as 55-59cm and it's perfect for me, with or without a helmet. This is all a matter of individual fit and head shape; if you find rounder helmets fit you well, it may not feel right.
The helmet looks good too, with the whole of the expanded polystyrene 'cage' encased in a tough outer shell. The lower shell is separately wrapped in a shiny finish and this wraps round to the inside of the brim. The boundary between the glossy and matt shells is very neatly done.
I also like the way the lower is sculpted to swoop down behind the ears. This is a helmet that covers the back of the head well. It also gives it a slightly more rugged look that will appeal to gravel-types as well as dyed-in-the-wool road riders.
The helmet comes in seven (mostly reasonably subdued) colour schemes and in three sizes, so it covers a good range of heads and tastes.
The strap system is Giro's Roc Loc 5 which worked well for me, adjustment being by a single wheel at the back of the head. There's also some scope for reducing the volume of the helmet with the three-position adjuster inside the rear. That's a bit fiddly but you only need to do it once.
I found the helmet sat well enough above my ears to allow my eyewear to rest without interference. I could wear a cap underneath and tilt the peak up without having to tip the helmet too far back. The front rim never intruded into my line of vision.
There's lots of ventilation here, too. It's been warm enough lately to ride without any headwear under the helmet and there's a definite cooling breeze blowing through. The MIPS insert is custom-cut so that it doesn't cover any of the vents.
I'd say a penny under £90 is pretty good going for what you're getting here.
Well made, good looking, light and comfortable – if you have a less rounded head shape this may be the helmet for you
Make and model: Giro Agilis MIPS helmet
Size tested: Medium
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?
Giro says: "The Agilis™ MIPS® is the right choice for riders looking for a helmet that combines airy design with slightly deeper coverage and a host of performance features aimed at road and multi-surface riding."
I think Giro has met the brief very well here.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
CONSTRUCTION: In mold construction, four-piece polycarbonate interlocking hardbody shell, full hardbody wrap
NUMBER OF VENTS:32
VENTILATION TYPE: Wind tunnel vents with internal channeling
FIT SYSTEM: Roc Loc 5.5 MIPS
CERTIFICATION: CPSC bicycle
Rate the product for quality of construction: 8/10 All exterior expanded polystyrene surfaces are encased in hard plastic which is intricately and tidily formed and joined.
Rate the product for performance: 10/10 I haven't called on it to save my life, but that aside, the comfort, how well it balances on the head, and the excellent vents have made this a very happy partnership.
Rate the product for durability: 9/10 Taking into account its excellent construction, it's hard to see why this won't go the distance.
Rate the product for weight (if applicable): 8/10 The weight is competitive, if not outstanding. More important, in my view, is how well the weight is distributed on your head.
Rate the product for comfort (if applicable): 10/10 This is a personal thing; it all depends on the shape of the wearer's head, but Giro must have measured my bonce while I was asleep.
Rate the product for value: 8/10 Comparing the features of this helmet to others we've reviewed, the Agilis seems to offer quite a lot; you can get MIPS on cheaper helmets – Smith's Signal Mips is £65 – but some more expensive ones don't have it. Given the quality of the finish and the comfort, the Agilis is a bit of a bargain.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose: Light, comfortable; what I like to call an "invisible" product that does its job without being noticed.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product: It's good looking and well made, plus the fit was perfect for my 58cm head; with or without a hat, I could get it just right. The MIPS insert is a custom cut for the lid so all the vents line up; and the simple but easy to adjust straps.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product: Nothing.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?: We've tested a whole crop of rather good helmets lately. At £90, the Giro Agilis compares very well when matching pounds to features.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, unless my friend's a roundhead.
Use this box to explain your overall score: It's not often I test something that I don't think could really be improved on; £90 is mid-price for helmets these days, but even so you could spend £100 more and not find anything more comfortable or better made.
Overall rating: 9/10