The Lazer Z1 is a comfortable and well-ventilated helmet that eliminates the pressure points that are sometimes created by tension adjustments placed at the nape of the neck.
Anyone who has cursed retention straps for creating pressure points at the base of the head, should try the Z1. Its design feels wonderfully free and open in the rear, particularly since there’s no tension dial cluttering up the base of the skull. In testing, I especially appreciated the streamlined design when I was tucked down low in the drops; with a flat back and craned neck, I felt none of the helmet-clutter that I’d grown used to in other helmets. It felt, in fact, like I was wearing no helmet at all.
Instead of an unbroken band of fabric across the forehead, the Z1 uses two pads, with an air channel in between. Perforated fabric helps the pads dry fast, and breezes have no trouble finding their way to the scalp with the 31 vents.
Lazer’s “Tri-Guide” side webbing adjustment feels sleek and unobtrusive. And Lazer bulked up the impact protection around the temples without making the Z1 (and its wearer) look like a balloon.
Pulling on the inner skeleton transforms the shape of the fit from round to oval. Unlike most helmets (which place a tension adjustment at the back of the head), the Z1 puts it on top, where a ridged knob is embedded into the shell. Using your finger to roll that knob back and forth tightens and loosens the circumference grip. In testing the helmet never got as tight as I’d prefer. I have a 53 cm head (my sample promised to fit 52-56 cm), and even on the tightest setting, I found it a smidge too loose; one more turn of the knob would’ve clinched it perfectly.
It’s reasonably light and feels unobtrusive, despite the ample forehead coverage.
This is a quality piece of gear, but at $270, it’s one of the most expensive bike helmets available—worth it if it fits your noggin like a custom bucket or if you spend a lot of time in a tucked, aero position (when the Z1’s open-necked design was truly game-changing).