POC Octal AVIP MIPS Review
- ICE tag
- Small adjustment dial
- Thin & sparse padding
The POC Octal AVIP MIPS is a helmet with outstanding rear and side coverage. Safety goes beyond the helmet with the addition of the POC ICE tag, which allows medical personnel to scan and obtain critical medical information to assure the best care. However, the minimalistic padding compromised fit and comfort.
The POC Octal AVIP MIPS strap webbing was thin and lightweight and laid comfortably flat against the cyclist’s face. It allowed for plenty of fore and aft adjustability. However our tester found that the straps needed re-tensioning fairly frequently.
Padding was sparse and thin though despite its minimalism, it did not create any pressure points in and of itself. It did a decent job of absorbing moisture on mid-temperature days but came up short on warmer outings due to the minimalistic padding’s inability to absorb moisture on hot days at slower speeds.
Fit of the POC Octal AVIP MIPS also decreased comfort. Our tester has a cone-shaped head so to achieve the best fit, which was the worst of all the helmets in the test, she had to cinch the backband and crank down on the side straps, which caused her head to feel like it was being squeezed. There was also some discomfort from the chin straps.
Ventilation on the POC Octal AVIP MIPS is outstanding with twenty-one large air vents spaced fairly far apart allowing air to flow through unimpeded. Although the padding is sparse, it was thick enough to create a decent-enough air channel to encourage good airflow.
The POC Octal AVIP MIPS provides excellent coverage on all sides and the back of the head. It measured 17 inches from front to back and 14.5 inches from ear-to-ear. It had the highest protective surface space of all the helmets in the test. That said however, it is the least ponytail friendly.
Additional head protection comes from MIPS, a thin liner that protects against rotational forces by separating the shell from the liner to allow the liner to slide relative to the skull in an angular crash.
Safety goes beyond impact protection with a POC ICE (In Case of Emergency) tag. By scanning the tag of the injured or unconscious cyclist, medical personal or other first responders can identify the cyclist and obtain critical medical information (blood type, allergies, etc), to ensure the best care.
Fit could be improved with the POC Octal AVIP MIPS. The MIPS liner can make a helmet feel as if it is sitting suspended above the cyclist’s head. Our tester did experience this suspended feeling with this particular helmet. It was somewhat counteracted by cranking down on the side and chin straps and tightening the backband.
A click wheel at the back of the helmet adjusts the rear-retention band, but due to its diminutive size is difficult to do on the fly and with sweaty hands, fingers, or gloves.
With the generous head coverage, lightweight strap webbing, and minimal padding, the POC Octal AVIP MIPS is the lightest helmet in the test at 254 grams.
Marie Malinowski is a Minneapolis-based mountain biker, bike commuter, backpacker, and trail runner who covers our cycling accessories categories.