Giro Foray MIPS Review
Cons: Not as durable or adjustable as high-end models
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Giro Foray MIPS is one of the least expensive helmets in our lineup, yet includes a bunch of the same features that are found on its costlier competitors. With a well-ventilated design, easy adjustability for a comfortable fit, and also one of the lowest weights in our lineup, the Foray MIPS makes an intriguing option for most riders. While you can certainly spend more elsewhere for a few more high-end features like upgraded headband systems or fancier MIPS liners, you might not notice the difference once this helmet disappears onto your head, though you will see that far less money disappears from your wallet.
Our testers find the Foray MIPS to be a comfortable helmet with adequate padding and easy adjustability for an optimum fit. It is also very lightweight and has a slim profile, so it's hardly noticeable that you're even wearing it, which is this sign of an ideal helmet. However, this lid comes without some design features found on some of the more expensive models in our lineup, so while our testers were able to dial in a comfortable fit, riders with other head shapes and sizes might not be able to dial it in so perfectly.
The Foray MIPS comes with Giro's Roc Loc 5 fit system which features an adjustable headband with a tensioning dial at the back of the helmet. While this makes it easy to adjust the overall fit of the helmet, the headband system ends near the temples where it is anchored to the EPS foam liner, which means the front of the helmet sits directly on your head. This wasn't a deal-breaker for our testers, but for riders with head shapes and sizes that don't perfectly align with the shape of the helmet liner, this could lead to an awkward fit or uncomfortable pressure points. Other more expensive helmets tend to have headband systems that wrap around the full circumference of the helmet, cradling the entire head away from the surface of the foam liner. This leads to a higher probability of achieving a comfortable fit for more head shapes and sizes and helps promote airflow inside the helmet. Helmets that have full circumference headband systems all find themselves at the top of our comfort rankings.
The Foray MIPS comes with the same type of chinstraps and adjustable Y-buckles as Giro's more expensive top-tier helmets. The straps are made of soft, flexible material and lay nicely against the face. The adjustable and unobtrusive Y-buckles are easy to manipulate to dial in the right tightness for a comfortable fit.
The Foray MIPS also has the same adjustable Y-buckles as on Giro's higher-end helmets which makes dialing in the right fit and tension a breeze. The chinstrap system on this model is also fed through a slot at the rear of the helmet, rather than being permanently affixed to the helmet, which allows for easy side to side adjustment and centering of the chin strap buckle. The chinstrap buckle itself is also adjustable, as is standard on most helmets, making this system easy to work with across the board.
Coming in as one of the lightest offerings in our lineup, the Foray MIPS registers at 312 g in size large, according to our measurements. In a lot of cases in the sport of cycling, weight savings usually only comes with an increased cost. But not in this case with the Foray MIPS! It is a true anomaly with one of the lightest weights as well as one of the lowest prices in our lineup. This helmet truly seems to disappear when you're riding thanks to its sleek stature.
For those looking to pinch pennies and grams, the Foray is also available in a non-MIPS equipped version, which might save you approximately 20 dollars and 20 grams of weight. We still think the minimal weight and cost increase are a worthy sacrifice for including a MIPS liner, which is becoming an increasingly common feature on all types of helmets for all types of sports.
With a similar style as Giro's flagship models, we think the Foray MIPS is a classy choice for riders looking for a classic and professional look without breaking the bank. With its minimal weight, low profile, and excellent ventilation, you wouldn't look out of place with this lid whether you're commuting across town, cruising on a weekend group ride, or even racing against those with helmets that cost four times as much.
While this helmet doesn't include any fancy extras like built-in visors, rubber sunglass slots, or fancy shell materials, it looks and performs well for just a fraction of the cost. While some added features on other models are nice luxuries to have, those who just want the essentials in a light and comfortable package will appreciate the savings.
With 21 well-dispersed vents, the Foray MIPS scores well in our ventilation ratings. While this helmet never let us down with its breezy performance, there are other offerings in the lineup with special features that are likely to contribute to better ventilation across a wider range of conditions. Some models simply have larger or more effectively placed vents. Others have small channeled grooves in the foam liner or a headband that suspends the helmet just off the head, both of which promote better airflow within the helmet itself.
Every model that scored better than the Foray MIPS in the ventilation ratings were also more expensive. We think that most riders will be satisfied with the ventilation of this offering from Giro, especially those looking for a tremendous value in a great all-around performer.
One area where the Foray MIPS falls a little short of its more expensive competitors is in our durability ratings. While we didn't experience any specific issues within our test period, this model has a few qualities that could potentially lead to lesser long term durability. The brim of this helmet has quite a bit of EPS foam liner material exposed, which is prone to dings or scrapes from being dropped or bumped in day-to-day storage or transport. The outer shell material also feels quite a bit less substantial than on other models. Other products with higher quality shell materials and full coverage that extends fully around the brim of the helmet earn the highest scores in this category.
Helmets with more polycarbonate shell material also tend to weigh more and are typically more expensive. With one of the lightest weights and lowest prices in our lineup, the Foray MIPS seems to make reasonable tradeoffs for the potential lower long term durability, still providing good all-around performance and great value.
Earning our Best Buy Award for its amazing value, the Foray MIPS packs a ton of features into a lightweight package with a retail price of just $85, making it one of the lowest-priced fully-featured helmets we've ever reviewed. While it lacks some fancier higher-end features, it certainly includes all the essentials and performs well across the board. Most riders looking for a single affordable helmet that looks and performs similar to much more expensive models would be well-served by this model. A lightweight, comfortable, well-ventilated helmet with a built-in MIPS liner, this lid stands out for its amazing value.
The Foray MIPS is a very attractive choice for riders looking for high-quality performance at a surprisingly reasonable price. While it lacks some high-end luxuries found on the most expensive models, it makes up for it with low weight, good comfort and ventilation, and all-around solid performance. With a similar classic look and design features as Giro's flagship helmets, the Foray MIPS will fit in wherever you take it, earning our Best Buy Award in the process.
— Nick Bruckbauer