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Giro Foray MIPS Review

A low-cost, lightweight helmet with many of the same features as higher priced competitors.
Best Buy Award
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Price:  $85 List | $59.00 at Amazon
Pros:  Lightweight, well-ventilated, very affordable
Cons:  Not as durable or adjustable as high-end models
Manufacturer:   Giro
By Nick Bruckbauer ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Oct 2, 2019
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75
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#5 of 15
  • Comfort - 20% 7
  • Adjustability - 15% 8
  • Weight - 15% 9
  • Style - 15% 7
  • Ventilation - 20% 8
  • Durability - 15% 6

Our Verdict

The Giro Foray MIPS secures our Best Buy Award by combining a range of features usually only found on more expensive helmets into a very lightweight package at an amazingly low price. With a similar looking design and similar features as Giro's pricier flagship models, the Foray would make an excellent choice for riders willing to sacrifice only some of the highest-end features for a solid all-around helmet that won't break the bank. With excellent ventilation, a comfortable and adjustable fit, and one of the lowest prices in our lineup, the Foray MIPS rides away with our Best Buy Award.


Compare to Similar Products

 
This Product
Giro Foray MIPS
Awards Best Buy Award Editors' Choice Award  Top Pick Award  
Price $59.00 at Amazon$179.99 at Competitive Cyclist
Compare at 2 sellers
$324.95 at Competitive Cyclist
Compare at 2 sellers
$369.95 at Amazon$100 List
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Pros Lightweight, well-ventilated, very affordableLightweight, comfortable, low profile, good ventilationGreat ventilation, elegant style, advanced MIPS liner designAero design, adjustable ventilation and aero vent, stylish, well-cushionedWell ventilated, affordable, comfortable, uses CES protection
Cons Not as durable or adjustable as high-end modelsExpensiveExpensive, heavier than other high-end helmetsHeavy, warmer in summer monthsForehead padding requires visor, bulky, doesn’t use MIPS
Bottom Line A low-cost, lightweight helmet with many of the same features as higher priced competitors.A high-end road biking helmet with a semi aerodynamic profile, that is lightweight and well-ventilated.A high-end road biking helmet with excellent ventilation and a unique MIPS liner design.An extremely unique helmet that matches its flash with slippery performance.A playfully designed offering with plenty of features for casual and serious riders alike.
Rating Categories Giro Foray MIPS Giro Synthe MIPS Giro Aether MIPS Kask Infinity Catlike Kompact'o Urban
Comfort (20%)
10
0
7
10
0
9
10
0
7
10
0
9
10
0
8
Adjustability (15%)
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
8
Weight (15%)
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
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6
10
0
3
10
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6
Style (15%)
10
0
7
10
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8
10
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8
10
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9
10
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7
Ventilation (20%)
10
0
8
10
0
7
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
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8
Durability (15%)
10
0
6
10
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7
10
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8
10
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7
10
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8
Specs Giro Foray MIPS Giro Synthe MIPS Giro Aether MIPS Kask Infinity Catlike Kompact'o...
Weight (grams) 312 g (size L) 312 g (size L) 330 g (size L) 350 g (size M) 291 g (size M)
MIPS Yes Yes Yes No No
Number of vents 21 19 11 13 21
Sizes S, M, L S, M, L S, M, L M,L S, M, L
Size Range (cm) 59-63 cm (size L) 59-63 cm (size L) 59-63 cm (size L) 52-62 cm (size M) 51-61 cm (size M)

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.

Performance Comparison


The Foray MIPS looks and feels a lot like helmets that cost much  much more.
The Foray MIPS looks and feels a lot like helmets that cost much, much more.

Comfort


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 Roc Loc 5 fit system has an easily adjustable tension dial  but the headband doesn't wrap all the way around the front of the head.
The Roc Loc 5 fit system has an easily adjustable tension dial, but the headband doesn't wrap all the way around the front of the head.

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.

Adjustability


The Roc Loc 5 fit system has a small tab system that can adjust the fore/aft position of the headband by 2 cm.
The Roc Loc 5 fit system has a small tab system that can adjust the fore/aft position of the headband by 2 cm.
With its Roc Loc 5 fit system and chinstraps with adjustable Y-buckles, the Foray MIPS offers a good deal of adjustability. While the headband system only goes part-way around the head and anchors to the helmet near the temples, which isn't as comfortable as full circumference headbands, it does still provide a size adjustability range similar to other helmets. The Large size helmet we tested can be adjusted from 59-63 cm. The adjustment dial and fore/aft adjustment tabs in the back of the helmet are easily usable and are nearly identical in design to the dial and tabs in Giro's Roc Loc Air fit system that comes on their top of the line helmets.


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.

The chinstrap Y-buckles can easily be adjusted to be either lower down by the chin or higher up by the ears.
Giro's chinstrap Y-buckles can easily be adjusted to be either lower down by the chin or higher up by the ears.

Weight


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.

The Foray shows that money doesn't always buy weight savings  as it comes in with one of the lowest weights and lowest prices in our lineup.
The Foray shows that money doesn't always buy weight savings, as it comes in with one of the lowest weights and lowest prices in our lineup.

Style


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.

A helmet with a low profile shape and classic styling completes the look.
A helmet with a low profile shape and classic styling completes the look.

Ventilation


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.

The Foray has 21 vents placed all over the helmet.
The Foray has 21 vents placed all over the helmet.
The Foray has 21 vents placed all over the helmet.

Durability


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.

The Foray has quite a bit of exposed EPS foam around the brim of the helmet  giving the perception of lower long-term durability.
The Foray has quite a bit of exposed EPS foam around the brim of the helmet, giving the perception of lower long-term durability.


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.

Conclusion


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.

The Foray proves you don't have to spend a bunch of extra cash to give your riding buddies this view!
The Foray proves you don't have to spend a bunch of extra cash to give your riding buddies this view!


Nick Bruckbauer