The Kask Protone is a semi-aero helmet that is comparable in design to the Giro Synthe and is best suited to road racing and training. Kask is an Italian company well known for making high-quality helmets. Team Sky, one of the most successful professional cycling teams in the Pro Peloton, uses Kask helmets. This helmet is designed to provide good ventilation while maintaining an aerodynamic profile. This is undoubtedly a sharp-looking, durable helmet. Unfortunately, it was hampered by comfort and adjustability issues during testing, keeping it out of range of high scoring helmets like the Giro Synthe.
Kask Protone Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Durable, leather chin strap
Cons: Expensive, adjustment issues, not comfortable
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Our Analysis and Test Results
We expected the Protone to be one of the more comfortable helmets in the test following our past experience with Kask helmets. Regrettably, that was not the case. The main issue we experienced is a fore and aft adjustment system that does not lock in place, allowing the helmet to shift forward and backward on the head. The headband strap system also has a bend near the temples that creates uncomfortable pressure points. Despite these complaints, this model does have very plush Coolmax padding, and a very comfortable leather chinstrap.
This helmet scores poorly due to a fore and aft adjustment mechanism that does not stay in place. Just touching the helmet while riding can cause it to shift forward or backward. In addition, it does not have an adjustable Y-buckles like the high scoring Giro Synthe or the Lazer Z-1. The lack of adjustable Y-buckles made getting the straps evenly tensioned impossible for some of our testers. The rear straps have fixed anchor points, further limiting adjustability. For a more adjustable helmet, we suggest the Giro Synthe.
The Protone has a competitive weight of 268 g in a size Medium. The Giro Synthe has a similar semi-aero design and comes in at the same weight, but it also has a MIPS liner. The non-MIPS version of the Synthe would be most comparable to the Protone, and it is 30 g lighter in weight. When you take the durable construction of the product into account, the weight is actually quite reasonable for a semi-aero helmet.
This is a nice looking helmet, with some aerodynamic benefits. Lots of vents up front give it an almost traditional look, but from the side, the aerodynamic intentions are apparent, with a rounded top section free of vents. The Protone lacks rubber sunglass grippers found on other high-end helmets like the Giro Synthe. We like the leather chin strap, and our testers found it to be very comfortable on the skin. The design is solid, except for the fore and aft adjustment system, which does not stay in place.
Overall, ventilation is adequate but falls short of the Giro Synthe, our Editors' Choice Award Winner. The Synthe has 26 vents, compared to 20 on the Protone. Fewer vents could be what makes the difference between the two helmets, but we feel it is more likely do to with the Roc Loc Air suspension system on the Synthe that maintains a few millimeters of space between the head and the EPS foam liner. Internal channeling is quite extensive on this model, which helps with ventilation at speed. The extra heat build-up is most noticeable at lower speeds when compared to the higher scoring Specialized Airnet and the Synthe.
The Protone is one of the most durable helmets we tested. A full wrap polycarbonate shell protects the EPS foam from damage. Though more of an aesthetic issue, it scores lower than the Smith Overtake due to flimsy stickers that easily scratch and peel, compared to durable painted-on decals. Also, the failure of the fore and aft adjustment system cost this, offering some points in the durability category.
Due to the poor design of the fore and aft adjustment system, we do not feel it is a good value.
The Kask Protone is a nice looking semi-aero helmet. It suffers from poor adjustability and lack of comfort. If you are looking for a semi-aero helmet, we suggest you consider the Giro Synthe.
— Nick Bruckbauer & Curtis Smith