Lazer Tonic MIPS Review
Cons: Difficult to adjust cradle, bulky, heavy
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Lazer Tonic MIPS
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$225.00 at REI
$199.95 at Amazon
|$95.00 at Amazon|
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|Pros||Inexpensive, large micro adjust dial||Lightweight, comfortable, well-ventilated, easy to adjust, high visibility color options||Well-ventilated, adjustable and comfortable, sleek and classy style||Comfortable, adjustable, durable, inexpensive||Great ventilation, comfortable, durable|
|Cons||Difficult to adjust cradle, bulky, heavy||Expensive, high volume shape||Slightly heavy for a high-end helmet||Heavier, slightly less ventilation||Heavy, bulky|
|Bottom Line||This classically styled somewhat bulky helmet provides MIPS protection for a low price||An extremely comfortable, well-ventilated, and lightweight helmet with minimal wind roar for all-day riding and steep climbing||A very comfortable, well-ventilated helmet with plenty of high-end features and a classy style||A very comfortable helmet full of high-end features at a surprisingly low price||A comfortable and very well-ventilated helmet that is a bit heavy and bulky|
|Rating Categories||Lazer Tonic MIPS||Bontrager Velocis MIPS||Bell Z20 MIPS||Giro Agilis MIPS||Specialized Airnet...|
|Specs||Lazer Tonic MIPS||Bontrager Velocis MIPS||Bell Z20 MIPS||Giro Agilis MIPS||Specialized Airnet...|
|Weight (grams)||350 g (SizeL)||300 g (size L)||336 g (size L)||336 g (size L)||364 g (size L)|
|Size Range (cm)||58-61 cm (size L)||58-63 cm (size L)||58-62 cm (size L)||59-63 cm (size L)||59-63 cm (size L)|
|Number of Vents||28||12||18||32||22|
|Sizes||S, M, L||S, M, L||S, M, L||S, M, L||S, M, L|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Lazer Tonic MIPS provides an economical option for riders less concerned with style and ventilation and on a budget. With adequate comfort and easy adjustment, this helmet provides many features of other models at less than half the price. If you want to save weight or are willing to pay for a better-ventilated helmet, then this may not be the model for you.
The Tonic has an adjustable plastic head cradle and large micro-adjust dial. The range of these adjustments is less than other helmets we tested, only three centimeters. The webbing straps have a simple Y-buckle that is easy to use but can 'walk' or move during use. The increased weight makes the Tonic very noticeable on long rides and the cradle is not as comfortable as more expensive models. The padding is plush but the large surface area promotes heating and they do saturate with perspiration. As we found with other models tested, more padding doesn't always correlate to more comfort.
The Tonic fits a bit snug for its size and there is not a great range for adjustment, only three centimeters in circumference. The fixed straps only allow for adjustment at the buckle which limits how many head shapes this strap can accommodate. The webbing is among the stiffest we tested and not very supple against the skin. The adjustment dial on the occiput is very large and easy to find and use. We were less happy with the cradle adjustment which requires a Phillips head screwdriver, no quick field adjustments for this feature. You are required to fold the MIPS liner, foam, and cradle back to reveal the tensioning screw. For the price point, the adjustment is decent but less than higher-end models tested.
The Tonic is nearly the heaviest helmet we tested, weighing in at 350 grams in size large. This is not a model for the ultra weight conscious rider. The thick, single-density EPS foam, MIPS, and large pads don't help the Tonic in this category. But if you are looking for the added safety of MIPS and don't have the extra cash for a lighter helmet, then this could be your ticket.
The Tonic has a traditional design with classic lines drawn back with vents between. We found this helmet to be higher bulk and ride somewhat high. A lot of exposed EPS foam, an abrupt brow line, and no extra features such as a sunglass garage caused this model to score low in this category. Lazer only offers this model in two colors further lowering the score in this metric.
The Tonic sports 28 total vents and small recessed channels to promote airflow. Unfortunately, large contact points and thick padding retain a lot of heat. The vents do an adequate job of moving air but far less than models with large recessed channels. Also absent are ports on the brim at the forehead to move air away causing a lot of perspiration. This helmet provides decent ventilation for intermediate riders on short rides or for riders looking for a cool-season helmet.
The PolyCarbonate shell on the Tonic stops well short of protecting the EPS foam. On the brim, the EPS foam is exposed to any dent or damage that may inadvertently occur. The thick EPS foam may withstand more abuse than a lightweight expensive multi-density model, but this remains unprovable. Our testers prefer PC shells that wrap the entire EPS structure and this model lacks that scoring it low in this category.
Decent performance with a low price tag makes the Tonic a good low-budget option for the rider who doesn't want to drop dough on a steeper price tag. The trade-off in less comfort and lower performance for a lower price is to be expected. If you don't plan to be in high-risk situations or are on a budget, this is a great option to consider.
The Lazer Tonic provides a budget option in a star-studded lineup of great products. Holding its own in most categories against far more expensive models, this helmet doesn't turn heads in any one category except for an exceptionally low price while still offering the benefit of MIPS technology. If you are on a budget then consider the Tonic for your daily commute or exercise.
— Ryan Baker
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