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Lazer Z-1 MIPS Review

A high quality, lightweight road helmet with excellent ventilation and some unique optional features
lazer z-1 mips road bike helmet review
Credit: Lazer
Price:  $220 List
Manufacturer:   Lazer
By Nick Bruckbauer ⋅   ⋅  May 7, 2020
77
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#4 of 16
  • Comfort - 25% 7.0
  • Ventilation - 25% 9.0
  • Adjustability - 20% 7.0
  • Weight - 15% 8.0
  • Style - 7.5% 8.0
  • Durability - 7.5% 6.0

Our Verdict

The Lazer Z1 MIPS is the Belgian brand's top of the line road racing helmet that has a classic look with its low profile shape and plenty of built-in ventilation. The unique ARS fit system is adjusted using a dial on the top of the helmet rather than with a standard rear click wheel seen on most other models. This offering stands out with lightweight comfort and excellent ventilation. The Z1 MIPS would be a great option for road racing and training, but could also be a good choice for warm-weather cyclocross racing and could adapt to the colder months with the purchase of the Aeroshell cover.
REASONS TO BUY
Lighweight
Comfortable
Good ventilation
REASONS TO AVOID
Unique adjustment dial might not be for everyone

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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros Lighweight, comfortable, good ventilationLightweight, comfortable, well-ventilated, easy to adjust, high visibility color optionsVentilates well, comfortable, unique style, sunglass garageGreat ventilation, comfortable, durableVery comfortable, great style, good for all disciplines
Cons Unique adjustment dial might not be for everyoneExpensive, high-volume shapeExpensiveHeavy, bulkyLess adjustable than some, middling ventilation, narrow at the temple
Bottom Line A high quality, lightweight road helmet with excellent ventilation and some unique optional featuresAn extremely comfortable, well-ventilated, and lightweight helmet with minimal wind roar for all-day riding and steep climbingThis uniquely designed helmet offers excellent airflow and performance that warrant its high costA comfortable and very well-ventilated helmet that is a bit heavy and bulkyThis stylish, well-built helmet packs in comfort and features at a lower price point than most
Rating Categories Lazer Z-1 MIPS Bontrager Velocis MIPS POC Ventral Air MIPS Specialized Airnet... Smith Persist MIPS
Comfort (25%)
7.0
9.0
8.0
8.0
8.0
Ventilation (25%)
9.0
9.0
9.0
9.0
5.0
Adjustability (20%)
7.0
8.0
7.0
6.0
6.0
Weight (15%)
8.0
8.0
8.0
4.0
7.0
Style (7.5%)
8.0
7.0
7.0
6.0
8.0
Durability (7.5%)
6.0
8.0
9.0
8.0
6.0
Specs Lazer Z-1 MIPS Bontrager Velocis MIPS POC Ventral Air MIPS Specialized Airnet... Smith Persist MIPS
Measured Weight 305 g (size L) 300 g (size L) 295 g (Size L) 364 g (size L) 326 g (Size L)
Size Range 58-61 cm (size L) 58-63 cm (size L) 56-61 cm (size L) 59-63 cm (size L) 59-62 cm (size L)
Number of Vents 31 12 15 22 21
MIPS Yes Yes No, SPIN Yes Yes
Sizes S, M, L S, M, L S, M, L S, M, L S, M , L, XL

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Lazer Z1 MIPS performs well across the board but stands out for its lightweight comfort and its impressive ventilation thanks to 31 vents.

Performance Comparison


lazer z-1 mips road bike helmet review - we extensively tested all the helmets in our review based on our six...
We extensively tested all the helmets in our review based on our six key performance metrics. Here, the Z1 impresses with its lightweight ventilation, comfort, and classy style.
Credit: Nick Bruckbauer

Comfort


The Z1 MIPS is a comfortable helmet with a unique headband system and adjustment dial. The built-in Xstatic T-Pro padding is quite minimal, but is of high quality and is placed in just the right spots. The Advanced Rollsys System (ARS) headband provides comfortable full circumference support around the entire head, and is easily adjusted with a unique dial mechanism built into the top of the helmet.


Our testers found the profile and volume of the helmet to be very comfortable for a variety of head shapes and sizes, and the ARS headband system provides balanced support without any uncomfortable pressure points. The Y-buckles and straps are also excellent. The straps lay flat against the face and are made of soft, single-layer webbing.

lazer z-1 mips road bike helmet review - the z1 from lazer, showing the yellow and black mips liner and the...
The Z1 from Lazer, showing the yellow and black MIPS liner and the strategically placed lightweight padding.
Credit: Nick Bruckbauer

The Z1 MIPS loses a couple of points in this rating metric because the ARS headband system sits pretty high on the head compared to most other helmets we tested. The headband systems on most other models extend further down the back of your head to provide extra coverage and support, while the ARS headband barely extends beyond the shell of the helmet. For riders with larger or non-perfectly symmetric heads, this could limit the comfort and the ability to find the right fit.

lazer z-1 mips road bike helmet review - the ars headband system barely extends beyond the shell of the...
The ARS headband system barely extends beyond the shell of the helmet. Most other helmets provide coverage and support that extends further down the back of the head.
Credit: Nick Bruckbauer

Ventilation


The Lazer Z1 MIPS leaves little to be desired when it comes to ventilation. It is one of the best-ventilated helmets we tested with a total of 31 vents; more than any other helmet in our lineup. Ventilation at both low and high-speeds is excellent. The MIPS liner is cut perfectly to prevent blocking any vents. If ventilation is a high priority, then this helmet will not disappoint.


Besides the sheer number of built-in vents, another key to the Z1'shigh-end ventilation performance is the shape and location of some of the vents. Many of the vents sit pretty low on the helmet, extending downward to the forehead and temple area of the rider's head. We found that vents in this location are much more effective at circulating air around the entire head, rather than only across the top of the head. This vent configuration is very efficient and is noticeably cool and comfortable while riding.

lazer z-1 mips road bike helmet review - the z1's 31 vents are quite apparent on slower uphill grinds and on...
The Z1's 31 vents are quite apparent on slower uphill grinds and on warmer days in the saddle.
Credit: Nick Bruckbauer

Adjustability


The Z1 MIPS is comfortably adjustable, with the previously often mentioned ARS headband system that uses a unique threaded rod to adjust the system tension, rather than a more traditional ratcheting dial. This provides a smoother adjustment tolerance within the 58-61 cm size range (size Large) which riders will appreciate to help dial in a perfect fit. While this system is unique and perfectly functional, it does take a little while to get used to the location of the adjustment dial, and some users may prefer the standard rear dial location on most other products.


The adjustable Y-buckles on the Z1 MIPS are excellent. They allow the webbing straps to lay flat against the face and are among the easiest to adjust out of any helmet that we have tested. The straps are fixed to the front and rear of the helmet, so re-centering the chinstrap buckle is out of the question if you fall on the upper or lower end of a size range.

lazer z-1 mips road bike helmet review - the lazer z-1 has a unique headband tensioning dial on the top of...
The Lazer Z-1 has a unique headband tensioning dial on the top of the helmet.
Credit: Nick Bruckbauer

Weight


At 305 grams in a men's size Large that we weighed ourselves, the Z1 MIPS is among the lightest helmets in our lineup. There are a couple of competitors that weigh a bit less by forgoing a built-in MIPS liner, but once you account for the 20-30 grams attributed to the liner, the Z1 holds its own with any other lightweight model.


With a comfortable fit and plenty of ventilation in addition to its slight stature, the Z1 MIPS makes an excellent option for racing and fast training rides.

lazer z-1 mips road bike helmet review - the z1's scant weight is greatly appreciated when the terrain turns...
The Z1's scant weight is greatly appreciated when the terrain turns uphill.
Credit: Nick Bruckbauer

Style


The Z1 MIPS is the epitome of a classic helmet design. It has loads of vents that are symmetrically placed throughout the helmet, a rounded profile upfront, and a slight spoiler extended from the back of the helmet. Our testers really like the look of this helmet and apparently so do many Belgian cyclocross racers, as it seems to be one of the most popular helmets among the European cyclocross elite.


Our extensive online research and testing of previous versions of this helmet indicate that some versions of the Lazer Z1 include an optional magnetic sunglasses retention system. The Magneto system consists of two magnetic clips that attach to the vents on the back of the helmet, paired with Lazer's Magneto sunglasses that use the magnetic clips as an anchor point. While our current testing version does include several of the previously mentioned accessories, we did not see any magnetic mounting system included in the package.

The Z1 from Lazer is one of the lightest and best-ventilated helmets...
The Z1 from Lazer is one of the lightest and best-ventilated helmets that we tested.
The Z1 has a classic style and low-profile shape.
The Z1 has a classic style and low-profile shape.
The Z1 has a classic style and low-profile shape.
The Z1 has a classic style and low-profile shape.

Another feature that is unique to Lazer helmets is the optional Aeroshell. The Aeroshell is a plastic shell that clips onto the Z1 helmet. Lazer claims the shell enhances aerodynamics and will keep your head dry in the rain. We did not test the Aeroshell, but it is a nice option to have to provide additional versatility for weather protection and aerodynamics.

Durability


The Z1 MIPS is a high-quality helmet, but skips a full wrap polycarbonate shell in favor of weight savings. We wish that every helmet manufacturer would include a full wrap shell for durability reasons, protecting the delicate EPS foam inner liner from bumps and abrasions. Other models have been able to strike a reasonable balance between the durability of a full shell while still maintaining a competitive weight.


All other components of the Z1 MIPS worked flawlessly during our testing period, and we expect that the average owner will get many comfortable seasons out of this lid.

lazer z-1 mips road bike helmet review - the z1 is made from high-quality materials and we would expect to...
The Z1 is made from high-quality materials and we would expect to see several seasons of use with no durability issues.
Credit: Nick Bruckbauer

Value


The Z1 has always been on the more expensive end of our lineup, but it appears that the retail price has come down a bit in recent years, putting it closer to the middle of the pack. With a reasonable price for Lazer's top-tier helmet, excellent ventilation, and a lightweight and comfortable build, the Z1 could be a good value for a rider looking for a little bit of Belgian flair. It also comes standard with a soft storage bag and a spare set of pads and velcro attachment strips.

lazer z-1 mips road bike helmet review - while on the more expensive end of the lineup, the z1 provides great...
While on the more expensive end of the lineup, the Z1 provides great value for riders looking for a great combination of lightweight ventilation, winning our Top Pick Award.
Credit: Nick Bruckbauer

Conclusion


The Z1 MIPS is a top of the line road cycling helmet that was one of our favorites during testing. The range of optional accessories is unmatched by other brands and allows the rider to customize the helmet for their needs. The unique ARS headband adjustment system, the light and comfortable design, and the impressive ventilation make the Z1 stand out from the pack.

Nick Bruckbauer
 
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