The Lazer Z-1 MIPS is a great all around helmet.
The Z-1 MIPS is one of the most comfortable helmets we tested. The padding is minimal, but high quality and placed in the right places. The ARS fit system is responsible for the amazing level of comfort; a dial-like mechanism located on the top of the helmet is turned to increase or decrease tension. The ARS system is the closest thing we tested to the highly-rated Giro Roc Loc Air fit system. The circumferential adjustment bands wrap nearly all the way around the head and are anchored at the front of the helmet. When tension is increased, there are no pressure points due to the design. The Y-buckles and straps are also excellent. The straps lay flat against the face and are made of soft, single-layer webbing.
The X-Static pads on the Lazer Z-1 MIPS.
The Z-1 MIPS is a very adjustable helmet. The ARS system does not use a ratcheting dial but moves the tensioning system anchor on a threaded rod. This provides almost infinite adjustment within the 55-59 cm size range (size Medium), and we like this system better than the click wheel design used by other manufacturers. The ARS system is decent, but overall, the Roc Loc Air fit system found on the Giro Synthe MIPS is slightly better, due to the uninterrupted nature of the headband system. The straps are fixed front and rear on the Z-1, so centering the chinstrap buckle is out of the question if you fall on the upper or lower end of a size range.
The ARS fit system on the Lazer Z-1 MIPS has a tensioning knob on the top of the helmet.
The adjustable Y-buckles on the Z-1 MIPS are excellent. They allow the webbing to lay flat and are amongst the easiest to adjust of any helmet we have tested.
The Y-buckles on the Lazer Z-1 MIPS are simple and easy to adjust.
The Z-1 MIPS is one of the heavier traditional style helmets we tested. Our digital scale puts it right at 284 g for a size Medium. Compared to other similarly designed helmets that weigh in much lower, this model is a bit portly. However, our test version has a MIPS liner that adds on 30g, so if you deduct that, the helmet is within striking distance of some featherweight options without MIPS. It's not the lightest helmet available, but the comfort almost makes up for it.
The Z-1 MIPS is the epitome of classic helmet design - loads of vents and a rounded profile upfront. We like the look and apparently so do Belgian cyclocross racers, as it seems to be one of the most popular helmets among the European cyclocross elite. It also comes with a soft storage bag and a spare set of pads (as every helmet should). Lazer also includes its Magneto sunglass 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 glasses that use the magnetic clips as an anchor point.
You will have to buy the glasses separately if you are interested in this feature, but the helmet clips are included. Another feature that is unique to Lazer helmets is the optional Aeroshell. The Aeroshell is a plastic shell that clips onto the Z-1 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.
The Lazer Z-1 MIPS aims for awesome ventilation rather than aerodynamics.
The Lazer Z-1 MIPS leaves little to be desired when it comes to ventilation. It is one of the best-ventilated helmets we tested. It has a total of 31 vents; more than any other helmet in our lineup. Both low and high-speed ventilation are excellent. Our testers ranked the Specialized Airnet just higher, but the Z-1 is no slouch. The MIPS liner is cut perfectly to prevent blocking any vents. If ventilation is a high priority, then this helmet will not disappoint.
There are a total of 31 vents on the Lazer Z-1 MIPS, more than any other helmet we tested.
The Z-1 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. Helmets such as the Smith Overtake have proven it can be done while still maintaining a competitive weight. All other components worked flawlessly during testing, and we expect that the average owner will get many seasons out of this lid.
Lack of a full wrap shell leaves EPS foam exposed on the base of the Lazer Z-1 MIPS.
The Z-1 MIPS is an expensive helmet and retails for $310, making it one of the most expensive helmets we've tested. Despite the high price, it could be a good value for a rider looking for a little bit of Belgian flair in addition to great comfort and ventilation.
The Z-1 MIPS is a top-of-the-line road cycling helmet with a price to match. It 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 addition of the Aeroshell could be a good solution for the rider who wants one helmet but would like the option of an aero helmet for specific events or cold days.
Side profile of the Lazer Z-1 MIPS.