The POC Octal is the Swedish company's first offering to the road bike market. This helmet was designed around the qualities which the road market finds most important in a helmet: low weight and ventilation. The Octal is both very light and extremely well ventilated. It is also a relatively durable helmet compared with other road lids. If nothing is more important to you than ventilation, then the Octal is a helmet you should put on your short list. It was a top scorer in our ventilation test, and even outscored our Editors' Choice winner, the Giro Synthe, by a small margin. Both helmets offer excellent ventilation, though we think that the Synthe is a better helmet overall.
The Octal is the second lightest helmet in our test. The Giro Aeon was the lightest by less than an ounce. When on the head, our testers could not detect the difference in weight between the two. Like pretty much everything POC makes, the bulbous shape and solid color make it an eye-catching helmet. It's easy to either love or hate POC products based on looks alone. The biggest downside of the Octal is the price. At $270, it's one of the more expensive helmets we tested. But the Lazer Z-1, at $310, retails for more.