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POC Fornix MIPS Review

A well-rounded, lightweight helmet suited to fit the needs of beginner to advanced skiers and riders
poc fornix mips ski helmet review
Credit: POC
Price:  $200 List
Manufacturer:   POC
By Isaac Laredo ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Jan 9, 2023
69
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#9 of 16
  • Comfort - 25% 7.0
  • Warmth - 25% 7.0
  • Ventilation - 20% 6.0
  • Weight - 10% 6.0
  • Goggle Compatibility - 10% 8.0
  • Style - 10% 8.0

Our Verdict

The POC Fornix is a versatile helmet that fulfills the needs of beginners to advanced skiers and snowboarders. It uses in-mold construction to obtain a lightweight and low-profile shape that remains comfortable for a full day on the mountain. The adjustable harness allows this helmet to accommodate a wide variety of head shapes. It also has an emphasis on protection with features like MIPS and Aramid bridges. It is best suited for warmer climates or for people who don't mind wearing a thin beanie or balaclava under their helmet, as the inside liner is thin and the earpads are a bit drafty. This model is a great option for skiers and snowboarders looking for a stylish and lightweight helmet with added protection amenities.
REASONS TO BUY
MIPS
Low-key style
Lightweight
REASONS TO AVOID
Drafty earpads
Not the warmest
Adjustment dial is challenging to use with gloves on

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Pros MIPS, low-key style, lightweightMagnetic buckle, ventilation, protection features, style, BOA-adjustable fitProtective features, lightweight, adjustable ventilation, versatileAffordable, adjustable vents, MIPS, adjustable dialSuper lightweight, immense venting, backcountry-specific features
Cons Drafty earpads, not the warmest, adjustment dial is challenging to use with gloves onNon-adjustable vents, priceEarpads are challenging to remove, dial hard to use with gloves, styleHeavy, larger profileRound fit not for every head, vents can't be closed or plugged
Bottom Line A well-rounded, lightweight helmet suited to fit the needs of beginner to advanced skiers and ridersA lightweight, comfortable, and feature-rich skate-style helmet that is great for those who traditionally prefer not to wear oneEqually at home on the skin track as the resort, we reached for this budget-friendly helmet frequently on ski toursEquipped with MIPS, adjustable vents, and an adjustable dial, this model has high-end features and strong performance at a stellar priceA quality helmet that caters to the skimo and backcountry skiing crowd
Rating Categories POC Fornix MIPS Anon Logan WaveCel Smith Mission MIPS Giro Ratio MIPS Salomon MTN Lab
Comfort (25%)
7.0
8.0
7.0
6.0
4.0
Warmth (25%)
7.0
6.0
7.0
7.0
4.0
Ventilation (20%)
6.0
9.0
8.0
7.0
10.0
Weight (10%)
6.0
6.0
6.0
4.0
10.0
Goggle Compatibility (10%)
8.0
8.0
8.0
7.0
7.0
Style (10%)
8.0
9.0
6.0
6.0
5.0
Specs POC Fornix MIPS Anon Logan WaveCel Smith Mission MIPS Giro Ratio MIPS Salomon MTN Lab
Measured Weight (in ounces) 18.7 oz 17.1 oz 16.9 oz 21.7 oz 12.7 oz
Rotational Impact Protection System MIPS WaveCel MIPS MIPS EPS4D
Adjustment System 360 Adjustment system 360° Boa Fit System Adjustable Dial Fit System In form dial Custom dial adjustment system
# of Vents? 8 10 18 10 20
Number of Sizes 3 4 4 4 3
Removable Ear Covers? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes (whole liner comes out and can be replaced with ear-less version)
Goggle Attachment? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Visor? No No No No Yes (brim)
Audio Compatibility? Yes Yes No Yes No
Certifications CE EN1077 B, ASTM F 2040 CE 1077B & ASTM 2040 ASTM F 2040, CE EN 1077:2007 Class B CE EN 1077 CE-EN1077, ASTM F 2040, EN 12492

Our Analysis and Test Results

The POC Fornix is a classic all-mountain helmet that has been a staple of the brand's lineup for years. It features a classic EPS in-mold construction to keep a lightweight and low profile. Its weight, size, and skate-like styling appeals to most skiers and riders. This model features MIPS, an adjustable harness, and even Aramid bridges to increase its strength and resistance to penetration without adding much weight.

Performance Comparison


poc fornix mips ski helmet review - the poc fornix has been in the brand's lineup for over ten years...
The POC Fornix has been in the brand's lineup for over ten years. It's a tested classic amongst the freeride community.
Credit: Isaac Laredo

Comfort


The most important metric of a helmet is comfort. If the helmet is uncomfortable, it will likely end up in your garage rather than on your head. To evaluate how each helmet rode, we used each helmet in the resort and backcountry for extended periods of time. The Fornix provides all-day comfort and good ride quality thanks to the harness system, shell fit, and low profile nature.

While POC redesigned the Fornix fit to be more oval-shaped, it still fits rounded head shapes the best. The adjustable 360 dial harness is very flexible, and molds to different head shapes well. The dial can be challenging to operate with gloves on. One tester with a longer oval head shape struggled to size the helmet properly and found it either too tight or loose and noted the helmet would bobble more than others when riding. For most head shapes, however, the Fornix provided a snug and accurate fit and remained secure in use. The in-mold construction allows this helmet to be hardly noticeable on the slopes due to its lightweight and low profile.

poc fornix mips ski helmet review - this model fits securely and resists bobbling while riding for most...
This model fits securely and resists bobbling while riding for most head shapes.
Credit: Isaac Laredo

Warmth


A benefit of having a ski-specific helmet is that it helps keep you warm on the mountain. This reduces the need for a beanie or balaclava underneath the helmet and ultimately gives you a more secure fit. To test this metric, we frequently swapped helmets on cold days, used a variety of different headgear, and also walked uphill to evaluate which generated and maintained the most amount of heat. The Poc Fornix is a moderately warm helmet that is aided by adjustable vents and removable ear pads to regulate temperature.

Most individuals will need to wear a thin beanie or balaclava when using this helmet on cooler days given the relatively thin inner liner that isn't the warmest we tested. It offers six adjustable vents using a toggle top to help trap heat and minimize any drafts. The removable ear pads are comfortable over extended periods of time, but we found them to be a bit drafty. The earpads prioritize comfort and hearing integrity over warmth. The helmet uses liner pads on top and around the contact points, primarily for comfort. While it also enhances warmth somewhat, it is not enough to stand alone as a primary warming system. The level of warmth provided seems appropriate for warmer climates or days on the mountain, but those who ski in colder places like the east coast or the northern Rockies may find it to be a bit cool without a supplemental layer for warmth.

poc fornix mips ski helmet review - we found a thin beanie or balaclava to be essential on colder days.
We found a thin beanie or balaclava to be essential on colder days.
Credit: Isaac Laredo

Ventilation


Ski helmets use a wide range of ventilation systems to help manage excess heat and fogging goggles. We evaluated each ventilation system by skiing at the resort, walking uphill, and calculating the amount of ventilated surface area. POC Fornix offers good ventilation while moving or waiting in the lift line.

This model offers ten total vents, six of which are adjustable on the top of the head. Simply slide the small tab at the back/top of the helmet to open and close the upper vents. The medium-to-large vent profile and lack of a defined liner allow heat to dissipate well. The two front vents channel air to the top of your goggles to help minimize fogging. We found these vents to be effective as we could feel air traveling through them with our bike test. The liner has two velcro tabs to cover these vents if needed. These tabs are quite small, however, making them easy to lose and generally challenging to use, especially with gloves on.

poc fornix mips ski helmet review - the fornix has ten total vents, 4 fixed vents located in the front...
The Fornix has ten total vents, 4 fixed vents located in the front and back, and then 6 adjustable vents around the helmet.
Credit: Isaac Laredo

Weight and Bulk


A helmet that feels heavy on your head or backpack is likely going to be left at home and soon replaced. To assess this metric, we weighed each helmet and noted how heavy it felt on our heads while riding. The POC Fornix is a relatively lightweight helmet that most people will enjoy using at the resort, and it's light enough to be a sensible choice for backcountry use.

This helmet weighs 18.7 ounces which is around the middle of the pack as it relates to true ski helmets that aren't designed specifically for backcountry use. The in-mold construction helps to keep the weight down, as does the use of Aramid bridges to add shell strength without adding additional heft. The in-mold construction also keeps bulk to a minimum with a low profile that fits under hoods well. While riding in the resort, it felt light on our heads and remained barely noticeable. Likewise, when strapped to or stuffed inside a pack on a backcountry tour, we hardly noticed the weight of the Fornix.

poc fornix mips ski helmet review - the fornix is heavier than lightweight touring-focused helmets but...
The Fornix is heavier than lightweight touring-focused helmets but lighter than most freeride-focused helmets.
Credit: Isaac Laredo


Goggle Compatibility


Few things are more frustrating than buying a new helmet and learning it does not fit with your current set of goggles well. We used this helmet with six different brands and frame styles of goggles to evaluate overall compatibility across shapes and brands.

The POC Fornix fit seamlessly with each goggle model that we tried ranging from large to medium frames. The shell is relatively straight across the brow and is nice and flat to interface with the top edge of most goggle frames easily. This helmet also features a goggle retainer on the back that is a thick rubberized strap. The rubber strap is easy to grab with gloves on, but it can be challenging to actually secure it on the hook due to the tension within the rubber. However, the strap will securely hold your goggles in place throughout the day or during tumbling falls.

poc fornix mips ski helmet review - the two front vents help to minimize fogging goggles.
The two front vents help to minimize fogging goggles.
Credit: Isaac Laredo

Style


Have you ever heard the saying "look good, feel good, ride good"? While it is true, helmets are often not considered as part of that equation. With more and more stylish helmets coming onto the market, helmets have been more widespread and accepted amongst the core community of action sports. Style is an inherently subjective concept, so we recruited outside help to evaluate this metric. We polled strangers and friends and were able to rank each helmet for its aesthetic value. The POC Fornix was a standout pick across the board.

This helmet is simple and discreet with a solid colorway, small logo, and an almost skate-style aesthetic. We think this should broaden its appeal to those who traditionally do not like the look of helmets. The majority of people we polled ranked this model near the top of the pack for its style. POC currently offers the Fornix in 7 colorways, so there's sure to be a color to match or complement your kit.

poc fornix mips ski helmet review - a classic skate-styled helmet that appeals to the majority.
A classic skate-styled helmet that appeals to the majority.
Credit: Isaac Laredo

Should You Buy the Poc Fornix MIPS?


The POC Fornix hits the essential protective and product features in a lightweight and stylish helmet that's equally at home ripping around the resort or earning your turns in the backcountry. It costs significantly less than many of the other top-of-the-line models we tested, making it a solid value for anyone seeking a great all-around helmet for any type of skiing or riding.

What Other Ski Helmets Should You Consider?


If you're looking for the best of the best that employs the latest impact technology and a user-friendly feature set, then consider our top recommendation, the Smith Vantage. If you are looking save some cash without sacrificing protection and features, then check out the Smith Mission.

Isaac Laredo
 
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