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POC Receptor Bug Review

POC Receptor Bug
Photo: POC
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Price:  $135 List | $90.22 at Amazon
Pros:  Skater style with ventilation.
Cons:  Heavy, and expensive for an injection molded helmet.
Manufacturer:   POC
By Jediah Porter ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Nov 26, 2016
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  • Comfort - 20% 6
  • Weight - 10% 8
  • Warmth - 20% 8
  • Ventilation - 15% 9
  • Goggle Compatibility - 10% 6
  • Style - 25% 8

Our Verdict

POC's Receptor Bug model brings all-season ventilation to an injection-molded design. It is the heaviest helmet in our test and fits the closest of all the size medium helmets we tested. The design is solid and durable, and the variety of colors is welcome. Our Best Buy Bern Baker HardHat offers similar style at a much lower price. While the Bern is the closest comparison, it is worth noting that the POC is safety certified while the Bern is not.

Our Analysis and Test Results

Hands-On Review

The POC is unique for its durable and stylistically distinctive injection-molded construction that ventilates. Virtually no other injection-molded helmets, including the other one we tested, the Bern Baker HardHat, come with vents through the beefy ABS shell.

The POC Receptor Bug in action in the Mammoth backcountry.
The POC Receptor Bug in action in the Mammoth backcountry.
Photo: Scott Weaver

Fit and Comfort

The POC fits rounder heads well, and fits a little more snugly than the other size medium products we tested. The POC, for instance, was the only size medium helmet that our lead test editor couldn't wear with a thin liner. The lining fabrics and foam are comfortable and smooth, while the earpieces insulate fairly well, so the lack of a hat was not a deal breaker.

Weight and Bulk

The Receptor Bug is the heaviest helmet we tested. With injection-molded construction, this is not surprising. The profile is also predictably round and bulbous, but not offensively so.


The Bug is of average insulating value. The removable ear pieces aren't the snuggest, but they do not allow a great deal of drafty air in. The foremost shell vents can be pretty effectively blocked, but the rear ones are inherently open. Theoretically this can let tailwinds in. In our testing on notoriously windy Mammoth Mountain, this was not observed to be a problem.

A well-fitted ski helmet is warm and secure enough to keep out the...
A well-fitted ski helmet is warm and secure enough to keep out the gnarliest weather. However, it is also worth noting the hood compatibility of jacket and helmet. All combinations will leave some of the helmet forehead revealed, but the best combos allow full range of neck motion.
Photo: Scott Weaver


The POC Receptor Bug, as noted above, is a unique product. Most injection molded helmets do not come with vents. In addition to removable ear pieces, POC equips this helmet with dual shell layers with offset vent holes. There are corresponding, but also offset, holes in the foam liner. This means that air can wind its way in to cool your scalp. The vents are plugged from the inside with a removable foam sheet. In order to open the vents, the helmet must be removed and the sheet removed and stored in a pocket. In-molded helmets have more convenient venting options, but we found this clever vent system to be a nice complement to the POC construction. If you like the look of injection molded helmets, but want more venting than usual, the Receptor style will do you well.

A whole kit of OutdoorGearLab favorites. Lead test editor Jediah...
A whole kit of OutdoorGearLab favorites. Lead test editor Jediah Porter in the Sierra backcountry with the POC Receptor Bug helmet, Arc'teryx Macai Jacket, Backcountry Access Float 32 pack, and the Columbia Bugaboo pants.
Photo: Scott Weaver

Goggle Compatibility

As always, shape of your goggles matters. And, predictably, the best helmet/goggle compatibility is going to be with products from the same manufacturer. If you intend to use other than POC goggles with the Receptor, note that you will be limited to models with grippy rubber on the inside of the goggle strap. The Receptor has no rear goggle retention clip or strap. This is fine for goggles with the aforementioned grippy coating. Simple elastic, however, will not grab the smooth shell of the POC well enough to remain securely in place.

While the Bug helmet had middle of the road overall goggle...
While the Bug helmet had middle of the road overall goggle compatibility scores, this combination is great.
Photo: Scott Weaver


The skater look of injection molded helmets has many devotees. POC appeals to this crowd with the Receptor Bug. The smooth, rounded profile, punctuated with well-integrated vent holes, is clean and attractive. The color options are many and vibrant, as well as including more neutral schemes.

Best Applications

With its close fit, this is an excellent helmet for those that may be between sizes. If most mediums are too big, and smalls too small, the Receptor Bug may bridge the gap for you. The design is suited to long-term, abusive use. Injection molding is notoriously durable and well-suited to rough and tumble youth usage.


Normally injection molded helmets are quite a bit less expensive than their in-molded counterparts. However, the POC with its engineered vents creeps up in price. For the same price or a little more, you can get an even better ventilated, lighter in-molded helmet from one of the other manufacturers. The POC is a good value if you like the look of injection molded headgear with higher end features.


For those that it fits, the POC feels nice and confidence inspiring. Helmets made in this fashion are durable and strong. The design is certified ( its closest competitor, and Best Buy winning Bern Baker HardHat has no safety certifications) and includes vents and removable ear pieces for customizing your comfort.

Jediah Porter

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