Review | The Kali MAYA Open-face Helmet
As we’ve been wondering just what’s so special about the MAYA, Kali’s latest open-face helmet, we decided testing had to be on the cards. An all-new design that retains all the essentials such as a low-sunken shell for increased protection and a camera or headlamp mount, the MAYA is purportedly heads above the competition. Here’s our verdict.
Coming in three colours (black, blue, and black/white), the Kali MAYA’s more bucketed design offers a vast area of protection. The helmet’s design is pretty distinctive given its long visor and deep shell. Using the composite fusion plus technology, Kali layered foam of various thicknesses to ensure a high rate of impact absorption and, essentially, better head injury protection when compared to other helmets.
First glances said it all: the helmet doesn’t just look big – it is big. With a test helmet in size S/M for head circumferences of between 55-61cm, it proved a decent fit for each relevant tester. For riders with even smaller heads, the XS will be a wiser choice otherwise it’ll be too roomy.
While many of the current helmets on the market are kitted out with a central adjustment system for their fit, the less-intuitive MAYA has two rear ratchets that have to be adjusted independently of each other. Ensuring that the two sides are equal is a laborious task, and we repeatedly had to put the helmet on and off to tweak the perfect fit.
Ventilation is one factor where the MAYA scores highly, as it features a legion of well-placed air vents to ensure that air flows unhindered through the helmet. Once you’ve settled on the right fit for the helmet, the MAYA is a stable and satisfying piece of kit. As the adjustment system is fitted so low down the neck, the head is nicely encircled, retaining a reliable position no matter how bumpy the trail gets. This, in turn, increases the subjective feeling of safety.
As the visor comes fitted with a mount for either a helmet cam or a headlight for night riding, we gave it a try for both. While the mount proved more than sufficient for a headlight, it was on the shaky side for a helmet cam – a situation that was unfortunately undeniable in the unstable recordings we took.
Winning us over with its cool look, deep fit and great value for money, we can overlook the not-so-intuitive adjustment system and the shaky camera mount when it comes to the 99.90 € Kali MAYA and cite it as one to consider.
Price: 99,90 €
Weight: 357 g (Size S/M)
Sizes: S/M, L/XL
Words: Martin Stöckl Pictures: Ross Bell