If you’re new to aero helmets, you’ve probably noticed the explosive proliferation of terms such as ‘variable venting’ and ‘carbon shells’. Aero helmets have received several upgrades over the years as manufacturers try to keep them updated with the latest aerodynamic trends. The best aero helmet for triathlon reacts appropriately to airflow and is designed in such way that it maximizes results and minimizes fatigues.
You’ll notice that most aero helmets have become shorter and rounder to reflect the trends.
In a Hurry? Here are Our Top Choices
What Makes an Effective Aero Helmet for a Triathlon?
In general, an aero helmet provides good ventilation, protection around the head, comfort and fit. More importantly, the best aero helmet for triathlon should be designed with safety in mind. It’s important to note that an aero helmet is only as effective as the rider’s ability to keep their head in the same aero position.
Triathlon events can easily cause fatigue to set in for many riders and it’s easy for one to lose balance. This is why you should always have your helmet on you at all times – it could be the difference between a nasty concussion or something you could brush off and pick up where you left.
The 4 Best Aero Helmets for Triathlons
1. Lazer Tonic MIPS
Lazer designed this helmet with a wide profile that accounts for winds at high speeds and can push them past the shoulders. Of the current crop of their helmets, this one is has a pointier tail that makes for an ideal choice if you can keep your head steady over longer durations.
At only 230g, the Lazer Tonic weighs the same as more expensive helmets such as the BontragerVelcois or the Specialized S-Work Prevail.
Thanks to superior design and internal channeling, the Tonic can keep the air moving past the head and also helps with the weight. It also provides good ventilation at this price point – not as good as more expensive options like the Prevail, but much superior than other helmets in this range.
The 28 vents provide plenty of places for the air and can also store your triathlon sunglasses. Like most helmets in this category, Tonic comes in two sizes and two color options.
- Internal channeling
- 28 vents
- Perfect fit, great aesthetics, ideal weight
Heavy chinstrap material
2. POC Cerebel
The Cerebel takes on a more conventional design after POC’s earliest iteration of the TT helmet was mocked into oblivion for looking too ‘goofy’. Having learned their lesson, POC released something more worthy of use in triathlons – the Cerebel comes with a magnetic visor and a Zeiss option.
Despite only coming with forward-facing vents in the visor, theCerebel is surprisingly efficient at airflow. It comes with a shorter profile but will still improve your performance even if your head isn’t in the ideal aerodynamic position.
The visor from Zeiss uses magnets to firmly stay in place, so you won’t have to worry about adjusting when riding your bike. This is extremely important from a safety point of view.
In terms of fit, the Cerebel mostly goes for a one-size-fits-all approach and does pretty good in that regard. The inside of the helmet features a soft fabric that is designed to keep chafing at bay. If you’ve previously struggled with helmets that rub against your neck, this is the perfect helmet for you.
- Ideal for just about any head position
- Magnetic visor
- Doesn’t chafe against your neck
- The visor is tinted and may obstruct views in some settings
- Dial retention system can be annoying
3. Giro Vanquish MIPS
The Giro Vanquish MIPS is designed to keep two things in mind: a great fit system and aerodynamics. It features TransformAir, a high-performance design that streamlines airflow to minimize drag. As a result, the helmet is one of the best choices you can get in the market if you’re concerned about the airflow.
With such a promising feature set, it comes as no surprise the helmet does a pretty good job of keeping your head cool and calm. In terms of weight, it’s pretty light and will minimize fatigue.
In terms of aesthetics, the Vanquish leaves much to be desired and isn’t very flattering. If you care about ‘looks’, then it may not be the helmet for you. But if you aim to improve your speed, then you have a top design that improves your gains.
- Eye shield
- Great fit system
4. Kask Utopia Casco
A cursory look at the Utopia Casco will show you that Kask put in a lot of effort to make this helmet possible. It is designed for peak aerodynamic performance with deep intricate channels that move air from the front vents over your head. Unfortunately, Kask decided to forego padding across the front to add more channels to clear the air from your view.
It may feel as if you’re trading ventilation for improved aerodynamics, but you won’t really feel this. There’s also room for sunglasses in the top vents.
The biggest downside to the Utopia is that the padding only consists of two fingers that run from the top of the head onto the brow. This padding is made of firm, high wicking material that could be really uncomfortable for some riders.
If you can get past all the above negatives, if you could call them that, then the Utopia is the best helmet you can buy right now in terms of aerodynamics.
- Great cooling system
- Aerodynamic design
- Accommodates a wide range of head sizes and shapes
- Could use more padding
Our Final Thoughts
All of the helmets that made our list are designed with peak performance in mind, but if we had to choose one, it would be Kask Utopia Casco for sheer performance. This helmet doesn’t score much in terms of aesthetics and aerodynamics, but it more than makes up for this in terms of aerodynamic performance. For this reason, we would crown it the best aero helmet for triathlon – or just about any other racing occasion.
If you want a more comfortable and aesthetic aero helmet for triathlon, choose the POC Cerebel – it looks, feels, and handles great.