Klim F5 Helmet: First Impression on Snow
I read a little bit about the Klim F5 Helmet before I had the chance to try it out for myself for the first time. Klim is known to be a leader in product quality, but they aren’t relying on their brand reputation to push F5 Helmet sales. What Klim claims to set the F5 above a variety of other premium lightweight carbon fiber helmets out there is a serious and deliberate focus on venting. Venting at low-to-no speed in particular.
Venting is Key to Keeping a Cool Head
And the premise makes sense. As mountain sledders, we tend to be pretty active. We’re jumping around, falling off and getting unstuck on a regular basis. We’re not just cooling our heels, doing 100 miles-per-hour down a trail all day. We get hot sometimes.
Helmets typically vent the best when there is airflow. Open ports in the front of the helmet circulate cool air over the top of the head before exhausting the hot air that builds up out the back. But typically this requires movement, which forces air into the open ports. So with a conventional helmet design, when you’re not really moving, your helmet is not really venting.
The problem is that often when we are building up the most heat is when we’re barely moving at all. Like when we’re working our way slowly through tight trees; or stopping and starting as we navigate a technical creek bed; or, most often, when we’re shovelling and stomping snow around our sled to get unstuck.
Klim F5 Helmet Review: First Impression on Snow
Well, the attention to venting definitely pays off. This helmet vents like crazy. The ports on top allow hot air to rise directly off your head—no airflow required. Pretty cool! As you might expect, the F5 Helmet allows a ton of venting on the trail as well.
In fact, I was actually a little cold for much of the first day testing the F5 because a) I was underdressed b) it’s early in the season so I’m soft and unaccustomed to the cold and c) the F5 doesn’t hold heat like I’ve come to expect from most helmets.
Fortunately, the F5 comes with a windproof, breathable Gore-Tex brand liner that fits into the helmet for use when the weather really turns cold. It’s held in place by the snaps which hold the interior padding, and is thin enough that it doesn’t really affect the fit of the helmet. I’ve installed that now, and we’ll have to wait to see how it performs out there!
Other Features of the Klim F5 Helmet
The Klim F5 Helmet has a ton of other great features as well. I haven’t weighed it yet to be sure, but it feels like it might be the lightest certified full-face helmet I’ve used. The fit is comfortable and snug enough for me. It’s got a wide eye port, which fit my 509 Sinister X5 goggles well in my trial run (I’ll try some others later). And one of the best features—the Fidlock buckle—is a revelation. More on these details to come.
One thing to note its that the F5 is ECE but not DOT certified. I’m not planning on riding my sled on a public highway in the US, so DOT certification means nothing to me. ECE is more rigorously tested and is the most modern and widely accepted certification throughout the world, so I’m confident in the safety of the helmet.
Stay tuned for the results of full review after a few more days out there!
Technical info on the Klim F5 Helmet can be found on the Klim website.