Usually known for mountain biking and skiing helmets, POC steps into the realm of road biking with this unique and protective helmet. By featuring fewer large vents, rather than smaller and more vents like most competitors, the Octal AVIP MIPS helmet provides an interesting and alternative aesthetic while increasing ventilation and comfort on the road. By adding AVIP and MIPS, POC provides a step up in safety from the Octal in increasing visibility and providing further head protection in the event of a crash or fall.
The Octal Helmet is available for purchase in a few different colors, so when purchasing, please make sure that you have clicked on the link for the correct color, because some vendors only have one color available per link. The Octal AVIP MIPS is basically the same product as the Octal helmet, except that this model features MIPS technology and is a designated member of POC's Attention Visibility Interaction Protection (AVIP) line. We find that many of the available Octal colors still make you pretty visible despite not being specifically honored with the AVIP distinction.
The first thing that might turn some people off about this helmet is its appearance. It's shaped differently than other helmets on the market, which could pose a problem for those of us concerned with aesthetics, but it does seem to also cause issues with sunglasses. Because the sides of descend a little lower on the face to keep up POC's policy of safety first, some glasses (mainly Oakleys) were found to be a nuisance to wear with this helmet. If you have several pairs of glasses or are in the market for new ones, this shouldn't be a problem for you, just double check the compatibility before your purchase.
Beside those small grievances, the Octal seems to be highly comfortable in size and ventilation. Road.cc was surprised by how comfortable this helmet is, and described their experience saying that "it's rare to slip a helmet on and it to feel just good and comfortable straight from the box, with no adjustment necessary. It's supremely good." Odds are that a lot of us don't have heads that fit perfectly into helmets right off the bat, but this helmet comes equipped with a simple adjustable dial that's easy to use even if you have to fiddle with it during a ride.
If you're willing to spend the extra money on this model rather than just going with the Octal, it will provide the avid road cyclist reliable preventative and secondary protection and superior comfort and ventilation, all while keeping up with the aerodynamic standards set by POC's competitors.