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 helmet provides an interesting and alternative aesthetic while increasing ventilation and comfort on the road.
The Octal Helmet is available for purchase in several 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 is basically the same product as the Octal AVIP MIPS helmet, except that this model does not feature MIPS and is not 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 the Octal 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 the Octal 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 with the Octal 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 the Octal 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 money on this helmet, it will provide the avid road cyclist comfort and reliable ventilation, all while keeping up with the aerodynamic standards set by POC's competitors.