Review: Louis Garneau’s lightweight Edge trail helmet
I mean, the Louis Garneau Edge is a fantastically comfortable, good looking trail helmet that weighs 308G -size medium, with its visor- and retails for a penny under $100. By way of comparison, that’s 25g less than Mavic’s high-end Plasma (with its visor) and is lighter than a Giro Hex while adding a shell that protects the base of the helmet and outboard strap mounting points. And yet, I’ve never noticed another on the trail. How did Garneau do it? Hit the jump and stick the landing to find out…
While we’re not sure how they add up to make such a lightweight helmet, there are a number of technologies at work here. The Inner Nerves skeleton molded into the foam provides attachment points for the straps and retention system and should help to keep the Edge in one piece should things go horribly wrong on the trail. Giving the helmet its distinctive ribbed look, The U-Bar ridges on the shell provide the outer a far stiffer structure than a flat shell would have. Further upping stiffness while protecting the lower foam, is the Super MSB shell. Finally, the spindly Spiderlok SL retention system is considerably lighter and more comfortable than previous Garneau retention systems.
Available in three sizes, the Edge’s fit is very similar to the Giro Hex and coverage is on par with that and other XC/light trail helmets. The Spiderlok SL retention system sits lower than many and self-adjusts for angle in a way that works remarkably well with my head while staying clear of sunglasses’ arms. The dial is about the size of a stack of three quarters and easy to adjust with gloved hands. Between the fit and retention system, I’ve never felt the Edge move while riding or suffered from pressure-induced headaches. Fit is a personal thing so, as with all helmets, be sure to try one on before committing.
Though they don’t look that impressive, the Edge’s 22 vents are surprisingly effective. Clearly optimized for heads-up trail or urban riding, I can often feel a breeze across my head while sitting upright. The moment I tuck my head down, however, cooling becomes noticeably less effective- probably not the best choice for road use, then. A late-season purchase, the Edge hasn’t seen a desert summer yet- but temps in the low 50s do have me reaching for a light hat and I’ve been more than comfortable working hard in the low 60s. We’d love to have some reader feedback on hot weather performance (Tyler’s Garneau X-Lite padding had a habit of absorbing a good deal of sweat).
The non-adjustable visor is well-positioned and barely enters my field of view. Though it’s not cheap, Louis Garneau’s Edge is one of the best values in helmets I’ve seen in a long time. Despite the Edge’s light weight, its construction seems reassuringly solid- and the fit works great for me. At the end of the day, that’s exactly what I look for in a helmet.