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Review: Lazer Jackal KinetiCore

Well executed, light and safe, but no room for sunglasses.

Concussion protection is still evolving and progressing. The latest tech, KinetiCore, takes another step towards normalizing rotational impact protection systems by integrating it into the design of the helmet, not adding the system on afterwards.

Lazer released its new rotational impact protection system, KinetiCore on a multi-discipline range of helmets, from road to urban. The Jackal is Lazer’s dedicated mountain bike option. It has a lot going for it, and one small problem.

Lazer Jackal KinetiCore: Features

The Jackal is Lazer’s lone mountain bike helmet with KenetiCore, though that’ll likely change, but it’s more than the new safety design. It has a full roster of features that make it worthy of riding in the woods.


KinetiCore is built into the helmet instead of added after. That means it can be lighter than a MIPS system, with the Jackal KinetiCore weighing just 340 grams. Lazer says it was able to drop 50 grams with the system from the Jackal MIPS.

Does it work? Virginia Tech gives the helmet its top, five-star safety rating – even when you’re using the detachable accessory (light or GoPro) mount.  I haven’t crashed in it yet, personally. But you can feel the little EPS foam knobs have some give to them even just poking them with a finger. So it makes sense that they’d crumple and fold in an actual impact.

It’s also very comfortable to wear. Some rotational impact systems have a way of catching or clinging to hair that is less than comfortable. There’s none of that with KinetiCore. And, with nothing added, air is free to flow through the helmet.

Mountain bike features

The Jackal line existed before KenitiCore and many of those features carry over. The new Jackal has 19 vents for airflow. That includes two built into the brow of the helmet to keep goggles from fogging up while riding. There’s also a grip on the back of the helmet to keep goggle straps from slipping while riding.

A long, three-position visor keeps your eyes safe from sun and rogue branches. In the highest setting, there’s room for goggles to rest when you’re not wearing them. For sunglasses, the brim is shaped to create space for the glasses arms. This lets more kinds of sunglasses fit without putting pressure on the ears, nose or temples from the glasses pushing against the helmet. I had less luck, though, with finding a place in one the helmet to put glasses when you don’t want to wear them.

Fit is ajusted by Lazer’s TurnSys, a dial system that also adjust up and down. Both the vertical and dial fit are easy to use and comfortable.  Lazer uses a magnetic buckle/clasp for the helmet straps. These are now being used by a few brands and are super easy to use, even to clip in while you’re riding, while also being secure.

A little light visible through the vents. And space for big sunglasses moulded in to the brim at the temples.

On the trail

Fit is easy to dial in on the Jackal KinetiCore, from then on it stayed comfortable and secure. Sunglasses do fit nicely in the space Lazer leaves at the temples. Though not having a place to store them on the shell is, at times, frustrating. It does work well with goggles, both for fit and not fogging up immediately on hot, humid days.

The helmet is light and well ventillated and extends nice and low on the back of the head for added coverage. Without anything to block the vents, you can actually feel a breeze moving through the large vents.

The visor is on the longer side. While some riders might appreciate that, I found myself riding with it in the middle or high position most of the time. I did intially have an issue with the visor slipping between settings. That was fixed by tightening the bolts (hidden under a plastic cover), and Lazer says that was only an issue on early production helmets.

Review: Lazer Jackal KinetiCore

All in, the Lazer Jackal KinetiCore is a well executed, comfortable and light helmet – as long as you don’t rely on your helmet to store glasses when they’re not over your eyes. For goggles, it works great. All the features are well executed and functional. The Virginia Tech five-star rating – even while wearing a camera or light system, is reassuring as well.

Lazer sells the Jackal KinetiCore in three sizes (S, M, L) and five colours. In Canada, the helmet retails for $285. Not cheap, but not unreasonable for a top-end helmet. It is available from dealers or from Lazer.