In 2019 Lazer celebrated 100 years of business. The company began with leather hard helmets for motorcyclists in 1919 and have continued to develop helmets made of many materials and for multiple uses ever since. The Lazer Century MIPS seems to bring together all the features the company has worked on over the years, covering safety, comfort, aerodynamics and visibility.
The most salient feature of the Lazer Century MIPS is the TwistCap, a central plastic cover that can be flipped 180 degrees to make the helmet more aero or to allow more ventilation. The TwistCap is held firmly in place using two powerful magnets which easily guide the cap into its position. I had no issue reaching up and flipping it mid-ride, and I enjoyed hearing it click into place. Switching the TwistCap is so satisfying, infact, that I found myself unconsciously playing with it at cafe stops, using it like a giant fidget spinner.
This helmet is a great option for long, dark Canadian winters. Lazer uses what they call a “Turnfit System” for adjusting the sizing, which allows for vertical and horizontal sizing modifications. The Turnfit System works well when quickly adjusting the helmet to fit a skullcap or balaclava for chilly days on the road. The TwistCap in the aero position keeps the helmet warm for cold-weather rides and on dark winter days the rear light adds visibility.
The Century MIPS works just as well for warm weather conditions. Rotating the TwistCap cap gives you up to 11 per cent more ventilation, and removing it all together gives you even more. The helmet has internal vent channels that actively guide the airflow, which I found worked well for maintaining a cool head in warmer weather.
The posterior light is a nice idea in principle, but in practice it requires a little more effort than it should. The button for the light is located deep inside the helmet, and peeling the MIPS back to access it felt like I was doing something wrong and made me anxious about snapping the plastic. The light charges using a micro UBS connection, and needs to be removed from inside the helmet to be plugged in.
Of the helmets tested by Virginia Tech’s impact test, the Lazer Century MIPS was rated the safest road specific helmet. The MIPS low-friction plastic liner doesn’t interfere with comfort, the internal padding sits comfortably on top of it and it hugs the head snugly but firmly. Lazer uses X-static material for the padding, which inhibits the growth of bacteria on fabric. The metallic silver in the material, which is bonded to the surface of the fiber, meant that the helmet didn’t smell at all after daily use for a month.
The Lazer Century MIPS is a comfortable, versatile helmet, perfect for all Canadian seasons. Weighing 285 g (for a size small) the helmet comes in matte black, flash yellow, white black, matt blue grey and flash orange black. It retails for CAD $279.99.