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POC Cortex DH MIPS Helmet (discontinued)

Average User Rating: (Spectacular)
 POC Cortex DH MIPS Helmet  POC Cortex DH MIPS Helmet  POC Cortex DH MIPS Helmet  POC Cortex DH MIPS Helmet
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Real beauty is found on the inside

Rating: Featured Member Review
The Good:

Reasonably light weight, True to size, High quality materials and construction, Small ear chambers on side of helmet allow you to hear a lot more than any other helmet in it's category, MIPS technology, Full carbon shell, and a clip style chin strap for quick and easy fastening.

The Bad:

The looks of this helmet could be improved upon. More color options would be great.

Overall Review:

I purchased this helmet a year and a half ago after owning the POC Cortex Flow (Lighter use / less tech helmet). The less expensive Cortex Flow and Cortex DH are very similar, with the same shell molds and measurements, multi-impact EPP foam,cheek padding, visor, and chin strap. So why the $270 price difference one might ask? When getting the Cortex DH, you are paying $270 more for the highest level of protection POC offers.

Tech specific for the Cortex DH:

MIPS (Multi-directional Impact Protection System) protects your head from concussion and other similar injuries while in the middle of those "OH SHIT" moments. If you haven't heard much about MIPS or just want to know what it's all about, below is a great video that Art's Cyclery made on it. Note: They use a Giro helmet as their example but many other brands, including POC (I think being the first) use MIPS as well.

In addition to MIPS, the Cortex DH also comes with a full carbon outer shell as opposed to the composite one found in the Cortex Flow. What this means is that the Cortex DH is less likely to be cut or cracked which can make a huge difference in World Cup DH speed crashes.
Last thing worth mentioning that is particular to the Cortex DH is the Ventilated double-shell system (VDSAP). This venting system protects your head by covering up the ventilation holes found on the Cortex Flow model while allowing the helmet to breath as if the holes weren't covered at all. In other words, you can keep your cool while riding through a single track field of sharpened pencil tips; don't worry, you'll be covered.

Here are a few other tech features found in both the Cortex DH ($500) and Cortex Flow ($230) helmets:

First and most attractive thing to me was the ear chamber ports on each side of the helmet. This was something I wasn't even interested in until I wore my Cortex around my other friends who had Giro, LTD, and Fox helmets. I was able to hear better, much better! Hitting new lines and going recklessly fast always increases our volume of screams, grunts, and cheers so a typical full-face helmet works just fine, but what I really noticed, and instantly fell in love with was being able to hear noises on the trail and on the bike that I wasn't able to hear before. What this means was I was able to hear uphill traffic sooner, potential crashes behind me better, and possible bike malfunctions quicker than any of my other friends. Being someone that likes to have the wildest, yet safest times on the bike, this was a HUGE benefit of the helmet.

The second most attractive thing the POC Cortex offered was a buckle system for the chin strap rather than the traditional "loop and pull" system. It's probably doesn't have the highest strength certification compared to the traditional strap, but the easiness and simplicity of buckling up won me over. I in no way feel unsafe having the buckle keeping my helmet on if I were to spill out going 30+ mph, Heaven forbid that ever happen.

Buckle Chin Strap - Photo Credit: <a" data-original="">

Additional Comments:

POC's MIPS system is held tight by a plug that locks the liner into place. In larger crashes, this plug is designed to break away and allow the MIPS system to really do it's thing. I took a pretty big spill into some soft Southern Utah dirt last year and turns out I popped this plug out. Shortly after realizing it was gone I contacted the company and they send out a replacement plug at no cost to me. Pretty good customer service I would say.

The helmet comes with two cheek pads (thick and thin) so you can get the best fit for your face. These pads also break down after a few hours of riding so they contour to your face quite nicely.

The Cortex is also one of the only helmets I am aware of that comes with certified "multi-impact" foam. In traditional helmets, when you hit your head hard enough, the eps foam will actually compress without returning to it's original shape. That is why companies recommend you replace your helmet after ever crash; and at $400+ a pop, this can be very pricey. POC's "multi-impact" foam compresses like typical eps foam would, but then returns to it's original shape afterwords. This means, as long as the helmet shell of foam isn't cracked, it's 100% structurally sound, just like the day you bought it. Note: There is constant debate on whether or not "multi-impact" foam offers the same level of initial protection, but from my personal standpoint, I feel 100% confident in putting my life in this helmet's hands.

One thing for all you weight weenies out there, the Cortex Flow helmet is true to claimed weight. As for the Cortex DH helmet, I noticed it was about 40-60 grams heavier.


If you are open to a different, more European looking helmet, the POC Cortex DH is a phenomenal choice. The performance and protection is this helmet offers is near the top of it's class. If price is a factor, the cheaper POC Cortex Flow helmet shares many of the basic features that makes this helmet so great and is less than half the price. The customer service of the company is fantastic as well. If you don't mind the looks of this helmet, I would strongly recommend you get it.


Product POC Cortex DH MIPS Helmet
Riding Type Freeride / Bike Park, Downhill
Rider Unisex
Number of Vents 8
Construction Carbon outer shell, thin polycarbonate inner shell.
Adjustable Padding Removable padding, includes extra padding for a larger size head.
Bag Included
Size S/M, M/L, L/XL
Colors White
Weight N/A
Miscellaneous A lightweight advanced carbon shell wrapped over POC's patent pending aramid reinforces in-mold liner. The liner has a thin shell of polycarbonate covering the multi-impact super EPP core. The double overlapping shell design and our patented VDSAP allows for a fully ventilated construction with maximum comfort without sacrificing penetration resistance or impact energy management. The helmet is also equipped with the patented MIPS system to reduce the rotational forces on the brain in the case of an oblique impact.
Price $500
More Info

POC website

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