Kali Protectives Shiva Helmet

Vital Rating:
Tested: Kali Protectives Shiva Helmet
Vital Review

As a brand, Kali Helmets has been around since 2008. Though they arrived a little later than most to the helmet game, they've made quite a statement with their unique in-molded construction process...or as they call it, "Composite Fusion. This not only bonds the shell and inner liner together, it eliminates gaps between the two. This reportedly increases the safety of the helmet, while also reducing the weight and size of what we've come to expect as a standard motocross helmet. Since I've had experience with Kali's mountain bike helmet line in the past, I was immediately interested when they announced their new Kali Shiva full carbon MX helmet, which hit the scales at a featherlight weight of 1050g (2.31 pounds).

Kali Protectives Shiva Carbon Helmet Features:

  • Carbon Shell, Composite Fusion™ Three, Included mounts cover GoPro™, Light and Motion™, Night Rider™, Maglite™, and other systems.
  • Includes premium travel bag.
  • Integrated Airflow System.
  • Compliance: DOT, ASTM F1952, ASTM F2032, ASTM F2040.
  • Integrated Camera/Light Mount for perfect filming or night riding (Cam version).
  • Low density EPS foam for greater impact absorption.
  • CPSC Washable, adjustable, anti-microbial fit pads.
  • Breakaway visor.
  • MSRP $499.99.

First Impressions

After removing the Shiva from its carrying bag, I was amazed by its light weight, which was almost scary light. Most recently I've been riding with the Fox V3 Carbon helmet, which weighs much more and has a larger overall shell size when comparing it to the Kali Shiva. The helmet definitely resembles its mountain bike predecessors in look and feel. If I were to pick this helmet up off the shelf, I would most likely assume it was a downhill mountain bike lid because of its slim build and style.

When I first put the helmet on, it didn't feel like it fit in all the same places the way my current helmet does. It did fit nice and snug on my cheeks, the back and upper sides of my head, as well the top of my head. Now keep in mind some have been known to say that I have a funny looking head since I have a very slim head and have always worn Small or X-Small helmets. So when I put on the Kali Shiva I did notice about a finger width of room on both sides of my face right behind my temples. I would imagine this would be different for someone with a rounder face. Though the pads inside the helmet were somewhat firm or not broken in yet, the overall feel was comfortable and again, the weight was a huge contributor of how good this helmet felt to put on and ride with.

On the Track

The moment I left the truck and headed towards the track, it was very obvious that I've been robbed of ventilation on previous helmets. The air flow on the Kali Shiva is incredible and this translated to a much cooler feel while putting in laps. It didn't take much time on the track for me to feel completely comfortable riding with the Shiva. The vision field felt larger than my Fox helmet, and the helmet itself felt much smaller on my head. This became especially evident when I had to tighten up my Oakley goggles quite a bit, to create a snug fit on the Shiva.

Considering how much more airflow I was getting with the new brain bucket, it didn't seem noticeably louder than my other helmets, which was a positive. After riding for a while, you actually forget you're wearing the helmet because it's so light. After coming to a stop and removing the lid, I was far less hot and sweaty than I usually am with other helmets.

Long-­Term Durability

I have fallen over a few times with the Shiva helmet on, but haven't had any high speed crashes to really put the "Composite Fusion" technology to the test. The helmet has held up great so far, and the interior is easy to remove and has held up well even after a couple trips into the washing machine. The helmet interior also seems to break in nicely and the firmness of the padding softens up a bit after getting a few moto sessions in.

Last Words

All-in-all, the Kali Shiva helmet is a pretty awesome helmet. I really like their approach to helmet creation with their in-molded design to help prevent double impacts, and make a lighter and safer helmet for consumers. In my opinion, the price point seems a bit high even though it's on par with most other full carbon MX helmets price-wise. My reasoning being that the DOT safety certification is the only safety certification noted, which makes me hesitant about dropping the big bucks on this helmet instead of some of the other carbon MX helmets that may have DOT, SNELL, and ECE helmet certifications. Although I do understand what Kali is trying to do with their helmet technology based on today's testing standards (for more information on current testing standards and Kali's position on this, check out this link). Also, the slight issue I had with the fit held me back a bit on my final rating.

About the Test Rider

Shelby Paget - is a ginger that has been rockin' two wheels since he was three years old. Growing up riding singletrack and trails in the hills of NorCal with his brother and Dad until he got his first taste of the Motocross Racing scene at 14. He's been hooked ever since! Whether he's working on looking better than he really is for the camera or doing cartwheels down the straights, he's always looking forward to getting back on two wheels whenever he gets the chance. This 5'11", 150 pound ginger will be riding as long as he has a wrist to twist!


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