Bern is well known in the snow sports and skate worlds, with an established line of helmets for skiing, snowboarding and skating. The brand also builds “four season” helmets designed for use year-round. Many of its helmets have an urban look that underplays the tech for non-race oriented appearances.
Bern is relatively new to the mountain bike scene. The company released its first MTB oriented helmet, the Morrison, this spring. I’ve tested a pre-release version (in a color I love but that is not available for sale) on about 10 rides in Colorado and Utah, and I have found it comfortable and practical. Like other models from Bern, the looks are a bit more understated than many helmets on the market. Here’s my first look. —Sean McCoy
The Gear: Bern Morrison mountain bike helmet
Where To Test It: Use this all-mountain helmet on singletrack cross country rides through the mountains and forest.
Who’s It For: Mountain bikers who want significant, comfortable protection, a visor (non-adjustable) and don’t mind a slightly heavy helmet.
Fit, Pads And Retention The Morrison doesn’t have a huge range of adjustment, so it’s important to select the proper size. I tested the large, which fits head sizes from 57-59cm. It fit my head very well, fine-tuned by a dial-to-fit system on the back.
The padding and dial adjustment snaps in place firmly in a ring around the base of the helmet and can be removed for washing. It’s soft, absorbent and comfortable.
Overall, the helmet fits my head extremely well and is really comfortable. I tend to forget I’m wearing it and leave it on, probably too long, after a ride.
Ventilation The helmet has 16 large vents for airflow. It has less venting than many cross country race helmets, but the ones it does have are effective. I’ve ridden with it in temperatures up to about 90 degrees and never noticed it to be hot.
Important Specs: The Morrison is heavier than many of its competitors; the size large I tested weighed 14.9 ounces (422 grams) on a scale at the post office. Bern claims 13 ounces (368 grams), which may be accurate for a small. The similarly priced Giro Xar claims a weight of 11.5 ounces (327 grams).
Made In: China
Killer! The helmet has unique, sleek looks that have earned it a lot of unsolicited compliments on the trail. It can be equipped with a winterizing kit for warmth. I have not tested the kit, but it’s a nice potential feature for those in cold climates.
Flaw: The straps that lead to the chin tend to twist and rub a little along the cheek. It’s not a big problem, but it would be nice if the straps would lay flat.
First Impressions: The looks are much more understated than many helmets. I think the green and orange color scheme I tested is downright cool, but Bern disagreed and did not offer the color for sale. The helmet fits my head great and stays snugly in place without being tight or creating hot spots. It’s really comfortable and I find myself leaving it on long after my rides are over because I forget it is on my head.
Who Should Buy It: Mountain bikers looking for comfort (and who don’t mind a slightly heavier helmet).
Contact Brand/More Beta: Bern Morrison
—Sean McCoy is managing editor. Our “First Look” column highlights new gear arrivals at GearJunkie.com. Photos © Monopoint Media LLC