Time Magazine named the company’s original Portola helmet one of the year’s best inventions. KAV says it has already created a better one.
It’s clear that 3D printing still has a lot to offer. From custom climbing shoes to personalized bike frames, there’s no denying the advantages of quickly and easily tailoring a product to individual customers.
KAV, a company based in Silicon Valley, has now brought that ethos to bike helmets. With the Portola, company leaders claim they made a helmet that exceeds U.S. safety standards by 25%.
For $320, customers get a “fit kit” and a virtual fit session, so they end up with a helmet perfectly contoured to their cranium. That achievement earned KAV Sports several design awards, including a mention from Time Magazine.
Now KAV has released the Portola Kaze, claiming that it improves on the original design in both safety and comfort. Let’s take a look.
KAV Sports Portola Kaze: Design & Features
While EPS foam has become a common material for many bike helmets, KAV wanted to provide even more protection for the noggin.
After testing over 20 kinds of materials, the company found a “key polymer” from Japan, mixed it with a “blend of additives,” and created KAV PolyCarbon. This material is the biggest reason why KAV claims Portola Kaze already improves on the original.
“The result is a material that absorbs 35 percent more impact energy,” the company said in a news release.
There’s a new “sweat management system.” KAV enlarged the front vents by 17% to improve airflow and “passive cooling” when riders crank up a climb. This new ventilation system also means air flows unobstructed between the side of the head and the helmet, KAV said.
The Portola Kaze has a “wiper blade-like surface” that prevents sweat from dripping into the eyes or onto sunglasses. And its moisture-wicking fabrics help riders stay comfortable.
“The Portola Kaze takes the best of the original Portola and leverages our ability to incorporate the latest material, additive manufacturing and software advances to provide uncompromised protection,” KAV Sports CEO Whitman Kwok said in a news release.
KAV Sports Portola Kaze: Pricing & Availability
The Portola Kaze comes in two colors: Cosmos Black and Polar White.
It’s available direct from KAV Sports. It’s made in the U.S. using renewable energy. The custom-fit Kaze helmet costs $320. Lastly, all the company’s helmets come with a 30-day risk-free trial, a 5-year warranty, and a 100% crash replacement policy.