A plain but comfortable lid

Klim is different. It’s not just another gear company pumping out the latest flash moto-gear with a new stretch panel here or an additional section of Kevlar stitching there. Instead Klim builds gear for the enduro rider who is all about functionality and durability for the long-haul. Craftsmanship is key, while form is put after function to provide top-quality riding gear to riders who worry more about the durability and usefulness of their chosen brand than if it comes in the newest and hottest colorway.

I’ll admit right now, I always lust for the hottest and flashiest gear I can find. I often overlook the Idaho-based company on that single fact alone. And this includes the Klim F4 Helmet. I’m a snob, no doubt, and the understated graphics and less than traditional look of the F4 never really floated my boat. But as I’ve learned in just about every aspect of my life – don’t knock it till you try it.

I recently and almost begrudgingly used the third-generation Klim F4 Helmet on a five-day riding trip to Southern Utah. I was pleasantly surprised with the fit and performance of this lid. I love it when I’ve judged incorrectly and the product proves me wrong in extraordinary fashion.

The F4 is shipped with a laundry list of accessories that include a high-quality helmet bag, an extra visor, a cold weather liner and a removable breath deflector. . The cost of the helmet is right in line with other premium brands that feature carbon fiber, fiberglass and Kevlar construction.

For this third-generation F4, Klim made refinements based on feedback from its racers and customers. Foremost are improved fit and even better cooling from the 41 air vents. That’s right – 41 vents. This helmet flows more air than a block of Swiss cheese strapped to the hood of a funny car. Both the liner and plenum chamber inside the EPS foam have been redesigned to allow a greater volume of air though the helmet and onto the rider’s head. No other helmet even comes close to the cooling capacity of the F4. On chilly mornings you might even consider using the cold weather liner. The only complaint I have is with the large scallop-shaped air scoops at the back of the helmet, which can snag low-hanging branches, but it’s an acceptable trade-off for the cooler head temps.

In addition to increasing the airflow, Klim also worked on the making the F4 more comfortable by redesigning the EPS liner shape and revising the comfort liner. The cranial shape at the top of the EPS has been altered to allow it to fit a wider range of head sizes while keeping the helmet positioned properly. The comfort liner gets new moisture-wicking fabrics and foam with perforations for better cooling and drying.

After five days of use, I would have to say the Klim F4 is one of the more comfortable lids out there. My only real hang-up is with my own sense of moto-fashion, because the F4 doesn’t look as cool as some of the other helmets out there. If styling is lower on your list of must haves than construction, quality and fit, there is no way you can go wrong with the Klim F4 Helmet. It has made a believer out a Doubting Thomas and gear-snob such as myself.