A lot of wisdom came out of ’92, but perhaps wisest of all was the RZA’s Protect Ya Neck… er, dome. Anyway. When you’re out ripping trails and lapping the bike park this summer, you can be thankful that the rate of helmet and sunglasses development has been so rapid the past few years. Helmets and speed shades (we only recommend glasses that make you measurably faster) are getting so good and so light that we tend to forget we’re ever wearing them. Here are a few of our favorite models this year.
Trail Blazer MIPS & Ronin RIG Reflect Sunglasses
These days MIPS tech is becoming the standard for rotational safety. But Sweet Protection wasn’t satisfied to stop there. They integrated multi-piece variable elasticity in their shell to put the right amount of protection in the right places. Their Ronin Rig Reflect shades come with 2.2-mm thick toric lenses, so never worry about tiny branches at face height or poor viz again.
Stego Plus & Sport Shield Supersonic EDT Sunglasses
Designed for enduro riders, this MIPS-equipped helmet is ready to rock and roll. With superior venting and an action cam mount, your edit has practically filmed itself already. As a kit, Scott optimized the Sport Shield Supersonic EDT glasses for a perfect fit with the Stego Plus. A staple in Scott’s lineup since 1989, they’re still around for a reason.
Mainline & Squad MTB
A full-face helmet and integrated goggle set, Smith’s Mainline and Squad collection is meant for serious fog-free protection. Certified for downhill and packed with features like MIPS and Koroyd honeycomb tech, this set is meant to take that beating for you and leave you wanting to get back up and hit that jump again and again.
Giro Sport Design
Disciple MIPS & Blok MTB
Giro’s full-face offering is ready to rage. The integrated fog-free goggles are paired with MIPS technology in the helmet to reduce the risk of TBIs by redirecting impact energy in case you crater. With 14 vents both at browline and around the head you’ll be nice and cool while ripping downhill.
Dragon Alliance Tolm LL Ion Sunglasses
The retro, quasi-aviator styling meets modern lens tech in Dragon Alliance’s new Tolm LL Ion. The wide field of view offers plenty of wind and UV protection. The polycarbonate shield lens serves double duty to keep pesky branches out of your eyes as well.
SPY+ Flynn 50/50 Sunglasses
The new SPY Optic Flynn 50/50 glasses are about style first and foremost. But the intense focus on eliminating optical distortion will allow you to see the most technical trail features from way above. Look good, ride fast, safety third. Or something like that.
Zeal Optics Divide Sunglasses
Zeal Optics’ Divide shades are tech-focused for the downhill. Their polarized lenses cut glare and enhance details and clarity while theirProFlex rubber injections to keep the Divide in place whether you’re out on the Continental Divide Trail or sipping a hefeweizen sitting on the sundeck.
DRT5 & Sutro Odyssey Collection
Packed with sweet features like an anti-bacterial sweat guard and, of course, MIPS protection, Oakley’s new MTB kit will have you styling shifties at the bike park and blasting FKTs on your local enduro trail. The 80’s gem tones will make you at least 20% faster than anyone in all black, guaranteed. We think. Take it up with them.
Kortal Race MIPS & Devour Sunglasses
POC’s Mortal Kombat sounding helmet and glasses set provides the ultimate finishing move to any decked out kit. The MIPS will protect your noggin from rotational impacts and the wide field of vision on the Devour shades will keep any tears of defeat from leaving your eyes. No weakness, only speed.
Adapt MIPS & Chronoshield Volt+ Sunglasses
Bollé’s new Adapt MIPS and Chronoshield Volt+ set are a luxe setup that will make your trail partners green with envy. The wild styling and impressive venting are more than enough to sell us on this kit, but the MIPS protection really seals the deal.