Review: Louis Garneau P-09 Helmet
May 8, 2014
article & images by Nick Salazar
The past couple years have seen a boon of really great aerodynamic helmets coming from a variety of manufacturers. From the fantastic Giro offerings like the purpose-built Selector and hybrid Air Attack, to the sleek and much-hyped Specialized MacLaren TT and Kask Bambino, there are a lot of really great, really well-thought-out helmets to consider. The aero helmet market has become a tough category to crack, especially with increased competition from hybrid "aero road" helmets like the Air Attack, Specialized Evade, and others. Triathletes now have the option to use one of these hybrid helmets that offer reasonably good aero performance, and will work for training and racing, for road and tri alike. More and more, manufacturers really need to bring their A-game if they want to convince consumers to buy a dedicated aero helmet. But with the P-09, I think Louis Garneau has absolutely nailed it. While Louis Garneau's prior effort, the Vortice, was an all-around good lid, this one is very clearly superior in every way. It has everything I like to see in a dedicated aero helmet, and no superfluous features, bad design choices, or unnecessary fluff. It's the Goldilocks of helmets … "just right."
There's quite a lot of cool stuff going on with the P-09, and I want to to justice with the appropriate amount of detail. To that end, I'll start by taking a look at the features that most aero lids have in common, and see how the P-09 stacks up in those areas. This is where the real "meat" of the story is, and where you can separate good helmets from bad. Then after that, we'll take a look at the helmet's more novel features. Why look at them separately? Because often, novel features can turn out to be just that: novelties. But in this case, there are a couple things that are honestly pretty cool, so we'll give them a fair shake.
So hit the jump, and we'll get started.