Kali Shiva 2.0 Carbon VS. Avatar X
Words & Photos by Chili Dog
Anyone that rides bikes knows this isn’t a cheap hobby. Just getting a decent bike is enough to leave your bank account looking like a 6-year old’s piggy bank. That may not leave you with much dough for all the gear you need to safely ride that bike. It’s tempting to cut a few corners here and there to save some green, but at the same time it can be hard to choose what are acceptable budget products to use and where you should spend those few extra dollars. Helmets are a place you don’t want to skimp. We reached out to Kali, a brand that values safety above all else, to compare their more budget minded Avatar X helmet with their top of the line Shiva 2.0 Carbon. What exactly is the difference between a $300 helmet and a $550 helmet? Let’s find out.
The Avatar X is Kali’s second tier helmet offering, falling above the $100 Zoka but below the Shiva. Despite the lower price point, the helmet still boasts composite Fusion Plus technology, a process that bonds the helmet shell and EPS foam eliminating the air gap found in traditionally constructed helmets. It also features Kali’s proprietary Tri-Weave composite shell. The goal is that by reducing a helmet’s overall weight, 878 grams, Kali can reduce the head’s mass in the event of a crash, lowering impact forces. For airflow there are six helmet vents, and six chin bar vents. As one would expect from a $300 helmet, there are also anti-microbial pads, a washable liner and a break away visor. Kali is a stickler for safety, so the Avatar X meets ASTM F1952, ASTM 2032, EN 1078, CPSC and AZ/NZS 2063-2008 safety standards. Try reciting that eight times as fast as you can.
Shiva 2.0 Carbon
The Shiva 2.0 Carbon is Kali’s flagship helmet. It’s also the model tasked with keeping the mad man Nicholi Rogatkin safe while he spins his bike enough times to make the average mortal puke standing on solid ground. To accomplish that task, Kali uses a blend of their Nano Fusion and LDL technology. Nano Fusion is an in-molded multi-density EPS with acrylic self-healing foam and carbon nanotubes that helps to dissipate impacts. LDL refers to the Low Density Layer, which consists of specially designed viscoelastic padding placed throughout the interior of the helmet. Think impact gel. This gel reduces rotational impact forces by up to 25% and low-G linear impact forces by up to 30% according to Kali. These two technologies, particularly the LDL, are what separates the Shiva 2.0 Carbon from the Avatar X. It’s also interesting to note that the Avatar X has a higher weight, coming in at 1,050 grams as a result of the extra protective material but retains the same twelve vents along with DOT, ASTM F1952, ASTM 2032, ASTM F2040, CPSC and EN 1078 safety ratings.