Shred comes from the snow world, but has been pushing their way into the MTB scene with products like their Soaza goggles and Short Stack helmet. The design is simple, attractive and lightweight. Comfort is definitely a stand out feature of this helmet, with the Short Stack fitting snugly on almost all of our test riders. But how does this newcomer stack up against the more mainstream competition like POC, Giro or Bell?
The Short Stack is constructed using a Polycarbonate shell fused with an EPS foam liner. Shred uses a proprietary NoShock Technology, which is a honeycomb cone structure integrated with the core of the impact energy absorption element. According to Shred, on traditional helmets the energy of an impact is absorbed unidirectionally by the deformation (or cracking) of the impact energy absorption element (usually EPS or EPP foam). Shred claims that NoShock deflects part of the impact energy multi-directionally increasing the helmet’s shock absorption efficiency and as a consequence, reduces the transfer of energy to the head. The Short Stack’s NoShock honeycomb cone structure is made with Slytech’s 2nd SKiN XT material (which is the material that has been developed for their Slytech body protection line) and is co-injected with an EPS foam liner. The Short Stack meets and exceeds the highest of CPSC cycling safety standards, as well as EN 1078 standards.
The helmet also features Shred’s RES or Rotational Energy System technology, which packs absorption units composed of exceptionally thin elastic layers and slip surface attachments positioned on the helmet’s inner element. This design enables RES to redirect rotational forces by allowing a small amount of relative movement between the helmet and the head during impacts from any direction. This reduces rotational energy transferred to the head and mimics the natural cushioning behavior of the fluid between the skull and the brain. Much like the familiar MIPS technology, this tech aids in reducing the shearing or rotational forces that occur when your helmet first contacts the ground.
The helmet also has built in emergency identifier technology that helps first responders identify the helmet’s owner. Simply register the helmet’s unique pin code on the ICEdot website, and first responders can then text that code to find out your information, allergies or any other pertinent information if you are unconscious. It’s a great feature to have for people that often ride alone.
Merino fabric liners and ample padding keep the helmet conformable and snug. Though it is only offered in two sizes (XS/M and M/XL) both sizes accommodate a wide variety of head shapes and sizes thanks to the additional pads included with the helmet, as well as the highly adjustable boa style rear dial. Our XS/M fit every test rider that tried it on, but just to be sure they have a head size guide on their website. The only other adjustment aside from the rear boa is the chinstrap, which is adjustable near the closure snaps but not the ear portion.
The Short Stack is a simple, good-looking helmet that fits well and has 20 vents to keep the air flowing. Even though the visor isn’t adjustable, it always seemed to be in the right place and felt more secure than previous versions. Despite lacking a central securing point, the visor has practically zero give until the engineered break away point. This is designed to protect the rider from unnecessary shearing forces should the visor snag a rock or root in a crash. Another noteworthy improvement over previous generation Short Stack helmets is the elimination of the pressure point at the rear helmet strap. The model we tested this time has zero hot spots, pressure points or anything uncomfortable. The removable merino wool pads had the perfect amount of give to ensure a cozy fit, even hours into a ride. Coverage is good on the sides, forehead and rear of the head, however there are some helmets on the market that cover more. The chinstraps fit nicely, with zero contact on the ears. Some reviews have mentioned eyebrow sweat build as an issue, however we felt it was no different than any other comparable helmet, even in the sweltering Southern California heat. The helmet’s visor and straps also play nice with goggles or sunglasses depending on how enduro you feel. Color options are plentiful, spanning the gamut from enduro blue, a rainbow “shrasta,” camo green, white, black and the blue and orange combo we tested.