Shred Brain Box Helmet
Kelly McGazza Forever Edition
Words by Chili Dog
With the recent 2018 Crankworx Rotorua Slopestyle in Memory of Kelly McGarry fresh in our minds, we thought there was no better time share our review of Shred’s McGazza Forever edition Brain Box helmet. Beyond getting a helmet with a cool paint scheme, you’ll be helping a great cause. A percentage of the sales of each McGazza Forever product goes to the McGazza Foundation in honor of Kelly McGarry. Check our earlier story on their release if you’d like to learn more about the foundation and what they do.
According to Kelly McGarry Foundation Trustee Daniel Wypler, “In the beginning of 2016, we worked to establish the KMF and define how to honor Kelly’s legacy in an impactful manner. Late 2016 and 2017 were primarily focused on memorial projects: the Fernhill Loop Memorial Bench and Trail, the Red Bull Rampage McGazza Spirit Award, Crankworx Rotorua McGazza Award, the restoration of Kelly’s 2013 Red Bull Rampage bike and the first annual McGazzaFest. The KMF has also made a donation to build the McGazzaLand bike park in Nelson, New Zealand.
In 2018, we’re focusing our energy and resources on growing McGazzaFest to becom one of New Zealand’s premier mountain biking events, and creating a McGazza-style backcountry hut and trail. We will also be concentrating on donating funds to other mountain bike projects throughout New Zealand.”
The special commemorative fern graphics on the helmet are a nod to traditional symbols of New Zealand culture. But Kelly’s legacy is in more than the graphics. According to Co-Founder and CEO Carli Salmini, “Kelly came on board in the midst of the development of our Brain Box helmet and we hit the ground running with him.
Consequently, it’s the product that bears the greatest testament to Kelly’s influence. In addition to being focused on the fit and protective technology of the helmet, he had a great eye for how to enhance its form while also enhancing its function. Everything from the vents, to the angle of the chin bar to the size of the cutout for the goggle and goggle strap was guided by Kelly’s input. Consequently, he was especially stoked to rock the Brain Box.”
The Brain Box helmet is a fiberglass shell design that meets EN1078, CPSC and ASTMF1952 safety standards. Inside, Shred uses their proprietary Shred RES technology. It’s short for Rotational Energy System, which allows the helmet’s shell to rotate independently from the inner lining. Much like the commonly used MIPS technology, it mitigates rotational impact forces during a fall. Shred claims that it’s one of the lightest and thinnest rotational impact technologies on the market.
On the inside, the Brain Box No-Shock uses AEGIS Microbe Shielding. It’s a treated liner that helps cut down on bacteria in the helmet, keeping your gear smelling fresh through the hot and sweaty summer months. The helmet packs 15 vents to help keep air flowing smoothly through the lid.
The Brain Box is light, comfortable and has sharp looks. In a market filled with $500 helmets, it’s a welcome change to try one that’s only $220 but doesn’t skimp on safety features, fit or quality.
One place we feel the Brain Box does skimp however is ventilation. Despite having 15 vents in what seems like prime placement, the vents themselves are a tad small for hot weather. By no means is it a deal breaker breaker, but there are other helmets on the market that breathe better.
Aside from our ventilation issue, we can’t find much else to complain about. The fit is instantly comfortable, the helmet feels secure and it offers great coverage. In our humble opinion it looks way nicer than other $220 lids too.
The closure system is easy to use and is an interesting take compared to the standard buckle. Reminiscent of a snowboard binding, the strap is a tad bulkier than some of the trick magnetic closure mechanisms on the market. However, its ease of one handed operation is much appreciated on the trail.