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ProView – Bern Major Bike Helmet

Over the past several weeks I’ve worn the Bern Major bike helmet nearly every day. From commuting to work, biking to run errands, to day-long bike rides, this bike helmet has been by my side.

Bern Major Bike Helmet

Product Name: Bern Major Bike Helmet

Product Description: Looking for a commuter helmet that won’t jack up your style? Meet the Major, Bern’s business-casual commuter solution. The Major features our signature low-profile style, protection and comfort. Designed with 14 luxurious vents, it’s a lightweight package fit for urban adventure. With MIPS, our patented flip visor, and a brand spankin’ new Compass Fit system, the Major is the perfect lid for your next hot lap through the city or Sunday spin through the suburbs.

Offer price: MSRP: $129.99

  • Quality
    (5)
  • Features
    (5)
  • Fit
    (4.55)
  • Durability
    (4.5)
  • Eco-Friendly
    (4)

Summary

A comfortable, lightweight, and stylish helmet with MIPS and the highest safety possible to keep you looking good and feeling good. 

Overall
4.6

Pros

  • Lots of vents
  • Good airflow
  • Removable visor
  • Highest safety rating
  • Good colors
  • Adjustable

Cons

  • Manufacturer’s defect in foam upon arrival

One of my favorite things about living in Boulder, Colorado, is how accessible the city is by bicycle. Well-maintained bike paths snake through every corner of this small city. The Bern Major bike helmet has been with me on countless rides over the past several weeks. I commute to work nearly every day, try and do all of my errands by bicycle, and go on frequent pleasure rides. The Major has performed flawlessly throughout the variable weather I’ve ridden in this spring and summer. I was particularly interested in the small removable visor in the front, the 14 vents spread throughout the helmet, and the comfort level of the Major.

Performance

It was love at first sight with the Bern Major. I’m normally the kind of guy who wears muted earth-toned colors. I decided to spruce it up a little bit and went with the “Matte Orchid” color. It’s a slightly muted pink, and I am a huge fan. It’s flashy, but not too much. I plopped the Major on my head, and made quick work of adjusting the size using Bern’s Compass Fit System. This system (or something similar) is the standard on bike helmets these days, and I’m glad to see Bern using it too. This helmet sits lower on my head than other helmets I’ve owned, which makes it look slightly different, but it feels much more safe and secure. 

Another style aspect of the Bern Major that I really like is the removable flip visor in the front. If the visor doesn’t match your style, it easily removes. Personally I like the look of the flip visor, and it functioned well to keep the sun off of my face. It also provided me some protection from rain when the weather turned bad. The visor does show sweat stains quite clearly, but a quick wash in the sink or in the washing machine solves that!

Two things that Bern’s Major bike helmet does really well are the weight and airflow. Bern managed to fit a staggering 14 different vents into this helmet, far more than any other commuter helmet that I’ve used. Compared to my mountain bike helmet, the Bern Major doesn’t quite have as much airflow. Additionally, the Major only weighs 315 grams, making it incredibly lightweight for any helmet. The venting and lightweight nature of the Major are comparable to some of the highest-end road bike helmets on the market, and at a fraction of the cost. Well done, Bern! 

Room for Improvement

All gear has room for improvement, and the Major is no different. The helmet arrived from Bern with a defect in the foam. It’s quite small, and it hasn’t affected the performance of the helmet at all. However, the defect does make me slightly concerned that the safety rating of the helmet has been compromised. 

What sets the product apart?

The Bern Major is truly set apart by its venting system, it’s extremely light weight, its highest-possible safety rating, its stylish appearance. Additionally, the Bern Major does all of this at a very affordable price!

Who is the product for?

This product is meant for your bike riders who do a lot of riding in town and occasional longer rides. Bern has marketed this helmet for commuters and those who ride “downtown”, but in my experience the Bern Major also excels on longer road bike rides.

Friendliness to the Earth

While I was unable to find any mention of Bern’s environmental initiatives on their main website, I did find some information on their blog. Bern mentions that it is using recycled cardboard and soy-based inks in its packaging, and is continually looking into more environmentally-friendly ways to source materials. Bern also has several cool posts about being a more earth-friendly bike ride, including a post about how to recycle old bike helmets. At first glance, it does seem like recycled cardboard and soy-based inks are pretty simple steps to take. However, I do want to recognize that safety gear (such as bike helmets) needs to be made out of higher-quality materials, and introduce more liability for a company if they are made out of recycled materials. I think Bern has done a decent job, but I would like to see them publicize their efforts more and make an effort to explain why more has not been done. 

The Final Word

Bern’s newest commuter-oriented bike helmet has been my partner throughout countless rides this spring and summer. The Major exceeded my highest expectations in regards to comfort, weight, ventilation, style, and more. The only thing Bern could improve is a little more quality control to ensure that customers aren’t getting helmets with foam defects. Other than that, Bravo, Bern!

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About the Gear Tester

Outdoor Prolink Pro
sam-kilburn
Sam Kilburn
Ranger-Naturalist :: Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks

Sam’s background is as a farmer, trail worker, ski patroller, and ice climbing guide in New England, but he currently works as a Park Ranger in Boulder County. When not at work, Sam enjoys backcountry skiing, mountain biking, woodworking, volunteering and reading a good non-fiction book. Someday down the road you’ll be able to find Sam in Vermont working in the garden and building his house in the woods.

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