Klim USA’s new, super-ventilated F4 helmet was designed to keep the heads of active snowmobilers cool when running rough trails or boondocking in the mountains. It has 41 vents that pull in fresh air and push out heat. As a 30-something rider who gets a workout on a sled and enjoys using high-tech gear, I wore one last winter to see how it worked.
I ordered a size large helmet, but with the standard 20mm cheek pads it wouldn’t set down on my head far enough to give a secure fit. I tried a size extra-large F4, but it was too loose. Back to the large helmet I went, but I ordered and installed the thinnest set of cheek pads available from Klim: 10mm. Fit was better, but there wasn’t enough room between my face and the F4’s chin bar for the No-Fog mask I wear with motocross helmets, so I installed the helmet’s breath deflector and wore a balaclava.
After I figured out the best setup, it still didn’t fit as well as other motocross-style helmets I’ve worn – I often tugged the chin bar while riding to pull it lower on my head and the feel just wasn’t right. Hope was not lost for me to endorse the Klim F4, though. The company has recently diversified with products for off-road motorcycle and ATV riders, and the F4 helmet is one product that crosses over into those markets.
When the dirt bike season came around, I snapped-in the ventilated liner and hit the dirt. The helmet felt right without a balaclava or facemask on my head, my face wasn’t crowded and the helmet proved to be excellent for me. Warm weather also proved how well the helmet’s vent system works – I could literally feel air blowing across my head.
The helmet’s eye port held my goggles in place and provided a good field of vision. Its bright-orange, black and white color scheme is reminiscent of Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes cereal mascot, Tony the Tiger. Metal screens in the vents give it a high-tech, durable-looking style. Its vented visor helped the helmet cut through the air and reduced lift at high speeds.
The F4 retails for $375.99 and includes a spare visor, Gore Wind Stopper liner, breath deflector, deluxe helmet bag and two sets of cheek pads. Like shoes or pants, helmets fit different people differently, and perhaps if other staffers had tested this helmet it would have fit them just fine for snowmobiling. I’ll use it for the dirt.