The POC Obex Spin snowboard helmet is a solid choice if you want to go a step further from the normal budget helmets. In this price range, helmets have improved build quality, better materials, adjustable air ventilation, and MIPS systems, although this particular model has its own “SPIN” impact protection system that is, in my opinion, slightly inferior. Either way, in this review we will go over all of its features, see how good it is at protecting and keeping your head warm, and we will put it against one of its competitors.
To learn more about snowboard helmets, make sure you check out my Guide on that topic! There, I’ve discussed all the features that you need to take into account when buying a new helmet and have also ranked some of the top models for 2020 according to their most notable pros and cons. Now, let’s dive into the features of the POC Obex Spin…
Overview & Features
Design & Durability
The design of this helmet is considered full-shell by some people, even though the earpads are removable. Still, they are covered in a harder material and will provide much more protection than the normal soft earpads found on most other helmets. There are quite a lot of vents that we will go through in a moment, but that is nice since it also makes the helmet compatible with some mountain sports such as mountain biking. The materials are very strong and durable and there is a healthy level of flex to some parts which is done to better absorb shocks and bumps. At the back, you have the regular goggles clip that can be found on most helmets for this price.
While there isn’t a MIPS system here, POC has invented their own similar system called SPIN. It stands for Shearing Pad Inside and it uses proprietary materials on top of a silicone pad that work to improve the fit and ventilation but also provide crucial protection at key areas of your head. While the lack of MIPS might be an issue for those very hard impacts, this SPIN system is easily good enough and is actually quite comfortable. Apart from the SPIN system, there are 2 more additional layers of silicone and foam that work to passively protect your head from serious impacts.
Ventilation is where this helmet really shines. While most other cheaper helmets have passive air venting, this helmet has adjustable vents that allow you to control the amount of air coming in and going out of the helmet. This is useful for those warm days in the mountain where you just want all of your vents to be fully functional or those harsh sub-zero temperatures that make your head freeze as soon as you pick up some speed. The vents are easy to control and can be opened or closed simply by sliding them. Opening them also works to prevent fogging up of your goggles.
In terms of the insulation here, it isn’t the warmest helmet out there, especially with all of its big vents opened. Still, it is meant to keep your head from overheating and there isn’t a ton of insulation on the inside, apart from the impact protection padding. That shaves some of the weight that is otherwise added by different factors here.
Fitting this helmet is relatively easy and is done through the interior system that allows you to control the inner circumference of the padding. The chin strap is also easily adjustable although, as I already mentioned, it isn’t padded, which can cause discomfort on your chin.
The overall weight of the helmet is slightly more than some other half-shell helmets or helmets with soft ear pads. Still, it is fairly lightweight compared to other helmets with MIPS and thicker inner layers. That makes it extremely easy to wear for kids without tiring their necks after a long day on the slopes. Another feature that makes wearing this helmet easy is that it is very easy to put on and adjust according to your head’s size. The only downside is that the chin strap isn’t padded which might be irritating on longer rides.
If you want to check out another helmet that is much cheaper and has a multi-year use with a comparable level of performance and durability, check out my SMITH Optics Holt Snow Sports Helmet review!
Additional Features & Accessories
The thing I liked the most about this helmet is that it comes in a ton of color options including some really cool ones like Fluorite Green, Prismane Red, and Bismuth Green. You have a total of 14 colors to choose from and 4 size options including XS, making this helmet ideal for parents that want their kids to have a good thermal and impact protection for their heads.
Another interesting feature here is that the earpads are specifically designed with communication devices in mind. It can fit POC’s AID communication pads that are sold separately. Those allow you to listen to music, set up meeting points, and listen updates on the weather conditions on the slopes.
Before we wrap this up, let’s sum up the most important advantages of the POC Obex SPIN as well as its biggest issues…
Advantages & Disadvantages
- Very durable
- Works flawlessly with other accessories from POC
- Full-shell design
- Has adjustable ventilation
- Not very heavy
- Works with its patented SPIN technology
- Not a great value for your money
- No MIPS system
- The chin strap isn’t very well-padded
POC Obex SPIN Vs Oakley Mod5 Factory Pilot Snow Helmet
The POC Obex SPIN is a relatively good value for your money and is also an excellent choice for kids thanks to its XS size and many colors. It is also easy to adjust both in terms of interior dimensions and its ventilation. Another helmet that is very similarly priced and has a similar set of features is the Oakley Mod4 Factory Pilot snow helmet. It has a vastly different design that is still a half-shell but is also slightly more durable and has a modular brim system for easier goggles integration. Despite its durable hybrid outer shell, it manages to stay lightweight and has non-pressure around-ear earpads that have slots for audio systems just like the ones on the POC. As a whole, the Mod5 edges the race mainly due to the brim system, and sturdier goggles clip that helps a lot with goggles not fogging up, staying in place, and not being blinded by the sun. In terms of impact protection, though, the POC takes the edge with its SPIN system, as there is no MIPS or any other special impact-protection system within the Oakley helmet.
Conclusion & Rating
The POC Obex Spin Snowboard Helmet is a mid-range helmet that doesn’t really shine bright in any particular area but also does everything in a satisfyingly good way. It is excellent for beginners and people who ride mostly on sunny days thanks to its big vents and good levels of protection. If the weather is closed, you also benefit from having adjustable vents on the helmet. The Obex comes in a bunch color options and a few sizes that, combined with the additional interior size adjustments, make the helmet fit easily on most heads. As a whole, I rated it four and a half out of five stars.