Italians are known for their injection molding, fast cars and style. With the Kask Wasabi helmet, you get a little taste of their manufacturing skills, style and speed. Launched this spring as an all-weather aerodynamic helmet, the Wasabi has been a willing partner for cold and wet-weather riding.
Kask Wasabi WG11 Helmet Features:
- Active ventilation system easily slides open/closed
- 100% Merino wool lining
- Octo Fit retention system
- Superior aerodynamics
- Eco leather chinstrap
- WG11 crash-tested and certified
- Made in Italy
- Weight: 315 grams (medium, actual)
- MSRP: $350
Aerodynamics and all-weather comfort? Indeed.
Introduced ahead of the Spring Classics where weather is always questionable and aerodynamics are critical, the Kask Wasabi WG11 aims to deliver aerodynamics and comfort for the fastest cycling disciplines. Kask focused on aerodynamics and says that the Wasabi is second only to the Kask Utopia for all-around use. As always, it’s difficult to test aerodynamics, but certainly, there’s little to interfere with smooth airflow whether the vent is open or closed.
When looking at the monster vent, it reminds me of the air intake on a fighter jet, which is a good comparison. The beauty of the vent is it can be opened or closed on-the-fly. Because it’s so easily adjusted, I have found myself opening and closing it several times during any given ride. Recently, morning temperatures have been between 40-55 degrees and the Wasabi has been a perfect companion. I always start with it closed, then open it up on climbs or if cooling is needed. And, during wet rides, you can close that vent right up and your noggin is very much protected.
Throughout the winter, I have continued to use and love the Wasabi for rides down into the upper 30’s. Your ears will still get a little cold, but with the vent closed, I don’t feel the need to wear a cycling cap or beanie underneath.
Helmet aerodynamics are important for long-distances and time trials. I haven’t been racing the clock, but I can definitely see and feel how slippery it is. That said, at high speeds (35 mph+), it is pretty loud both open and closed.
The ventilation story is definitely something of interest. With that huge gaping opening up front (when open), there is quite a bit of airflow. Even with it closed, there’s just enough airflow to allow some movement. Honestly, I haven’t ridden it in temperatures above 65-degrees, but I’ll get back on it in the spring as temperatures rise and see where the limit is. Unless you’re doing TT duty, I’d certainly switch to a more airy helmet by the time things hit 70-75 degrees.
As with the Mojito3, the Wasabi features thick padding for added comfort. But, the padding is covered with lux Merino wool for natural comfort and moisture management. I’m a huge fan of Merino wool and this is the first use I’ve seen in a bike helmet. It is a wonderful material with natural wicking and antimicrobial qualities, so it’s cool to see it used in this helmet. The thickness of the padding does absorb a fair bit of moisture and causes drippage when saturated. It’s not a constant stream, but will result in a waterfall when compressed. I’d recommend doing that intentionally every so often.
The straps are comfortable and the pleather chinstrap remains comfortable (even though it’s very stiff). And, the Octo Fit retention system offers easy fit adjustments. Part of that are the outer wings that are laterally adjustable. I squeezed them as close together as possible to accommodate sunglasses without interference. Regarding that, I’ve worn the Tifosi Sedge, Koo Demos and POC Aspire sunglasses without interference (which is better than other Kask helmets I’ve tested).
Kask is a firm believer in their testing and safety standards. Using the Working Group Eleven (WG11) standards, most of their helmets are WG11-certified (including the Valegro and Mojito3, we’ve tested). So, it’s no surprise that the Wasabi is also one of those. I’m a MIPS fan, but Kask has done plenty of homework here and the only way to validate this is to crash it and I’m not volunteering for that job. Since Virginia Tech has yet to test the Wasabi, I’ll just have to take Kask at their word.
The shell shape is ovalized but a little more round than the Kask Mojito3 and on par with the shape of a Bontrager helmet, for example. Giro and Specialized helmets tend to be more narrow and long. Actual helmet opening of the medium Wasabi is 7.3cm x 21.5cm.
- Love the all-weather performance
- Gaping front vent that can be open/closed as needed
- Comfortable, thick padding
- Merino wool is a nice touch (and so comfy)
- Easy fit adjustments
- Single-color, matte finish looks stellar
- Pricey with a capital “P”
- Love it or hate it looks
The Bottom Line: Kask Wasabi Helmet
Call it an aero helmet or an all-weather helmet — either way, it’s a good option if you want a high-performing lid for cold rides. Styling remains questionable, but I’ve had plenty of compliments on it. Opening or closing the vent is easy and I find myself doing it regularly during any given ride. The Wasabi doesn’t come cheap, and it’s got a limited usable temperature range, but if you have space for a purpose-built helmet, it’s a great option to have. I quite like it for cold weather riding.
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