Shopping for cycling helmets these days can be confusing, as every helmet seems to be designed for a specific cycling subset. That’s why we were excited to get our hands on the new Lazer Cameleon MIPS helmet that doesn’t limit itself to any single discipline. Visually the Cameleon combines design cues of traditional road cycling, mountain biking and commuting helmets. The helmet is available in both a standard version for $69.95 and the $89.95 MIPS version (which we are reviewing today). We chose the matte dark blue finish due to its sleek yet subtle design, although Lazer offers three other colors (red, white, black).
As the name implies, the Lazer Cameleon blends in any environment whether you’re chasing a PR on a local climb, gravel riding, or commuting. The modern design and MIPS integration result in a safe and comfortable helmet.
In terms of features, the Lazer Cameleon offers everything you’d expect from a modern helmet including MIPS integration and an adjustable retention system. Aside from the bright MIPS graphics on the liner, it’s so well integrated you’ll forget it’s there. Lazer describes the fit system as their Advanced Rollsys System and it features a top mounted dual direction adjustment dial. The affordable price does mean the Cameleon has a standard plastic buckle and friction fasteners for adjustments on the straps. However, these work well and result in a comfortable and easy to use helmet. We couldn’t find any volunteers to crash test the helmet, so we’ll go over the design and usability of the helmet in the following sections.
|Likes|| + MIPS integration |
+ Well suited for long hair or ponytails
+ Multi-discipline design
|Dislikes||– Thin liner padding |
– Small visor attachment points
– Large vents let bugs in
|Where to Buy (US)||Lazer|
The helmet is securely shipped in a standard cardboard box with high quality graphics. The helmet was also wrapped in a plastic bag for extra protection. Inside the box you’ll find a manual and a MIPS tag on the helmet strap.
DESIGN & USABILITY
Like the reptile, the Lazer Cameleon helmet is designed to look at home whether your riding on or off the road. The helmet combines many visual elements from road, mountain bike, and urban helmets into a single clean design. There are 13 vents with large openings similar to a mountain bike helmet, while the blunt and aggressive styling is similar to road bike helmets. Lazer has also incorporated a removable plastic visor similar to urban commuting helmets. Available in four color variations, the Cameleon helmet is a modern looking helmet that works well for any type of cycling.
The bottom rear portion of the helmet also features a subtle color shifting gradient from a lighter blue to the primary dark blue color. The gentle sloping rear of the helmet looks similar to aerodynamic helmets and prevents the helmet from having a ‘dome’ profile which is a plus. The visor is a nice way to keep the sun out of your eyes, but we found the plastic attachment tabs a little flimsy to use. Also unlike more expensive helmets, the exterior shell does not extend around the inside of the helmet and instead leaves the unfinished foam visible.
FIT AND COMFORT
The fit system on this helmet is Lazer’s Advanced Rollsys System which is similar to common retention systems with an easy to use dual direction dial system to fine tune the fit. What makes the system unique is the top mounted dial which leaves the rear of the fit system open which makes it an ideal helmet for those with long hair to accommodate for ponytails. The top dial requires a little practice to get used to, especially if you’ve been used to riding with a rear dial. With the top mounted location, you have less leverage when tensioning the fit system which some of us found it more difficult to adjust. We found the helmet comfortable (the medium size felt similar to other medium sized helmets we’ve worn) and easy to adjust. The medium sized helmet came out to 332 grams which isn’t the lightest helmet on the market, but light enough to forget it’s on your head.
Lazer has also integrated the MIPS liner seamlessly between the outer foam and the inner padding. The liner has cutouts that match the vent openings ensuring optimal airflow from the vents. Thin removable foam padding is attached directly to the MIPS liner using velcro. Unlike Bontrager’s WaveCel liners which are thicker and tend to reduce venting airflow, it’s easy to forget the Cameleon MIPS isn’t your regular non-MIPS helmet. Speaking of airflow, the 13 large vents will ensure your head will stay cool on even the hottest days. It would have been nice to have a bug liner with the helmet as the large openings may invite bugs through.
Overall, we found the Lazer Cameleon helmet to be comfortable and well designed. The modern design elements, large vents, and adjustable fit system make the Cameleon a helmet ready for any type of ride. In particular, we were impressed with the affordable retail price and MIPS integration. The rear cut out makes the Cameleon helmet the perfect choice for people with long hair or thicker ponytails. Although it’s not the lightest helmet on the market or fanciest, the clean design and excellent venting make it a strong contender in a crowded market.
Disclaimer: The product for this review was provided by Lazer. The views expressed on this website are solely those of the authors and are here to help people make an informed choice before a purchase. The authors or the blog itself does not get any monetary compensation from the product manufacturer or third-party websites/vendor links that are posted here.