There’s a reason Tony Hawk wears a Triple Eight noggin protector, and there’s a reason you should read this Triple Eight Gotham MIPS helmet review. I recently reviewed the Gotham Dual Certified skateboarding helmet, and while the MIPS version is pricier, many riders willing pay the price difference. This post is about why lots of people love this lid, and why you may want to consider the option.
It’s never all-roses for any product regardless who the manufacturer is, and the Gotham MIPS helmet is no exception. I’ll lay all its little flaws on the table, too.
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Features and Specs of the Gotham Dual Certified MIPS Helmet
1.Dual certified and fully complies with U.S. CPSC Bike & ASTM Skate safety standards
2.MIPS technology for reducing rotational forces from angled impacts
3. SweatSaver fit pads for fit adjustment and moisture wicking
4.Adjustable Fit Dial System with a reflective dial so you can effortlessly create a custom fit.
5. Grooved EPS liner for excellent air flow
6. ABS outer shell with patented Conehead EPS liner technology
7. Product Dimensions: Not provided, but it should have the same dimensions as the non-mips version (13″ x 9.15″ x 7.3″)
8.Helmet Weight: I lbs/1 pound
Design of the Gotham Dual Certified MIPS Helmet
The Triple 8 Gotham isn’t any different than its non-MIPS version, the dual certified Triple 8 Gotham helmet. The features and specs are the same, but the product I’m reviewing here boasts MIPS rotational energy dispersion technology.
Design-wise, the Gotham MIPS features the same clean, minimalist, urban-styled look with a subtle brim. It’s round, offers ventilation holes (Triple Eight logo vents) on the front and top as well as exhaust ports on the back. But while this product provides decent air circulation, it doesn’t have as many vents as some competing options on the market.
A round helmet may slide off better on pavement or wherever than an option with edges, but you won’t (as of this writing) find any evidence supporting the superiority of any shape as far as protection.
Product Weight and Dimensions
This helmet comes in at just 1 pound or 1 lbs. It’s not the bulkiest nor the most lightweight helmet. The lightest helmets (usually the best ventilated) may weigh as little as 0.7 lbs, and I’ve seen full-face options that weighed over 1,600 grams (3.5 lbs).
In other words, this helmet is light enough that even a child will want to wear it again and again. In terms of dimensions, the lid measures 13″ x 9.15″ x 7.3″, it’s compact enough.
Now, let’s talk about the helmet’s ability to protect heads.
Pretty much every skateboarding, longboarding, or roller skating rider these days ceaselessly sings the praises of this reportedly amazing head protection technology. Almost every safety expert I’ve read or listened to says to always make sure a lid is MIPS before purchasing. But does MIPS do what it says it does? Does a MIPS option offer better noggin protection than a non-MIPS version?
MIPS stands for Multi-directional Impact Protection System. During a crash, different kinds of forces hit are at work. Some forces hit the helmet directly, others are rotational, and others are angular. According to the literature I’ve read, MIPS helps reduce rotational forces/energy. Those who swear by MIPS say the technology dampens rotational forces “in certain impacts” to quote Giro, a big-name U.S.-based helmet brand.
Does MIPS Make a Difference?
MIPS may or not provide a significant increase in head protection. Although brands such as Giro and the researchers behind the technology suggest the tech may offer some benefits, I couldn’t find any documented evidence that this “additional layer of protection” actually confers any benefits.
I’ve worn a couple MIPS helmets, and I like them, mainly because they look cool. But I’ve never tested whether this tech that’s become the new buzzword around safe riding actually works! Nor do I want to.
A Snowboarder Recently Tested MIPS
A beginner snowboarding friend of mine recently crashed on their snowboard, testing the efficacy of MIPS. In their words, “I crashed, and I didn’t know if my Gotham MIPS helmet would do its job. As I hit the ice, it felt like I was floating or some cushy feeling like that. But while I got painful bruises and cuts elsewhere, my head was intact. I didn’t get a concussion, but whether that was down to me wearing a MIPS lid I don’t know.”
Conclusive Evidence Needed
Future research might produce tangible data regarding MIPS potency. Until then, it’s just a new-ish tech that may or may not boost noggin protection, and doubters will keep asking pertinent questions as to whether it makes any difference at all. After, all MIPS is a just thin, low-friction plastic layer (as far as I can tell) that adds a few millimeters of sliding space around the head so rotational impact can be re-distributed.
As for me, I’d choose a MIPS helmet over a non-MIPS option any day. It’s not like MIPS reduces protection, you know, and what if it actually makes a difference? My safety is something I take seriously, I need me more than I need the few bucks I have to fork over for that added peace-of-mind.
ABS Outer Shell
The inner components of this helmet stay covered by a hard ABS outer shell. The outer shell is the first line of defense and ensures your melon doesn’t come into direct contact with hard or rugged surfaces or obstacles. But the outer shell, hard as it is, isn’t what mainly shields your head against impacts in a fall. More on that in the next section.
Now, ABS is tough and lightweight, and ABS shell lids are molded rather than glued together. Typically, brainsavers with mold construction tend to be better quality than ones where the components are simply glued together.
How do I know this product resulted from molding and not gluing things together? Usually, mold-construction helmets have the chin strap riveted or attached to the outer shell. In comparison, glued-together options have the straps coming out from inside the lid.
When it comes bicycle helmets, skateboard helmets, roller skate helmets, the liner is where all the head protection work happens. It’s basically foam whose main job is impact absorption. Regardless which product you buy in the end, understand one truth: the liner is the single most critical component in any kind of helmet.
A reinforced liner beneath the shell does most of the protection work. Most helmets feature EPS liners, and a few options come with EPU liners. EPU feels (and actually is) denser than EPS, but no evidence concludes either foam type offers enhanced melon protection.
This dual certified Gotham helmet brings together the brand’s patented Conehead EPS liner and the thin but tough outer shell, producing a much lighter helmet. This build results in increased energy displacement during a fall or crash.
The Helmet Liner Disperses Crash Energy Sideways
Gotham’s patented Conehead EPS liner technology comprises collapsing cones that line up to create the a type of crumple zone upon impact. This crumple zone not only absorbs crash energy but also re-distributes it sideways throughout the EPS liner. That means the impact never gets to concentrate on a particular point, and that’s a really good thing.
Removable SweatSaver Fit Pads
Like its sibling the Gotham dual certified, this MIPS option features detachable fit pads, the so-called SweatSaver fit pads. Think of this as the comfort layer. This layer consists of padding that wick away sweat and moisture, keeping the inside of the lid cool and fresh.
Nothing ruins a good day than sweaty odors do. With these pads, you’re going to enjoy riding those tranquil nature trails feeling comfortable and happy. You’ll want to go biking,, skateboarding, longboarding, or rollerblading, or snowboarding more.
The product also offers two sets of pads that support the chin straps and reflective adjustable fit dial when you’re creating a custom fit for your noggin. Lots of other options feature fit pads, though, it’s nothing unique to this product.
Reflective Adjustable Fit Dial
Here’s another thing I like about this product: it comes with reflective branding on the front and back. Whether you choose a darker or lighter color, the reflective branding elevates your presence so no one on the road will miss you and come crashing into your ride.
Additionally, this product comes in several bright/light colors for even greater safety while on the road. Studies show that white helmets may reduce the possibility of a crash by as much as 24% compared to black helmets. While this lid has reflective branding placed at intelligent locations, I’d advise you to pick white, or cream or other bright, hard-to-miss color.
The last piece of the fitting puzzle is the durable nylon straps with a side release buckle. The buckle is made of plastic, and thanks to its positioning, it doesn’t pinch. I’ve used straps that slide around the chin the whole time I rode, and that took quite a bit of fun from my experience. As for these straps, they’re sturdy, and they stay where you want them to.
How Good is the Helmet’s Ventilation?
It’s moderately good rather than excellent as the manufacturer would have us believe. Many competing choices feature more ventilation holes than the limited Triple Eight logo venting on this product. On the whole, the lid is breathable and should cool your head adequately.
Does it Have a Visor?
No. Most classic skate style helmets don’t have a visor. A visor shields you against direct sunlight especially in hot sunny weather, but it also tends to increase the product’s weight a tad.
However, being visor-less isn’t a bummer for most riders of skateboards, roller skates, longboards, or cyclists. But if you’re an MTB rider and would like to have a visor, there’s always an option for you.
Available Colors and Helmet Sizes
The product is available in 3 great colors: black rubber/matte, blue matte, and white matte. The specific option I’m examining in this review is blue matte, though. And blue matter is a light, easy-to-spot color. You’re likely to receive compliments with a color that beautiful. Also, the finish allows you to draw graphics or paint words on the lid with a marker.
The product can be ordered in one of three sizes namely small/Extra-small, medium, and large/extra-large. Here are the available sizes:
- XS/S (Extra small and small): 18.9″ – 21.3″ (for toddlers and babies).
- S/M (Small/Medium):L fits 21.7″ – 22.8″ heads.
- L/XL (Large and Extra-large) 23.2″ – 24″
This product is a one-size-fits-all choice thanks to its adjustability. *Note that the product in this review fits small to medium size heads, making it a good kids helmet. It should also fit older children and adults with standard size heads.
I noticed Amazon doesn’t let the skateboarder or any other user choose other sizes. Good news! You can always order the product from the manufacturer’s site.
My research found that the large/extra-large sizes don’t seem to fit heads that big. One large-headed reviewer put on the 24″ option, and it felt way too snug. If your noggin is the widest one you’ve ever seen, try another brand.
At over $100, the dual certified Triple 8 Gotham is more expensive than many, many recommendations I’ve given on this skateboarding gear review site. The item does look and feel well made, and its good looks make you get noticed when you’re scootering or cycling around town.
Like the non-mips Gotham Triple 8 dual certified version, this product is as safe for riding on wheels as any. It’s been duly certified to the U.S. CPSC bike safety standard and the voluntary ASTM (1492) skate safety standard. While having the two safety standards is great, only CPSC is legal and enforceable. Every option meant for the U.S. market MUST be CPSC certified. So you can safely assume every helmet sold in the U.S. has this certification.
Triple Eight Dual Certified Vs Triple Eight MIPS Helmet
These two products are pretty much the same deal, except that the product I’m reviewing is MIPS-equipped. That’s why it’s pricier. I’ve already described whether MIPS is worth it above, and I’ll leave it to you to decide whether it’s a worthwhile investment.
If money were not a constraint, I’d go with the MIPS version as the tech represents an additional layer of head protection. One gripe I have around this offer is that the product is somewhat limited in terms of color. The non-MIPS choice can be purchased in one of 5 colors while this option comes in 3 colors.
And while both lids boast universal fitting, the Amazon MIPS product box doesn’t have a dropdown with different sizes. It’s simply described as small and medium.
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- Good looks
- Universal fitting
- Sturdy, molded construction
- Versatile: They’re good skateboarding, in-line skating, longboarding, BMX riding, derby, and bike helmets
- Could be cheaper
- Pricing not exactly bargain-basement
- Logo vents could be more or larger
Is the Triple Eight Gotham MIPS a Good Buy?
In my honest opinion, the Triple 8 dual-certified MIPS is a worthy bet. The product is well-made, sturdy, breathes reasonably well, absorbs impact and sweat pretty well, is lightweight, looks amazing, and fit issues aren’t widespread. And while the market avails tons of considerably cheaper deals, it’s still a low-cost deal brain guard.