There’s little doubt that trail riding is getting gnarlier and more riders are hitting harder trails and riding faster than ever before. As bikes get more capable so does our confidence – whether our skills do or not is another question. So the need to wrap our brains in a decent lid has been never more important, that’s just a cold hard fact. We’ve taken a closer look at Lazer’s Coyote MIPS and Impala MIPS trail helmets, here’s the nitty gritty…..
By Mike Branch | Photography by Jess Branch
Product: Lazer Coyote MIPS Helmet
Available at: All good bike stores
Product: Lazer Impala MIPS Helmet
Available at: All good bike stores
Over two months we put the Lazer Coyote MIPS and Impala MIPS on test and did a comparative review to see what the actual difference between these two lids is – is one better than the other and are they a worthy helmet to wrap our brains in? A whole lot of trails were hit in a variety of conditions and we got down to the bones of both of these modern trail helmets.
What is the Lazer Coyote?
Lazer’s Coyote is a no nonsense helmet aimed at the trail riding crowd. It’s a lower budget lid that doesn’t lean on the bells and whistles of some of the higher end helmets, but still provides quality protection with the added safety of MIPS. It has a lower end fit system than some of Lazer’s other offerings but is still offers great protection, rating 4 stars in Virginia Techs Rotational Impact tests.
The Coyote is made out of EPS foam with a polycarbonate liner that covers the foam top and bottom, providing protection and styling. It has 21 vents and provides good ventilation when on the trail, whether you are climbing or descending.
What is the Lazer Impala?
The Impala is a more premium trail lid on offer from Lazer Sports and is not only a great looking lid but has some awesome features. The large visor accommodates goggles and can be moved up and down as required meaning you get protection and stow-ability.
There is a total of 22 air vents, most of them large, including large brow vents to assist with airflow. It is made from EPS foam and covered with a polycarbonate shell to protect the foam and provide that finishing touch. The Advanced Turn fit system is added to dial in the fit and make for a comfortable and safe ride.
The protection level is great with added rotational protection of MIPS, it scored 5 stars on Virginia Tech’s rotational impact test. For those of you that like to capture the ride, there is also a GoPro mount included with the Lazer Impala.
Coyote Vs Impala – What’s the difference?
- 21 Vents
- MIPS Technology
- 4 Star Virginia Tech Rotational Impact Test
- Fixed Visor
- Turn Fit Plus System
- No GoPro Mount
- 22 Vents
- MIPS technology
- 5 Star Rating Virginia Tech Rotational Impact Test
- Adjustable Visor
- Advanced Turn Fit System
- GoPro Mount
Test Results – Coyote
First impressions of the Coyote were good and they remained good. For a trail lid that comes in at about a buck fifty with MIPS – the value is truly hard to beat. It looks great, feels great and gets the job done at an exceptional rate. The airflow is actually quite good, particularly for a helmet of it’s price range. We have found some offerings from other brands at a similar price range to be a lot hotter and lack true airflow, something that is a necessity in the warmer states of Australia.
There is little doubt that the Coyote MIPS helmet is light, looks good and has great airflow… but what could be improved? The lack of movement in the visor does mean that if you are chasing a helmet to ride with goggles under your brow or to mount a GoPro under the visor, then the Coyote may not be the lid for you. It’s compatible with goggles but you can’t stash them under the visor, no big loss in our books – riding with goggles and a half shell is a contentious fashion statement.
One of the other notable differences is the lower budget fit retention system, don’t get us wrong the fit is still good and a dial is still at the rear to reign in the right size…. but it’s not Lazer’s top tier system. We found it functional and effective but lacking the quality and smoothness of the Advanced Turnfit system on the Impala.
Overall our experience with the Lazer Coyote was good and it certainly provided awesome protection and airflow at a very reasonable price. It would be hard to get a trail lid with these features and protection level at this price, putting the Coyote high on the list of budget to mid range trail lids.
Test Results – Impala
On the trail the Impala was noticeably cooler than the Coyote, something you might find surprising if you just look at the vent count – the Impala has much larger brow vents and it seems to really make a difference. The ventilation was welcomed on the climbs in the hot Queensland sun.
The advanced fit system on the Impala was also noticeably better and easier to dial in and stay in it’s current status, something that we had to adjust a bit more on the Coyote. Once it was dialed in it was more of a set and forget with the Impala and we got on with riding the trails. The confidence in the lid was there from the get go with the Impala, the lightweight feel coupled with the ventilation really delivered performance and comfort.
The addition of the GoPro mount is a nice touch and it’s great to be able to capture your rides via a helmet cam. It would have been great if the GoPro mount was a more updated version as we did find that it was an older style – leading to the problems of dropping the securing nut and going on a search and rescue expedition in the dirt. Despite this, it was a great addition and captured great footage.
Overall our experience with the Impala was really good, it was comfortable, well ventilated, had a more finished feel to it than the coyote and had the extra features many riders are looking for in a trail lid.
The Final Word
Lazer are introducing some great protection for the everyday trail rider and we found the Coyote MIPS and the Impala MIPS to be great value and well made trail helmets that could find their way onto any riders shopping list. Both helmets provide great protection with the Impala providing a higher level of protection according to the Virginia Tech Rotational impact study.
They both are comfortable and have a modern look and styling. The Impala was the stand out with greater features, including a movable visor with room to stash glasses or goggles and a GoPro mount. There is something to be said for simplicity though and the Lazer Coyote delivers simplicity and protection at an affordable price. Both of these helmets are great trail lids to wrap your brain in and if you can afford to spend the extra money, the Lazer Impala MIPS is definitely the best on test.