Review: Bern Morrison Helmet

by Brian Mullin on December 29, 2013

Dennis
Leedom founded Bern Unlimited in July 2004, for the purpose of
providing head protection for athletes involved in non-motorized action
sports, including skate, bike, snow and water related activities.

Bern
introduced their new Morrison helmet at the Interbike show this year,
and it’s their first full foray into the mountain-bike specific world.
Bern is known for their urban, skate and snow helmets, so it’s nice to
see them applying their technology to the MTB discipline.

The
Morrison shares the same shell as their Allston urban helmet, but it
has deeper extended coverage in the rear and has a removable visor. It
uses a PVC micro-shell aligned with their proprietary Zip Mold liquid
injected foam technology, which creates a helmet with a low-profile
design and thinner thickness and lower volume, so you don’t have the
typical giant bubble up on top of your head.

The
Morrison has 16 holes for ventilation purposes, which helps draw air
through the helmet, and it works much better than their standard
skateboard oriented designs.

The
liner snaps out for cleaning and allows you to convert to their audio
and cold-weather liner kits, and the latter will make for a great winter
time helmet. The Morrison comes in multiple colors and sizes, and will
retail for $100.

Impressions

Their
helmets don’t have a lot of adjustments, so you need to make sure you
get a size that more closely fits your head than some of the
competition. I ended up getting their large size, and although it fits
snugly, I never felt any discomfort or pinch spots, and I liked how it
felt like it was an extension of my head. At the back of the helmet is a
twist lock system that allows for a bit of adjustment for additional
tuning, and it provided just enough tweaking and breathing room for
comfort changes, depending on how my head felt at the moment. The helmet
is well padded and uses a durable and upscale system, and it absorbs
sweat and dissipates it effectively, so I never felt like it was overly
damp. I liked the snap-in liner that wraps around the circumstance of
the helmet, and it helped keep the padding securely in place, and made
it easy to remove it for washing and to swap out the default summer
version for an optional warmer winter one.

The chin strap was easy to tighten up when doing more technical terrain
and for downhilling, and the ear adjusters were simple to alter, and
they had a nice clamp to hold everything in place. Though it doesn’t have the usual prodigious
amount of ventilation holes that most cross-country orientated helmets
offer, I found it adequate, and I didn’t feel like my head overheated.
The vent pattern made it trickier to attach my GoPro camera strap, but
once in position, it worked just fine.

I was comfortably able to
wear both sunglasses and goggles, and didn’t have any issue with either
of them not fitting my face or sitting properly within the confinements
of the helmet. The matte finish made the goggle strap stay in position,
and it seemed to help with the durability and appearance of the helmet.

Bottom Line

I
found the $100 Bern Morrison to be comfortable, well-balanced, and it
felt like it was part of my head, greatly due to their low-profile
design. It felt like it got sucked down onto my head, though without any
discomfort or hot spots, and the wrap around design seemed secure and
stable. Like all of their helmets (skate, snow, urban), you need to
measure your head properly to get a more exact size, since their twist
lock fastening system doesn’t offer much adjustment.

The
well-padded snap-in liner is a real highlight in this nicely crafted
helmet, and it’s easy to pop out for cleaning or swap in their optional
winter liner. All the padding is durable, comfortable, well-made and
dissipates sweat effectively. At 458 grams, it’s on the heavy side of
things for most All Mountain helmets, but I didn’t really notice the
weight while riding with it, which highlights the functionality of the
low-profile fit. It vented adequately, and fits both
sunglasses and goggles without interference issues. The Morrison reminds
me a lot of the Urge Endur-O-Matic helmet, both have the simple
retention system, great padding, and low slung fit. 

Pros

  • Comfortable
  • Low-profile design
  • Good coverage
  • Removable liner – snap-in design, secure, nicely padded, durable and upscale system
  • Padding wick’s perspiration well
  • Mates well with both sunglasses and goggles

Cons

  • Lack of range adjustment for tuning of fit
  • Size needs to fit head more exactly
  • Brim isn’t adjustable
  • Heavy at 458 grams (Large size)

For more information visit: http://www.bernunlimited.com/

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