First Impressions – Shred Optics Short Stack Helmet

by Brian Mullin on July 24, 2017

Shred Optics Short Stack is their All Mountain helmet that includes some innovative safety features including the Slytech NoShock and 2nd Skin XT energy absorption material and the MIPS-like RES technology. It features 20 vents with four channels, X-Static Silver Fiber padding, a wheel based retention system, a visor and is constructed with In-EPS liner with a polycarbonate shell. The shape of the offers good coverage over the back of the neck.

The Short Stack comes in two sizes (XS-M and L-XL) and six colors and retails for $159.99.

For further information refer to Shred Optics and Slytech Protection

The helmet utilizes the Slytech NoShock technology that features an internal Honeycomb Cone Structure made from the Slytech 2nd Skin XT material (the blue stuff). This structure is co-molded into an EPS foam liner to provide high structural strength and allow for the dissipation of impact energy in multiple directions. In a demonstration at their booth, a steel ball was dropped onto several types of absorption foam materials, and the ball bounced to varying degrees on all of them except for the 2nd Skin XT in which it stopped dead. Thunk!

They’re now offering the helmet with the Rotational Energy System, or RES technology which provides a 360-degree flotation system that helps reduce rotational accelerations to the head during impact. It mimics the natural cushioning behavior of the fluid between the skull and the brain.

The system utilizes nine absorption units made with a slip surface and elastic absorption layer. Unlike the MIPS system, it’s part of the padding system, so it won’t affect the fit of the helmet.

Shred’s RES is also available on the company’s full-face helmet the Brain Box ($199.99) and the dirt jumping helmet the Bumper Light ($119.99).

First Impressions

I had first seen the Short Stack at Interbike last year and was highly intrigued by the innovative technology. I was a huge fan of their Slytech ElbowPro NoShock XT Lite soft armor which uses the same shock absorbing Slytech NoShock technology for the ultimate in performance, protection, and security. Adding the same stuff to a helmet made perfect sense and having it co-molded into the EPS foam liner provided a functional blend of energy absorption and stability. The RES technology reduces rotational accelerations during impacts for the utmost in safety. I tested the larger M-XL (57-61cm) and ended up using the thickest of their two paddings, making for a plush and comfortable fit against my head.  The strap system was simple to use since they lacked any adjustability and I found they fit over my ears and head just fine. Pulling the end of the strap was easy, and a quick tug tightened the helmet down snuggly in place. The rear floating retention system with its ratchet design worked well and provided a secure and stable platform for the back of your head, making sure the helmet stayed put.

The wheel was easy to adjust on the fly making for simple tweaks on almost any terrain. Between the thick and plush padding and the RES, the interior offered lot’s of comfort and just a hair of movement, though nothing that would be considered sloppiness.

The 20 vents did a great job for an All Mountain helmet, and they ported the air straight through helping with ventilation and cooling, though it felt a bit hot on Inferno days. The brow padding doesn’t manage sweat and perspiration very well and becomes quickly saturated and it would slowly release it down my face in the form of dribbles and drips.

I have enjoyed my time wearing the Shred Optics Short Stack during my mountain bike rides, with highlights to its comfort, weight and retention system. The innovative Rotational Energy System technology and Slytech NoShock and 2nd Skin, XT energy absorption material, add a slew of protection technologies for the utmost in helmet safety performance for my most valuable asset, my head.

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