Comparing the Kask Wasabi to the Giro Eclipse

Other than a thin layer of skimpy Spandex, when it comes to protection on either a road or gravel bike, the helmet is really the only form of true protection against injury in the event of a fall. Like everything else in the cycling industry, brands are always looking for ways to increase helmet performance while maintaining safety. Since helmets are regulated, they must pass certain standards, which vary depending on what country the helmet is being sold in. Beyond the safety aspect, there is a balance of aero, weight, ventilation, fit and aesthetics. While this balance is always tough, Giro and Kask have been two brands that we think have done a pretty good job, albeit in very different ways.

Kask is an Italian brand that has always been known for their premium materials combined with unique designs. Safety is a top priority for Kask, and beyond cycling, they produce helmets for many different industries like aviation, construction, equestrian and many more. Kask takes more of the traditional approach and currently doesn’t offer a helmet that has specific technology to reduce rotational forces. They have, however, put their helmets through their WG11 rotational impact test. Their made-in-Italy helmets remain one of the top choices for performance-oriented riders and are a popular option in the pro peloton. The Kask Wasabi is designed with aero and adjustable temperature regulation as top features.

Giro has been one of the leading brands looking to reduce rotational forces and improve safety. The main technology has been MIPS (Multi-directional Impact Protection System), which they are now a partial owner of. Essentially, MIPS consists of a low-friction layer between the helmet and the head that allow for a buffer zone. Giro has taken this to the next level with their Spherical protection that puts this low-friction zone between layers of EPS foam in the Eclipse.


Kask Wasabi

The Kask Wasabi is a new model that, like the name implies, looks to keep heads warm while protected. While the Japanese sushi horseradish paste has a quickly fading heat, the Kask helmet can also have the same effect with a sliding main vent that can be closed to maintain warmth or quickly opened for a quick cool-down. The Wasabi has six static vents in the rear that always remain open. 

When closed, the front of the helmet has no direct airflow into the helmet. This leads to an almost 3-degree temperature difference from the testing Kask has done. Overall, the inside has lots of channels to direct the air over the head when the vent is open. Also, the pads inside are lined with Merino wool and are very comfortable. 

Kask’s Octo Fit retention system is the same as used on the rest of their line, with an easy-to-use rear dial as well as height adjustment. The around-the-ear straps are not adjustable but the synthetic leather chin strap is, allowing you to get the perfect fit with a premium feel. Kask offers the Wasabi in six colors and three sizes. We have a size-medium helmet that hit the scales at 322 grams. 

Giro Eclipse

The Giro Eclipse is the newest add to the California brand’s extensive lineup. The design is aero optimized and implements their Spherical technology. This tech splits the EPS foam layer and creates a low-friction zone between two shells using MIPS. This is an all-in effort to maximize the protection from rotational impacts while still optimizing comfort and airflow.

Speaking of airflow, Giro claims the Eclipse is the fastest road helmet and coolest aero road helmet on the market. While those are bold claims and hard to validate, it is impressive that this helmet hits the scales at 267 grams for our size medium. The helmet has 17 vents total—six in the front, three on each side and five in the rear. Internally, between the shells, are channels that direct air through the helmet and over your head.

Giro has continued to evolve their closure system, and the Roc Loc 5 Air uses a small rear dial to cinch the internal shell to your head evenly. The thick synthetic pads are both soft and anti-microbial. The lightweight nylon webbing straps contour to the face and chin nicely with a lightweight and basic clip.


Kask Wasabi

Right off the bat the Wasabi felt like a higher-end helmet. The synthetic leather chin strap adds a premium touch, plus the Merino-wool lining with cradle closure system provides an elevated level of comfort. Even the feedback from each click of the rubberized closure dial gave the Wasabi a higher-end feel.

Most of our testing consisted of brisk early-morning and chilly night rides. We were pleased with the added temperature control that the central vent provided. We found ourselves comfortable riding with the vent closed and the option to alleviate heat buildup after hard efforts proved invaluable. 

We were sure to test the Wasabi in the heat, too. Our testers noted relatively low ventilation. Even with the vent in the open position, the Wasabi lacked sufficient airflow. Two or three exhaust vents on the top of the helmet would help the issue, but frankly, the Wasabi isn’t made to compete with Kask’s multi-vented helmets like the Protone Icon or the Valegro. Maybe it’s just supposed to be hot, like the Japanese condiment it’s named after.

Giro Eclipse

The Eclipse sits second in line to their pinnacle Aether model, which also uses the Spherical tech. We like that the Eclipse takes a more traditional aero approach without sacrificing ventilation because we ride in the heat most of the time. The fit is probably what we would say is a “round” fit, but because of the thick pads, none of our testers complained. 

The novelty of the Spherical dual-shell construction is entertaining at first but when riding you can’t tell it’s there. The helmet does an amazing job of keeping your head cool, especially at speed. You can really feel the air move over your head and exhaust the hot air out the back efficiently. We can’t validate any aero advantages, but the minimal vent ports on the top of the helmet definitely reduce drag versus more vents, like the similarly priced Giro Helios Spherical.


Kask Wasabi

This might not be the best hot-weather helmet, but the Kask product line has plenty of options for that. Instead, the Wasabi offers aero benefits while giving users the ability to adjust the airflow with a large center vent that slides open or closed easily. This feature, along with the addition of wool in the pad set, definitely makes this an option for those who ride in weather below 70 degrees. The biggest drawback to the adjustable vent is the added weight it incurs. At 322 grams, the Wasabi is on the heavy side for a performance helmet. 

For us, the aero benefits and added weight just didn’t make the amazing fit and feel worth it, but we also don’t spend a lot of time in really cold weather here in SoCal. When we do, we are a bit soft and still need to cover up our delicate ears, thus minimizing the effect the airflow adjustment makes. As with most aero helmets, there is also no place for your glasses, and in cold weather that can be important. Many times they will fog up when climbing, and ideally the design should allow for someplace to stow them.

Giro Eclipse

We like that Giro is putting so much effort into safety and pushing for protection beyond the minimum requirements. While the Eclipse isn’t cheap, it’s currently the least expensive Giro offering with the Spherical dual-shell tech. The rest of the line uses the more traditional MIPS liner.

Overall, the fit and feel of the Eclipse are top-notch. Although we enjoyed the large front pad, we still got some sweat drips on our glasses. Like the Kask, there is also no great place to put your glasses if you need to take them off. For us, this was the biggest issue since we do think this could be a great climber’s helmet with how well it vented even at lower speeds.


Comparing these two helmets might not be exactly even since the Kask is looking to keep you warm on cool rides and the Giro is keeping you cool on hot days. Put that aside and both brands are looking to protect you beyond what the current industry standard tests require. Giro has invested heavily into MIPS and evolving that technology, while Kask is a bit more subtle.

No helmet or technology can guarantee to prevent injury, but the helmet is truly our best line of defense when things go wrong. Every crash and impact is unique, so investing in a helmet is important. For us, the Eclipse probably wins out here simply because we ride in the heat 95 percent of the time, and it is $100 less expensive. Still, we were impressed at how well the Kask cooled us off when the front vent was open. The wool pads in the Kask offered us a bit more comfort, but the thick pads on the Giro were nice. The biggest thing for us was we didn’t have any dripping sweat issues with the Kask.

Overall, both helmets are priced high, but they are premium offerings with an abundance of style. While the Wasabi is heavier, in the correct conditions (cold) you might not need a thermal head covering as you might with the Giro, making it more comfortable overall. To us, the Eclipse best represents the next evolution of aero where neither weight nor heat are compromised. Although complaining about having no easy eyeglass storage may sound trivial, the convenience of having it is a real-world reality. So, as much as we liked each helmet, we just wish that both companies would give us someplace to dock our sunglasses while we make the climb.


• Great for temperature regulation

• No place to dock sunglasses

• Heavy and pricey


Price: $350

Weight: 322 grams

Sizes: S (50-56cm), M (52-58cm; tested), L (59-62cm)


• Great balance of aero and ventilation

• No place to dock sunglasses

• Added rotational impact protection


Price: $250

Weight: 267 grams

Sizes: S (51-55cm), M (55-59cm; tested), L (59-63cm)

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