A lightweight, extremely ventilated road helmet with an emphasis on aero.
A little more support on the section of the straps where they exit the helmet to prevent them from vibrating in the wind.
The comfort, adjustability, and ventilation make this helmet a force to be reckoned with.
We've been under the cover of the Specialized Prevail helmet for well over 4 months and many, many miles now.
In our opinion this is where this helmet has a significant edge on the competition. It is hands down the most comfortable helmet we have tested to date. It's not just that it's a lightweight and well ventilated helmet (those are a dime a dozen) it's more about the fit. It seems like Specialized has done everything right in the comfort department.
The first thing we noticed when we initially tried the Prevail on, is how well it fits. After you buckle up and head out for a ride, a good helmet is (or should be) a distant memory. If it's not, then there's usually a reason, something rubbing or digging into your melon, or maybe you're sweating so bad that you can't see. The best thing you can say about any helmet is that you don't think about it all. That's pretty much the story with the Prevail helmet. It does what truly great helmets do...it disappears altogether.
We've tested this helmet in some pretty awful conditions. Several long rides in 100+ degree temps and this helmet certainly keeps it's cool (well...cool may be pushing it but airflow is very good). Fourth dimension cooling (basically vents along the forehead) is designed to bring air up and over the head for maximum cooling. An area that typically gets little attention from most helmet designs especially in the ventilation department. A design that should help with the always annoying sweaty sunglasses syndrome. How many times have you been out on a hot ride and had sweat pouring down your forehead and on to your sunglasses? A lot, right? Us too, and it sucks. After putting this helmet through the paces we feel the design of this cooling system is a real standout in the ventilation department.
Weight or lack thereof
Very light, the Prevail tips the scale at just over 200g. Several things that we have read about the Specialized Prevail suggest that Specialized focused on aerodynamics over weight concerns with this design. Hey, we're certainly down with all things aero, but it seems, to us at least, that they focused on both. It may not be the absolute lightest on the market, but it's still pretty freaking light, and the comfort factor far outweighs a few extra grams on the scale. Add to that the aerodynamic design and you'd be hard pressed to find a better all around helmet.
The Micro-adjust Mindset fit system is very adjustable. It has a dial type retention system similar to what you find on many helmets these days. The wheel of the dial is small compared to other systems that we've used and we like it.
It's very easy to dial in the fit or make small adjustments on the fly, even one-handed. The Prevail also has several levels of height adjustability at the rear of the helmet. Another nice touch that allows you to fine tune your own customized fit. You simply slide the rear part of the retention system in or out to get the desired fit.
The Prevail also features the Tri-Fix retention system. In other words, there's no strap adjustability at the ear like most traditional helmets have. This system hasn't given us any issues, and in fact, we personally prefer this system. We like the simplicity of it and the fact that there's less stuff to jack with. It seems to be more comfortable than traditional systems as well and it gives the ears plenty of clearance.
The Prevail also uses ribbon-like straps on the chin strap buckle. We like the material that these straps are made out of, they're light and comfortable. Our only gripe with them is that they tend vibrate in the wind occasionally, despite several attempts to adjust them.
Below you can see a couple of images that show the comparison of the Prevail with a few other popular helmets.
Pretty pricey, but oh so nice. If you've got the coin this helmet is where it's at.
TriBomb Bottom Line
A home run in our opinion. Our review of this helmets lands it up there with the best that we've tried.