Hands On: Nutcase VIO helmets combine enhanced safety & visibility w/ integrated lights

Tips & Reviews

Nutcase has always been known for their colorful, eye-catching helmets. But their newest lid is attention-grabbing in an all-new way. Casual riders, commuters, and adventure riders all stand to benefit from the VIO’s focus on safety & visibility with a helmet design that lights the way for the future of Nutcase.

360º Lighting

Nutcase VIO helmet lighting

While most Nutcase helmets are noticed for their colors and patterns, the VIO begs to be noticed thanks to its integrated LED lights. From the front, to the sides, and the back, the VIO offers near 360º lighting with white, amber, and red LEDs. Up front, the head badge doubles as a 200 lumen headlight, while the rear and side LEDs are 65 lumen. A single button at the back of the helmet controls all three lights, with 3 different lighting modes – all three steady, headlight steady and side/rear flashing, and headlight steady and side/rear pulsing. Charging is said to take two hours, which provides a three hour run time.

Nutcase VIO helmet recharging

Those micro USB rechargeable lights are in-molded into the dual density, two piece helmet shell with their patented “Exo-Skeleton” technology. The result is what Nutcase claims to be the lightest helmet featuring 360º lighting.

On the outer shell of the helmet, you’ll find a higher density foam to protect against the initial impact while the softer inner layer of foam helps cushion the head on impact.

Nutcase VIO helmet MIPS

Taking the safety story a step further, you’ll find a MIPS liner integrated into the helmet to protect the brain against rotational impacts. You’ll also find Xstatic anti-microbial pads on the inside of the helmet, including one on the retention system itself.

Nutcase VIO helmet retention system

Nutcase VIO helmet with fidlock

Sold in two shell sizes, the VIO is offered in a S/M (55- 59cm) and L/XL (59- 62cm). Both of those can be adjusted with their spin dial retention system. For an added premium touch, the helmets include Fidlock magnetic buckles on the chin strap and locking strap dividers.

Nutcase VIO helmet visor

Riders that prefer the look of a visor can snap on the included plastic brim up front. The pegs are fairly difficult to get seated, but once they finally snap into place, they seem to hold well.

Actual Weights

Nutcase VIO helmet actual weights

On the scale, the S/M helmet checked in at 429g, while the L/XL was 461g, with an additional 18g for the visor. That’s not super light in the world of helmets without lights, but for a helmet with multiple lights, MIPS, and a visor, it’s impressive.

First Impressions

Nutcase really shot for the moon with the VIO and it shows. Nearly every aspect of this helmet seems well thought out and offers a premium feel at an attainable price point of $149.95. Like other helmets with only two shell sizes though, the fit will work better for some riders than others. I find myself right in the middle of the two sizes with the S/M tight at the temples, where the L/XL just feels a little big. However, I still fit within the adjustment range of the retention system and the larger helmet provides ample room for winter headgear, which has been helpful with recent testing. I’d say that the fit profile will be better for those with more round head shapes, than oval.

Overall, the VIO feels very well ventilated with the three huge vents in the front of the helmet swallowing large volumes of air. I haven’t had the chance to test out the helmet in truly hot conditions, so I can’t speak to that, but my first impression is that this should be a comfortable helmet year ’round.

On one hand, the VIO is yet another thing you’l have to plug in and charge for your ride, but in this case, you’re charging one device instead of three different lights. Combine that with the fact that they’re integrated into the helmet making it impossible to forget them for your next ride, and you have a very intriguing helmet from Nutcase that seems perfect for anyone looking to increase their visibility with a safe, comfortable helmet.


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