A brilliant helmet with a proven recipe made even better by solar tech and always-on light
- Added visibility
- No charging required
- Comfortable fit and performance
- Stealthy aesthetics
- Spin rotational slip-plane liner
- Pricier than regular POC Omne Spin
- Only available in black
POC is a pioneer when it comes to pushing the envelope in terms of the design and safety standards of protective sports equipment. The Swedish brand is widely known for its impressive range of ski and cycling paraphernalia - headlined by helmets and eye protection - and has recently taken things up several notches when it comes to innovation.
Back in 2019, it showcased its Solar Switch technology at Eurobike with the POC Aspire Solar Switch sunglasses - an item that thoroughly impressed us through the use of a two-in-one light-reactive LCD lens. And it's the concept of solar and portable energy that seems to be the driving force behind POC's future rhetoric - dovetailing neatly between its stance on safety and sustainability.
POC has always been a proponent of strategic collaboration, particularly when it comes to companies that share the same core ethos and values. These companies include twICEme, a brand that helped produce the POC NFC (Near Field Communication) Medical ID chip helmet (which stores your critical information), and Exeger - a firm that specialises in sustainable energy. Exeger has helped bring the Omne Eternal Spin helmet to life through the use of a revolutionary material that may very well change the way we think about the best road bike helmets.
Design and aesthetics
We first caught wind of this project when POC and Exeger presented the idea and concept of a self-powered helmet at the Rouleur Classic in London in 2019. While details on the ground were thin, when POC makes a noise there's almost always something floating around in the R&D centre.
As a brand that likes to stand out from the rabble, POC has earned a reputation for not following trends - be it through the use of eccentric, bright colourways or bold design architecture. Of all its offerings, however, the POC Omne blueprint is arguably its most refined helmet to date, particularly when it comes to the balance between ventilation ports and structural bracing. Placed alongside each other you'll be hard-pressed to tell the Omne Eternal apart from the regular Omne such is the precision of the Eternal's solar panel placement. Looking at the helmet real estate on offer - the bracing more specifically - it's easy to see why POC elected to use the Omne as a canvas. Visually, it's an intriguing helmet with beautifully sculpted channels and shapes, recesses, and reliefs that create a dynamic and rousing package.
Finished in matte-back the Omne Eternal does a good job of hiding the solar panel integration - technology POC and Exeger refer to as Powerfoyle. The execution is seamless thanks to the unique and nano-like properties of the Powerfoyle material. As is the integration of the rear light itself which occupies the bottom section of the POC-logo-adorned horizontal diffuser. Everything else is identical to the standard Omne Spin helmet.
Like the standard POC Omne Spin, the Eternal is built around an optimised, variable density EPS core and covered in a hardy, outer shell which doubles up as an aesthetic measure, too. The shell, however, doesn't cover all of the EPS foam and this can and will lead to cosmetic damage if neglected. Our standard Omne has picked up a couple of small dings and the Eternal could suffer similar pockmarks, especially around the undercarriage which is particularly exposed.
In terms of cooling properties, the Omne Eternal possesses 10 vents - four at the front, four at the top and two at the rear. There's a large cross brace or central panel that arcs across the top of the helmet - and it's this particular section of helmet that POC has used to lay Exeger’s unique carbon positive solar material, the Powerfoyle. But how exactly does it all work? Well, the Powerfoyle converts light to electricity in ambient light conditions, both artificial and natural, and powers the integrated rear light with endless energy. Not only is the light bereft of any kind of physical switch, it always flashes and only requires an hour of light exposure per day to remain charged.
Structurally, this innovative and unobtrusive Powerfoyle has helped POC keep helmet weight down to an absolute minimum. In fact, weighed back-to-back the Omne Eternal (330g) comes in just 25g more than the regular Omne Spin (305g) both in medium guises. The clever packaging has also done little to inhibit overall functionality, especially when it comes to rotational safety - the Eternal gets the company's in-house Spin (Shearing Pad INside) technology, which doubles up as a padding and anti-concussion mechanism.
Which such minimal changes, the POC Omne Eternal Spin helmet is no different from its siblings when it comes to performance, fit and ventilation. While it's not the lightest helmet in the lineup (that's reserved for the 180g POC Ventral Lite) it never feels too heavy - after all, POC's 360-degree retention system allows you to tailor the fit and comfort levels according to your preferences.
Strap management is superb. The straps run directly on the inside of the helmet - as opposed to anchoring on the bottom - which provides a better interface when wearing sunglasses over the top.
That said, it's the added layer of visibility that makes the Omne Eternal Spin the standout helmet in POC's range. The fit-and-forget nature of the Eternal concept means there's no need to worry about pressing any buttons or charging it for that matter - simply placing the helmet on the head will automatically activate the technology.
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The past few years have seen POC soar above its rivals in terms of advancements in the safety and technology stakes. The Swedish company has taken the helmet concept and literally turned it on its head - supplying sustainable solutions by addressing bicycle safety and visibility for all road users.
The Omne Eternal Spin helmet is not merely the most advanced road bike helmet currently on the market it also represents a precursor of other big things to come from POC. While some may argue that the darker colourway is counterintuitive given the brand's lineage of high-vis fluro hues, the self-powered nature of the Omne Eternal helmet's rear light nullifies the need to use colour for added visibility.
Of course, something of this ilk is not going to be cheap but the Omne Eternal isn't massively expensive either. At €250 / $250 / £220, it brings an unrivalled bouquet of helmet safety to cyclists of all abilities and an added sense of assurance when riding outside, regardless of the prevailing light conditions. As it currently stands, it's easily the best road bike helmet on the market.
The POC Omne Eternal Spin will be available for purchase by the end of autumn.
Tech Specs: POC Omne Eternal Spin helmet
- Price: €250 / $250 / £220
- Rotational safety: Spin
- Weight: 330g (medium, actual)
- Aero: No
- Sizes: Small, medium, large
- Colours: Black
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