Louis Garneau P-09 Time Trial Helmet Review

louis garneau p-09

Louis Garneau P-09 Time Trial Helmet Review

The Louis Garneau P-09 is Louis Garneau’s time trial and triathlon helmet offering.  The P-09 replaced Louis Garneau’s previous offering, the Vorttice, and brings improved aerodynamics, improved ventilation, and an improved lens system.  The P-09 offers many high end features at not high end prices and its performance is quietly excellent.

The most noticeable feature of the Louis Garneau P-09 is the golf ball like dimples on the front of the helmet which are used to reduce drag.  Like on a golf ball, the dimples on the P-09 create a thin turbulent boundary layer of air that clings to the surface of the helmet.  This allows the smooth flowing air to follow the helmet’s surface for longer which creates a smaller wake and reduces drag.

Developed in collaboration with aerodynamic gurus Alphamantis, you know you are getting a fast helmet with the Louis Garneau P-09.  Other aerodynamic features include a reduced frontal area as well as improved airflow over the shoulders compared to its predecessor, the Vorttice.

louis garneau p-09

The Louis Garneau P-09’s new visor system is easy to install and remove with one hand thanks to a mount that clicks into place and a simple release tab.  The P-09’s visor flips up to make putting on and taking off easy.  Retractable ear flaps add to the ease of putting on and taking off and eliminates that ear mangling discomfort caused by some time trial helmets.

While the Louis Garneau P-09 uses Garneau’s Pro-lock ratcheting retention system for a secure, adjustable fit, the straps on the helmet do feel like a little bit of an after thought.  The straps feel a little heavy and the elastic band used to hold the extra straps definitely could do with some refinement but it does do the job.

louis garneau p-09

For a helmet with only a single vent, the Louis Garneau P-09 is surprisingly cool, even with the vent closed.  I used the P-09 for a couple of hot time trials and was impressed by how cool the helmet kept my head, alleviating all fears of over heating.  A number of deep channels on the inside of the helmet contribute to good air flow by pulling air across your head.  The Ice-Fil pads also do a great job at managing sweat stopping it from dripping into your eyes, which is a big problem for me.

The little things really put the Louis Garneau P-09 over the top from a great helmet to an excellent helmet.  It comes in a lot of cool colours, especially Splash, and includes a helmet bag to protect that cool paint job.  But the main thing is that it comes with a padded carrying case for the visor, an extra that doesn’t come with many more expensive helmets.

In conclusion, at $350 the Louis Garneau P-09 is a steal of a deal.  At almost half the price of some of its competitors, the P-09 shares many of the same features of more expensive options while including some extras they don’t.  The P-09 is easy to put on, comfortable, and cool.  Plus, you know you are getting a fast helmet thanks to the collaboration with Alphamantis.  The Louis Garneau P-09 is quietly excellent.  Like all good helmets, it seems to disappear on your head leaving nothing to distract you from the pain in your legs during your next time trial or triathlon.

Louis Garneau P-09 Good:

  • easy to put on
  • surprisingly cool
  • all the little things it comes with

Louis Garneau P-09 Bad:

  • straps seem like an after thought