I really liked the protection and ventilation of my Giro Aether but I was never fond of the fit. I was on the largest size and it always felt a tiny bit too small, a different shape than my previous Giro helmets (Foray & Synthe) and it was constantly resting on my sunglasses. The new Helios is a bit lighter in the large size then my Aether and only just a little heavier than my non MIPS Synthe which is reasonable given the enhanced protection. On the ventilation side I haven't noticed much difference between the two but it's not gotten hot enough here to really tell, my guess is the Aether might be slighter better. On the general fit it's way better for me, no more sunglasses issue, a lot more comfortable especially on the 4+ hour rides. It also has the vertical adjustment on the Roc Loc which was missing on the Aether. Probably the only negative is it does not have the little sunglasses rest in the helmet but it still works fine you just need to be a bit more careful about placing them in enough.
I have the roadie version as well and it's comfy so I snagged this one too. The meshy upper combined with the lace-up closure leaves a tad to be wanted in the support department but it's not too bad. I think its fine for a recreational gravel application and can make for quicker drying on the fly. The color is a bit bluer than the photo. Those dark dots are less noticeable and the hue is closer to Caribbean pastel than the wheat-fed slate slabs pictured. Better than black or white.
Gloves are like saddles and shoes: There is no "best," only "best-for-you." These gloves deliver for my large, bony hands--very plush. Giro sizing is random, and constantly changing--I have worn Xl and XXL in Monaco, I got these in M because reviews said they ran large. Brand new, they were skinsuit-tight, but they stretched to a comfortable, but snug, fit. I could easily size up, but I think the padding would bunch at the base. I think these are an excellent choice if you need some extra cush, and the fit suits you.
I am a recreational road rider, with most rides in the 20 to 30 mile range, and occasionally twice that. I like the lightness, ventilation, and compactness of this helmet. Even on sale, it is not cheap, but it looks great and fits my head very well. Over the last 15 years, I have used both high end Giro helmets and Laser Helmets. For a number of years Laser had a definite edge in fit and comfort, but now I prefer the Aether. I think the big difference is how the helmets handle the MIPs technology. I find that many MIPs helmets exert a wierd torque on my hair. Aether does not.