Leatt Full Face Helmets Reviewed and Compared
I'm back with another comparative helmet review from Leatt. This is in much the same vein as the Leatt open face helmet comparison I did a few weeks ago, but this time with two downhill rated full-face helmets. They're two very different helmets though: the Leatt 4.0 Enduro is a DH-rated convertible helmet, while the 1.0 Downhill is a fixed full-face helmet at a reasonable price.
Leatt MTB 4.0 Enduro V21
First up we've got the convertible full-face helmet, the Leatt MTB 4.0 Enduro. A convertible helmet might not be useful for everyone, but I think they're great. If I'm going on a ride or a trip where I'm going to do a mix of bike park riding and pedaling, it offers a lot of flexibility. If you're racing an Enduro event, the convertible helmet is a great solution that gives you a full face on the descents, and open face on the climbs. The Enduro 4.0 is Leatt's top shelf convertible helmet and will set you back $440. At this price the convertible chin bar is costing you $165 over the price of the 4.0 MTB Helmet I reviewed here. The chin bar adds 410 grams to the 4.0 MTB open face helmet, bringing the total assembled weight for the 4.0 Enduro to 850 grams.
- Fully ASTM DH certified per AS/NZS 2063:2008, ASTM F1952–10, EN1078, CPSC 1203
- Adjustable breakaway visor with glasses dock
- Convenient Fidlock buckle
- 18 vents
- In-molded EPS + EPP impact foam
- Moisture wicking, breathable, anti-odour and washable inner liner
- Neck brace compatibility
- Turbine 360° Technology
Leatt 4.0 Enduro Riding Impressions
My first impression of the Leatt 4.0 was that the padding on the top rear section of the helmet was sparse. I could feel the 360° Turbines resting on my head. I thought this might get uncomfortable, but as soon as I got riding I didn't think about it again. Fit wise, the medium 4.0 fit my fairly medium 57 cm head just about perfectly. The cheek pads gave a bit of extra support for the helmet. Even when riding the roughest trails, the 4.0 Enduro remained fixed in place with minimal jiggling. Much like many other convertible helmets I find I like the helmet tension a bit looser in full face mode vs the same helmet in open face mode. For some reason when descending with the chin bar on I find I get some pain where the rear strap sits, but only when the chin bar is installed. It's not unique to the 4.0 Enduro helmet, but I thought it'd be worth mentioning. A little less tension on the rotary adjuster is an easy cure.
At first I found installing and removing the chin bar on the 4.0 Enduro more difficult than other convertible helmets like the Super DH. It's a bit tricky to get the pins on the front to line up, pivot the chin bar upwards while pulling the rear catches a bit outward to fit into their respective pockets, push the front pins in deeper, and then move the locking levers down. With some practice I've got better at installing the chin bar, but it still feels a bit clumsy. On the counter point, I really like the Fidlock chin strap. It's a small, simple thing, but it makes securing and removing the chin strap an easy and pleasurable thing to do. Once the chin bar is installed the 4.0 Enduro does feel like a fairly sturdy helmet. This isn't a flimsy open face jobby with a chin bar rigged to it. The 4.0 feels substantial, and I have no reason to doubt the DH rating.
Further on fit, I found the 4.0 Enduro helmet works well with a number of goggle brands I tried, and I liked the ample space under the visor to park the goggles when not in use. This kept them out of the rain, and surprisingly fog free even when pedaling up. All in all I found the 4.0 Enduro comfortable and irritation free through a wide range of rides and conditions.
Given the design of the 4.0 Enduro it's unsurprising that the helmet breathes really well. The venting is large on this helmet, providing plenty of cooling air over the head, and the face when in motion. When in use, the sunglasses dock does an excellent job of hanging on: even through short and rough descents my glasses stayed put in the dock.
I've thoroughly enjoyed the 4.0 Enduro for days when I ride a bit of bike park, then do a pedal lap, and maybe return for a quick A-Line lap to finish the day. The only crash I had in the 4.0 Enduro was stuffing the chin bar into a tree, and I sure was glad I was wearing the convertible helmet! So while I can't comment on the impact adsorption of the main helmet, I felt like the 4.0 Enduro was more substantial than other convertible helmets on the market. I never felt uncomfortable wearing it in the bike park, and riding at a pace I'd normally only reserve for full face days. For occasional bike park days, or those rides / trips where you only want to take one helmet but know you might get a bit gnarly along the way, I think the Leatt MTB 4.0 Enduro V21 is an excellent option.
Leatt MTB 1.0 DH V21
The MTB 1.0 DH V21 is Leatt's entry level full face helmet. The 1.0 Downhill weights in at 988 grams (for the medium I'm testing), and will set you back $170 CDN. From the outset I think the 1.0 Downhill is a great looking helmet, with good protection and features for the money.
- Downhill certified to S/NZS 2063:2008, ASTM F1952–10, EN1078, CPSC 1203
- Breakaway visor for additional rotational impact force reduction
- Moisture wicking, breathable and washable inner liner
- Neck brace compatibility
- 360° Turbine Technology
Leatt 1.0 Downhill Helmet Riding Impressions
I was pleasantly surprised by the fit of the Leatt 1.0 Downhill, and the fit and padding feels excellent - especially for an entry level helmet. I rode the 1.0 Downhill at a number of hills, and through a wide range of conditions. It isn't the fanciest or most ventilated full face I've ridden in, but it was always comfortable. The relatively low weight and good fit means it melts away once you start descending. The generous padding maintained even pressure on my face, and wicked away large amounts of sweat, so I never had a drip of sweat on my goggles. The fit of the medium 1.0 Downhill was perfect on my 57 cm head. It hugged my cheeks well, with ample clearance around the ears, and never jiggled about. I'm not entirely convinced the few Turbine 360° UFOs would allow much rotation relative to my head, so I'll have to trust Leatt on this one.
I haven't crashed in the 1.0 Downhill, but the helmet looks well made, and I have no reason to doubt the DH certifications. I've always erred on the side of having the most impact protection in a full face helmet, yet I never felt like the 1.0 Downhill was insignificant. The shell feels sturdy, and with the generous padding, the 1.0 Downhill feels like ample protection for the relatively low 980 gram weight.
In my opinion, the 1.0 Downhill also looks great, with enough styling and graphics to make it clearly identifiable, while being subdued enough that it doesn't look garish.
With relatively few features I feel like I don't have a ton to write about the 1.0 Downhill. I also don't have anything to moan about. I think it's a great full face helmet that impressed me with its fit and finish. The reasonable weight, and good fit meant it melted away on my head when I was riding. I think the asking price of $170 is very reasonable. If you're looking for a new full face helmet and don't want to spend a ton of money, I think the Leatt MTB 1.0 DH V21 is an excellent option. I can't think of a better looking, good protection, well fitting, full face helmet for the money.