Three Leatts Reviewed & Compared
Leatt Open Face Helmets
We're all accustomed to competitive reviews between brands in a similar market segment. But it's not often we see a series of products reviewed from a single manufacturer. I'm sure you've often wondered if that next level product is actually worth the extra expense or not. This article is written in a similar vein to T-Bone's recent piece on Leatt Gloves. I'm here with three open face helmets from Leatt that span their lineup. Leatt uses a numerical method for their range that is generally a reflection of the level of protection with higher numbers providing increasingly more protection. I've been riding in the MTB 1.0, MTB 3.0 and MTB 4.0 open face helmets. Here are my thoughts.
Leatt Helmet Features
Before diving into the helmet specifics between models, there are some common elements to Leatt's open face helmets. Leatt uses their 360° Turbine Technology in all three - the 360° Turbines are blue flying saucer-shaped bits made of Armourgel (non-Newtonian polymer that stiffens up when hit). A number of these are placed between the helmet and your noggin, and these discs are free to rotate and translate over a slippery surface inside the helmet, but they can also adsorb impact energy. Leatt claims this technology reduces rotational accelerations and linear accelerations to your brain in the event of an impact to the helmet. I haven't hit my head in any of the Leatt helmets yet, but I can say the 360° Turbine Technology looks and feels like they would respond in a similar manner to MIPS. One major upside is that the Leatt 360° Turbine method is much less giggly and squeaky than most MIPS helmets I've tried. All of the Leatt open face helmets have breakaway visors, that are designed to reduce the rotational impact force in the event of a crash. Also all of Leatt's open face helmets are certified and tested to AS/NZS 2063:2008, EN1078 and CPSC 1203.
Leatt MTB 1.0 Mtn V21 Introduction
The Leatt Mtn 1.0 is Leatt's most affordable open face mountain bike helmet. It'll set you back $110 CDN, and weights in at 320 grams. The 1.0 helmet comes with 14 vents, and is a nicely made open face helmet for the price.
Leatt MTB 1.0 Mtn V21 Ride Impressions
First impression of the 1.0 helmet was that it fits bigger than the other Leatt helmets. I had the adjuster wound in as far as possible and the size medium was a perfect fit on my head. I'm a medium in almost every other helmet brand, so if you're considering the MTB 1.0 helmet, I'd advise checking the fit before buying.
On the trail I found the MTB 1.0 to be very comfortable. It was easy to get set up, and and stayed nicely in place on my head. The 1.0 is not bursting with features, but at the price point, I think that's perfectly reasonable. The 1.0 helmet is light at 320 grams, yet feels substantial enough that I had no reservations wearing it on rides where I knew things were going to get gnarly.
I really can't find any faults with this helmet, and for the price, it's an excellent choice for a budget-friendly mountain bike helmet.
Leatt MTB 3.0 AllMtn V21 Introduction
The Leatt Mtn 3.0 is Leatt's mid-range open face mountain bike helmet. It'll set you back $220 CDN, and weights in at 360 grams.
- Adjustable visor for goggle storage
- Fidlock chin strap
- 18 vents
- Dri-Lex moisture wicking, breathable, anti-odour and washable inner liner
Leatt MTB 3.0 AllMtn V21 Ride Impressions
Moving from the 1.0 to the 3.0 is a big jump in price, precisely double the cost. So what do you get for that money that's actually worth it? For a start the fit of the 3.0 was better on my head, it felt like the range of adjustment was wider on the 3.0. The additional protection is noticeable and I like the additional features of the Fidlock chin strap, and higher quality helmet liner.
Out on the trail I really enjoyed riding in the 3.0. I found my hand naturally gravitating towards this one when going for big rides or small ones. A big part of this was the fit, but all the other features add up to a great experience. The Fidlok chin strap is so easy, fast and satisfying to use. I'm a sweaty mess when pedaling, and found the liner / padding did a good job of limiting the amount of drips coming off my brow. I think the helmet looks fantastic in this colour way. While riding the 3.0 helmet is silent, and doesn't giggle around at all. This helmet seems to melt away on your head, and that's about the best thing I can say about a helmet. The only thing I'd like to see added to the MTB 3.0 are the grips for your sunglasses from the 4.0.
Leatt MTB 4.0 AllMtn V21 Introduction
The Leatt MTB 4.0 is Leatt's most protective and feature-rich open face mountain bike helmet. It'll set you back $275 CDN, and weights in at 440 grams. This is the open face version of the 4.0 Enduro convertible helmet, which I'll be reviewing along with Leatt's DH 1.0 in a later article. You might notice some slight colour differences to the 4.0 AllMtn, but since they're the same base helmet, I've added a review of just the open face helmet here.
- Adjustable visor for goggle storage
- Sunglasses docking port
- Fidlock chin strap
- 13 vents
- Moisture wicking, breathable, anti-odour and washable inner liner
- In-molded EPS + EPP impact foam for superior energy absorption
Leatt MTB 4.0 AllMtn V21 Ride Impressions
The first impression of the MTB 4.0 helmet is that it is definitely more substantial than the 1.0 and 3.0. You notice the thickness of the foam in the helmet, and the additional weight. If you're riding aggressively in an open face helmet, this is the helmet for you. The fit of the 4.0 was excellent, with ample adjustment range left on the rotary dial.
The padding inside the helmet felt a bit thinner, and slightly less adsorbent than the 3.0. This wasn't a major issue, but the 4.0 does drip a bit more sweat than the 3.0. The range of protection with the 4.0 is wide, cutting down lower than the 3.0, and with thicker sections of foam. Looking at the relative areas of protection and thickness of impact foam the 4.0 AllMtn looks more substantial than any other open face helmet I've tried. That additional protection means additional weight, which is noticeable relative to the 3.0. While riding the helmet stayed quiet on my head, with minimal movement. While heavier, the extra weight wasn't a distraction, and didn't negatively impact my ride in any way. The 4.0 is certainly comfortable, the extra weight just meant the 4.0 didn't melt away on my head quite like the 3.0 did.
I really like the glasses dock on the 4.0 helmet. I sweat a lot, which means if I wear any glasses on the way up the lenses look like the Bonneville Salt Flats at the top. Normally I tuck an arm of the glasses down the top of my shirt, but this means they'll invariably fall out at some point and I'll run them over. With the docking port on the 4.0 my glasses stayed sweat / rain free, and never once fell out, even while descending short sections in the middle of a climb. It's a simple feature, but one I found overly useful. The visor on the 4.0 adjusts with predefined clicks, which meant it was easy to keep the visor straight and level when adjusting to fit googles or glasses.
So which of the Leatt helmets is the best then? I liked all three helmets. I personally found myself grabbing the 3.0 helmet the most. It's just so comfortable to wear, and I think it looks great. Then I ask myself if it's worth twice the price of the 1.0. The 1.0 helmet looks great, offers good coverage of protection, and some thought it was the nicest looking of the three. But considering how I ride, the additional protection of the 4.0 is probably a better fit, and I really like the sunglasses docking port. Ultimately the best of three is down to what you're looking for. The 1.0 is excellent value for money. The 3.0 is the all-rounder, and the helmet I ride in most days. The 4.0 offers the most protection for those charging hard, and has the most features. I think they're all great helmets, and would gladly recommend all three. The best for you depends on the features you'd like, and what level of protection you think you need.