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Three Leatts Reviewed & Compared

Leatt Open Face Helmets

Words Tim Coleman
Photos Deniz Merdano
Date Jul 30, 2021
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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.

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Three good looking helmets from Leatt. From left to right: the MTB 1.0, MTB 3.0, and MTB 4.0 on the right.

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.

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The MTB 3.0 helmet showing off the blue discs of Leatt's 360° Turbine Technology.

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.

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The Leatt MTB 1.0 helmet in Onyx is a protective helmet at a reasonable price, and looks great.

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.

Highlights:

  • 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.

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The Leatt MTB 3.0 helmet in the Sand colourway.

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.

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Deep in the green room with the Leatt 3.0 AllMtn helmet.

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The 3.0 helmet offers plenty of protection, giving a bit of extra confidence when hitting some gnarlier features.

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.

Highlight Features:

  • 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.

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The Leatt 4.0 Enduro open face helmet in the Cactus colourway.

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Glasses safely docked on top of the 4.0 helmet.

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.

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Letting it fly in the Leatt 4.0 open face helmet.

Conclusions

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.

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Comments

danimaniac
0
danimaniac  - July 30, 2021, 2:03 a.m.

Hey Tim, thanks for the test, I'm looking for a secondary helmet, maybe the 4.0 convertible...

To understand fit: would you like to add information about your own head's circumference?

What was your preferred helmet/helmet fit before? Any comparison to the Giro Chronicle for example?

Reply

andy-eunson
+3 Tim Coleman danimaniac Leatt_mtb
Andy Eunson  - July 30, 2021, 9:18 a.m.

My head measures 55 or 56 cm. I wear the small 3.0 I’ll say this, Leatt helmets fit me well. A Fox Dropframe fits me well but very few other helmets fit me. I seem to be between small and medium with a medium too low which interferes with my sunglasses and small too tight. A couple years ago I tried just about every helmet available and only the Leatt fit my particular head. POC had the absolute worst fit. Small was painful and the medium would fit if I wore a cowboy hat underneath.

Reply

Nologo
0
Nologo  - July 30, 2021, 12:50 p.m.

Interesting how different head shapes we all got. To me most of the helmets fit either shallow or have pressure points, POC fits the best. The only other brands I found fit nearly as good are Lazer and IXS. My melon is made in Europe for the reference.

Actually TLD stage is decent fit for me, a bit tight around chin tho

Reply

Timmigrant
+1 danimaniac
Tim Coleman  - July 30, 2021, 10:01 a.m.

You're welcome. My head measures 57 cm around.

For a convertible helmet I was using a Bell Super DH before. The 4.0 Enduro feels a bit more substantial, and in the open face mode is a lot less giggly on the head. I think the 4.0 Enduro looks a bit better. Only thing I prefer with the Super DH is the chin bar is easier to install and remove. I'll have an in depth review of the 4.0 Enduro coming soon. 

For open face helmet I was using a Bell Sixer. I haven't tried the Giro Chronicle.

Reply

khai
+3 JVP Andy Eunson solar_evolution
khai  - July 30, 2021, 10:29 a.m.

One thing I'd love to see added to ALL helmet reviews is the overall shape of the lid.  Years ago I used to be able to wear most brands' helmets.  Then maybe 4-5 years ago there appears to have been a trend toward more oval (aka European) headforms.  As the owner of what appears to be a spherical melon, all of a sudden helmet purchasing has grown into an extremely difficult proposition.  If I'm able to find a lid that doesn't squeeze the sides of my head uncomfortably, it almost invariably rotates down over my eyes when ploughing through rough chunder (or simulated in shop with some moderate head banging).  I've had to resort to "lightweight fullface" models as the cheekpads help to keep the lid from rotating forward and blocking my vision.  Not a terrible idea from a protective standpoint, but half shells are much nicer when it's hot out and especially if I'm only riding mellow to moderate terrain.

Some companies make "Asian fit" models that are sold in other parts of the world but not in North America.  (Giro sells Asian fit ski helmets here but not bike)  I assume this has to do with percentage of market share and whether the manufacturer deems it worthwhile to import for the region.  A broader understanding/acknowledgement of  overall shape and how that impacts fit/comfort/protection would, imo, help to move us forward to a place where everyone can find products that fit (and thus protect) them well.

Reply

Timmigrant
0
Tim Coleman  - July 30, 2021, 12:54 p.m.

Good point regarding reporting on the shape of the helmet. I'll put some thought into how to characterize the shape best and take a stab at reporting back on the shape for my next helmet reviews. 

I've had a similar issue with helmets rotating forward while riding. My head is on the small side for the medium helmets here. I had the position adjustment of the rear strap as small as it will go, and with minimal tension from the rotary dial I've found all three of the Leatt helmets stayed nicely in place without rotating forward into my field of view. I think the 360° Turbines help with this as well vs. the MIPS helmets. You should try on a couple of these Leatt helmets and hopefully they'll be a good fit for you too.

Reply

khai
+1 Tim Coleman
khai  - July 30, 2021, 1:20 p.m.

I've tried very nearly every 1/2 shell helmet that's imported and sold locally from the ultra budget to the uber baller - including the Leatt line.  The TLD A3 came out shortly after I bought a Kali Invader v2.0, but an "out of curiosity try-on in the shop" seemed quite promising.  I recently got a POC Kortal Race MIPS which I was very surprised to have fit as POC have traditionally been VERY narrow.  This one required a tiny amount of shaping but fits quite well indeed.

Reply

kos
0
Kos  - July 31, 2021, 6 a.m.

Please elaborate on the "required a tiny amount of shaping". Very interested in your technique.

Thanks!

Reply

khai
0
khai  - Aug. 3, 2021, 11:13 a.m.

***NB: Doing anything to change the shape of a helmet, including/especially the foam, will impact the overall protective capacity of the helmet, and is not likely within the boundaries of "recommended" by any [bicycle helmet] manufacturer*** Having said the above, I did learn this technique from a motorcycle shop who in turn learnt it from Arai - the inventers of the motorcycle helmet.  So at some level at least, it appears to be "manufacturer kosher".

** Officially I do not recommend that anyone do this, ever.

This only works/works best for very small changes where you might have a hot spot or a little bit of minor pinching - I wouldn't recommend it to change the overall shape of a helmet.  Specialized tools exist in the moto industry but a teaspoon or anything hard/smooth/gently curved can be used.  Essentially you're using the tool to "dent" small areas of the foam in order to create more space.  I'm talking a mm or two max - not a big compression by any means.  Take the spoon and using your thumb or fingers, press the back into the area that you want to expand, "stroking" or "painting" the area in small sections until you've flattened/depressed it by a tiny amount.  If the average thickness of the foam is 1" and you're compressing the foam by 1mm you're losing ~1/25 of the overall thickness in that area.  I'm sure the math doesn't translate to 1/25 less protected and bear in mind that this is done over a tiny area of the helmet - not the whole thing.  

It's certainly better to have a helmet that fits perfectly out of the box with no modifications needed - but if it's really damned close this can be the difference between a helmet that feels good for 30min/1hr and then starts to hurt/give you  headache and one that you can wear all day.

Reply

WyOh
+2 Tim Coleman Velocipedestrian
WyOh  - July 30, 2021, 5:49 p.m.

I'll throw out a low tech idea for capturing helmet shape: Partially inflate a head-ish sized balloon (choose contrasting color to helmet interior) and put it in the helmet (helmet should be upside down). Use a saucer or other weight to flatten the top of the balloon, filling the helmet to the desired level. Use a tripod, to position a camera above this contraption. Take photo. I think the flattened top surface of the balloon will make it easier to see the internal helmet shape. There's my $.02, but I may owe you change.

Reply

Timmigrant
0
Tim Coleman  - July 31, 2021, 10:46 a.m.

That's a great idea. I'll try it out for my next open face helmet review.

Reply

kos
0
Kos  - July 31, 2021, 6:02 a.m.

Monty, I'll take Door Number 2 (the 3.0) in hi-viz yellow. Dang, not available.

I get "out there" alone on some rides, and figure that hi-viz is never a bad idea if S&R are flying around looking for me.

Also, hunting season.

Reply

dbozman
+1 Tim Coleman
dbozman  - July 31, 2021, 2:27 p.m.

I say it to anyone who’ll listen: I have a harder time finding a proper helmet than a bike! I’m a tall mammal with a child-size head. And a somewhat long neck. Which makes the majority of modern half-shell helmets look ridiculous.

The original Urge Enduromatic is still the best-fitting helmet I’ve ever worn. No longer available. Now I’m stuck with a TLD A1 and, when it’s cool enough to tolerate, a Fox Dropframe.

One thing that would be super-helpful in this type of review, is to take all product photos from the same angle and distance. 

And, at the risk of being pedantic, the word you’re looking for is “jiggly,” not “giggly.”

Reply

Timmigrant
0
Tim Coleman  - Aug. 1, 2021, 10:46 a.m.

LOL! Good catch. I'm giggly, the helmet's aren't jiggly!

Reply

ehfour
0
ehfour  - Aug. 6, 2021, 8:51 a.m.

Would luv to get my hands and eyes on one of these- anyone know who/where has these on hand in the LML?

Reply

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