Our sport is truly a globalized one, with manufacturers spread across the globe and input coming from consumers reaching through just about every corner of the planet. It is truly amazing how well our industry functions with this far-reaching inspiration and innovation.
LS2 helmets are a child of this global industrial innovation, too. What started out as a company that designed and built helmets for other manufacturers in 1990, soon morphed into a much bigger company. As development of every aspect of the helmet design moved in house, the parent company, MHR, decided to bring its own brand to market and in 2007, LS2 was born. Based in Barcelona, Spain, LS2 now tightly control design, testing and construction of every helmet coming to consumers.
Now, I have seen a lot of helmets in my day. So when a new one comes in, I still get that new helmet feeling of a tinge of excitement, but in the end, it’s just a new helmet, right? When I opened up the box for the new LS2 Subverter MX470 helmet, I was honestly taken aback a bit. You get used to a certain look and feel from an off-road helmet and when I popped open the lid to the box, I can honestly say that my first thought was that I had been inadvertently sent a new mountain biking helmet. You don’t often see so many vents on the top of an off-road helmet!
The resin construction of the shell has a solid feel, and you’d think the helmet would be super light in weight with all the vents, but it actually feels a little heavy compared to other helmets. But that weight is deceiving. Let me explain. The LS2 helmet is designed with a long oval shape that helps it fit well. When first put on, the Subverter fits really snug, so you think it is too small. Honestly, it does fit a little snug and in my opinion runs on the small side of true to size, so if you’re not used to a snug fit on your helmet, go to the next size up. My test helmet fit well and was snug at first, but was extremely balanced front to back and side to side. This is a key part of the way that the helmet’s weight is deceiving. It feels a little heavy, but once it’s on, you don’t really notice the weight.
The removable interior foam liner is shaped very ergonomically, so it fits well and grips your head. It is covered in a breathable fabric that aids in cooling and works well with the multitude of vents and ports. It is honestly impossible to get hot while wearing this helmet and that aids the fit while riding too. It is so ventilated that you forget you’re wearing it.
The interior shell is made from a multi-density foam that absorbs impacts very well and from multiple directions, a feature that many helmet companies are working toward to prevent brain injuries. This along with the shell gets the helmet full DOT and ECE 22.05 safety ratings. Further adding to the safety of the helmet is the chin strap system. It is reinforced and connects to the helmet shell via a sturdy metal plate. The double D-ring connections are solid and the helmet features an emergency release system to help emergency responders and het the helmet off your head with less chance of injury in the case of the worst-case scenario.
These helmets are visually striking and look just as good as they work. The chin bar is well ventilated and offers a wide range of protection along with adding to the cool look of the helmet. The visor also adds to the overall look, however we did notice that when you have it in the lowest position, there is a small area that allows sunlight to hit you square in the eyes depending on how you hold your head. We rarely, if ever, have our visors down that far anyway, but it is something to be aware of.
We paired the Subverter with one of the more unique goggle options on the market today – the CKX 210°frameless goggle. These goggles have a flexible polyurethane frame and an injected-molded, pre-curved polycarbonate lens. By keeping the frame to a minimum, they open the viewing area to the extreme edges of the goggle, making your visible area massive compared to other goggles.
The CKX goggles have thick dual-density face foam that seals tightly on your face as you wear them. They keep out dust and debris while allowing decent airflow to aid ventilation. There is a built-in nose guard that comes down to aid in protection for your nose while not being too constrictive.
The combination of the 210°frameless goggle and the massively ventilated Subverter helmet worked very well for our testing and we found that while these are two products that don’t fit the norm for either category, they ended up being pleasurable to use. The helmet offers up so much air movement that it feels like you’re not wearing anything resembling a traditional off-road helmet, and the frameless goggle design opens up the field of view. Add in the strapless connection system and the wild styling of the LS2 helmet and it wasn’t unusual for us to get a lot of questions and comments from people we met along the trail.
For more information on the LS2 Subverter and CKX 210 Goggle, please visit : Kimpex.com