X-Lite X-1003 flip-up helmet, £350
Time tested: Four months/1500 miles
What’s good? The fit and finish of this flip-up touring helmet was immediately reassuringly and on a par with much more expensive flip-ups I have tried. This helmet quickly became my default day-to-day choice as the flip-up design means the chances of being told to remove my lid at some petrol stations is much reduced when they can see your face. The visor system with Pinlock works well and doesn’t fog up at all, the flip-down sun visor works well on those low-level winter sunny days too. The venting is very good and it remains sealed from the horrible weather in rainy and cold days. It feels well-made with a very plush lining, which remains warm too.
What’s not? There is a small blemish on the paint on the chinbar and I am not sure how that was allowed to make it through X-Lite quality control. Also, at the risk of sounding a little vain I have never used a helmet that has left me such disastrous ‘helmet hair’. The shape of the liner leaves me looking like I have trapped my head inside a waffle iron with Vanilla Ice tramlines. I am 41 years old so it’s not a good look! The chin curtain comes out of the flip-up section far too easily. Like many flip-front lids it’s a little noisy and the visor doesn’t have a way of just clicking open a fraction to allow a little airflow.
Quality rating: 4/5
Value rating: 4/5