Like many of you, I've been searching for a truly low-profile DOT half-helmet for years. To be perfectly honest my quest has reached holy-grail-like proportions and I have probably gone further than most reasonable people would bother. I've been disappointed more times than I care to mention, especially since I bought my helmets online without the benefit of trying them on or seeing a picture of them on a model. We all know about the dreaded "mushroom-cap" and for me, nothing sucks the coolness away from a slick ride more than looking like you've got half a bowling ball on your head.
I've spent a lot of time on this discussion group and not only have you guys saved me a lot of money through the classifieds and product advice, I've also learned more about my ride than I could from any service manual. Since I work in the Design and Photography field, and I've already wasted a lot of money buying all these different helmets, I thought I might as well put them to good use, and besides, I figured that this would be a good way to say thanks and hopefully put this topic to rest for a lot of you.
It's probably important for me to mention a few disclaimers about my review, first, although one helmet scored highest and was the best based in my own personal opinion, a helmet is a pretty personal item and your results may not be the same, also, I am not affiliated or in the employ of any helmet manufacturer or retailer and this review was done purely on my own, and although I have a clear personal favorite, this is a review, not an endorsement, and was done completely objectively. Additionally, I made every effort to research all my facts thoroughly, but if I made an unintentional mistake, I apologize in advance.
My noggin is exactly 22 1/8" in circumference and in all three helmets tested I am a size medium. The three helmets tested were the Head Trip™ extended half, the Daytona™ Skull Cap and the Skid Lid™ Original. I bought the latter two online and the first one through the 1-800 number found at the carbonfiberhelmets.com website (they do not have online ordering). Out of the three, my least favorite was the Skid Lid™. This helmet was the heaviest and least comfortable of the three, mainly because the straps rubbed on top of my ears rather than surrounding them (see photo), this may have to do with my own warped skull, but I didn't have this problem with the other helmets. The Skid Lid™ liner was also not as snug and form-fitting as the others and although the shell is the same size as the Daytona™ it was definitely the most "mushroomy".
The Daytona™ Skull Cap came in a distant second place. This helmet scored highest with comfort, it's very plush and form-fitting and it came down further on my skull than the Skid Lid™ almost touching the top of my ears (see photo). Although the Daytona™ is quite comfy it's appearance and design lines are probably the least attractive of the three. This helmet is available with a quick-connect clasp for an additional $9.95 and in a Carbon Fiber model for $149.95
As you can see by the graph with all the tech-specs, the Head Trip™ helmet is lighter, has a lower profile, and is made with a 50/50 combination of Carbon Fiber and Ballistic quality Kevlar™ rather than ABS Plastic. The inner shock-resistant padding is made of modified polyurethane with a styrene coating rather than the expanded Polystyrene used by the other helmets. This allows for DOT rated shock absorption with a reduced thickness. The Head Trip™ does not have a cushy fabric inner lining like the others, but this has no bearing on comfort. The Head Trip™ instead comes with three different thickness foam inserts that Velcro™ to the padding so that you can "fine tune" your helmet to fit your noggin. The Head Trip™ scored lowest on price, but it's also made with far superior materials, it's also the only one of the three made in the USA.
This Head Trip™ was by far my favorite of the three, and although it's clearly more expensive, to me it was worth every penny. The Head Trip™ is lighter, stronger and has a lower profile than any of the others I tested and was also extremely comfortable on long distance runs, with no "helmet fatigue" whatsoever. The only downside on the Head Trip™ was it's comparative cost, so with that in mind I called Advanced Carbon Composites, and spoke to the owner about my review. I told him that in exchange for a discount for anyone who reads this, I would give him all my photography and graphs for him to use. He agreed to give any one who mentions "Alex's Review" a 10% discount when they order. If your interested in the other helmets reviewed, they are both available at a variety of places (and prices) online including motorhelmets.com and ebay (that's where I got the Skid Lid™ and Daytona™).
I hope my review was enlightening, and I hope you all find some value in it, and if it motivates some of you to wear helmets who might not have normally been inclined, well that's cool too.
Stay safe and ride often…