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​by Justin Schroth

iXS has an established reputation of high quality products ranging from their line of trail-oriented gear all the way to their gravity options. Looking to build on the success of their XULT full face helmet, iXS designed the XACT full face on some of the same design principles while creating a more affordable crossover helmet. How did iXS drastically cut the cost while still using the VORTEX in-molded ventilation system and EPR emergency release systems found on the XULT? They omitted the use of their Xmatter foam and Fiber Reinforced Polymer shell, using standard EPS foam inside a molded ABS shell for the XACT. We spent the past few months in the XACT helmet and these are our impressions. 

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iXS XACT Helmet Features

  • 
Full Injected ABS Shell
  • 
Vortex-molded aeration system for airflow and cooling

  • Removable and washable padding and lining

  • EPR – Emergency Pad Removal system 
  • 
Weight: 990g

  • Certification: EN1078, C.P.S.C. and ATSM Certified
  • 
Sizes: XS 49-52cm, SM 53-56cm, M/L 57-59cm, L/XL 60-62cm

  • MSRP: $160.00 USD



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Initial Impressions

The finish and look of the XACT is stellar and impressive. Solid metal hardware on the visor, clean lines, and precise craftsmanship are what we’ve come to expect with iXS products. We’ve tested some helmets that felt “cheap” in our hands, to the point of creaking plastics as you slip the helmet on, but nothing of the sort was found here. The XACT uses a simpler ABS shell compared to the fiber reinforced polymer of the XULT and does not have the Xmatter inserts. This is the big factor in the price difference between the two models.

Gearing up for some downhill runs, as we slipped on the helmet we were met with a bit of snugness in the cheek area, but no hard pressure points to be found. Also included with the helmet is an extra pair of larger cheek pads to help customize the fit. iXS designed the visor to be shorter than the XULT, mainly to increase the field of vision but to also reduce weight and decrease the leverage force during a crash. Quick physics lesson: M=F*L which means the Moment (rotational force that would be applied to your neck) is equal to the Force applied to end of the visor multiplied by the Length of the visor. If you reduce the length of the visor, you reduce the rotational force on your neck during a crash. See mom, I’m still using my Engineering degree!

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On The Trail


As mentioned above, we thought that sizing was off as the fit was initially tight. After a few more times of putting the helmet on and off, the padding broke-in and the helmet fit perfectly. Do note though, if you are on the cusp of a size, we would probably recommend going for the larger size, especially with the option to install the larger cheek pads.

At 990g the XACT is right in line with helmets using the same materials, something that most riders will appreciate after a long day on the hill. Goggle fit was spot-on with plenty of room to spare with our Smith goggles and the large opening allowed for plenty of airflow into the goggle vents. The XACT helmet boasts an impressive amount of large air vents in the front, rear, and top of the helmet with 28 openings total.  As a result we were met with plenty of airflow once moving and didn’t notice any overheating, even on an day of lift-access runs where temps reached the 90s. We especially noticed a lot of airflow in the chin bar area, which prevents the hot-box effect of gross, sweaty air as you huff and puff down the trail. We did notice that despite the large number or vents, iXS did place a few vents in the area your goggle strap occupies. That said, the helmet still breathes very well for a full face. 

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We’ve yet to crash in this helmet so we can’t comment on long-term durability and protection. What we can say is after riding in this helmet for a number or months, it’s holding up well and the matte finish does a great job at hiding any blemishes or scratches. Concerning the preservation of your head in a crash, certifications are in place so you shouldn't have to question the safety of a given piece of gear should you need its protection. The IXS XACT does meet both the European EN1078 and American CPSC standards, as well as the ASTM standard for high-speed relevant front impact.

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What’s The Bottom Line?

We were very impressed with the iXS XACT helmet. It looks and feels great on your head and ticks off all the key points that we look for in a versatile helmet that could be used for dirt jumping, enduro, and even a day at the park. And coming in at $150, your wallet will be just as happy. 

For more information, visit www.ixs-sportsdivision.com and TheGravityCartel.com.


About The Tester

Justin Schroth - Age: 34 // Years Riding MTB: 22 // Height: 5'9" (1.75m) // Weight: 160lbs (72.6kg)

With over 15 years on mountain bikes, Justin has experienced first hand the evolution of the industry from thumb shifters and MCU cartridge forks to carbon fiber frames and single-ring all mountain bikes. As an East Coast rider, he loves trails with a combination of jumps, technical downhills, and the occasional loose corner for some foot out action. With a Mechanical Engineering degree, Justin's instinct is to always consider how it works over how it looks. After many years of racing the Northeast NORBA and Collegiate series, Justin hung up the race plate and his diploma to go behind the camera at Lucent Productions, creating mountain bike video content for several clients such as Highland Mountain Bike Park. 

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