First Look: Bell Sanction 2 DLX Full Face Helmet

Bell expands its full face helmet line with two new value-packed, entry-level models designed with cues from their premier Full 10 Spherical model.

Back in February, Bell rolled out the Full 10 Spherical. Representing the peak of their full face helmet technology, the only downside to the premium model was its $650 price tag. Eager to offer riders a quality helmet no matter their budget, Bell has introduced the Sanction 2 and Sanction 2 DLX. Aimed at new and seasoned riders alike, the entry-level models retail for $120 and $180, are offered in sizes XXS-XL, and use trickle-down features from the Full 10 to deliver a light, breathable, and value-packed full face helmet.


  • ABS shell with EPS liner
  • Certifications: ASTM-1952-DH, ASTM-2032-BMX, EU: CE EN1078
  • Adjustable flying bridge visor
  • 14 vents
  • Fidlock buckle
  • Sanction 2 
    • Sizes: XXS-XL
    • Weight (size medium): 1040g
    • MSRP: $120 
  • Sanction DLX
    • MIPS Essential
    • Ionic+ antimicrobial padding
    • Sizes: XS-XL
    • Weight (size medium): 1080g
    • MSRP: $180 


The Sanction 2 and Sanction DLX use a typical ABS shell with an EPS liner to pass all current, major safety certifications. However, neither carries the new NTA 8776 e-bike standard. The DLX model also employs a MIPS Essential liner for added rotational impact protection. 


The new shell design shares a similar silhouette to the Full 10 Spherical. A welcomed departure from the original Sanction's dated design, the Sanction 2 has a much rounder profile, stout chin bar, wide goggle opening, and Bell's signature Flying Bridge visor.


14 vents are used throughout, with large, unobstructed exhaust vents on the sides and back. Inside, both helmets use Bell's ventilated DH air padding. The DLX model also features an Ionic+ Antimicrobial linear for odor control. All pads and liners are washable. 

The Sanction 2 uses a Fidlock magnetic buckle instead of a traditional D-ring closure for easy, one-handed release.

 Bell claims both helmets weigh just over 1,000 grams for a size medium, which is very competitive for a full face helmet. For comparison, the Full 10 Spherical weighs around 1,100 grams. The Sanction 2 is available in size XXS-XL(head size 48-61cm), and the Sanction 2 DLX is available in size XS-XL (head size 51-61cm).


The Sanction 2 retails for $120, and the Sanction 2 DLX retails for $180 ($200 for special colorways and signature models). Historically Bell rarely strays away from the safety of subtle and simple colorways. But, for an entry-level helmet aimed at a wide range of riders of any age (technically, age 5+), some loud and bold colorways were thrown into the mix. We received the Matte Black/White colorway, which will likely resonate with those wanting to blend in. 

Initial impressions  

We logged a handful of rides in the Sanction 2 DLX in the sleek Deft Matte Black/White colorway. The size medium mirrored the fit of past Bell helmets we've worn, with a more wraparound fit that cradled the rear of our head and cheek pads that sat snug to our cheeks and jawline. We enjoyed the updated shape and curves of the shell that gave the helmet a high-end look. Looks aren't everything, but it's great to see Bell invest time into developing an entry-level helmet that shares design elements with their halo products.  


Immediately after slipping on the helmet, it was very noticeable that ventilation was a priority during development. On the trail, the helmet stayed relatively cool despite the 90-degree heat of Northern California. The multiple large vents pulled air in and out of the helmet, and the padded liner left a few channels for air to flow. We have found that good ventilation as a result of pads that have periodic contact with our head can create pressure points. Luckily for the Sanction 2 DLX, we only noticed one pressure point towards the back of the helmet that quietly went away after 30 to 45 minutes of riding. 


The helmet also stayed in place and didn't move around or shake on rough descents. We tested with 100% Armega and Scott Prospect goggles, and both fit nicely without issues. 


Overall, we've enjoyed our time in the Sanction 2 DLX. For a sub $200, MIPS-equipped full face helmet, it's hard to beat the breathability, ventilation, fit and clean styling. If you're in the market for a new pocket-friendly helmet going into bike park season or to take racing enduro, check out the Sanction 2 DLX! 

For more information, please visit

Tested by: Tanner Stephens

Photos by: Drew Boxold

View key specs, compare, and review Bell Helmets in the Product Guide.


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