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The pinnacle of MTB fullfaces would be a good way to describe the Fox V3R carbon full face helmet. Fox trickled down the technology and design from their V3 motocross helmet and created the V3R that meets off-road standards for bicycles. They overlooked no detail in the process of its development.

Video rundown of specs and looks of the Fox V3R Carbon that was on my head all summer
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I've basically been a "budget" full face kind of guy. For some reason I didn't like spending money on helmets. If they were inexpensive ($150 or less), didn't look too horrible and met an acceptable level of certification, then I figured I was good to go. Then I was also given a Troy Lee D2 a few years ago and wore that for a while, but always wondered if I a little under-gunned for a serious DH crash. Earlier this summer, Fox sent me the V3R Carbon. The moment I opened the box, I saw what I'd been missing.
PhotoThe lid I ran all summer with some paint-pen customizing in the big "FOX" area

The details are what make this helmet stand out. The helmet is surprisingly light, especially considering it has the look of a moto helmet. The design uses clean lines and the lid uses a bold, but neutral graphics package. The finish and quality are visibly evident and make the price seem justifiable as every piece and feature of the helmet is mated together extremely well. There are no gaps between materials, and removable pieces stay secure when attached.
    The vents and air-flow ports might be overlooked at first, but when this lid is studied, you can see that making a comfortable and safe helmet that can be worn for hours at a time was a top design priority. The two ports above the forehead area can be opened or closed to work with riding conditions and the strapping system is comfortable, easy to use with gloves and double-secure with a snap lock to keep the strap tucked away.
PhotoThe use of carbon and kevlar in the shell of the helmet keep the weight of the V3R down and the bling factor high. I never felt like I had a bulky "moto-style" helmet pulling my head around when downhilling this summer. Often times, I'd have it on during lift rides because I forgot to take it off in between runs or just wanted to keep the sun off my face. I never minded having it on, even on warmer days.
     Another testament to the comfort level is the padding. The Coolmax liner and cheek pads are removable and washable and the design of the liner and pads are what make this helmet fit so well. The budget-minded and low-profile helmets I'd used in the past had bits of padding that were stuck to the EPS inside...never a complete, dedicated padded liner. With the V3R Carbon I did not have any pressure points on my head. That was because of the high quality liner and it made all the difference.
PhotoOverall verdict? Two thumbs up! I'm going to run this helmet as long as I can. The fit and security of the the V3R gave me a confidence on the trail. I wasn't seconding guessing the safety or fit of my helmet when things got hectic or up-to-speed and that translated into a better riding experience this summer.
     The Fox V3R Carbon changed my outlook on helmet price vs. get what you pay for. If I was a rider who was upside down, on his head every other run, I may shy away from a helmet in this price range...but that's not my style. I wear the helmet for safety when things go wrong, but I also desire a high level of comfort and function. The V3R meets both of my demands and I even just noticed it was on sale in the Fox Racing store for only $279 ($100 off MSRP!). No excuses now...

Official Specs from Fox Racing
# CPSC and ASTM approved for off road riding
# Carbon fiber and Kevlar construction
# Rear venting for airflow
# Multi-channel internal EPS liner for airflow distribution
# Removable and washable Coolmax comfort liner and cheek pads
# Wide eye port for peripheral vision
# Venting system included 10 intake ports and 4 exhausts
# Adjustable intake vents open up and lock down
# Removable mouthpiece for cleaning

PhotoHelmet with liner and cheek pads removed
PhotoAt Whistler during the V10 Carbon camp. Photo: Jordan Manley
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