100% Aircraft Full Face Helmet

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100% Aircraft - R9 OCEAN
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Tested: 100% Aircraft Fullface Helmet

With sharp looks and a long list of features, the updated Aircraft now also offers MIPS. Read our review to find out how it stacks up on the trail.

Rating: Vital Review
Tested: 100% Aircraft Fullface Helmet

When 100% first released the Aircraft helmet a couple of years ago, its striking looks and long list of features caught our eye. After testing it, we were happy enough with that first edition, but 100% has since released an updated version which addresses a key issue we had with the original, in addition to now featuring MIPS as well. We've put the latest version to the test, read on to find out how we got along.

Strengths

Weaknesses

  • Comfortable
  • Offers high levels of protection
  • Stable in use
  • Light weight
  • Finish and quality
  • Sharp looks
  • Adjustment range of visor still slightly restricted
  • No spare visor included

100% Aircraft Highlights

  • Carbon / kevlar composite shell
  • Active Cooling System with 25 vents
  • Comfort liner - washable, anti-bacterial liner, cheek pads and chin strap covers

When 100% first released the Aircraft helmet a couple of years ago, its striking looks and long list of features caught our eye. After testing it, we were happy enough with that first edition, but 100% has since released an updated version which addresses a key issue we had with the original, in addition to now featuring MIPS as well. We've put the latest version to the test, read on to find out how we got along.

Strengths

Weaknesses

  • Comfortable
  • Offers high levels of protection
  • Stable in use
  • Light weight
  • Finish and quality
  • Sharp looks
  • Adjustment range of visor still slightly restricted
  • No spare visor included

100% Aircraft Highlights

  • Carbon / kevlar composite shell
  • Active Cooling System with 25 vents
  • Comfort liner - washable, anti-bacterial liner, cheek pads and chin strap covers
  • Emergency release cheek pads
  • Integrated release system compartment
  • MIPS
  • Compatible with most popular neck brace systems
  • Titanium D-ring buckle
  • Adjustable visor
  • Light-weight aluminum mounting screws
  • Helmet case with integrated goggle pocket included
  • Meets ASTM Downhill and BMX standards
  • ASTM, CPSC, CE and AS//NZ certified
  • Sizes: XS, S, M, L, XL
  • Weight: 1070 grams (size medium, verified)
  • MSRP: $450 USD

Initial Impressions

The Aircraft is an impressive piece of kit, its edgy design and sharp graphics scream “shred me” from the first time you pull it out of its bag (a very nice helmet “hangar”). The crisp paint job and the visible carbon weave conspire to give the Aircraft a very exclusive appearance. The style is unmistakably moto-inspired, but the low weight and relatively slim profile make it clear that this is a mountain bike-specific helmet. In fact, at just 1070 grams with MIPS, this is one of the lightest, fully certified DH helmets you can buy today.

Inspecting the helmet in finer detail we discover features like a titanium double-D ring strap closure, an anti-microbial liner, a ton of vents and of course now the MIPS layer, a slip-plane that is designed to allow rotational forces to be dissipated before they can reach the brain in the case of an off-axis impact. The Aircraft shell also features a compartment designed to accept an “Eject” inflatable helmet removal system, as well as removable cheekpads, both intended to make helmet removal easier and safer after a crash.

Finishing off the initial inspection, we discovered that 100% has addressed one of the small gripes we had with the original version: a visor that did not go up far enough. On this new version, the visor can slip past the stops in the helmet shell to provide another few degrees of upwards rotation. Since the visor is pretty long, this is crucial to being able to position it out of the field of view.

On The Trail

The Aricraft is a light helmet, and that is what it feels like when you put it on. The fit is snug, but the helmet runs true to size. This tester measures approx. 58-59 cm around the head, which places him just between medium and large – the medium tested here proved snug but not uncomfortable. Notably, there are no pressure points nor is the fit “weird” in any way. In terms of padding, the Aircraft has that “fullface feel”, but the padding feels slightly less cushiony than a D3 for example.

On the trail, the Aircraft does a great job of staying in place and keeping you cool. Some of the vents appear quite small externally, but the internal channels are big enough to provide good airflow in most circumstances. A smart detail: the vents that get covered by the goggle strap are angled backwards and also feature a couple of small ridges to help keep the strap from fully blocking the airflow. On the topic of goggles, we tested several different goggles from various brands with success. For best results, go for a goggle featuring an “outrigger” design, as these extra “arms” help provide good pressure on the goggle by reaching around the padding of the frontal opening.

In the heat of the battle, we found the Aircraft to be fully up to the task at hand. The ventilation is more than adequate, and even though the fit is snug, the helmet breathes well, especially around the mouth and face. This means you could possibly wear it for racing enduro as well, even if you have to keep it on for the climbs. The ventilation doesn’t quite measure up to one of those new, super-breathable fullface helmets, but then the Aircraft is really built for DH use which usually comes with that kind of trade-off - within that family of helmets, it’s up there with the best. Thankfully, we've yet to really put the protective capabilities of the Aircraft to the test, but knowing that it meets all applicable standards helps put the mind at ease here.

Things That Could Be Improved

Despite the visor having been given a bit of extra room to rotate upwards, it’s still present right at the top of the field of vision. It’s not something we would notice while riding, but it’s there if you look for it.

We also think that a $450 helmet could include a spare visor in the box. They are available to purchase separately should you need one, but including one from the start would be a nice touch.

Long Term Durability

We have been using the latest version of the Aircraft for about 3 months now, and it’s still looking every bit as fresh as the day we got it. We’ve had a few minor tumbles during this time, and the helmet has also seen plenty of uplift and shuttle truck action, with nothing but a couple of small nicks to show for it. The finish seems to hold up really well, and the interior padding is easy to remove for washing, so we don’t see any reason why you shouldn’t get years of loyal service from your Aircraft – as long as you keep the rubber side mostly down, of course. Always replace helmets with EPS liners following a major crash, as they may look OK but have reduced shock-absorption capacity as a result.

What’s The Bottom Line?

A mountain bike helmet does not have an easy job. It needs to provide great protection, not weigh too much, offer good ventilation and of course, look the part as well. The 100% Aircraft ticks all these boxes, making it a formidable competitor in the full-featured, no-expense-spared fullface helmet category.

More information at: www.ride100percent.com.


About The Reviewer

Johan Hjord - Age: 45 // Years Riding MTB: 13 // Weight: 190-pounds (86kg) // Height: 6'0" (1.84m)

Johan loves bikes, which strangely doesn’t make him any better at riding them. After many years spent practicing falling off cliffs with his snowboard, he took up mountain biking in 2005. Ever since, he’s mostly been riding bikes with too much suspension travel to cover up his many flaws as a rider. His 190-pound body weight coupled with unique skill for poor line choice and clumsy landings make him an expert on durability - if parts survive Johan, they’re pretty much okay for anybody. Johan rides flat pedals with a riding style that he describes as "none" (when in actuality he rips!). Having found most trail features to be not to his liking, Johan uses much of his spare time building his own. Johan’s other accomplishments include surviving this far and helping keep the Vital Media Machine’s stoke dial firmly on 11.

Photos by Nils Hjord and Johan Hjord

First Ride: 100% Aircraft Full Face Helmet

Helmets, in general, are a tough product to produce. Not only do they have to meet multiple safety standards, they have to do so while looking good. Not every helmet pulls off both a sleek design and superior function, and when we first started seeing images of the 100% Aircraft full face helmet, we could at least see that it nailed the element of sleek design. We picked up the new helmet directly from 100% and performed the always-difficult ritual of dropping a new lid on the ground for good luck. Now it was time to see how the 2015 World Championship-winning helmet performed.

100% Aircraft Features

  • Carbon / kevlar composite shell
  • Active Cooling System with 25 vents
  • Comfort liner - washable, anti-bacterial liner, cheek pads and chin strap covers
  • Emergency release cheek pads
  • Integrated

Helmets, in general, are a tough product to produce. Not only do they have to meet multiple safety standards, they have to do so while looking good. Not every helmet pulls off both a sleek design and superior function, and when we first started seeing images of the 100% Aircraft full face helmet, we could at least see that it nailed the element of sleek design. We picked up the new helmet directly from 100% and performed the always-difficult ritual of dropping a new lid on the ground for good luck. Now it was time to see how the 2015 World Championship-winning helmet performed.

100% Aircraft Features

  • Carbon / kevlar composite shell
  • Active Cooling System with 25 vents
  • Comfort liner - washable, anti-bacterial liner, cheek pads and chin strap covers
  • Emergency release cheek pads
  • Integrated compartment accepts inflatable emergency release systems
  • Compatible with most popular neck brace systems
  • Titanium D-ring buckle
  • Available in two shell sizes and three EPS sizes - XS, S, M, L, XL
  • Adjustable visor
  • Light-weight aluminum mounting screws
  • Helmet case with integrated goggle pocket included
  • Meets ASTM Downhill and BMX standards
  • Meets ASTM, CPSC, CE and AS//NZ standards
  • Weight: 1060g (tested, size XL)
  • MSRP: $400 USD

Initial Impressions

As with most high-end full face helmets, 100% has included a helmet bag with the Aircraft. The front-loading bag features a small pouch on the inside of the access flap, which has ample room for a pair of goggles and gloves. Upon removing the helmet from the bag, we were met with a stellar raw carbon, red, white, and yellow paint job. The shell itself, liner, gold-anodized visor hardware and stainless vent screens all scream quality.

When we first put on the Aircraft, we did feel the cheek pads to be a bit snug compared to our previous D3 helmet. It isn’t uncommon for a new lid to fit a tad snugly, so time will tell as the pads break in. 100% does offer the cheek pads in multiple thicknesses, so should this become an issue the remedy is as easy as ordering a thinner set. According to 100%’s fit chart, our tester's 61cm head is at the bottom of the range for the XL, and we feel that sizing recommendation to be pretty accurate as we could definitely not fit into the large.

We used a variety of goggles with the Aircraft, including 100%’s own Racecraft and Accuri models, as well as Smith Intake and Spy Omen goggles. Fitment of all pairs of goggles we tried was good. One thing we’ve seen on other full face helmets that tout a high number of vents, is a few of those vents get covered by the goggle strap. The Aircraft is guilty of this with four small vents under the strap. But, unlike most other helmets with this issue, 100% has designed this area in a way that the strap actually rests off the shell, over the vents, allowing hot air to escape the helmet.

On The Trail

Despite the cheek pads fitting a little snugly (something we quickly forgot about as we dropped in for our first run in the Aircraft), the helmet is actually rather comfortable. We experienced no weird pressure points. Our XL helmet weighed 1060 grams, so the light-weight nature of the Aircraft aids in the comfort department as it is one of the lightest full face helmets we’ve tested. Shifting around, sliding down and all other common fitment issues have all been nonexistent with the Aircraft. Though, after a number of months in the lid, the cheek pads do remain a bit snug, albeit better than when new. This may be an experience based on our face shape and as we mentioned, thinner pads are available.

What Could Be Improved

While we're overall very impressed by the helmet, there are a few short-comings with the Aircraft we should point out.

The chin bar does sit a little bit close to our nose and mouth, allowing hot breath to linger a little longer than we’ve experienced with other full face helmets. This issue is further made noticeable because the Aircraft has moto-style foam material around the main three vents that are directly in front of the nose and mouth, impacting air flow. This foam could probably be removed to improve air flow, but we left it in for the duration of our test.

Finally, the visor doesn't raise up enough to get completely out of our field of vision and is still visible when things get steep. Even with goggles on, this is the case. We did talk with 100% about this and they said the visor will be revised on the MIPS version of the helmet which going forward, will come standard with the helmet.

Thankfully, we’ve kept things mostly rubber-side-up for during our time in the Aircraft helmet, so we can’t comment on the crash effectiveness of the helmet based on first-hand experience. But, that’s what safety standards are for, right?

What’s The Bottom Line?

The 100% Aircraft is right up there with other class-leading full face helmets and pricing is comparable when considering both the non-MIPS version and the MIPS equipted version, which retails for $450. We found the Aircraft to offer a great fit (which continues to improve as the cheek pads compress), a well-thought-out design that runs fairly cool, and great looks to boot. Pending a few minor improvements with opening up the chin bar vents and allowing the visor to be set a bit higher to get it out of sight (which 100% has done with the new version), 100% could have one of the best helmets on the market. Even without those minor tweaks, would we recommend the Aircraft full face to a friend? That's a big, old “hell yes.”

For more information, visit www.ride100percent.com


About The Reviewer

Fred Robinson - Age: 31 // Years Riding MTB: 13 // Height: 6'1" (1.85m) // Weight: 240-pounds (108.9kg)

"Drop my heels and go." Fred has been on two wheels since he was two years old, is deceptively quick for a bigger guy, and likes steep, fast trails where he can hang it off the back of the bike. Several years of shop experience means he's not afraid to tinker. He's very particular when it comes to a bike's suspension performance and stiffness traits.

100% Releases Their New AIRCRAFT Full Face Helmet

Carbon, lightweight, lots of vents and a sharp-looking design. It looks like 100% checked all the boxes of what makes a stellar full face. Available in three colors and five sizes, check out the newest addition to their line, the AIRCRAFT.

Press Release

The premier Downhill MTB helmet from 100% has landed. The AIRCRAFT is precision engineered with a Carbon/Kevlar composite shell providing an ultra-lightweight design. Airflow is managed through 25 channels to create the most ventilated helmet available.

Removable and washable comfort liner, emergency release cheek pads and aluminum hardware complete the package. Each helmet comes with a durable helmet bag with integrated goggle pocket.

The Aircraft comes in 4 colorways: Bi Turbo Blue, BI Turbo Red, R8 White, Raw Black and is available in 5

Carbon, lightweight, lots of vents and a sharp-looking design. It looks like 100% checked all the boxes of what makes a stellar full face. Available in three colors and five sizes, check out the newest addition to their line, the AIRCRAFT.

Press Release

The premier Downhill MTB helmet from 100% has landed. The AIRCRAFT is precision engineered with a Carbon/Kevlar composite shell providing an ultra-lightweight design. Airflow is managed through 25 channels to create the most ventilated helmet available.

Removable and washable comfort liner, emergency release cheek pads and aluminum hardware complete the package. Each helmet comes with a durable helmet bag with integrated goggle pocket.

The Aircraft comes in 4 colorways: Bi Turbo Blue, BI Turbo Red, R8 White, Raw Black and is available in 5 different sizes: X-Small, Small, Medium, Large, X-Large.

Features

  • Ultra-light design featuring aerospace Carbon/Kevlar composite shell.
  • Active cooling system maximizes airflow offering more ventilation than any other helmet.
  • Washable, antibacterial comfort liner, cheek pads and chin strap covers.
  • Emergency release cheek pads for quick, safe removal.
  • Integrated compartment accepts inflatable emergency release systems.
  • Compatible with most popular neck brace systems.
  • Titanium D-Ring buckle provides a secure fit while saving weight.
  • Engineered with 2 shell sizes and 3 EPS sizes to achieve the perfect fit.
  • Adjustable visor with machined light-weight aluminum screws.
  • Durable helmet bag with integrated goggle pocket included.
  • Accessories: replaceable visor, mouth piece, comfort-liner, cheek pads, and visor screws.

For more information, check out 100%'s blog.

Big Head Review

Rating: Featured Member Review
The Good:

Venting, looks, comfort, weight, design and color options.

The Bad:

No extra cheek pad inserts like TLD helmets come with.

Overall Review:

Function

I have a large head. For full face, I wear size L in 661, XL in Giro, XL in TLD, and Fox helmets don't fit me super well. I went with the XL size from 100% and I am happy with the fit. To get the right fit, I had to purchase slimmer cheek pad inserts. Some of the more expensive helmets I have owned came with an extra set of pads or two to ensure the proper fit. It would have been nice to have that included.

The venting has been great. It offers fewer vents than some helmets, but while going fast downhill you will stay dry and cool. The sound experience inside the helmet is different than others I have owned as well. This helmet will make you feel faster just because of the airflow sound. It is very comfortable as well. The padding keeps a snug fit.

The helmet has a great field of

Overall Review:

Function

I have a large head. For full face, I wear size L in 661, XL in Giro, XL in TLD, and Fox helmets don't fit me super well. I went with the XL size from 100% and I am happy with the fit.  To get the right fit, I had to purchase slimmer cheek pad inserts.  Some of the more expensive helmets I have owned came with an extra set of pads or two to ensure the proper fit.  It would have been nice to have that included.

The venting has been great.  It offers fewer vents than some helmets, but while going fast downhill you will stay dry and cool.  The sound experience inside the helmet is different than others I have owned as well.  This helmet will make you feel faster just because of the airflow sound.  It is very comfortable as well.  The padding keeps a snug fit.

The helmet has a great field of view, especially when paired with the 100% racecraft goggle.  I have been very happy with the fit compared to my smith and oakley goggles I tried.  Just be ready to fork out more money for some new goggles.

Durability

Durability is hard for me to comment on because I have not crashed yet.  The paint has held up well with a few pre-ride drops while I wasn't wearing the helmet.  100% sends a nice quality travel bag that has room for goggles as well.  That has kept the helmet in good shape while transporting it.  The construction feels quality and I was satisfied with the crash ratings.  Hopefully that helps.  Good luck with your search.

The Other D3

Rating:
The Good:

Looks, venting, color options, weight, fitment, hemet bag

The Bad:

No extra cheek pads

Overall Review:

Picked up this helmet because I was looking for something a bit different than a D3 but didn't look awkward like some full face helmets. Enter the Aircraft - good looks, paired with color options and things that really matter, great venting and light weight. Sizing is true to size, finish on the helmets is really good and has held up well for over a year of use. Includes a helmet bag to store in which is a nice touch that also has goggle holders. Have never felt overly hot in this helmet and doesn't feel like its on weight wise after a day of downhill riding. Great helmet and worth the price.

Specifications

Product 100% Aircraft Full Face Helmet
Riding Type Downhill, Freeride / Bike Park
Rider Unisex
Number of Vents 25
Construction Carbon // Kevlar Composite Shell
Adjustable Padding Removable
Certification ASTM Downhill and BMX, CPSC, CE & AS // NZ bicycle standards, MIPS
Bag Durable helmet bag w/ integrated goggle pocket included
Size X-Small, Small, Medium, Large, X-Large
Colors R9 Ocean, R9 Fire, Dexter, Raw II
Weight N/A
Miscellaneous Already loaded with performance and safety features, all Aircraft helmets now come equipped with MIPS Technology making it an even safer choice.
Price $450
More Info

​​www.ride100percent.com

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