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7iDP Project 23 Carbon Full Face Helmet

Vital Rating: (Outstanding)
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7iDP Project 23 Carbon
 7iDP Project 23 Carbon Full Face Helmet  7iDP Project 23 Carbon Full Face Helmet
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Six Months in the Field - 7iDP's Project.23 Full-Face Helmet

We put 7iDP's Project.23 through the wringer, find out how it fared.

Rating: Vital Review
Six Months in the Field - 7iDP's Project.23 Full-Face Helmet

In the spring of 2019, 7iDP launched its all-new full-face helmet, dubbed Project.23. The idea was to create a helmet that offered riders incredible protection while keeping their head cool. Using a full shell design (as opposed to in-mold construction) 7iDP packed features like a carbon shell, Fidlock buckle, anti-microbial liner, and more into its premier offering. We've been testing one for over six months now and have drawn our conclusions on how the new helmet from 7iDP stacks up.

Strengths

  • Lightweight
  • Impressive airflow
  • Easily removed and installed pads
  • Fidlock Magnetic chin strap buckle
  • Easy-adjust visor
  • Distinct goggle strap form

Weaknesses

  • Lacks variety in color and design options

Product Highlights

  • Carbon outer shell (as tested)
  • Extra helmet liner and carry bag included (as tested)
  • 922g large helmet
  • 23 vents
  • SERT pads act as a slip plane
  • Break-away, adjustable visor
  • Fidlock chin strap
  • Six sizes (XS-XXL)
  • Custom-fit pads available
  • Meets or exceeds CE, SPSC, AS, ASTM F1952-15 standards
  • $349.99 (as tested)
  • Fiberglass ($239.99) and ABS ($149.99) models available
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Initial Impression

As one should expect of any top-shelf helmet, the Project.23 carbon comes in its own carry case, complete with internal pocket and ventilation to keep things from getting stuffy. Removing the helmet and giving it a once-over, we were pleased with the finish of the lid. The helmet came with a spare liner, another nice touch.

The Project.23 features a break-away visor that also has a healthy range of indexed up and down adjustability. The visor's design does allow for it to be easily moved with just one hand, pretty handy when riding during dusk. Adjusting the chin strap was a simple affair and we were elated to have a Fidlock magnetic buckle.

We popped the chin pads out rather easily. They are held in with a button interface. Reinstalling them was also a snap. Enduro racers may find this a nice feature for transfer stages and improving breathability on the go. The helmet liner clips into place with rivets across the brow and at the back of the helmet.

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Beneath the liner is portions of 7iDP's SERT material which acts as an intermediary between the EPS foam and the rider's head. SERT technology is a smart foam and is stated to reduce energy transfer by up to 20% in a crash. SERT will also act as a slip plane, reducing forces transmitted to the brain. One can push on the SERT material, it is soft and returns to its original shape. Having a dual-density setup is rather appealing since even the lower-speed impacts to the head can have lasting effects.

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With a head measurement of 58cm, we landed in the size medium category. The helmet fit just as it should, a firm hold but not restrictive and free of any pinching. Riders can fine-tune the fit with available aftermarket pads from Seven. After reassembling the pieces of our helmet, it was time to hit the trail.

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On the Trail

We took receipt of the Project.23 shortly after its launch and it has been our go-to anytime we needed a full-face lid. For six months we've been using the Project.23 for bike tests and days on the trail. Brisk, rainy spring days to the heat of summer, our test helmet saw everything but a crash in its time with Vital. With all this time, the Project.23 full-face helmet was used in three distinct scenarios: trail rides with consequential descents, bike park uplift days, and e-bike riding.

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Trail Days

While the Project.23 marketing does not explicitly say this helmet was designed for trail usage, at the least, many enduro racers run full-face helmets when the clock is running. We did take the Project.23 on some trail rides where additional protection would otherwise be prudent, even with a bear of a climb. This particular tester does run a bit hot and tends to push more sweat into helmet pads than most, which means a full-face helmet on climbs is a bit much. We tried climbing while wearing the Project.23 with the cheek pads installed, as well as removed (for more ventilation). Pulling the cheek pads did cool things down considerably and would be a solid choice for riders on transfer stages. Otherwise on those slow, steep grinding hills, the Project.23 was darn hot and had us sweating bullets. The tradeoff coming during the descents where the confidence stemming from additional protection meant for a delightfully rowdy trip back to the car. In all, we did use the Project.2323 a few times for testing purposes but it was not an endeavor that seemed worth the tradeoff as to become a habit.

Uplift/Bike Park

This is where most riders will (or should) reach for the full-face lid and genuinely is where the Project.23 shone brightest. Helmet fit is pretty subjective but elements such as the softness of pads and general compliance can still be called out. The Project.23 earns high marks in both, with a liner that is soft to the touch without attracting too much moon dust (as can happen with fuzzy liners). We found the Project.23 to be supple enough for a proper head fit but no so supple as to have the helmet moving about or bouncing out of position on the trail.

For our Yeti SB165 DH Project bike, the Project.23 helmet saw tons of time in the park.

In a sign of the times more, bike parks were requiring masks when in line and on the lift. Already a fan of the magnetic Fidlock buckle feature, it proved extra handy in being able to easily unstrap the helmet and pull up our mask, inside the helmet. We wish more helmets used a magnetic closure like this over the traditional D-ring.

Even on the hottest days, we found the Project.23 to keep us reasonably cool, moving tons of air when riding. We noticed this most during filming, when hiking back up a section when, "one more shot" was required. After some slow trudging uphill, getting the wheels moving created a brisk cooling effect over the scalp.

E-Bike Rides

When Vital did its initial e-bike Test Session, it was agreed that we would all wear full-face helmets. We thought things might get a little rowdy, and we were right. When throttling out these big rigs, our top speeds were far greater than anticipated and every tester was thankful for the additional coverage. During testing, some days were a cool, rainy affair and others had us desperately seeking shade from the hateful sun.

The joy of riding an e-bike is that climbs happen at a much higher speed, allowing the Project.23 to make use of its cooling design. Where we would be hitting a boiling point during regular mountain bike rides, adding the motor meant more airflow and less effort going uphill. Mate that to 40MPH downhills and we have to say the Project.23 is a very wise choice for those getting rowdy with their e-bikes.

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Long Term Durability

When you sweat a lot, helmets tend to get a little...funky. Even in washing pads regularly, some of that swagger sinks into the helmet itself. We are happy to report our Project.23 is still fresh, without the funk. After repeated washing, the liner and cheek pads have held their stitching and original soft touch. In all, barring a crash, there is nothing about this helmet that is cause for concern or appears to be breaking down prematurely.

What's the Bottom Line

Project.23 is a top-shelf helmet, offering a myriad of safety benefits in a light, breathable package. We are impressed with the overall finish and durability of our test helmet. For a carbon fiber shell and premium trim offerings, 7iDP is right in the mix with its $350 price tag. If riders want to save a little money, all of the same technology is offered in a less-expensive fiberglass shell. When it comes time to get your gravity on, the Project.23 will give riders all-day comfort and hold up well in the long run.

Head to 7protection.com to learn more.


About the Tester

Brad Howell- Age: 41 // Years Riding: 26 // Height: 5'9" (1.75m) // Weight: 165-pounds (74.8kg)

Brad started mountain biking when a 2.25-inch tire was large, and despite having threads, bottom brackets sucked. Riding in the woods with friends eventually lead way to racing, trying to send it at the local gravel pits, and working in bike shops as a wrench to fix those bikes. Fortunate enough to have dug at six Rampages and become friends with some of the sport’s biggest talents, Brad has a broad perspective of what bikes can do and what it means to be a good rider. The past few years Brad worked in the bike industry and got to see the man behind the curtain. These days, though, he just likes riding his bike in the woods with friends.

Specifications

Product 7iDP Project 23 Carbon Full Face Helmet
Riding Type Downhill, Enduro / All-Mountain, Freeride / Bike Park
Rider Unisex
Number of Vents 23
Construction Carbon fiber shell, Fidlock closure, snap-off visor design
Adjustable Padding Removable, washable liner and replaceable pads
Certification CPSC Bicycle and ASTM F1952-15 (Downhill)
Bag Pro carrying case
Size S: 55-56cm, M: 57-58cm, L: 59-60cm, XL: 61-62cm, XXL: 63 - 64cm
Colors Raw Carbon/Gloss Electric Blue, Raw Carbon/Gloss Grey
Weight 2 lb 1.5 oz (950 g)
Miscellaneous Reduced weight and improved breathability
SERT (Seven Energy Reduction Technology) manages impact energy
Slip Plain rotational force management
Three versions available: Carbon Fiber, Fiberglass, and ABS
The same mold is used on all three versions
Price $349
More Info

Lightweight and Ventilated: 7iDP Project 23 ABS Vital MTB First Ride

7iDP Launches Project.23 Full-Face Helmet Line (press release)

7iDP Website

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