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iXS Xult Full Face Helmet (discontinued)

Average User Rating: (Good) Vital Rating: (Excellent)
iXS Xult Helmet - Black
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Tested: iXS Xult Full Face Helmet

Rating: Vital Review

I'd seen a few press releases from iXS and knew this was something they wanted to present as a 'crossover' helmet, which you and I both know means "ENDURO!!!" I was curious about what the deal was and wondering if someone had actually made a full face helmet you could tolerate having on the whole time during pedally rides. Basically it sounded like something really sketchy, dangerous and gave me Giro Switchblade flashbacks. IXS got in touch with Vital and asked if they wanted to check one of these out and what color helmet they'd like to try if so. I said 'ooh pick me, pick me, and also black black plus black and maybe blue or grey'. What showed up was a surprisingly meaty fullface helmet that actually looked much better padded than some of the crash hats I used to ride DH in. This is no trail riding helmet, ENDURO!!! market or not. BUT - it's YELLOW!!! That's actually the color: YELLOW!!! Sweet.

To be fair they do at least call it that in lower case letters.


iXS Xult Crossover Helmet Highlights

  • FRP, Fiber Reinforced Polymer shell
  • Xrail, integrated Xmatter absorption foam
  • Vortex, in-moulded aeration
  • EPR, Emergency Padding Release
  • Adjustable visor
  • Washable padding
  • Double-D safety closure
  • +/-1100g - EN1078 & U.S. CPSC certified
  • Available size: SM 53-56cm, ML 57-59cm, L+ 60-62cm
  • MSRP: $349 USD

Initial Impressions

I got an ML size which is listed as 57-56 cm. I'm a pretty solid 56.5 and the pads that came installed were obviously the 56-minus ones because I could barely get the thing on. Fortunately there are two sets of pads! What must be the 57-plus set works great, pretty snug but not the boa constrictor, throb-inducing kind of tight.

Curious about what made up this helmet and how iXS had put it together, I went to the website to see what it was made of. They call it FRPTM (fiber reinforced polymer™) which is much easier to just say than abbreviate. It sounds a lot like carbon fiber and having taken a small chunk out of it, kind of looks like it too. It's not flyaway in your hands light but it's far from heavy (1150-g weighed to a claimed 1100+/-). At $349 it's got to be something really really close to carbon fiber. Perhaps some sort of glassy polymer with fibers in it, a glassfiber if you will, more carbon neutral maybe. You can read what they have to say about it here:

Yes they mention ENDURO!!! but only to bring it up to the level of DH. I respect that. I also didn't wear this helmet anywhere but lifts and shuttles. Because hey, this is a real full face. Gassed out with a chinbar in your face still sucks.

Regarding fit, honestly this just fits my head. Some helmets like the Fox Rampage feel like they have the chinstraps too far back in the shell for my neck and feel like they're choking me. Not so with the Xult. I didn't have to put any indentations in the foam like I did with my old TLD D3 to remove pressure points on that weird singular bone that exists in various degrees on the lower rear of every human head. It also doesn't have some stupid rubber flap underneath the chinbar which serves god knows what purpose other than be 'removable ready'.

On The Trail

Being a crossover helmet I expected this thing to breath. And it does...really well. As long as you're moving. You can see the big vents in the chinbar and the massive two ports by the forehead. They work. This is the best ventilated real full face I've ever worn. It's not xc lid cool like a Bell 2R but it also offers a lot more substantial protection in my opinion. It's not like wearing nothin' at all but you'll notice the airflow.

I confess I don't really like writing reviews on safety equipment because I read so many of them that end with "we haven't crashed with it yet but we're fully confident it'll perform as expected." I'm not going to go out and TRY to kill myself but it's kind of useless reviewing pads and helmets until you do. Fortunately I literally almost gave my left nut up to mountain biking while wearing this helmet, so I can write this next section in the knowledge that I did what I could to keep it real.


I had three good 'incidents' while wearing the Xult. Only one that involved genitalia unfortunately. And I know, the wrong anatomical end but hey, we try.

The first incident was at a bikepark while coming over a fairly fast blind jump with a long fall away landing (that means acceleration) to see a bro in a bro top staring at me through his bro shades in bro horror while running himself and his bro bike across the landing right in front of me. Not wanting to actually kill bro, I aimed for the bike and caught all frame and handlebars to the face. I know for a fact my face augured into his top tube because that's what I remember from the whole thing. I did get a black eye (handlebars?) but was mostly pretty unharmed. I did notice something afterwards though. I still have a visor! Public integrity maintained. I made out with a tree for a short bit during the scrotum and contents incident and knew right away that this visor was legit. Here's a reenactment of that scene from the waist up.

You can do this all day long. Xult don't care.

Something also learned during my travels was that I never got a bloody lip with this thing on. Yes that happens in some helmets. The Xult has a huge layer of rubber padding on the inside of the chinbar. It works. It's firm enough that you probably could mess up some skin but I doubt you'll be extracting teeth. It sticks out a bit so yes, you're going to contact the chinbar sooner, but it's not going to be on 1-mm of pinner foam. To me that's a better solution when you go to really mess up your mug.

Chiclet Saver.

I did get one opportunity to completely lose my sh!%, I was out of control at speed and went tumbling into oblivion, nailing the side of this thing in the process. Non concussed, but still scaring the guy riding behind me, I got a pretty good noggin whack. On a scale of that ain't nuthin to reaching for the light switch, this was an event that 'kinda hurt' in the head. I honestly rest most of my opinions of helmets on the kinds of crashes that happen a few times a year, free of major trauma but still hard enough that if there were no helmet involved, you'd be seriously injured. This was one of those. I've had old D2s a decade ago that would have hurt a lot worse and possibly led to asking the same question 20 times. I've also had a D3 that shook off this kind of hit with a little more grace and a good bit less pain. The Xult is good. I wouldn't say it's the best, but it's not bad. The Xult meets European EN1078 and American ASTM DH as well as C.P.S.C standards like a lot of the helmets out there so for the truly catastrophic hits, it's in the game like most. Since it's nearly impossible to compare the types of incidents that push these standards between helmets in any sort of review capacity, I admit and confess that this is why my opinions are formed on the lesser impacts. Like I said, this one's okay. For a helmet supposedly geared towards trail bike riding, it's great.

Worth noting though is that this cute little nick was the only scar in a crash that had my buddy behind me thinking my Whistler trip (and possibly my neck) were done with. It was with an odd bit of disappointment and awe that I saw that this was all that was done to the helmet. It was a hard enough hit that I made myself recite my address to myself a few times. Unfortunately I got it right but it was still a pretty good hit. Did I mention it was a pretty good hit? But anyway it was a pretty good hit and this is all that happened to the helmet. And it was a pretty good hit.

I know we both could do better than this next time.

There's a good surface on the bottom of the visor for a camera mount. On the bottom. Where it belongs.

Teletubby box ready.

The padding pull tabs for your buddies to use to get the thing off when you're convulsing and puking on yourself.

We're still cutting the shorts off but your helmet's good.

YELLOW!!! may not be my favorite color but it does show up in photos.

You can clearly make out the head.

Things That Could Be Improved

Those huge head blowers need an exhaust and the price for that is a lot of the rear of the helmet that's blank space. I'm not basing this on experience but the preponderance of holes over helmet sketches me out a bit. I didn't have a hard rearward head smack into something pointy, but this is a lot of 'no helmet right there'. One row of those could be deleted because a goggle strap covers them anyway, and even in ENDURO!!!, we all know goggles are a thing. All that great ventilation I spoke of earlier still functioned with a goggle strap present.

If heads could fart.

There's still a ton of foam back there and the profile of the shell should give it some strength but still.

But heads can't fart.

Through one of my adventures, maybe because of the little button that holds the foam panels in, I cracked the shell liner foam. I'm a disgusting human being so I've washed the pads a few times, but at the time of this photo I couldn't get that snap-on button to release without opening up this crack wider. The buttons are cool, but they need to let go.

More than likely a crash. I had a pretty good hit.

Not necessarily a complaint but an observation if you're thinking you're going to put this thing on and go climb 3k in Phoenix in August: Don't do it. This is a genuine full face helmet. Regardless of how trail friendly the literature might imply it is, the Xult is not something you want on your head when you're climbing at 5mph with the sun beating down on you. That's obviously for the sake of a better piece of protective equipment but even though IXS has made this with ENDURO!!! in mind, it's obvious they're talking about the descents. Not the climbs obviously but not even really long flat pedals either. It's a real full face.

One glaring omission one might notice upon reviewing iXS's other product line, the moto stuff, is the lack of ASS technology. Yes, this actually exists:

This is real!

They've obviously put some time into getting ASS onto the heads of their moto users but nothing yet for their bike line. Perhaps it's next with a dedicated DH specific helmet and then us bikers can enjoy the snug, bladder induced fit of ASS, within which a wider range of heads may comfortably be situated.

But in the meantime...

Long Term Durability

As described in a previous section, I managed to take a few good hits while testing the Xult. The visor bends and doesn't snap. The finish seems to resist remarkably well to scuffs and cuts. There's a minor crack in the EPS liner that has developed just around one of the snap-on buttons that holds the foam panels in, but all in all, the Xult is up for the abuse and should last you a good while, even if you do happen to get along with trees in a bit of an unnatural way.

What's The Bottom Line?

The Xult is kind of in an odd niche of its own. For a fully legitimate DH helmet it's really well ventilated. In other words, it will be more tolerable in the short uphill and flat gasser moments of ENDURO!!! but it will still protect you pretty well when things go south. It falls short of the kind of trail riding friendliness we were originally (and probably naively) hoping for when we first read the literature, but being objective about it all, this is really about as good as it's going to get if you still want the full-on protection.

More information at

About The Reviewer

Kevin "Kidwoo" Bazar likes to zoom. He’s been mountain biking for about 20 years now and splits time fairly evenly between a 6-inch travel trail bike, a DH bike, and hardtail dirtjumper. He’ll bitch about any of those formats if they don’t contain sustained periods of 30mph stretches or two seconds of hang-time. He’s also a video geek with footage in a few documentaries and ski and snowboard films, and occasionally some of his own obnoxious web videos of him and his friends.

Xulted DH and Enduro Helmet

The Good:

Great Ventilation
Good Visibility
Decent Weight

The Bad:

Poor liner design and fit
Poor finish quality
Limited sizing

Overall Review:

The Xult is supposed to be a downhill and enduro helmet. It almost hits the mark for both with great protection, great ventilation, and pretty decent weight. Visibility is good and the helmet easily fits most modern goggle shapes. While the Xult has a lot of pluses, it also has some pretty noticeable minuses. The biggest minus is limited sizing. The Xults limited sizing range limits the amount of riders who will get a correct fit. The other big minus is the poor liner design. The liner while removable, fits poorly in the helmet.

With a little more effort on quality and sizing, this could be a much better helmet. Hopefully iXS will come out with a revised model soon.


Product iXS Xult Full Face Helmet
Riding Type Trail, Freeride / Bike Park, Downhill
Rider Unisex
Number of Vents Over 20: 4 Large Intake Vents Force Air into the Vortex Molded Channel System, 11 Exhaust Vents, Anti-Fogging Goggle Vents, Reinforced Stainless Mesh Covers Protect Against Projectiles
Construction Fiber Reinforced Polymer (FRP) Shell, Xrail Integrated Xmatter Absorption Foam, Vortex In-Moulded Aeration
Adjustable Padding Anti-Bacterial Coolmax Material, Washable, Ergonomic Padding System, with Emergency Padding Release (EPR)
Certification European EN1078 and American CPSC and ASTM
Size SM 53-56cm, ML 57-59cm, ML 60-62cm
Colors Black/Blue/Lime, Night Blue/White, Night Red/White, Yellow/Black, Black/Silver, White/Black
Weight 2 lb 6.8 oz (1,100 g)
Miscellaneous Adjustable Visor
Double-D Safety Closure
Price $349
More Info

For more info, visit the iXS website.
For US purchasing, head over to The Gravity Cartel.

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