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iXS Trail RS Helmet (discontinued)

Average User Rating: (Excellent) Vital Rating: (Excellent)
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Discontinued
iXS Trail RS Helmet - blue
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Tested: IXS Trail RS Helmet

Rating: Vital Review

Review by Jessee Maule // Photos by Colt Maule

Speed on two wheels: That has been iXS's core business right from the start, providing functional sportswear and protection created from high-tech materials that you can rely on. The Trail RS Helmet is a contemporary trail helmet which attempts to provide the perfect blend of style and quality in a design that covers a large part of the head. The Trail RS boasts ‘Dual-compound head ring for highest comfort and optimized fit, a dual-inmould, lower 360 degree inmould shell to prevent front damage, Y-clip adjustable strap system, ratchet safety closure, crash release visor, dual-compound dial adjuster, Ergo Fit Ultra, and a fully flexible and adjustable retention system’. Now that's a long list of features to pack into a "simple" trail helmet, and I was curious to figure out what it would all translate to in the real world. Well, I toted this helmet around with me during my travels and was able to put it to good use.

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iXS Trail RS Highlights

  • Full Inmould coverage for optimized absorption and weight
  • Aeration System with 22 large vents and internal air channels
  • Adjustable Bolt System MX style visor, optimized
  • Flexibility and full visual field
  • Crash-Release Visor
  • Dual-Compound Dial Adjuster
  • Ergo-Fit Ultra, fully flexible and Adjustable Retention System
  • Dual-Compound Head Ring for highest comfort and optimized fit
  • Dual-Inmould, Lower 360 Degree Inmould Shell to prevent damage
  • Y-Clip Adjustable Strap System
  • Rachet Safety Closure
  • Colors: Black, Blue, Green, Grey, Sand White
  • Sizes: SM (54-58cm) ML (58-62cm)
  • EN1078 and CPSC certified
  • Weight: +/-320g
  • MSRP: $119.00

Initial Impressions

When I first laid eyes on the IXS Trail RS Helmet, my initial impressions were that it is a quality, nice looking, stream-lined helmet. The color is vibrant, yet complimenting. The helmet didn’t appear too bulky, and when I picked it up, it felt very light.

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Putting the helmet on, I was pleased to find it quite comfortable right off the bat. One thing that impressed me and really stood out is that I didn’t feel stricken with the dreaded bobble head effect, which some lids can do to you in a hurry. The Trail RS fit snugly, yet comfortably, and I was really happy with how the Dual-Compound Dial Adjuster worked to tighten the helmet. I felt this system gave me more control over the fit when adjusting the helmet.

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The helmet has a little bit of an oval shape to fit the head versus the rounder circumference of other helmets I have worn. Being of the new school, dare I say Enduro-style, the Trail RS wraps around the head in the back to provide coverage for a larger part of the skull compared to traditional XC-style helmets, which is reassuring for when things get a bit hectic on the trail. Rocking the dreads makes me more prone to pressure points on my head and at times, it can take a moment to adjust a helmet properly to avoid discomfort. I didn’t come across that problem with the iXS Helmet.

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The padding is comfortable without being excessive or bulky, and thanks to its absorbent qualities I never had to suffer sweat dripping down on my brow line which can be a hazard of some helmets. The straps hung smoothly and uniformly and didn't require any major adjustment out of the box.

On The Trail

I had the opportunity to test this helmet in mountainous environments as well as in the desert. On every ride, I found the helmet to be breathable and well ventilated. It never caused me to feel overheated, even in sunny, warmer climates. Once I was geared up and riding, the helmet on my head was never a thought or concern. I was never struck with the desire or idea that I needed to take the helmet off my head to give my skull a breather.

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If needed, adjusting the helmet on the trail was quick and convenient. The visor offers minimal adjustment and does provide some protection from the sun. For the most part, my sunglasses fit well with this helmet too. From time to time I’d bump my head against low hanging branches in the woodlands or while hugging turns, and the helmet took these blows like a champ. It would be the sound of snagging a branch that would alert me to contact instead of the feeling that I bumped my head on something. Being a rookie tester, I lack the experience of some of my seasoned, die-hard colleagues and this time around I just couldn’t titty up and stuff my head into the ground for a proper crash test rating. With that being said, I do feel this helmet would hold up to such a test and protect my head in the event of a crash.

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Things That Could Be Improved

As far as improvements go, I would have preferred to be able to lift the visor up a little bit more due to the fact that once in a while it would catch my eye and distract me for a second [editor's note: this is a common issue on many trail lids and one that manufacturers would do well to take note of]. Other than that, I didn’t discover any major shortcomings with this helmet. The padding on the chin strap is a bit awkward and large for a strap that goes under your chin, but it wasn’t something that was continually uncomfortable. To me it just kinda looked weird. There is always the option to remove the chin strap padding to make it less bulky.

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The side of the helmet did come into contact with the arms of certain pairs of sunglasses. With some sunglasses, I can see where this might create an issue with uncomfortable contact pressure; just something to be aware of when searching for a proper helmet/sunglass combo fit. What it boils down to here is a rider’s needs and personal preference.

Long Term Durability

The Trail RS presented no particular signs pointing to any durability concerns during the test. It handled being tossed around in a van for transport, doesn’t appear to scuff easily, and it’s easy to clean off. It presents itself as a quality product that I feel confident would protect my head if the need arose, and it has held up well to life on the trail so far with out showing any signs of early breakdown or wear. I also feel that with continuous use over time, the chinstrap padding will break in and take on a more natural form.

What's The Bottom Line?

The Trail RS left me quite pleased and impressed, especially for a trail lid. I felt adequately protected in case of a crash, it fit properly, and I didn’t think I appeared overly goofy wearing the helmet. I generally prefer black helmets, but I was surprised by the fact that I actually enjoyed the vibrant, blue hue of the Trail RS and found it to be a flattering color. This helmet would be a good choice for riders of varying skill levels. It sports clean looks and is fairly priced for the quality of helmet, while being stylish and providing advanced protection for one of your most important body parts. The helmet is well ventilated and provides adequate airflow to help keep your head from overheating, and you soon forget you're even wearing it.

Visit www.ixs-sportsdivision.com for more details.


About The Reviewer

Jessee Maule’s mountain biking adventures and exploits began roughly four years ago when she and her husband immersed themselves completely into the world of mountain biking and travel. With a lifestyle that constantly takes her to different mountain biking locations, Jessee enjoys prime opportunities to put her long travel and squishy suspension to good use. Lots of saddle time in ever-changing topography provides her with the opportunity to hone her skills in all kinds of terrain while experiencing how products perform in diverse environments. While she is willing to earn her turns, her smile is grandest on flowing descents, especially if there are jumps, berms and rollers to play on, or maybe a fast, techy section with multiple line choices. To sum it up, mountain biking and traveling for a living gives Jessee the unique opportunity to put her products through the paces in a variety of locations and her gender allows for a fresh, alternative perspective.

IXS Trail in for a Surprise

Rating: Featured Member Review
The Good:

Good Fit, Multiple color choices, Comfortable, Breathes well

The Bad:

Visor does not adjust

Overall Review:

iXS Trail RS Helmet Features

  • Full inmould coverage for optimized absorption and weight
  • Aeration system with 22 large vents and internal air channels
  •  Adjustable bolt system MX style visor
  •  Crash release visor
  •  Dual-Compound dial adjuster
  •  Ergo-Fit Ultra, fully flexible and adjustable retention system
  •  Dual-Compound head ring for highest comfort and optimized fit
  •  Dual-Inmould, lower 360 degree inmould shell to prevent from damage
  •  Y-Clip adjustable strap system
  •  ratchet safety closure
  •  S/M (54-58cm), M/L (58-62cm)
  •  EN1078 & CPSC certified
  •  +/- 320g
  •  MSRP of $119.00

 

Initial Impressions

            Overall it has a solid construction that appears like iXS took their time in designing and constructing them. The padding on the chin strap was something I would immediately take off when looking at pictures, but ended up being a nice touch to tuck in the extra chin strap length. They made the visor adjustable, it does not move much, but it moves. The padding on the inside of the shell has good coverage and does not block the vents at all.

I ordered the helmet in the S/M size since I do not have a big noggin and generally run medium shells. I had to extend the retention system almost all the way out. There is just enough room for a thinner toboggan for winter use if you like to go that route. If you are a larger medium, I would upsize to the M/L size. The dual compound dial adjuster felt nice and is easy to adjust. Upon first fitment on my head it instantly felt comfortable almost like it was made just for me. Overall it has a solid construction that appears like iXS took their time in designing and constructing them. I have been wearing the helmet for about 1.5 years now through cold and snow and into 90-degree muggy Southeast heat.             

 

On the Trail

              I was happy to start using a new helmet as I have had my other one for a couple of years and it had taken a few smaller hits. I never enjoyed the fit of it either. The iXS Trail RS fits really good on my noggin and does not have any noticeable pressure points. The adjustable visor moves just enough to be out of the way for me. I can maybe see it slightly in my peripherals as well as the front lower part of the helmet. I adjusted the back retention piece the has three adjustments points and it moved it up on my forehead enough that it was not a bother.

              The vents seem to do a fine job of keeping my head cool, doing better than my previous full coverage trail helmet. It has a relatively small profile similar to other high end offerings. The padding on the inside effectively moves the sweat from your head and most drips out in the front portion. I do not wear glasses while riding and do not have any problem with the sweat drips hitting me in face.

              If an adjustment is needed while gloves are on or while riding on the trail, the retention system is a cinch to use. It only takes a twist of the dual compound dial with one or two fingers to get it just right. Something I look for in my gear is the ability to forget it is even there; this helmet does just that.

               

Long Term Durability

            Over the past year I have not seen anything that would make me believe that is will not last through a normal helmet life expectancy of several years. The straps and inner padding is all looking great so far. If something by chance did break or wear out such as the retention system or the visor; iXS has a replacement part for nearly everything in the helmet available. The parts are at good prices from what I see at retailer’s websites.

               

Things That Could Be Improved

            The only thing I could think of is the visor being a little more adjustable. It was not an issue for me, but I have heard some riders do not agree with me here.             

 

The Bottom Line

              I plan on keeping this helmet until it needs replaced either by crash or its useful life expectancy. It is a quality helmet with ample coverage for even the gnarlier trails. I have not had the opportunity to test it personally in a crash involving a blow to the head, but I do believe it would do its job and keep my noodle of a brain in tact.

comfortable, nice fit and finish, but I can't see through the sweat

Rating:
The Good:

very comfortable, nice fit, well finished, good price. looks good.

The Bad:

mips or something similar would be nice, but the biggest downfall is sweat dripping. The padding directs my sweat straight into my eyes and glasses.

Overall Review:

I bought this over the winter, fit was the best I'd ever experienced from a helmet, I could put it on and there were no hotspots or pressure points. It looks nice and the quality of finish seems great.

Last week was my first hot weather ride with this helmet.  It is very comfortable, and even does a decent job of moving air over my head, but I'm not sure I'll be able to wear this helmet over the summer: the padding seems to direct my sweat straight into my eyes.  Once I got working hard, I had sweat pouring into my glasses.  So I got rid of the glasses and figured that would be fine, except the sweat poured straight into my eyes.  In all my years of mountain biking (over 20 years), sweat straight in my eyes has never happened to me.  The helmets I used over the last couple of years (Specialized Vice and Giro Hex) somehow managed to channel the sweat away from my brow, eyes and glasses.  Only on the hottest, muggiest north-east days was it a problem. 

I'm giving this three stars because the rest of the helmet is great, and if you're not a big sweater, or live in cool, arid conditions, sweat management might not be an issue, but for me, this is going to be a big problem.

Solid and Comfortable All-Mountain Helmet

Rating:
The Good:

Great fit. Comfortable. Good posterior skull protection. Stays put during impacts. Great ventilation. Works well with glasses or goggles.

The Bad:

Chin strap pad sits off to the side, not under your chin. No bug netting on front vents. Side protection could be a little lower depending on your head shape.

Overall Review:

This is an outstanding all-mountain MTB helmet. The helmet is comfortable to wear, feels secure on your head and offers great posterior skull protection. Visor mounting is solid with three attachment points. Visor offers protection but doesn't obscure your vision.

The only improvements I'd recommend would be to ditch or change the chin strap pad and bring the sides of the helmet down a little bit. The chin strap ends up off to the side, not under your chin. The helmet could offer a little more temporal protection with slightly more helmet around the ear area.

Again, an outstanding helmet. On par or better than similar offerings from Smith, Troy Lee, Bell, etc.

Specifications

Product iXS Trail RS Helmet
Riding Type Cross Country, Trail
Rider Unisex
Number of Vents 22 and Internal Air Channels
Construction Dual-Compound Head Ring for Highest Comfort and Optimized Fit // Dual-Inmould, Lower 360 Degree Inmould Shell to Prevent From Damage // Y-Clip Adjustable Strap System // Ratchet Safety Closure // Crash Release Visor // Dual-Compound Dial Adjuster // Ergo-Fit Ultra, Fully Flexible and Adjustable Retention System
Adjustable Padding
Certification EN1078 and CPSC
Bag
Size SM (54-58cm), ML (58-62cm)
Colors Black, Blue, Green, Grey, and White
Weight 0 lb 11.3 oz (320 g)
Miscellaneous
Price $119
More Info

iXS Website

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