Abus AirDrop Full Face Helmet

Vital Rating:
Where To Buy
Free shipping on orders over $50 (continental U.S. only).
International shipping available. Some exclusions apply.
Free shipping on orders over $50 (continental U.S. only).
International shipping available. Some exclusions apply.
First Ride: Abus AirDrop Full Face Helmet
Light weight, good ventilation and numerous safety features for the first ever full face helmet from Abus.
Vital Review

Best known for their security solutions, Abus is a relatively new name in mountain biking helmets - but they’ve been steadily growing their catalog since they first decided to take on this market a few years ago. Their helmet line falls under their “mobile security” division which anybody who has ever needed or wanted a bike lock has probably come across before. The jump from locks to helmets isn’t necessarily the most obvious path to take for a manufacturer, but from a distribution standpoint it certainly makes sense, as Abus already has an established presence in cycling retail that will probably be of some use in bringing their helmets to market too. Today, the company is introducing its first full face helmet to the US market, and we’ve had a sample out on the trails for a couple of weeks now so we’re ready to give you our first impressions – read on to learn more!

Abus AirDrop MIPS Highlights

  • In-mould manufacturing for a durable connection to the outer shell with shock-absorbing helmet material (EPS)
  • Zoom Ace FF: Adjustment system to fit the head circumference
  • Collarbone protection edges
  • MIPS
  • QUIN ready - easy upgrade with the separately available QUIN chip
  • Breakaway visor bolts
  • Ambient Sound Channels (ASC) for improved hearing
  • Breathable cheek pad inserts
  • Design suitable for goggles
  • Double D-ring buckle system
  • Ventilation: excellent ventilation through 11 air inlets and 6 air outlets
  • Certifications: CPSC, DIN EN 1078, chin bar meets ASTM F1952 standard specification
  • Sizes: S/M (52 - 58 cm), L/XL (58 - 62 cm)
  • Claimed weights: 790 g (S/M), 890 g (L/XL) (+5 g for QUIN models)
  • Verified weight: 927 grams (L/XL)
  • Ships with soft carrying pouch
  • Four colors: black gold, concrete gray, polar white, velvet black
  • MSRP: $299.99 USD

Initial Impressions

The AirDrop falls somewhere between the light weight and the heavy duty full face helmet categories. It was designed for both enduro and downhill/park use, and our sample size L/XL tipped the scales at 927 grams which puts it at the heavier side of the light weight category. The shell presents a fairly imposing profile, with elaborate design language and a number of large air vents both on the intake and exhaust side.


The AirDrop features a classic EPS impact liner, which is bonded via an in-mould construction technique to the outer shell. There is also an internal “ActiCage” system, a structural cage that has been integrated into the EPS layer. Abus says that ActiCage improves the strength of the shell which in turn allowed them to increase the size of the vents. A classic MIPS layer is present under the comfort liner to help mitigate the risks associated with rotational impact energy (typically the result of an off-axis impact to the head), and the AirDrop can also be equipped with an optional crash detection system called QUIN (a small device that can be placed into a specific slot at the back of the helmet, from where it sends a notification via your phone to inform a designated contact that you’ve been in a crash). Lastly, Abus has equipped the AirDrop with an impact-absorbent pad on each side at the bottom the shell, designed to provide a degree of protection against the helmet hitting and breaking your collarbone in a crash. The AirDrop is certified to the relevant CE and CPSC standards, while the chin bar also meets the ASTM F1952 downhill standard (there is no mention of the helmet as a whole passing the ASTM certification).


The AirDrop is built around an internal adjustable harness, and the fit can also be fine-tuned thanks to the inclusion of two pairs of cheek pads of different thickness in the box. The comfort liner is relatively sparse and placed mainly around the top of the skull (similar to the type of liner you’d usually find in a half shell helmet). The shell has been shaped to provide extra space over the ears, to let you hear more of your surroundings than you would with a traditional full face. The chin strap is made of a soft, suede-like material and sports a classic double-D ring closure system. The visor is adjustable and was designed to be able to break away in the event of a crash. There’s a designated flat spot under the visor intended to accommodate an action camera mount. A small detail that caught our eye: the cheek pads have a raised plastic ridge on the outward facing side, which fits into the shell vent where the pad sits. This helps hold it in place, much better than just the usual tabs that are pressed into the shell.

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Details zoomed

On The Trail

ABUS only makes two sizes of the AirDrop; the S/M which fits heads from 52 to 58 cm, and the L/XL for heads from 58 to 62 cm. This tester is right in between sizes (with a head circumference measuring in at 58.5 cm), and on Abus’ recommendation we went with the L/XL. That turned out to be a good choice as it provides a fairly snug fit already with the thicker cheek pads installed – we would probably have had a tough time squeezing this head into the S/M.


It was easy to dial in the fit, thanks to the ratchet dial on the back of the internal harness (which is part of the MIPS system actually). The wide chin strap is comfortable and easy to cinch down, and we found the AirDrop stable in use despite our head being on the smaller side for this shell size. The MIPS layer creaks a bit when you move the helmet around, as is generally the case with this particular version of MIPS. The frontal opening is very large, and the helmet will work with any type and size of goggle. There is a dedicated channel around the back for the goggle strap, but the strap will still partially cover up two of the vents found on the side of the helmet. The visor can be pushed up a fair bit, but it’s still not ideal for storing your goggle on the front of the helmet for climbing. We got better results placing the goggle strap under the visor and the goggle around the back of the helmet for this purpose.


The AirDrop feels very “airy” on the head for a full face helmet, and once you start moving, the vents immediately provide a good amount of air flow all around your head. The chin bar features a large frontal opening which ensures you don’t have to breathe in your own hot air as you exert yourself on the way back to the top of the run. The helmet’s relatively low weight also makes it easier to wear as the temperature increases – whether that is because the sun is out or because you’re laying down another heater!

Riding 1 1

What’s The Bottom Line?

The full face helmet category has evolved quite rapidly over the past few years. We now have everything from full-on DH helmets that feel more like moto helmets to super-light lids meant to be worn both on climbs and on descents. The new AirDrop from Abus falls somewhere in the middle, with ventilation and comfort features that allow it to be used both for self-powered pedal missions and runs in the bike park (of course, if you think this makes it pretty much perfect for any kind of enduro racing, you’d be absolutely right). It is exceptionally well ventilated and will quickly make itself forgotten in action thanks to its low weight and good balance. The list of safety features is long, providing peace of mind in case of failure to keep the rubber side down. All in all, a very impressive category debut from Abus.

More information at: www.mobil.abus.com.

About The Reviewer

Johan Hjord - Age: 49 // Years Riding MTB: 17 // Weight: 190-pounds (87-kg) // 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 200-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 Johan Hjord


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Abus AirDrop Full Face Helmet
Riding Type
Enduro / All-Mountain
Freeride / Bike Park
Number of Vents
EPS, in-mould shell
Adjustable Padding
CPSC, EN 1078, chin bar meets ASTM F1952 standard
Black Gold, Concrete Gray, Polar White, Velvet Black
2 lb 0.7 oz (927 g)
Verified weight: 927 grams, size L/XL
More Info
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Where To Buy
Free shipping on orders over $50 (continental U.S. only).
International shipping available. Some exclusions apply.
Free shipping on orders over $50 (continental U.S. only).
International shipping available. Some exclusions apply.
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