We recently spent time with an all-new offering from Scott that lands in the mid-priced range of motocross and off-road helmets. Dirt bike helmets are a tough thing to get your head around (or to get around your head, as the case may be). We all want a top-level helmet but the balance between features, function and price is often difficult. At $300, the Scott Airborne Grid helmet blends all three with a level of styling that will certainly appeal to a wide range of riders.
The most important job for any helmet is to provide safety and the Airborne exceeds DOT and Snell standards in America and ECE and BSI standards for Europe and Australia. A pre-impregnated carbon fiber hybrid shell acts as the outer layer with tri-density EPS foam on the interior. The liner is a comfortable dual-layer and I noticed some pressure on the cheekpads which took a little longer than normal to break in. Of course, they are removable and washable. The pads press up high and to the rear of the cheek which is a result of their design. A wide eyeport pushes the slim pads a bit rearward. Both of our testers noticed the feeling immediately, but quickly adapted to the sensation.
As much as we want to provide the best reviews possible, we generally try not to conduct crash tests. However, on one particular ride (not my best outing) I managed to crash three separate times, the last of which was a heavy spill while running out of control on a steep descent. A trip over the hangers put me headfirst into a pile of trailside logging slash. My head, shoulder and arm took the majority of the impact and my noggin was the least affected. Though it was my no means a catastrophic pileup, it’s the type that can easily leave a rider dazed for a few moments. The exterior held up very well and I was thrilled that the visor didn’t come apart like I expected – only suffering small cracks.
The Airborne is offered in several different patterns, but the Grid is my favorite thanks to the standout colors on the chinbar and nose vents. Our helmet is the grey/black colorway which uses gold accents on the two vent intakes and the visor bolts. Airflow across the rider’s head is adequate. We were never hot but have yet to notice too much venting. Stainless steel mouth vent does a good job of stopping roost and rinses out easily. I also like that the rubber roost guard on top of the nose is relatively unobtrusive.
Overall I thoroughly enjoyed this helmet, even during the crash-test portion. It has met every expectation in terms of safety, rides comfortably, doesn’t feel cheap like price-point lids and yet won’t break the bank. It’s a quality helmet at a fair price.