Review: Oakley's DRT5 Helmet Isn't the Lightest, But There's No Shortage of Features

Aug 1, 2019
by Daniel Sapp  


Oakley is a widely recognizable name in the premium eyewear market, but over the years they've also made other products - bags, gloves, shoes, and so on. More recently, the brand rolled out their road bike helmet line, and now they've entered the mountain bike helmet world.

Oakley's new DRT5 helmet is a full-featured trail riding helmet. It provides extended coverage in the back and has several features that help it stand out. There's an integrated sweat guard (we'll call it a sweat gutter from here on), a BOA fit system, eyewear landing zone, adjustable visor, and MIPS system. There are five different color options, including a Greg Minnaar signature edition. It weighs 475g and has a dozen vents, plus some larger flow channels, to keep air moving. MSRP is $200 USD.
DRT5 Details:

• Construction: polycarbonate shell, eps foam, MIPS liner
• Adjustments: BOA system, 3 position vertical adjustment, adjustable visor
• Comfort: 13 vents, two air channels
• Sizes: Small (52-56cm) / Medium (54-58cm) / Large (56-60cm)
• Five colors
• Weight: 475g/16.75oz
• CPSC 1203, EN1078 and ANZ2063 Certifications
• MSRP: $200 USD
• Contact: Oakley



Construction and Features

The Oakley DRT5 helmet has several unique features. The eyewear "landing zone," as Oakley calls it, consists of two clips that flip up and then latch down to secure sunglasses (or really, anything that will fit) to the back of the helmet when they're not in use. The clips can secure most brands and styles of sunglasses. If a rider doesn't want to use them, e.g., you're wearing goggles, Oakley includes a pair of plugs to cover the holes cleanly.

There's a BOA 360 fit system that cinches the helmet down to exact fitment on a rider's head. The system uses thin cables that don't interfere with eyewear, and it's adjustable vertically in the back to three different positions.

The silicone sweat guard (gutter) is designed to stop sweat from dripping into a rider's eyes. It's soft and comfortable and drains condensation back toward the rider's ears. It helps keep the helmet secure to the rider's head as well. The helmet also comes with an X-Static pad that can be used in place of the sweat gutter.

The helmet shell is polycarbonate. Below that is a layer of EPS foam with a MIPS protection system. The MIPS system is used in a variety of helmets, and is a low-friction layer designed to reduce rotational motion transferred to the brain during an impact. There's a distinct lack of padding in the DRT5. In fact, the helmet only has one pad, in addition to the sweat gutter, at the top of the head, and the MIPS liner sits directly on the rider's head.

Last but not least, the visor is adjustable to several different positions in order to provide a spot for goggles when they're not in use.




Ride Impressions

Oakley's DRT5 helmet looks great right out of the box. It fit well on me and the BOA system coupled with the sweat gutter keeps the helmet very much in place on the head (and sweat out of the eyes). It's got a little bit of heft to it, but that's something I could write off if the helmet also performs well otherwise. I have been riding the helmet for the last several weeks in fairly high heat and humidity, ideal weather to see how ventilation and that sweat gutter perform.

There are a few key points worth making regarding the performance of the helmet:

Sweat Gutter: The sweat management system Oakley have integrated into the helmet works great for me. It does exactly what it's supposed to in keeping the sweat out of your eyes and off of your glasses. With your head tilted down while climbing you can feel it pool up a little above it. With your head upright, it drains by your ears. I'd prefer it not be in my ears, but I'd take that over my eyes or glasses any day. The sweat gutter also keeps the helmet in place, and although it leaves impressions on your forehead, it is comfortable.

BOA System: The BOA system works flawlessly. It's easy to reach for an adjustment and provides even tension around the head to hold the helmet in place. The fit of the helmet is snug and secure, especially with the sweat gutter helping keep things in place.

Eyewear Landing Zone: The eyewear landing zone clips work well. There were no issues keeping glasses in place, even when I unbuckled and basically tore my helmet off of my head after a bee found its way in the other day. In most of the promotional photos of the helmet it shows glasses with the lens up, but I found that in the tight trails I ride I had issues smacking them on limbs and low trees that I typically didn't have with others.

I have been running the glasses, lens down, with more success. While it may not be as secure, they are still more secure than with nearly any other helmet and I have not experienced any issues dropping them. I've also used a number of different brands of glasses including Smith and POC. All of which fit in the clips without issue. The clips are easy to use while riding if you're comfortable riding with no hands and it's not much of a process to flip them up, helmet on head, and secure or remove your glasses.

MIPS and Pad System: The MIPS system being directly on the head without any additional padding, save the one pad at the top of the helmet, isn't as hot and sweltery as I imagined. The helmet's performance in hot weather has been decent, but there are better options on the market when it comes to overall ventilation. There's also the fact that the MIPS liner does has a tendency to keep your hair moist, since there's no padding to absorb sweat.

There are two pins where the MIPS system attaches that can be uncomfortable to me if the helmet is tilted even a little bit forward. They become pressure points and it's pretty undesirable. That said, I had two other testers ride with the helmet and they did not have the same experience. Helmets, like other gear that goes on your body, fit differently for everyone, so while this seems to be an isolated issue, it's one to consider. The benefit of less padding? The helmet is less disgusting to put back on after you've taken it off mid-ride. It's also a heck of a lot easier to wipe down and clean.

Weight: The DRT5 is approximately 100 grams heavier than many of its direct competitors in this category. That extra weight is noticeable on your head, especially on a longer ride.

The sweat gutter was comfortable while in use, but it can leave some interesting marks on your forehead.
These MIPS pins caused pressure points for me, but other testers did not have any issues with them.



Pros

+ Excellent aesthetics
+ Eyewear clips work great
+ Sweat gutter keeps sweat out of eyes
Cons

- On the heavier side
- Not the best heat dissipation
- MIPS system may rub some riders the wrong way





Pinkbike’s Take:

bigquotesOakley's DRT5 helmet brings some exciting new features to the table for riders. The construction of the helmet is clearly high quality, and the sweat gutter and eyewear landing zone both function extremely well and offer something other helmets don't. However, the helmet is heavier and hotter than many of its competitors, and I had some issues with the overall comfort. As always, it's best to try before you buy in order to see if the fit will work for you.Daniel Sapp



73 Comments

  • + 43
 Honestly, go to your local bicycle shop, and try on helmets until you find one. I can pretty much guarantee that this won't be the helmet for me. I'm not being negative, I just tried on like 30 helmets before I found one that worked for my head.
  • + 7
 This is what happens when they try to show all kind of useless features and designs. A couple of small clever holes underneath the visor will do for sunglasses. Featuring the O somewhere on the back or front will please the marketing department and make the helmet lighter.
  • + 5
 Agreed, tried one on and the fit was horrible. For a "deep coverage" helmet, it really didn't fit around my head, more shallowly resting on top.
  • + 1
 It's weird that when I saw one sitting on the shelf in a shop the other day I thought "that thing just looks heavy"
  • + 4
 I fully agree with this. In the end I keep getting POC helmets, but I think that's just because my head shape perfectly fits their idea of a head. Some other brands just weren't right, and you don't really know till you try it on
  • + 14
 On the positive side, you can wear your store your sunglasses in true Oakley d-bag fashion upside down and backwards.
  • + 5
 @dbendixen: comes with free camo Huk sunshirt & #1 guard for your hair trimmer
  • - 19
flag mtemp (Aug 1, 2019 at 12:00) (Below Threshold)
 I did this, went to local shop to try on then ordered on Amazon
  • + 3
 Guess I got lucky. First one I tried was the ixs and it fit perfectly.
  • + 21
 As someone with a sweaty head that sweat gutter is a little bit of a game-changer. On longer climbs I'm always dipping my head out to the side and squeezing the helmet into my head to wring myself out, so I'm not dripping saltwater into my headset.

A friend of mine had one years ago as a standalone and he always rated it, but it looked utterly ridiculous when he took his helmet off... I'll be considering one of these in the near future

EDIT: Can even get it for £100 at Rutland Cycles, that's less than I paid for my Scott MIPS!
  • + 5
 Yeah i have a halo 2 head band that does that same but looks stupid and another to remember for you ride.
  • + 9
 PLUS, you get the opportunity to look like someone has assaulted you with a fork. Or a red pen. Or you own an exceedingly aggressive cat that is very OCD about the way it scratches your face.
  • + 0
 @CRAFTY-P: oakley just think putting a misp they don't need foam anymore....looks like as comfy as a speleology helmet.
  • + 2
 I can testify the Bell Super DH Sweat Guide Pad wicks sweat away very well. It takes a 90deg turn away from my forehead and drips an inch away from my face. Genius design.
  • + 3
 I've been using these for years, they work well and are easy to remove and clean after a ride.


www.traxfactory.com/shop
  • + 6
 @iduckett: I have Bell Super DH as well and I get all the sweat in my eyes and glasses constantly. I have to tilt head and squeeze the helmet on the climbs all the time to get rid of the sweat and while climbing it is OK. But when I ride on trail for two minutes or more and have no time to squeeze, the build up of the sweat drips huge drop on every bump directly into my glasses. I would 100% fit this sweat gutter into my Super DH if I had the chance to get my hands on one as a spare part..
  • + 1
 @i-am-lp: Fair enough, I don't wear glasses much (normally or riding) so that could be why. Didn't have an issue with goggles though.
  • + 3
 I cut the sleeves off cotton t-shirts...trim and put around head. Tight fit so it doesn't slide, thin so it isn't hot, customizable size, and holds all my sweat from pouring into my eyes, and I live in a very hot/humid place.
Then I use the rest of the shirt either to look tough at a bar or as a shop rag(usually this)
  • + 17
 Just an update on my melon helmet I mentioned in a previous article which has MIPS (Melon Is Pretty Slippery) I have been working on some additional features as well. With combination of recent sun and rain I have discovered that a peak would be an excellent addition, so I have put a series of cocktail sticks along the front and put cocktail sausages in row which seems to be proving effective. I call this the 'Cock Shield'. I've not crashed onto the front of the helmet yet, but I can't envisage any problems with small shards of wood pointing directly at my skull. I also realised that eye protection was paramount and that somewhere to store them would be particularly useful, so I have devised a simple and effective solution. I simply use a strip of cling film (or 'saran wrap' for you 'muricans) stuck to each temple across my eyes. When I need to store it I simply stick it to the back of the melon. Simple and effective. I'm hoping to have the designs for this cheap helmet patented, so keep your eyes peeled.
  • + 2
 i'll bet the sausages also motivate you to go faster?
  • + 20
 Heavy, ugly, expensive, & hot - what's not to love?
  • + 1
 Yeah I skipped over that until I realised that's 33% more than my current, very similar helmet and that's not exactly falling apart at the seams.
  • + 13
 Rhetorical question time: how can Oakley's helmet have 400% more plastic than their glasses, yet cost 50% less?
  • + 6
 There is a simple answer. Eyeglass mafia.
  • + 12
 @Archimonde: AKA Luxottica
  • + 7
 Because dudes in wife beaters/jean shorts will always pay the highest premium for gascans and oil rigs
  • + 8
 I'm loving mine after a month.
The sweat gutter is a game changer for a heavy sweater.
Eyeglass clips are a bit silly, and I won't use them.
Looks the same as other helmets, not sure why all the comments about appearance.... better than all the wack TLD colors! [ducks head]
  • + 2
 @addatx I've experimented with both the gutr and veo sweat guards and it's awesome to see a helmet with this idea incorporated into it. The fact that one can switch out the sweat gutter for the X-static pad makes a lot of sense as running them together becomes a mess in a standard helmet. This fact will let me experiment with altering/removing the X-static pad in my Giro lid.
  • + 2
 No need to duck after offending us TLD fans--we won't be able to see your head in this colorway.
  • + 5
 I own this helmet and went back to my old helmet. Being a bald guy the lack of padding hurts the top of my head, literally to the point of almost bleeding. You have to wear the helmet so tight for the rain gutter to work that you get a headache. The helmets weight is very noticeable and when I put my old helmet back in it made me appreciate it even more. Boa awesome. Sun glasses holder works flawlessly.
  • + 4
 Also bald, glad to hear that as I was considering this and suspected it wouldnt be great for the folically challenged! Thanks for the post!
  • + 3
 I'd never considered before how daft helmet liners are - most of us have enough hair that an unlined well-fitted helmet would probably be pretty comfortable. In summer I have to wash the liner regularly to avoid getting an itchy scalp, then the liner falls apart. Perhaps some closed cell foam left over from tyre noodle manufacture would be a good wipeable compromise?
  • + 3
 Cush Crown™
  • + 4
 Those of us with bald heads still need the pads. Sadly I fall into this category.
  • + 1
 So that's why my head began to itch like hell this summer!
  • + 1
 my 661 skate bucket fits and breathes just as well as my POC
  • + 5
 Another simple EPS shell for $200. For the price there are safer options on the market.
  • + 2
 Got one for my younger brother and I. Although the inside looks like it's lacking a lot of padding, it turned out to be one of the most comfortable helmets I've ever worn. Overall it's actually been really great. I even met one of the guys who helped designed it and he couldn't be more stoked to see people really loving the helmet. Very happy to see Oakley stepping into the helmet industry!
  • + 3
 Ever since hearing Daniel speak in his bike check earlier this year I read all of his pieces in that smooth syrup NC accent of his which rules, btw.
  • + 7
 Gotta balance out all of the Canadians, eh?
  • + 4
 The back of the head sunglass clip is an absolute must if you're shredding your way through FLAVORTOWN.
  • + 1
 I bought one in the spring to try it out as it looked interesting. I rode with for a month, went back to my POC, and put it on ebay. It fit well, but it is a heavy helmet and it felt a lot hotter than my POC. The glass clip is a neat feature, but does not over come the other issues.
  • + 4
 Heavy, hot, and uncomfortable. Pick 3.
  • + 4
 I just like saying sweat gutter
  • + 2
 Filth
  • + 1
 my favorite is "zipper garage", but ill be adding "sweat gutter" to my vocabulary
  • + 2
 Cmon, size chart for kids?

Why it is so hard to built bigger bikes? Bigger helmets? Etc
  • + 1
 Designed by the same midgets that design Specialized frames.
  • + 1
 200$ a pop and yet, made in China, just like any of these "high-end" helmets out there... That'd be another of these massive rip-offs then !
  • + 1
 I think we have reached peak helmet. I have never seen such a niche market flooded with so many actually great offerings.
  • + 2
 That's really not for sunglasses. It's for your Blunts
  • + 1
 Literally the first thing I thought of
  • + 1
 No groundbreaking safety features for $200? Boa, gutters and glasses holders? Ugh...
  • + 1
 Just wear a skull cap under your helmet - $9 from Amazon. Makes the helmet so much more comfortable too.
  • + 2
 Can we get it in a beige colorway to complete the eggbox look?
  • + 1
 Like every Oakley product that doesn't go over your eyes, I'm assuming it must be terrible.
  • + 2
 That has to be the uglyest helmet I have ever seen
  • + 2
 $200 piece of Styrofoam. Nice
  • + 2
 that "Pros" category is laughable
  • + 1
 it kinda looks like the HORTA from star trek "the devil in the dark" episode...
  • + 2
 perhaps it was better if they remained only in the eyewear sector
  • + 2
 Coming soon to moto dads near you.
  • + 2
 How comfy is the MIPS liner for guys whose hair "got bored"?
  • + 2
 Looks are subjective but this is a fail IMO. TLD ftw.
  • + 1
 In Australia you can't get this helmet with the sunglass landing zone because of the rules of this country... so sad
  • + 0
 HEY OAKLEY!!! We want GRIPS! Not helmets, not shorts, not suitcases. GRIPS!!!
  • + 4
 We do?
  • + 2
 Great idea, then they can outsource them to ODI and we can pay a premium for a product that is in no way better than what the production company makes.
  • + 0
 @Jaguar83: old school BMX grips. "I guess you had to be there." - Neil Armstrong
  • + 1
 I instantly thought of that weird Time helmet i wore in the 90's!
  • + 0
 Oakley, we want to see you make a full face DH helmet!

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