Review: Troy Lee Designs' New A3 Helmet

Mar 17, 2021
by Mike Kazimer  
TLD A3 review

Troy Lee Designs have unveiled the new A3 helmet, the follow up act to the A2 that was released back in 2017. The overall look isn't radically different from its predecessor, but there have been some changes, specifically at the back of the helmet, where there's additional coverage behind the ears. Riders who prefer the looks of the A2 or even the A1 don't need to fret – those models are still available.

The A3 liner uses co-molded EPS and EPP foams, with the softer EPP foam designed to help dissipate low speed impacts, and the harder EPS foam in place for higher speed impacts. Along with the dual foam densities, the A3 also has a MIPS liner to help with rotational impact forces.
TLD A3 Details

• 16 vents
• Co-molded EPS and EPP foam liner
• 3 position magnetic visor
• MIPS liner
• Fidlock buckle
• Weight (size M): 415 grams
• Price: $220 USD
• Certifications: CPSC 1203, CE EN 1078, AS NZ 2063:2008

A Fidlock magnetic buckle for easy one-handed operation, but that's not the only place where magnets are located – they're also used at the front of the visor to keep it from bouncing out of place. There are three main positions, plus another one that can be used to create room for goggles when they're not being used.

The fit is adjusted via a new ratcheting dial at the back of the helmet, and there are two different padding thickness included with the helmet in order to fine tune the fit. Another new feature is the addition of a 'Sweat Glide System.' Basically, it's a piece of foam located at the very front of the helmet that's supposed to keep sweat from dripping into your eyes. It's replaceable or removable, and spares are included with the helmet.

The A3 is available in three sizes – XS / SM, MD / LG, and XL / XXL, with four colors to choose from – white, camo grey, silver, or black, and a retail price of $220 USD. My size medium helmet weighed in at 415 grams.

TLD A3 review
TLD A3 review


The fit of the A3 is similar to that of the A2, which unfortunately meant it wasn't quite perfect for my head shape – it was a little snug at the front and back of my skull, and at times felt like it was riding higher than I would have preferred. I have more of an oval-shaped dome, and the A3 seems like it would work better with a rounder head. The original A1 helmet is still one of the comfiest, best fitting helmets I've worn, although that model is lacking in the ventilation department. I've said it hundreds of times before, but as always, when it comes to helmets it's best to try before you buy.

The retention system is easy to operate one handed, with clear detents between each position. There are also three positions to choose from to pick the height of the dial at the back of the head. Those magnets in the visor work too, although it's a little clunkier than what's used in a helmet like the Specialized Ambush.

TLD A3 review
The visor uses magnets to keep it in each of the three positions, and the screws that mount it to the sides of the helmet are designed to breakaway in a crash.
TLD A3 review
A strip of foam is stuck on underneath the cloth liner to help with sweat management.

Temperatures have been fairly mild so far, so I can't really comment on how the A3 handles scorching temps. The amount of air flow does seem very reasonable, and I haven't found myself overheating on slow speed fire road grinds.

How about that Sweat Glide system? Well, I didn't really get along with it, or at least my skin didn't. At the end of a ride the foam would leave a super bright red mark on my forehead, alerting the world that I'd been wearing a helmet recently. I eventually decided to pull it out, since I don't usually sweat that much in general. That did the trick, and the red mark stopped appearing.

$220 is on the higher side of the spectrum for a half-shell helmet, although it's certainly not unheard of. For reference, the Specialized Ambush is $200, the Bell Super Air Spherical is $225, and POC's recently launched Kortal Race is $250.

The A3 isn't the lightest helmet out there at 415 gram, but the little extra heft faded to the background once I had it on. The Specialized Ambush weighs 312 grams, Bell's Super Air is 418 grams, and the POC Kortal Race is 391 grams.

TLD A3 review
TLD A3 review
Ooh, stickers. The A3 comes with extra padding and a helmet bag.


+ Excellent head coverage
+ Wide range of fit adjustments, assuming it works with your head shape


- Sweat Glide System isn't perfect
- Visor adjustment is a little clunky

Pinkbike's Take
bigquotesThe A3 is another strong option in Troy Lee's helmet lineup. The fit wasn't exactly perfect for my head shape, but that's not going to be the case for everyone. As it is, the A3 offers lots of adjustment options, contemporary looks, and modern safety features.  Mike Kazimer


  • 183 7
 This helmet clearly came out too late because apparently the person that set the price at 220$ hit his head!
  • 45 22
 As u/fullendurbro, I'm clearly the target market of anything TLD but this thing is so, so ugly.
  • 5 0
 There was a link that was leaked and it said $440 or something. Makes me think they did that on purpose. And yes. I wear a tin foil helmet when I ride.
  • 2 0
 @chillrider199: that was in australian dollars. It's been released and available for purchase down there for a while.
  • 23 0
 It said it costs 220 grams. Just pay in sand and it's dirt cheap.
  • 12 0
 @cfox109: I don’t like sand
  • 2 0
 @chillrider199: watch out for lightning bolts!
  • 5 0
 @Upduro: then get rid of your unwanted sand
  • 2 0
 @cfox109: unless you're sandbagging
  • 3 0
 Crappy colors. So miss my yellow pinstripe A1. RIP A1.
  • 9 0
 @Upduro: it's course... and rough - and gets everywhere.
  • 1 0
 @chillrider199: That high price tag you saw was probably a temporary one since they didn't have official pricing yet.
  • 89 1
 1. Read helmet review taking careful note of pros/cons, weight, price, comfort etc etc
2. Buy on looks like normal
  • 101 3
 I think you're doing the sensible thing:

If you look cool on the bike you're more confident.
If you're more confident you crash less.
Therefore looking cool is safer.
  • 33 0
 On my case it’s:
1. read helmet review taking careful note of pros/cons, weight, price, comfort etc etc
2. Buy on looks
3. Return them all and end up buying the only helmet big enough for my watermelon sized head regardless of looks and brand!
  • 5 0
 @CustardCountry: In case it's useful, I did something similar with all the 'enduro' full face helmets recently. The Endura MT500 in XL was huge! Way bigger than the TLD Stages and IXS Trigger. So, Enduro may be worth trying as a brand if you haven't already.
  • 4 0
 @Woody25: I appreciate the QED. Nice touch.
  • 2 0
 @CustardCountry: I know your pain and like @Woody25 I have the MT500 in biggest size and its alright!
  • 1 0
 @Woody25: good to know. Thanks, I’m managing with an old 661 full face (had a Specialized Deviant before that was cool and huge) and a 7IDP open face.

Will look at Endura next time.
  • 72 22
 looks like 20$ helmet from walmart
  • 15 3
 Totally. At least in this color anyway.
  • 52 2
 Yeah, but with a $200 worth of TLD stickers.
  • 13 16
 @bigtim: All the pretty boys who actually buy TLD will be stoked
  • 15 23
flag Mikevdv (Mar 17, 2021 at 6:22) (Below Threshold)
 Rides super high, looks kinda stupid, protects worse according to Virgina tech....CHARGE MORE! and people will think it's good.

Too bad they didn't emboss "dumbass" or "dentist" in the sweat band,
  • 9 0
 What happened to the designs part of TLD?
  • 14 1
 @Mikevdv: tbf, it's still got a 5 star rating and ranks comfortably in the top 10 in it's category.

Yes, I'm a hoot at parties.
  • 19 0
 @hi-dr-nick: after some serious impacts in an A2 and a Stage, with NO head injury at all, I am fine paying their prices. Comfort is also second to none (for my headshape). Are they a bit pricey, sure, but this is mtn biking, and I guarantee all the people slamming TLD riders also have stupid expensive crap somewhere on their bike or in their gear.
  • 5 1
 @bigtim: Buy $20 helmet from Walmart. Buy $3 TLD sticker from Amazon. $23 and lookin' cool.
  • 33 109
flag troyleedesigns (Mar 17, 2021 at 12:07) (Below Threshold)
 @Mikevdv: Comfort liner is customizable in case your 'riding high' comment is from personal experience? or are you just regurgitating this reviewer's observation? who simply does not like our brand?
Liner tweaks:

Helmet also received the top score of 5 stars from Virginia tech, so don't know where you get protects worse.
  • 48 8
 @troyleedesigns: Ooof, big call saying someone doesn't like your brand. Do you have his opinion in writing?
He also states that although it's not the right fit for him, he acknowledges that that won't be the case for everyone.

As a journalist writing a review, that to me is a pretty fair and unbiased statement.

That's a pretty disappointing dig at @mikekazimer

Either way, I like it and I'm due for a new lid. Thanks for putting out great products.
  • 15 2
 @troyleedesigns: It has a lower score than the A2: 10 vs 11.
  • 53 4
 @troyleedesigns: Eww stay out of the comments junior TLD social media person, or are you an investment partner from SBJ?
  • 57 4
 @troyleedesigns: what an a*shole reply...
  • 36 2
 @troyleedesigns: big time oooff, took a bad angle on this one duder. A brand should know better than to respond like that...
  • 6 0
 @troyleedesigns: I like your Adidas collaboration MTB shorts but this helmet is definitely a no go for me.
  • 2 0
 Inspired by wrestling??!?
  • 22 4

one of my pet peeves with so many helmets I try on is they fit too high on the head.
I looked at the photo saw like 3 inches of mike's forehead, and thought that helmet looks kind of fits way too high. Many others are asking for a deeper fitting helmet from you as well.
Given photographic evidence coupled with an independent review....and multiple requrests for deeper fitting helmets......pretty safe bet it fits high....

Style aside a helmet is supposed to protect your skull that's its core purpose, you guys did awesome with the A2. Yours and the Rally are the best mountain bike helmets out there for protection that aren't just a massive foam beer cooler. Being the next evolution, I assumed the A3 would out perform the A2. I was considering. purchasing an A2 for its great crash protection pending a decent fitment test and availability..... Looking at the virginia tech scores measurably worse than the A2 as someone mentioned. Not in meaningless "stars" but in Empirical scores......not bad by any-means..... but not better.....

So I made the assumption that this is your budget model....looks a little stupid, doesn't protect as well but does a damn good job as a helmet at a fraction of the cost with a couple compromises to keep costs reasonable....Like a specialized align but less stupid looking.....

NOPE it's considerably more expensive than the A2 and is one of the most expensive helmets on the market

Not just stupid looking..... seems like a stupid choice.....leading to my "dumbass" embossed sweatband idea.
  • 15 1
 @troyleedesigns: how high are you on your couch right now?? Have you not learned anything from the jortlord??
  • 32 1
 @troyleedesigns: oh boy, the intern got ahold of the passwords again.

not a good look, and I like you.
  • 16 1
 @troyleedesigns: wait, I've heard this attitude before. Waki, is that you? Hey guys, I think I found @Wakidesign's new account.
  • 24 1
 @troyleedesigns: Re the riding high comment, I think the response you were looking for was "that's great feedback Mike. That could be a sizing issue, or it could be something inherent to the design, but either way we'd love to work with you and understand why this happens. Our goal is to get everyone in a great fitting helmet, because ultimately fit is far more important that anything else to the safety of a helmet if the worst happens"

I've had exactly the same 'riding high' sensation in a Stage, in my case it was due a combination of the large being slightly too small and my longer front-to-back shaped head (as per the other comment). Because the helmet fitted so well on the sides and it didn't feel like it was pinching back to front I thought it was the right size, until I tried on the XL and my head then sat properly 'in' the helmet and I got good forehead coverage.

I felt that fit was something the manual should have covered in a lot of detail. IIRC there wasn't a lot in there on assessing whether you have the right size, which is really important if you're on a size boundary.
  • 2 1
 @CantClimb: Great question! The color choices are so bland. Frown
  • 12 1
 @troyleedesigns: I guess the customer is always wrong?
  • 15 23
flag michibretz (Mar 18, 2021 at 12:55) (Below Threshold)
 Guy’s seriously?
You guys should be stoked that someone from a brand is actually putting the time in to read your comments and responds even though 99% are the usual “to expensive” and “looks like a... “

Judging the fit of a helmet you have never even held in your hands only by the picture of one person wearing it is not customer feedback, that’s trolling. If we had less of that bs here on pb and more constructive actual feedback we might even get what we are asking for from the industry but as long as as long as is the way it is why would anyone even bother? This could be a platform for us to discuss and influence...

I think Downvoting and hating @troyleedesigns for asking if he actually tried the product it is the most ridiculous thing I have seen on this website in ages.
Pointing out there is adjustable padding to achieve better fit? Since when is that a bad thing? That’s just sad.

And no I do not work at Tld, nor I am a fanboy. I have used their products but do not currently. Simply because I found something that works better for me and the way I ride...
  • 11 1
 @michibretz: respectfully, brands should absolutely be here listening to what their customers want - we are literally doing there market research for them. Everyone providing their experiences here is effectively an unpaid focus group.

Many brands handle this really well, criticisms and all.
  • 10 0
 @michibretz: because saying; “ Thanks for the write up Mike! We understand everyone has a different melon, and that’s why we offer a variety of ways to adjust your new lid so it fits you perfect” - is too difficult.

Could always just say -“this review is unfair and biased because his head shape is wrong and he doesn’t like the acronym TLD, now I’m going to cry in my pie”
  • 1 1
 @Waldon83: i can tell you the industry is not because of this...
  • 41 1
 Anyone else enjoying these asinine comments from @troyleedesigns ? I think they should just stop if they don't want to stop losing our respect on here...
  • 15 1
 @hiketobike There's always that one co-worker that gets drunk at turbo speed at a work Christmas party. Whilst the night is still young, they misinterpret everyone's increasingly concerned reactions towards them as a signal that everyone's on their wavelength. Thinking they're actually the life and soul of the party rather than a slow motion car crash though, they continue to offer to buy more and more rounds of drinks for everyone around them...some take them out of a sense of guilt, others refuse them out of pity. As the night goes on, Troy continues to fail at reading the clues from the room. "The room just wants you to stop drinking for your own good Troy! Have some water instead!" they tell him. It's unfortunately too late for him though - he's sailing at fast clip towards the edge of that flat Earth he's spent the last hour telling you all about. After mistaking an artificial decorative plant pot for a urinal in full view of all of his coworkers, he finally summons the courage to tell you all what he really thinks of you. "You tell em' Troy! That was hilarious; and they'll respect you even more now they know you're not to be messed with!" he tells himself as he walks out towards the exit with his flies still undone and a little bit of shirt poking through. He simultaneously does a mic drop gesture to the room full of stunned people behind him who once considered him to be a benign, good natured associate. Little does Troy know it yet but as he stumbles away towards the bright lights of the nearest kebab shop, his available options for redemption are fast narrowing. It may be too late for meaningful apologies but at least he can still hope that one of his co-workers may follow his example and lower the bar even further themselves as the night goes on. It's that or apologise to everyone; and well, f**k that. Sleep well Troy. Tonight was an adventure but now it's time to rest your weary head, for tomorrow will no doubt have many interesting surprises in store for you!
  • 6 1
 @arna86: Kebab shop owner is awaiting his usual clients of drunken mistakes that have nowhere else to go. He switches on the brightest of lights and neon's, hoping to catch his prey of incoherent shadows emerging from the pavement.
Here they all congregate, the forms of beings that are unwelcome at the parties have now joined forces in their slurred speech of orders. "Pissing plants" says Troy to one lad that cant open his eyes and is drooling uncontrollably towards the inevitable barf on the pavement outside.
"you win Troy, you did it you leg end of a man" says the drunken listener as they form a new found bound unexplainable to the sober onlookers. "you showed 'em allll the glory of that A3, I love you bro"
They collect their bags dripping of house sauce special and mixed meat kebabs, arm in arm as comrades. Feeling well proud of their achievement and oblivious to the wreckage they once caused merely minutes previously.
  • 36 3
 Hey Troy Lee.. get the F outa the comment section.... making a reputable brand look foolish. Reconsidering my future TLD purchases.
  • 6 1
 This. I'd really like some reassurance that this isn't how TLD respond to all criticism. I wouldn't like to think this is the TLD's attitude to constructive feedback from the safety testing labs or their athletes for example.
  • 27 2
 Man, TLD taking so many bad angles in these comments lol. They clearly need someone else handing these exchanges bc this current approach may make them lose customers (myself included)....
  • 4 1
 Yeah, this is strange, the tone of the response. I’m lucky enough to live in OC and I get to ride w Troy, Stik, and some of the other product people (not like we’re buddies or anything either). They’re a passionate bunch and really care about the quality of their products and customer satisfaction. They are always inquisitive to see how riders use their stuff and what kinds of tweaks we make and sometimes they end up in the product...which means they’re listening. They also stand behind their products. The seams were coming unstitched on a relatively new and expensive pair of shorts and they just swapped them on the spot wo question (granted I was at the Laguna shop). Getting to the point, this set of responses seems so out of character. I wouldn’t “cancel” TLD just yet, you know? Also, they’re real people that genuinely love the sport on and off the bike. Granted the responses ARE a bit off center, but they also make some really sick kit and put a lot of time and energy into the sport and the riders they sponsor while also putting up w the comments from these forums (many of which are coming from, I’m betting, people that have no intention of buying any high end kit in the near future). As for myself I’ve been running TLD from head to toe for nearly twenty years and I don’t plan to stop. I’ll try a few different options each year and I always stick w my TLD because it’s among the best.
  • 1 0
 @eurojuice: yeah, no doubt. I have four TLD helmets and I’ll likely try the A3 bc I do genuinely like their products but how a brand carries itself definitely has weight in my buying decisions. Maybe the marketing dude was having an off day so I’ll chalk it up to that but to say the least now I’ll be applying more scrutiny to what is messaged from them going forward and see if the above is indicative of some trend.
  • 21 2
 Dear TLD, please, please, please could you sell versions for round shaped heads and versions for long thin heads.

I've tried a D3 and a Stage and they were both had either a great fit side-to-side, but didn't properly cover my forehead in a Large, or were just way to wobbly side-to-side in an XL. Do us xenomorphs a solid and provide a second fit option Big Grin

I'd of spent over a thousand dollars with you by now if your helmets fitted me. Also, while your at it, could we have a long option for the pants too?
  • 4 0
 My Stage fits well, but I still haven't had anything fit as nice as my Urge. I've got a big ol' oblong melon and getting something to sit down far enough is tough.
  • 1 1
 Dear TLD, please make a bigger sized full face helmet (unsure what size the A3 goes up to, but probably make a bigger one as well please).
  • 8 0
 A long option for the pants would be amazing!
  • 14 47
flag troyleedesigns (Mar 17, 2021 at 12:09) (Below Threshold)
 @Woody25 urge you to try an A3 when you can, we think you will find that it fits you well.
  • 1 0
 @troyleedesigns: when will you folks be moving to five sizes instead of 3? L/XL would be my size in all of your gear.
  • 1 0
 @troyleedesigns: oi! You still on here or they chase you off? I've got an A2 that's about due for replacement for age and I'm thinking about the A3. But, I've got a very large aggressively oval shaped head and the A2 was the only helmet that I found that fit me. I'd love to spend more money with you guys but can't find any local and am hesitant to mail order. Also, love the shorts buy your gloves are splitting seems on less than 50miles/25hrs of riding.....
What's the score here?
  • 23 1
 not even fully 220$
  • 10 1
 yeah cant wait til a month down the line and the foam is all pitted from normal use, that'll look great...
  • 8 2
 ^this. This helmet is a neck-breaker. Does anyone remember what happened when the all-foam, no-shell Giro Prolight hit the ground back in the 80s? It would *bind* with hard surfaces, rather than slide, and cause neck injuries. This goes beyond just poor aesthetics or pricing choices: throw in a huge dorsal fin sized and placed where it is most likely to snag on obstacles in a twisting fall, & the entire back half of this helmet is the most dangerous, ill-conceived design to hit the market in almost 4 decades!
  • 8 0
 Really - what are they thinking with that dorsal fin on an MTB helmet?? Once I read the research on how that shape is just awful for MTB especially, I got rid of my "finned" helmets. Just dumb.
  • 20 1
 Is this the worst Troy Lee release ever? I mean a lot of defensive feedback based on some pretty minor criticism. Maybe a better focus group next time? I mean, a speed wing, come on please try harder.
  • 3 1
 voting this as one of the best TLD ever, once you try it on you'll know why, its so comfy and feels really well put together, much better than the A2
  • 1 0
 @graeme187: This is getting a little like the Mullet cycles release on Vital a couple of weeks back??
  • 20 4
 Gutted they went with the A2 shape - the A1 is the comfiest thing out there, the A2 just doesn't fit my head shape. C'mon TLD - seen SO many comments, and spoken to SO many people over the years who don't get on with the A2 shape but find the A1 too hot - really hoped this would be the perfect combination.
  • 12 0
 I prefer the A2. A1 feels bit high on my head.
  • 2 0
 @CantClimb: Consider yourself lucky then!

You have the A2 which is comfier for you AND much cooler / better ventilation than the A1.

AND now the A3 with the same fit and better ventilation than the A1.
  • 6 0
 The A1 is still my helmet for the cold season tup
  • 4 1
  • 1 0
 The A2 fits my large, round melon perfectly and it's the most comfortable helmet that I have owned. I really wanted a POC, but it sat too low on my brow and made me look like Gazoo.
  • 1 0
 @DBone95: Yeah, the A2 is seemingly spot-on for rounder heads (Looking down) - but longer (front to back) heads just don't fit, so I'm stuck with the old, hot, A1.
  • 11 108
flag troyleedesigns (Mar 17, 2021 at 12:08) (Below Threshold)
 @orangegoblin Reviewer is inaccurate, it's not the same head form on the A3 as the A2. Your wishes were answered with the A3. It's a shame PB didn't have a few people in the office review the product-or all their products...would be nice to have group tests perhaps?
  • 105 4
 @troyleedesigns, I didn't say it was the same head form. I wrote, "The fit of the A3 is similar to that of the A2."
  • 55 2
 @troyleedesigns: yo, I don’t think you can call a reviewer out for being wrong. Reviews are subjective by nature - you can’t control it (unless you are paying Big Grin ). I’ve been a long time customer, but if this is your approach I dunno how long that’ll last for. FWIW I didn’t take any negatives from the article, just that @mikekazimer had a different head shape to me lol
  • 2 3
 Have you actually seen one, an A3, in person? Have you tried one on?
  • 2 3
 @mikekazimer: But what does that mean, objectively? Length, width, depth, eccentricity, points of contact, etc.?

I guess this is a tough one to pin down. Kind of like bike geo. Similar numbers, different feel. Hmmm...

At least you’re out there making a go of it.
  • 8 0
 @eurojuice: I had a M/L A3 delivered today which was going to replace my M/L A2.

The A3 is much smaller and sits very high on my head. The strap also catches on my ear lobe as it’s to short so needless to say the A3 is going back for a refund as it’s to small.

Definitely one to try on before buying if you can.
  • 27 3
 @pathawks: TLD in the comments acting like a salty ex is the best part of this entire review! I didn't take away necessarily any negative vibes from the review... only from TLD's responses. Kudos to Kaz for just giving a totally normal, honest, and decent review.
  • 18 1
 @mikekazimer: is it possible to confirm whether @troyleedesigns is an official TLD account? The posts here feel odd for a corporate account, strangely confrontational/defensive?
  • 8 1
 @Woody25: Wow yeah - TLD getting bl00dy salty - that's some weapons-grade bad PR right there. Kazimer has a very similar shaped head to me, as much as I can glean over the years. Him saying it's similar to the A2 is very valid even if not the exact same cos I know if it doesn't suit him it's unlikely to suit me.

The A1 was and still is SO comfy I still use my 3 years old one even though it looks like sh1t cos it's so comfy.
  • 2 1
 Been riding the A3 for a couple of weeks now, the A2 was a bit feeble compared to the A1 and wasn't as comfy, this new A3 is much more like the first one but with all the new features, the sweat thing is good, fidlock is good, visor stuff is more stable. This one is a really good comfy fit with padding like the original, its soooo good
  • 1 0
 @dhrideruk: I've had a A3 for over a month now and the fit is the best i've had from a TLD lid. I have an A1, A2 and D3. There's the preference in fit...super subjective being that I also have a oval melon.
  • 2 0
 @GHJ: My point was more that I expected the fit to be the same as the same sized A2, its not. As a customer I expect that if I need a M/L in an A2 then the A3 should be the same fit. Whilst sizes vary between brands I wouldn't expect the size to be different within the same brand especially when their cm sizing hasn't changed.

There is no doubt the helmet padding felt comfortable but the overall helmet shell was far to small thus fitted completely differently to the A2 and sat way to high on my head.
  • 20 0
 I think TLD lost an employee today.
  • 4 0
 The boss won't fire himself. That was no lacky, was the head honcho.
  • 2 0
 @CantClimb: well hopefully they continue to argue with us in the comments than that would be tragically hilarious
  • 15 3
 *Department of Design*: hey so how can we make this helmet look attractive for our amazing price of $220?
*Marketing Department*: you know how there's ugly cheap looking cars that kick ass?
*Department of Design*: you mean sleepers?
*Marketing Department*: Hell yeah, make it look like a Walmart Helmet!
And that's how the A3 Helmet was born.
  • 5 2
 I love the low key looks of my black A3. Some modern helmets put too much into appearance/style. I just want comfort, quality, and safety.
  • 15 1
 How is the price not a con? For sure the liner will wear out in 3 months just like the A1 and A2. But now the replacement liners will be priced 8-12% higher of course.
  • 4 0
 it actually comes with a replacement liner and a couple of the sweat "bands" as well.
  • 13 86
flag troyleedesigns (Mar 17, 2021 at 12:15) (Below Threshold)
 Comes with replacement liners and sweat strips. Check the vital review, much more thorough with the innovations in tech and included spares.
  • 11 1
 @troyleedesigns: Fair enough. But no offence, after owning the first two I’m not sure I’m willing to gamble $275 CAD on version 3.
  • 8 0
 @troyleedesigns: does it come with 5+ replacement liners? Because that’s how many I’ve gone through on my A2! Y’all keep sending replacements, but it’s clearly a faulty design.
  • 2 0
 @DETarch: I see exactly the same thing with Giro helmets. Once upon a time I'd only replace the pads when they became disgusting; these days they fall apart before then!
  • 13 0
 Apropos of nothing, I wonder if the social media dept of a well known MTB apparel company will make the Bad Month list for March?
  • 17 3
  • 8 0
 It’s unfortunate they used this colorway to showcase the helmet. It’s admittedly meh. That said, the other colors are quite good, particularly the camo (which is what I bought). The fit is quite good, very comfortable, much like the A1. The price is on par with the higher end helmets from other brands so I’m not sure why there is such a fuss there. If you don’t want to spend the $$$, there are plenty of options in the A2 and A1 lines OR pick a different brand.

Another person mentioned something about the pants being too short. At 6’4” I’ll feel you on that one. The Sprint Ultra and the new Skylines seem to have fixed this, however. They are plenty long in the W34 and above (unless you’re much taller than 6’4”). The Skylines are feature rich and reasonably priced.
  • 11 4
 Yea not sure I’ll be rocking anything from TLD again unless they build there mesh stronger , couldn’t even wash the inside of my A2 liner without it going to shit , try to message to get replaced or new one and no reply, most likely switch to fox!!! ???????? there gear is worth half the price in my mind . Name is over rated !!! ????
  • 12 29
flag troyleedesigns (Mar 17, 2021 at 12:17) (Below Threshold)
 Newly redesigned liner on A3, as are the A2 liners moving forward.
  • 7 1
 With you in that one bro. The padding gets blown out pretty quickly if you’re a sweat pig like me. Washing the liners is not particularly helpful either. The A1 seemed to have a more robust liner with a bit more of a foam/rubbery elastic quality to it. Felt great, but I think it was a bit hotter than the lighter materials. The A3 (yes I actually own one in addition to many A2 and A1 helmets over years) seems to combine the best of the previous two generations. That said, I’ve only had the A3 for a few days so time will tell.
  • 4 0
 Interesting... I had the complete opposite experience. I emailed the Canadian rep asking for spare parts for my A1 and they offered me a 20 percent coupon on a new one. I did find the liner fell apart but at least the response I got was prompt and great. I ended up buying another A1 with the coupon.
  • 2 0
 @max-g: sweet thanks will have to try again for this season!
  • 9 0
 Thats it, im rocking a helmet with a rubber mohawk if you guys are gonna be out here with a dorsal fin.
  • 7 0
 Pretty sure that could be insensitive.
  • 7 0
 The magnet chin strap attachment doesnt seem like a big deal until you have used one. Its so much better than anything else. I wish companies specced them on DH helmets because it would make a difference.
  • 6 0
 @troyleedesigns: You BLATANTLY said you disagree with the reviewers assessment. Maybe not verbatim, per se. Seriously, who is running your social media? After hearing of my friends reviews of their helmets, and seeing this trash written in comments section. I will NEVER try OR buy a helmet/gear from TLD. An ostentatious company AT BEST.
  • 11 2
 Troy Lee used to make awesome designs. But that was a long time ago.
  • 6 0
 Are any helmet companies doing molding fit like snowboard boots and hockey skates? There are a ton of other products that mold to fit feet but the head seems a bit more important.
  • 6 0
 Nope, because the impact protecting part can’t be moulded. Whereas the plastic shells etc of boots can be, then the soft foams just conform to that new shape. Maybe on day, but not with the current materials
  • 5 0
 If you had heat-moldable foam in full contact with a significant portion of your head, the resulting helmet would be an absolute inferno. Even ski/snowboard helmets work with harder foams that permit significant internal channeling & venting to allow for airflow over the scalp. You can't ski or ride with torrents of sweat pouring over your face. Medium-density multi-impact foams are finding their way into some newer designs, but heat-moldability does not appear to be one of their strengths.
  • 5 0
 @mikekazimer your helmet reviews are always appreciated because you and I seem to have a similar head shape.

Have you found any brands that work well for you outside of Giro and Bell?

Also, brands that work well for round heads tend to do well in the Virginia Tech tests. Could that be related to the head shape of the test dummy?
  • 1 0
 Curious of that too. If you email the VT guys, they’re pretty responsive.
  • 8 0
 Folks, this is what happens when a 7 Eleven beer cooler and Wal Mart helmet make out.
  • 8 0
 Gooooood luck if that USD price translates to £220...
  • 3 0
 @melonhead1145: I think £200 is just stretching a little too far. Plenty of good options available without having to go that far. Love my A1s, but I'm out this time.
  • 18 61
flag troyleedesigns (Mar 17, 2021 at 12:14) (Below Threshold)
 @melonhead1145: A3 competes against the Poc Kortal at $250, The giro manifest at $260, the bell super air at $220.....and a few others above the $200 mark. You are getting new innovations in tech, but also the spare liner system, spare screws, 2 spare sweat glides, superior comfort. Pretty fantastic value when you take a look at the landscape.
  • 12 1
 @troyleedesigns: value? New tech?
I recently bought a Bell 4forty MIPS. Fully adjustable peak, spare screws, MIPS, fully encased, height adjustable rear, great fit, etc. £90. £11.99 for new pads. Ie. I could buy two Bell helmets for the TLD price.
Helmets are disposable items. They maybe last 18 months two years max.
You cant put a price on your head. But you absolutely can.
(Not just calling out TLD on price either - especially as you dont pay tax on helmets!!).
  • 6 0
 More money and scores lower than the A2 on Virginia Tech's helmet protection rating system:
  • 4 0
 I have the head shape of a sleestack from Land of the Lost. It seems unlike everyone else I have to try one on before purchase and have found that my favorite helmet is Specialized Prevail. 220 grams of what feels like a swamp cooler on my head (light and airy). The only downside is my helmet hair is the tri-fin look or my reptilian brethren.
  • 6 0
 Dang, wish they would have gone back to an A1 shape but with A2 ventilation...
  • 7 88
flag troyleedesigns (Mar 17, 2021 at 12:16) (Below Threshold)
 I would suggest trying one for yourself, not saying we disagree with this reviewers fit assessment, but not saying we agree either lol.
  • 79 4
 @troyleedesigns: "lol"? Who does TLD have running their social media?
  • 7 1
 Every TLD helmet I have owned the liner rips at the seam in about 6 months, junk.
  • 5 0
 I'm the same headshape. Have a few favorite or preferred helmets with that in mind @mikekazimer?
  • 18 0
 The Specialized Ambush is at the top my list, along with the Giro Source. POC’s Tectal helmet fits me well too, but it doesn't do a great job holding sunglasses.
  • 14 0
 You have a similar shaped head to me @mikekazimer and that's what I appreciates about you.
  • 22 0
 I've always said that having a head-shape similar to @Woody25 is one of @mikekazimer 's best qualities.
  • 5 0
 Have an A2 mips and then I bought the Ambush. My neck doesnt hurt anymore hahaha.
  • 4 0
 Yep, me too. I really think the Ambush is a superior helmet.
  • 7 0
 @chase2wheels: yeah, ambush is by far the comfiest helmet I’ve worn, and the light weight and ventilation are great as well. Don’t see any reasons to buy something else ever.
  • 4 2
 Im really surprised at the amount of negative feedback based on look from people who haven't even seen it irl.
I've been riding this lid for a few days now and it is hands down the comfiest and most filled with helpful details helmet I've had in years.
And I consider myself some sort of helmet geek. Would it be full face or half shell, mtb or road, medium priced or high level ones... I've tried them all pretty much. Do yourself a favor and put one on your head and come back with valid arguments apart from look (and price but again look at what you get in the box for such a price. It's pretty fair).
Anyway... Im a big Kaz fan but yeah maybe it's just not a perfect head match this time.
  • 6 1
 Helmet costs $200 gram?

Whats a dollar gram?
  • 6 0
 maybe it's $200 per gram?
  • 3 0
 Anything which costs $200/gram must be pretty special....!
  • 5 0
 The $200/g stuff will make you ride like Brendog. And by that I mean chuck yourself from the nearest roof.
  • 1 0
  • 5 1
 Bravo for creating a helmet with an actual, fully usable visor. POC, you see this?
  • 3 1
 @mikekazimer Is that exposed EPS foam along the back/bottom of the helmet or is it a graphic treatment printed onto a plastic shell? Looking at the other colorways on their website, they do not have exposed EPS.
  • 12 0
 Nope, it's not exposed - there's a clear plastic shell over it.
  • 6 2
 Does the shark fin on the back pick up radio?
  • 1 0
 Okay so I saw the SENA sticker and decided to do some digging and turns out that it is a brand that has blue tooth stuff as well as radio. Whether this helmet has it or not I am unsure. It is a brand that has like blue tooth. On their website it shows nothing about an A3...

Here's the link.

Almosts seems that they make their own helmets. Maybe this is why they are so expensive?
  • 1 0
 But theres also nothing in the tech vid about it so I doubt it.
  • 7 6
 @LevVT: Sena is a sponsor of the TLD supercross team, friend of our brand. There is no sena equipment in the A3, just some of our friendly brand buds decals in the sticker pack.
  • 2 0
 @troyleedesigns: Cool thanks for the info!
  • 3 0
 Hopefully they fixed the liner quality. It's a piece of junk in my A2, completely disintegrated.
  • 1 1
 "The A2 is available in three sizes – XS / SM, MD / LG, and XL / XXL, with three colors to choose from – white, camo grey, silver, or black, and a retail price of $220 grams. My size medium helmet weighed in at 415 grams."

I think you meant A3!
  • 1 0
 And I count 4 color options...
  • 2 0
 Looks? Whatever.

Fit? Try before you buy.

Price? For an item you should replace every couple of years even if you don’t visibly damage it? Hard No!!
  • 4 1
 Looks like a cheap Chinese copy of the previous TLD models... Are we sure we haven´t been taking over??!... mmmm
  • 4 3
 The unprotected foam on the bottom is awful and cheap. Its going to look like shit after a few rides. The A1 is the still the best helmet they have ever made. Hot but beyond comfortable
  • 8 0
 It's not unprotected - there's a clear plastic shell over it.
  • 4 0
 So in Canada that’s about $300? Yah, no.
  • 1 0
 I hope the liner pads are more durable than the A2’s.
Mine disintegrated after a couple months. Strangely, my A1 is still in great shape despite being a couple years older. Why is replacement padding so expensive!?
  • 1 1
 @troyleedesigns: The A2 was the most comfortable helmet I've ever worn, so I'm looking forward to the A3. I do not have a problem with the price, in fact I would gladly pay more if all these helmet companies weren't using helmet technology from the last century. I have kids now, and kids do dumb stuff. I'd really like to see a company spend some real time and R&D money to see how helmets can move forward. MIPS is ok I guess. It might do something sometimes, but come on. There has to be more to it than hard foam, soft foam. It's the same thing with hockey, so many kids getting concussions, or even dying (happened recently) because no companies are stepping up to develop something new. Also, the V Tech rating system is a joke.
  • 1 1
 this one is way comfier than the A2, a definitely step up
  • 1 0
 One thing I like about TLD helmets is the peaks are made from hard sturdy plastic. Many other half shells have a cheap looking flimsy peak that warpes out of shape. The outer shell always looks and feels quality too.
  • 1 0
 I dig my A1 and A2 but my peak shattered from a 3 ft drop. $40.
  • 1 0
 The fin on this looks sleeker and smaller than the fin on my Mavic Crossride from a few years ago.

Guess ill try the A3 instead of the A2 ive been trying to find since September. Only money. lol

(Not a dentist*)
  • 4 2
 Surprised they managed to keep a lid on this release for so long after the recent brendog video.
  • 3 2
 It’s been getting sold in parts of the world for six weeks at least.
  • 3 0

  • 5 0
 @Cshearmon: I’ll downvote myself!
  • 4 7
 Vali had it on in a few of her videos summer of 2020 as well....testing.
  • 5 2
 That fin thing reminds me of the Teletubbies.....
  • 4 1
 Teletubbies=GoPro helmet mounted cameras.
  • 2 0
 extra padding included, finally ! When I need a brand new it´s always out of stock Frown
  • 2 0
 Same for me, A1 fits so good best fit possible, wanted an A2 but it didn’t fit. Glad it’s not just me
  • 3 0
 You can always count on another helmet review to spice up this website.
  • 1 0
 Hey @mikekazimer ,
You say that A3 doesn't fit the way you wanted...ok, but can you please tell us how it does compare to its predecessors...A2 and A1

Thank you
  • 5 6
 PB is brutal. I loved my A1, dig my A2, and with the new fidlock on this one, thing it'll probably be perfect.

That said, the visor on the new A2 did shatter after dropping it from about 3 feet. $40 right there.

Nothing's perfect but TLD helmets keep getting closer in my book. And $220 ain't too insane considering you get an extra liner thrown in.
  • 2 0
 I agree with M.K. ; The A1 fits oblong head shape but the new TLD and A2 do not, they are for round noggins.
  • 2 0
 I believe softer material next to your head is a good thing. nice job guys.
  • 2 0
 @kazimer what helmets are good for oval fit?
  • 4 6
 Seeing other companies developing/using different tech to help reduce impact forces its a little disappointing to see TLD not doing something different outside of MIPS/EPS and EPP. Kali, Leatt, 6D, Fox, etc use different tech to help further reduce impact severity (do they work better or not I don't know, but at least they are trying), however I feel TLD just figures we will buy it because its TLD and not trying to develop more protective equipment. Yes and I know fox no longer offers the Fluid Inside tech since it was bought out by MIPS and then canned by MIPS. Not saying its a bad helmet but would be nice to see TLD explore some new tech to possible add in their helmets.
  • 5 0
 All of those competing technologies are trying to do the same thing. Mips and dual layer padding makes as much sense, it just isn't fancy and complicated. The BENEFIT is what matters, and testing has shown this to be a safe helmet.
  • 8 32
flag troyleedesigns (Mar 17, 2021 at 12:12) (Below Threshold)
 We are the only MTB helmet to use patent pending EPP/EPS co-molding technology. It performs substantially better in the lab but the amount of testimonials and crash data we have from the real world also make us confident that this is a winning technology. Curious why you think these other methods from brands you mention 'reduces impact severity'?
  • 5 0
 @troyleedesigns: not trying to be antagonistic but an honest question. If the co-molded design is patent pending and shows excellent lab/real world results, why wasn’t it used in the new D4?
  • 1 0
 You’re right as long as it’s safe that’s all that matters. I never meant to sound like I was calling the helmet unsafe, far from it. Just saying from a consumer perspective it looks like other companies are trying to improve with new technology. Maybe it’s not any better and just a different way of doing the same thing.@SprSonik:
  • 2 0
 What is this "sweat management" thing you speak of?
  • 14 8
 A strip of eva foam that is installed in between the mips LFL and the comfort liner, it diverts sweat from your eyes and optics and to the sides-the helmet comes with it installed, with 2 spares in the box. We debated on installing it for production and had talked about letting the consumer install themselves, but we joked about people putting it on the wrong way. So we installed it.
I'd say 75% of our testers/athletes left it on there, liked it and some (Dave Cullinan for example, who sweats like a .....) said it was a dream come true---but, you can easily remove, its a high end adhesive that wont leave any sticky residue. Takes 15 seconds to remove.
  • 3 1
 Still no place to store goggles under the visor?
  • 1 0
 there is if you watch the vid . pleanty of room .

check the 5min mark
  • 1 0
 @THE-GUNT: better, but still not as much room for the really tall goggles.. narrow goggles fit (barely) on the A2 but they didn’t have the field of vertical field of view.
  • 3 37
flag troyleedesigns (Mar 17, 2021 at 12:24) (Below Threshold)
 Reviewer mentioned goggle stowage, but did not show images, but goggle stowage is possible and helmet was designed for it-hence the MagnaJust visor system, giving you goon proof goggle stowage.
  • 2 0
 Nice. I think I'll stick with the A1.
  • 4 2
 molded foam with a plastic coating = $220
  • 1 0
 TLD is on to A3 model Eek I’m still rocking my A1! I love the fit and style of it
  • 2 1
 Can't wait for the A4 to come out as it'll be slightly shorter and slightly wider than normal. And maybe even paper thin! Wink
  • 2 0
 I could take or leave the exposed styrofoam look
  • 1 0
 Why does this color way show the molded foam in the back lower portion, when the other colors don’t?
  • 2 1
 Kaz mentioned somewhere in the comments that it has a clear shell on the lower portion, that's why it looks exposed, bit it's not.
  • 1 0
 All cool and stuff but I would really want to see the new 100% Aircraft2
  • 1 0
 Different but kinda the same
  • 3 1
 Looks like A1
  • 1 0
 Looks like a mix of A1 and A2. Am I the only one who likes this colorway?
  • 1 1
 - Simon?
- It's a no from me.
  • 2 1
 Go go power rangers
  • 2 1
 Like an A1 2.0
  • 3 4
 Hey Troy Lee ... the 90s called, they want their speed fin back!
  • 6 9
 The Troylee Ass3
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