Leatt DBX 3.0 All Mountain Helmet - Review

Jun 7, 2017 at 7:31
by Richard Cunningham  
Leatt DBX 3.0 helmet


Leatt's DBX 3.0 All Mountain helmet is a latecomer to the full coverage half-shell party, which means they had to work extra hard to make an impression. The South African firm comes to the show as the king of neck protection, so their designers couldn't get away with a "better than brand X helmet." Leatt's half shell had to move the needle in the areas of innovation, protection and construction, and it had to look great too. PB editor AJ Barlas gave us an informative first look of the DBX All Mountain helmet at the Sea Otter Classic this year, which indicated that Leatt had risen to the occasion.


DBX 3.0 All Mountain details:
• Use: trail riding and all-mountain
• Polycarbonate shell, in-molded EPS liner, 18 vents
• 360° Armourgel Turbine Technology
• Reduces up to 30% of head impact at concussion level
• Reduces up to 40% of rotational acceleration
• Dri-Lex moisture-wicking, anti-odor, washable liner
• Breakaway visor
• Fidlock magnetic closure system
• Certified to EN1078; CPSC 1203
• Weight: from 360g (0.79 lbs)
• Three sizes: Small (51 to 55cm), Medium (55 to 59cm) Large (59 to 63cm)
• Colors: Orange, blue, black, gray and green
• MSRP: $169.99 USD
• Contact: Leatt
Leatt DBX 3.0 helmet


Highlights

The 2017 DBX 3.0 All Mountain manages to check all of those boxes. Its good-looking polycarbonate shell is integrally molded with its EPS liner to protect the head at the moment of impact. Inside, rotational trauma is minimized by ten circular "Turbines" molded from "Armourgel" and strategically placed inside the shell to caress the skull and help isolate it from lateral movement. Further protection from rotational trauma is afforded by a break-away visor, and on the comfort side, three shell sizes are offered, with 18 vents and a plush, antimicrobial liner that is both removable and machine washable. Retention is via a conventional ratchet dial in the rear and chin-strap webbing, secured by an easy-to-use magnetic Fidlock buckle. DBX All Mountain helmets are certified and tested to EN1078 and CPSC 1203 standards. Colors available are blue, orange, green, gray and black, and Leatt's three shell sizes fit heads from 51 through 63 centimeters. Weight is pegged at 360 grams, and the MSRP is $169.99 USD

Leatt DBX 3.0 helmet
Ventilation channel design keeps eyewear sweat free.

Leatt DBX 3.0 helmet
Molded inserts reinforce large vent ports.
Leatt DBX 3.0 helmet
Goggle-friendly profile and large exit ports.

Leatt DBX 3.0 helmet
Head-band angle adjustment is easy to use.


360° Armourgel Turbine Technology

Armourgel is a shock absorbing plastic material that was designed primarily for military and police body protection, but Leatt uses it because of its shock damping ability and molds it into a round shape that resembles a spoked turbine wheel. The "hub" of the wheels is fixed to the EPS foam liner, while the rider's skull is supported by the outer rim of the turbines. The intention is that, if there is an off-angle impact, the flexible spokes will allow the helmet to freely rotate around the skull for a millisecond or two — reportedly, enough to isolate up to 40-percent of the impact energy.

Leatt DBX 3.0 helmet
Turbines, turbines everywhere: The wagon-wheel shape of Leatt's Armourgell Turbines allows the helmet to move around the skull in any direction in the event of an angular impact.


Trail Report

Leatt's designers gave their DBX 3.0 helmet a decidedly European profile, with angular lines, contrasting plastic inserts and large vents. I'm not a huge fan of that style, but it works well in this case. The low back gave me concern that it would contact my neck and rock the helmet forward on my head while I was descending, however, that was not an issue. There is a four-position angle adjustment above the dial adjustment to address that issue.

My head is just right for small/medium sizes from Kali, Giro, and Troy Lee, and the medium Leatt popped onto my head like it was used as a form for the mold. Some of that good fit, however, can be attributed to the way the DBX 3.0's adjustable band pushes the head forward into a comfortable pocket created by the shape of the padding and shell. I assume that most wearers will have some free space behind their skull where the slack is taken up. How that affects impact protection is anyone's guess - the bottom line is that Leatt's trail bike lid feels snug, comfortable and well ventilated.
Leatt DBX 3.0 helmet 2017
- Laurence Crossman-Emms photo

I have become a fan of the magnetic Fidlock buckle because I can cinch it up with one hand when I'm feeling lucky, and it's literally a snap with gloved hands. Those who have big ears may find the helmet's webbing configuration to be a little close for comfort. Two of the three riders who had worn the DBX mentioned that the triangle formed by the web cramped their ears when the helmet's fit was otherwise perfect. I managed to find harmony, with just enough clearance to avoid the issue.

Leatt DBX 3.0 helmet
Fidlock magnetic buckle closed...
Leatt DBX 3.0 helmet
...And opened, exposing its sliding latch.

Get going and the DBX 3.0 stays put with the chin strap set comfortably around the jaw. The adjustable visor ("peak" for the Brits) sits low enough to bock out the late afternoon sun, and adjusts high enough to earn DH style points and to get a full range of vision. I had the opportunity to wear the helmet for extended climbing during the heat of the day and found its ventilation to be better than the new Troy Lee A2, and on par with the Kali Maya (two of my favorites). Where both the Kali and TLD helmets tend to channel sweat towards the center of the brow, the Leatt helmet remained much drier and did not tend to foul my glasses after the climbs ended and the fun began. I attribute that to the split channel vents in the forward section of the DBX 3.0 shell.


Pinkbike's Take:

bigquotesIf you like the looks of Leatt's DBX 3.0 All Mountain helmet, you will definitely enjoy its fit and performance. Top notch construction and the potential benefits of Leatt's Armourgel turbines are the kind of technology we have come to expect from Leatt's range of safety products. At $169.99, the DBX 3.0 faces stiff competition from established helmet makers, but measured by its performance, it stands shoulder to shoulder with the best.RC





52 Comments

  • + 12
 I bought this helmet last week to replace a retired Smith. It fits higher than many melmets do on my head so there is no interference with my riding glasses. Only issue is that the front turbine leaves a cyclopean impression in my hairless forehead that looks odd after a ride.
  • + 3
 Now that is a good excuse to wear those cyclops 100% Speedcrafts Wink
  • + 1
 Did you pick it up in Whistler or Squamish or online? I'd like to try one if there is a local store carrying them. Thanks.
  • + 1
 This was my first thought- figured the sparse-haired rider would have imprints on their head from the turbines.
  • + 1
 @neiller: I got it from the Surefoot store in Whistler village.
  • + 1
 Bought one of these of Amazon (couldn't find a dealer in Wisconsin) back in April, and I couldn't b e happier...fits great, looks great. Thankfully I can't yet attest to the impact protection...best helmet i've ever had!
  • + 2
 Look at the pics. If yer head looks like a fencepost, then order one up.
  • + 5
 Out of all the helmets I tried on at the Fort Bill World Cup last weekend, this had by far the best fit and comfort. Kudos to Leatt. I will be buying one now!
  • + 2
 Tried this one too as they didn't have the split helmet in my size and have to agree that its a real comfortable fit. I'm waiting for the LBS to get them in now.
  • + 9
 Isn't helmet fit more personal than clipless vs flats?
  • + 3
 @ilovedust: I'm waiting on the removable chinbar version which isn't about yet.
  • + 2
 @WAKIdesigns: No idea why you got negged! You're right, head shape differs greatly. One lad I went to school with had a head like a submarine. He wouldn't even be able to buy one that fits!

Same as people recommending you a saddle, it just can't happen.
  • + 3
 I just purchased one of these helmets and it is by far the most comfortable helmet I have ever owned. The only thing I really miss is the mount for lights or a camera.
  • + 1
 This is the best fitting helmet I have ever owned. Very comfortable and lightweight. This helmet just feels like it's a high quality helmet from the moment you put it on. Really like the strap/buckle system. Looking forward to trying more Leatt mtn bike products.
  • + 1
 Have been waiting for a review of this for ages! Saw it a while back but with nowhere to test it near me, have been trying to find reviews and comparisons before making the plunge. Love the look of the thing, and the innovation Leatt have brought to the table is exciting!
  • + 1
 Probably cant be arsed paying for the "Australia only" testing yet.
  • + 3
 I see you're testing the Whyte s-150 care to share any thoughts about it?Wink
  • + 1
 An actual picture of the helmet on an actual person in an actually viewable angle. Good job guys. Its a big plus that glasses are included in the view.
  • + 2
 Those magnetic buckles are ingenious.
  • + 1
 "the Fox proframe renders all am open face lids obsolete". could not agree more!
  • + 2
 Only if you want your ears covered. Quite a bit of difference in coolness and comfort from that factor alone. Otherwise, yeah, the proframe is a nice helmet. I'd say it renders all other heavy full face lids obsolete though, not open face lids.
  • + 2
 @TucsonDon: just the opposite of what you said it true. For serious DH, only use real DH helmets. For aggressive am real trail riding or some what free riding use the Fox Proframe.
  • + 1
 @DH6: Proframe meets downhill testing standards, so any other "real" DH helmet might even be weaker. You would have to test them to know. That may be your assumption, but it doesn't make it true. And over ear coverage is definitely warmer.
  • + 1
 Does it HAVE to be an 'all mountain' helmet........ can't it just be a helmet?!
F-ing industry
  • + 1
 There are different types of helmets because they are targeted towards different riders. "All Mountain" helmets are designed for riders that might need things like goggle compatibility, lower back-head protection, higher safety standards etc.
  • + 2
 the Fox proframe renders all am open face lids obsolete
  • + 1
 finally. someone normal who knows what there talking about.
  • + 2
 I second this, and I have tried a few. Crashed out two Giro Switchblades, also had a Super 2R. After getting a couple concussions I decided that the Switchblade just wasn't enough protection for the kind of riding I do. I now wear a Proframe for trail riding, and a Fly Werx Carbon for park/DH. Both awesome helmets, but the Proframe is just stellar, I can hardly tell I have a full face on, and it interfaces with a neckbrace much better than any removable chinbar helmet. Kudos to Fox on that one. I honestly would wear my Proframe on my road bike, if I ever biked on the road anymore...

Also the Werx is the same weight as the Switchblade and has an incredibly comfy fit, but it's much warmer than the Proframe.
  • + 1
 yea but doesn't fit all. I really wanted to purchase one however it wouldn't fit me properly.
  • + 1
 @ghotinori: I don't mind the chinbar itself while climbing in my Super 2r, but I remove it for climbs because the cheek pads get uncomfortably hot. Does the Fox solve that problem?
  • + 2
 @cmervin: I was excited by the prospect, but also could not get along with the fit. tried all the sizes, but the front part of the mips liner dug straight into my forehead. not something I could just live with. Another person in the store said the same thing and the LBS owner confirmed that was his experience as well. Could be a batch thing, though so I'm not going to write it off entirely. If I come across one somewhere else I'll give it another try.
  • + 1
 @dthomp325: yes, because the fox proframe comes with 3 different sizes pads for each helmet size including the front cheek pads. I used the smaller ones for the front cheek pads so they were just touching me and less hot. and the cheek area is all open for great ventilation
  • + 12
 @ghotinori: if you got a couple of concussions since Super 2R was released, helmet may not be to blame... sort out your speed/skill ratio man... for good of your own and your close ones... I'm not trying to be an a*shole, I'm just concerned...
  • + 1
 The Proframe is a nice helmet but for me it can't replace an open face for most riding, even heavy duty riding for the most part. Still feels too hot and confining to me for any serious pedal work. I've been wearing it for Enduro races, but honestly I feel like I ride closer to the edge recreationally than during a race (need to work on that). Between those concerns and feeling like I should still use a real DH helmet for DH, I'm not sure how much long term use it will get even though it is light and comfortable (other than the MIPS edge cutting into your forehead !)
  • + 0
 @dthomp325: I would have to say that it is warm, but I am used to it now. I also disagree with @DH6, I think that the cheek pads should be snug enough that the helmet can't rattle around, otherwise you put yourself at increased risk in a crash. For me, the protection is worth the slight increase in heat and discomfort. The big deal for me is that the Proframe feels more ventilated than either the super 2R or the Switchblade, and also feels more protective. I think @cmervin and others are correct, the Proframe has a funny fit, and doesn't fit a lot of people with oval shaped heads. Fox could have done a better job with the fit kits, but in terms of safety/ventilation they hit the nail on the head in a way nobody else has.

@WAKIdesigns I appreciate your concern, both were minor concussions and I followed the proper protocol afterwards, but I agree, it was too many and two quickly, which is why I decided to invest a lot of money in my helmets. I tried pretty much anything I could get my hands on, and the Werx and Proframe were the best for me. A concussion inducing crash can happen to anyone, anywhere. One was on a shuttle trail I had done many times, got caught out, went OTB and smacked my head, cracked my brand new Switchblade. Anyway, progression is always a balance of risk and reward, if you always stay well within the limits of your abilities, the limits of your abilities wont change. Good protective equipment has been my solution, but probably when I have kids I will dial back the 30ft sends a bit Smile
  • + 1
 Until you launch a few snot rockets that hang off the chin bar, or try and eat on the fly, or drink water from a bottle.
  • + 2
 @RC: Is this the Whyte S-150 you're riding?
  • + 1
 No salty sweat dripping and burning in my eyes, good design, cool attention to details? This might be my next helmet!
  • + 1
 I was trying to buy the version with the chinbar, but couldn't find it for sale anywhere. When will it be available?
  • + 1
 I'm sure the rep at Fort William said September for the UK so look for a similar period for the US
  • + 1
 They are saying September.
  • + 1
 I've always called it a visor. Maybe I watch too much TV ????.
  • + 1
 Carrot top mc pumpkin head
  • + 1
 Leatt products are awesome.
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