Construction and Features
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.
• 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
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.
Eyewear clips work great+
Sweat gutter keeps sweat out of eyes
On the heavier side-
Not the best heat dissipation-
MIPS system may rub some riders the wrong way