Lightweight trail helmet, comfortable enough for all-day protection
The 661 Recon Scout might not have MIPS or anything hi-tech but what it does have is a streamlined profile, comfortable fit and a wallet-friendly price.
The 661 Recon Scout might not have MIPS or any of the other latest helmet trends but what it does have is a streamlined profile, comfortable fit and a wallet-friendly price.
The shape of the Recon Scout straddles that of a cross country lid and an all-mountain/enduro helmet. There are eighteen capacious vents to suck in air like an XC lid but a deeper rear end to cover more of the skull. Strap mounts are in-moulded to minimise any chance of damage and I’m glad to see 661 still opts for adjustment to set the straps exactly where you need them.
661 Recon Scout Helmet review
The Recon Scout is only available in two shell sizes, S/M and L/XL but these cover heads from 55cm up to 61cm. Interestingly the S/M has the widest fit range so, as with most helmets it’s certainly better to try before you buy. The shape may sit a little higher on the head than some others, and it doesn’t feel as all-encompassing or protective as something like a Giro Chronicle. But the upside is this helmet is lighter and way more ventilated, so is ideally suited to longer days in the saddle.
Comfort is okay, the pads are perfectly adequate and cover all the main cranial contact points; but it just doesn’t feel super cosseting. I suppose the best way to describe it is like the difference between wearing a nice thick merino wool beanie compared to baseball cap. Both equally easy to wear but you tend to know you’re wearing a baseball cap. The rear adjustment position is a factor in this as it lacks vertical movement. For me this means that it sits right on the lumpy bit at the back of my skull, whereas I prefer to place the adjuster underneath for comfort.
Like all good quality helmets the Recon Scout is in-moulded to make it as robust as possible. There’s very little unprotected polystyrene, so it has survived the usual transport knocks and rough treatment with few ill effects. In fact, it still looks like new after half a year of testing, apart from the white straps (never a good idea on a helmet destined to be covered in mud).
The only other issue I noticed is the 661 Recon Scout doesn’t have a central vent. So if you run a helmet light such as an Exposure Joystick then you need to put it to one side of the helmet. This is pretty minor though! Eyewear compatibility is pretty good, with most glasses causing little fouling to the helmet.
For the price the 661 Recon Scout is an attractive trail helmet. The shape is good looking and relatively comfortable. But with only two sizes and a non-adjustable retention system, we do recommend trying it on before choosing the right one.