Commendable focus on safety but it adds bulk
The latest Leatt DBX 3.0 helmet has 18 vents, an angular profile and a quality, fully wrapped, matt finish that’s very durable.
Leatt initially made its name as a protection brand making neck braces for moto cross riders and downhill racers.
Hidden inside are some very innovative features unique to the South African brand, including the ten ‘turbines’ that isolate the rider’s skull. Made out of a shock-absorbing gel, these circular shapes form the interface between helmet and head to help absorb direct impacts, and can also deflect in rotational strikes. Essentially, the flexible spokes on each gel turbine (and the structures themselves) can twist in a glancing impact to reduce 40% of the rotational acceleration according to Leatt.
These squidgy wheels stand proud of the internal foam padding, but they’re soft and comfy, and backed by deep, cushy moisture-wicking padding, so there’s no pressure or rubbing. Leatt’s retention dial has three height options with precise indexing, and the chinstrap fastens with a nifty magnetic buckle, although this is a bit chunky and doesn’t offer much advantage in terms of ease of use.
At first, the DBX feels a bit perched and tight, but the thick pads conform to head shape quickly and it’s actually pretty invisible when riding, with effective vents that shift plenty air over the scalp. Dual internal channels on either side of the forehead behind the narrow, long peak are especially good at keeping the brow cool and minimising sweat dripping down too.
Leatt’s focus on safety is commendable, but it adds expense and bulk. The DBX 3.0 is well dialled, but it’s the heaviest lid on test and wasn’t an outright favourite either in terms of either ventilation or pure comfort.