A firm staff favourite here at mbr
The Troy Lee Designs A2 uses a MIPS low friction liner inside. It isn’t that light but one reason is the level of detail in the integrated protection.
Its A1 helmet was a best seller, and this A2 brings more sophisticated construction and 25% more heat reducing venting; something that’ll be welcome for anyone who loved the A1’s wrap-around fit, but found it too hot.
Dual-density EPS and EPP foam layers lie underneath an outer shell that’s also reinforced with filaments to better resist penetration. Each layer targets different impact velocities, and there are also extra polystyrene ridges in the front section protruding upwards under the shell as a first line of defence against heavy hits – these splines add to the A2’s sculpted, racy look too. To lessen the effect of rotational impacts, this is aided and abetted by a moveable MIPS (Multi-directional Impact Protection System) insert.
All this material doesn’t affect cooling or airflow though, and the A2 is really effective at feeding a breeze over your scalp and dumping more heat than most. The internal pads are comfy next to the skin and thicker at the forehead for a properly cushioned connection. These pads absorb sweat well, but can drip down when saturated and need squeezing out often. We had a few issued with it coming apart on last year’s A1 but this one has held up fine. Fit and stability is very good, but the A2 rests on more specific points compared to how the classic A1 model spread its weight evenly over your cranium.
The retention device attaches to the inside of the EPS using press-studs and can be adjusted for height by popping it into one of three positions. The dial has a nice click and has a wide range of girth adjustment but you’ll also need to do this one up tight because the A2 is pretty loose fitting. The tensioning system is effective and reliable and we’ve found the well-finished helmet to be really durable too, excepting how the decals scratch easily.
Troy Lee Designs specs high-quality aluminium fixings on the visor, which are apparently a breakaway design that will not only stop it catching in a crash, it will save it too. The centre bolt is captured like on the POC helmet, so you can tilt the visor up and down with one hand without it going off to one side, but the problem is there’s barely an inch of vertical adjustment and little stash space. The helmet does have a channel at the back for the strap you just can’t store them that easily when climbing or cruising between enduro stages.
Troy Lee Designs has a history of making things look incredible cool and with its gold finish the A2 does look amazing. We also like the attention to detail with the bolt hardware, silicone grip of the retention device and one-piece sweat pad. However, the retention device feels little cheap, the visor adjustment is really a token gesture and there are better vented and better fitting helmets for less money. There’s no room to stash goggles under Troy Lee’s stubby peak, but in every other way, the A2 works just as good as it looks, and is a firm staff favourite here.