Sharp styling makes this Urge All-Air helmet a real head turner.
French brand Urge has been making helmets for a long time now, with input from multiple World Champion, Fabien Barel. It is particularly known for very lightweight lids, often with unique looks and shapes, but is a rare sight among the best mountain bike helmets on the trails. Angular, deeply dished and packing tons of vents, this All-Air is a latest-generation product made using recycled materials for both shell and straps. Like many enduro helmets, Urge’s exterior extends down towards the nape of the neck for extra protection.
Urge has its own rotational impact absorption system called ERT. Developed with Seven IDP protection, it’s available in the next model up and uses a deforming polymer (a bit like D30) next to the skull to deflect a claimed 20 per cent more impact energy. The All-Air uses a ‘standard’ expanded polystyrene layer to absorb impact forces in any bang to the head.
Urge offers multiple sizes, but, with a 58cm head, I fell on the cusp of Urge’s two-size model and into a Large/XL. This was a tad too roomy and required cranking tight to stop it wobbling and pushing goggles further down the bridge of my nose than I’d like on rough runs.
Urge’s stodgy webbing-and-retention system feels positively primitive in comparison to the best 360º dial systems. It’s the same story inside, where Urge’s bowled out, old-school, exposed EPS liner with small, old-fashioned spongy pads is nowhere near as refined as more modern designs.
Urge’s claims of light weight and efficient cooling totally stack up though, and the All-Air lives up to its name with great airflow and a breezy design that runs very cool on the hottest days.
The Urge has excellent ventilation, but the stability isn't on par with the best helmets on the market and the styling is quirky. It's a good price though, so definitely worth consideration if you want to make a statement.