The cover is fabric, which is borrowed from snowboard helmets where this look is popular. Since the material is bonded to the micro-shell it adds weight and makes the Xen the heaviest on test, but we found it increases abrasion resistance, especially on the lower edges.
It also has a DWR coating, so shouldn’t soak up water. Underneath it’s no different to a regular Xen, with an in-moulded upper and lower hardbody, the latter extending down at the rear for extra protection. A patented POV visor has 15° of tilt adjustment, handy if you want to get it out of your eye line when riding twisty trails. The Xen gets 17 channelled and sculpted Wind Tunnel vents, but on summer rides we often get a sweaty neck wearing one.
Fit and comfort wise it’s hard to fault — it gets a Roc-Loc 4 with lateral and vertical adjustment. The vertical is a bit redundant because there’s not that much range, and we tend to run them permanently at full extension.
Over the years, the Xen has become part of the trail rider’s uniform, which is testament to its quality construction, styling and fit. It might be hotter than the Bell Volt, but it’s significantly cheaper and harder wearing.
Mbr rating: 9