And here it is – the UK’s first wearable sample of the brand new iXS Xult.
A “cross over” full face
Designed to be light with good air flow
Designed with Cedric Gracia’s feedback
Meets European EN1078, American C.P.S.C and American ASTM DH standards.
What is it? It’s a full face helmet (of course) but one that is a bit more vented than your usual offerings. These days some riders are forsaking safety for staying cool on the trails and running an ‘open face’ helmet. Others are putting their good looks before their comfort and running a full face.
Neither solution is perfect, especially when the temperate starts to climb. Helmets like the Bell Super2R with a removable chin piece are a good compromise but aren’t quite as tough under crashing as a full-bore full face.
A cross-over full-face
The Xult claims to be tough enough to crash hard but airy and vented enough to wear on rides with a bit more pedaling.
It was designed with the input of the legend Cedric Gracia who (well known for having a crash or two) apparently wanted a helmet that let him ride in hot conditions without compromising on protection.
It makes sense to us. Our recent trips to Madeira and Slovenia meant big days in hot sun and lots of trails that went up, along and down. The variety of terrain and weather meant we wore trail helmets and opted not to boil or brains and put safety second. The idea of a cooler, airier full face is a great prospect.
Keep your cool
The key feature is what iXS are called ‘Vortex’ technology. That means air constantly flows through the helmet to keep your head well aired and vented. Our sample helmet isn’t one we can actually ride in yet (the padding isn’t fixed in properly) but it certainly has loads of vents, most obviously the 2 huge ones at the front and 11 at the rear to help air flow in and out.
A surprise with the Xult is the weight.
We had expected it to be lighter. It’s not super heavy, it’s just not super light. At 1100g it’s a pretty standard weight for a full face and iXS seem to have built something that puts “safe” first and then “cool and well vented” a close second. I actually like that. It isn’t a super light, flimsy helmet – it’s a full face with extra ventilation that hasn’t compromised by going ultra-light.
For context, a Fox Carbon Pro Rampage weighs about 1145g, a Troy Lee Designs D3 is about 1130g and a Poc Cortex DH is a very light 1000g.
The price – by the way – is £249.99.
How about safety?
The Xult meets the European EN1078, American C.P.S.C and American ASTM DH standards. That’s pretty much the same standards as the Poc Cortex but isn’t quite as rigorous as the more “gravity” Fox Carbon Rampage and Troy Lee D3. There’s also emergency quick-release cheek pads to let the medics remove your helmet easily in a crash. The Xult uses a D-buckle to fasten the chin strap which we like and provides a good, solid closure. Good stuff all round.
When it landed, the Xult felt a bit heavy and a bit too close to a ‘normal’ full face helmet. I think we were expecting it to be more like the Bell Super2R or Met Parachute.
If you can get over the fact that it’s not a super-lightweight XC-full-face it starts to make a lot of sense. It’s for all of those rides where you get an uplift but also will do a lot of pedaling. Or for those enduro races where you don’t mind pedaling in your open-face hat but don’t want to lug a full-weight full face round on your bag. Or just for shredding in the woods in the summer if you don’t like traditional, less well vented helmets.
We’re ready to give the Xult a proper long term test when you are iXS!