The 100% Aircraft is one of most stylish/sleek looking helmets in our test. With that sleek look comes a tight fit. The location of space for the ears is just offset by just a little - which makes for a tight fight around the ears and the cheeks. The fabric is not as soft as the Fox Rampage or the Bell Full 9. The Aircraft did loosen up a bit after several days riding, but it still felt tight in awkward locations. The helmet's cheek pads can be removed with the helmet still in place, a useful, and an increasingly common feature that's intended to help medics remove a helmet without compromising spine stability.
100% Aircraft MIPS Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Lightweight, long visor, user-friendly goggle placement around the helmet
Cons: Cheek pads sit high on jaw, chin strap awkward to clip, ear space in the wrong location
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The 100% brand has always been synonymous with motocross Americana and has been linked to many iconic moments that have built the roots and history of what is modern motocross. The roots of the brand date back to the early 1980's when the popular logo graced the factory racing equipment of the biggest names in motocross. During our month spent riding Whistler Bike Park, we saw many of riders dawning the 100% Aircraft. The likes of freeride sender Sam Reynold, enduro racer Sam Hill and one of the fastest ladies on the planet Myriam Nicole all wear the 100% Aircraft while doing what they love. The brand has a wide range of athletes rocking the Aircraft with confidence and style.
The fabric in all helmets feels slightly different. The Aircraft was in the middle of the pack for softness compared to the award winner Fox Rampage or Bell Full-9.
Out of all seven helmets tested the Aircraft was the least comfortable. Let us explain; remember all heads come in different shapes and sizes so understand that helmet fit can be subjective, but almost all testers agreed that the 100% just didn't fit around the ears or cheek areas correctly. We found the biggest downside to be the strap — its rearward position means that when it's tightened, it sits on the top of the neck rather than right under the chin, affecting overall comfort. The design is sleek and doesn't look bulky, but with sleekness, you inherently are going to have tightness in the wrong locations. After wearing the Aircraft over ten days, it did start to feel better, but the break-in period was brutal.
The adjustable visor fends off errant branches and provides a bit of shade from the sun while a titanium D-Ring buckle frames the face and fastens to hold everything in place.
For added safety, 100% includes an integrated compartment that's compatible with inflatable emergency release systems, while emergency release cheek pads make for quick and easy helmet removal in the event of a mishap.
The Aircraft DH helmet is also compatible with most neck brace systems.
The Aircraft weighs in as one of our lightest helmets in our test. With all the added features and still being able to secure such a low weight is fairly impressive. It weighs in at a whopping 36.7 ounces, just above the Fox Proframe, which has way less material than the 100%. If 100% can get the fit more dialed in the future, then we believe that it could potentially be a big winner next year.
Airflow is managed through 25 channels to create the most ventilated helmet available. The 100% seemed to always feel cool during hot days and warm during the chilly mornings.
100% has also added MIPS technology to the Aircraft to help when rotational forces are present in a crash. These rotation forces are common when riding DH or freeride. When it comes to protecting our brain, every technology possible is certainly welcome in any helmet we test. Emergency release cheek pads and integrated release system compartment allow for quick removal.
The Aircraft has an adjustable visor with lightweight screws and a d-ring buckle which ensures a proper fit. We like the lightweight carbon design, as well as the MIPs technology, which adds additional protection for your dome. The liner, chip strap covers, and cheek pads are washable, and the cheek pads have a release system for easy removal.
We especially appreciated the cooling system, complete with 25 channels and vents - this is more ventilation than most in our fleet. The Aircraft comes complete with three EPS sizes and two shell sizes, which means the majority of riders will be able to make good use of this helmet. The helmet case is durable and we like the integrated goggle pocket.
We never found any durability issues with the Aircraft. It held up to all the riding we could do and never showed any signs of falling apart anywhere outside or inside the helmet.
If you find yourself lapping chairs at the Whistler Bike Park, or climbing spines in the Utah desert, the 100% is for you. Riding the chair is a good place to break it in while crushing laps and dialing in its comfort potential.
The 100% holds its own in the comfort department. It has all the great features and weighs less than most other brands and sits in a similar price bracket at $400. 100% is a company to watch in the future. We believe that you get your money worth in the Aircraft, but make sure and try it on before throwing down the money.
The 100% Aircraft helmet meets all the safety requirements for downhill helmets, making it the perfect helmet for new and younger riders. It's also the ideal helmet for the kind of rider that does the occasional uplift day that can justify spending the extra dollar for a little style. Beware of the way this helmet fits; try it on before you pull the trigger and purchase from a retailer that allows returns.
— Dustin Schaad