Fox Racing Rampage Pro Carbon Weld Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: High-quality finish, loaded with new safety features, sleek looking
Cons: Expensive, tight fit
Manufacturer: Fox Racing
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The Rampage Pro Carbon continues its reign as our Editor's Choice full-face helmet. This new iteration of the classic lid is better than ever. The protection, quality of the visor, and ventilation were notable strong suits for this helmet. Comfort was a touch disappointing. Still, this is an excellent and highly protective helmet.
The Rampage Pro Carbon is many things. It's sleek, protective, and well-designed. One area that could use a bit of improvement is the comfort levels. There are a couple of comfort/fit quirks to this helmet that are noteworthy but don't detract too heavily from our overall impression.
This helmet fits tight. Among the medium helmets in our test, this is the smallest. It is worth noting that Fox says this is intentional. Here is some copy from their website. "When you first put on your new RPC, it will fit snugly and may even feel a bit too tight until it's positioned correctly. With time, the helmet will adapt to your head and loosen a little.'' We have worn this helmet for approximately eight hours now and cannot say that it feels significantly looser. We have really sweat into it, and still, it feels tight. We may concede that the helmet now feels better, but it still feels tight for a medium.
The overall fit is decent. The ear pockets offer sufficient amounts of space. Testers' ears were not being pushed into the side of our heads. The cheek/jaw pads are tight without feeling too uncomfortable. We did experience a pressure point on the forehead area. The tighter fit seems to put too much pressure on the forehead. If we paid attention, we could even feel our pulse in this location. It should be reiterated, all of the other medium helmets fit larger than the Fox Rampage Pro Carbon. Maybe we should be wearing a large Fox helmet, but the rest of the medium lids fit just fine.
The Rampage Pro Carbon Weld offers loads of protection. The technology packed into this helmet is quite impressive. As a rule, we try to avoid being drawn into marketing hype. There are a lot of claims floating around about helmet X being the most protective helmet ever produced or helmet Y being able to cut concussions by 342%. That said, we do take note of new materials and concepts being used.
This helmet has two forms of rotational management. Rotational impact protection became a buzzword when MIPS was introduced several years ago. The idea is to minimize the rotational forces that reach your brain in the event of an angled impact. An example of an angled impact is any crash that isn't straight and directly onto your head. In other words, most crashes are angled impacts. Fox takes a revolutionary approach with the Fluid Inside concept. Between the lining and the foam of the helmet, there are several pods with fluid inside. These pods allow the helmet to rotate on an angled impact. The magnetic visor is another way to mitigate rotational forces. The visor detaches instantly in the event of an angled impact onto the front of the helmet. This instant detachment gets the visor out of the way as to not interrupt the rotation of the helmet.
The multi-composite shell blends multiple materials to achieve the best balance of weight and strength. The shell is filled with EPS foam, and the helmet is lined with a plush and padded X-Static liner. Also, Fox claims the CAGE chin bar is shaped and constructed to most effectively distribute forces in a crash.
That are a lot of features in this expensive helmet. We do believe this helmet had plenty of research and development go into it. While we did not intentionally crash to test the protective values, we are confident that this helmet meets or surpasses the protection of other top-finishing helmets like the Troy Lee Designs D3 or the Giro Disciple MIPS.
This fancy Fox lid hit the scales at 43.5-ounces. That makes it the third heaviest helmet we have tested behind the Giro Disciple MIPS. The previous iteration of the Rampage Pro Carbon weighed 37.9-ounces, making it substantially lighter than the new version.
We aren't concerned with the weight of this helmet. If the latest and greatest protective properties come at a weight penalty, we are okay with that. Also, this is a downhiller's full face helmet. The Rampage Pro Carbon was not designed for the enduro crowd and was never intended to be lugged up a hill; it was designed to go downhill.
The lofty weight isn't especially noticeable when wearing the helmet. It doesn't strain your neck or make you feel top-heavy on the bike. Our weight metric is more of an interesting piece of information and less of a deal-breaker/deal-maker.
The Rampage Pro Carbon offers nice levels of ventilation. For a big, aggressive, downhill helmet, there is okay airflow. This lid will never be in the conversation with the Fox Proframe or Troy Lee Stage MIPS that both boast unrivaled breathability. That said, the Rampage Pro Carbon can hang with any of the other downhill-oriented helmets.
The Editor's Choice Rampage Pro Carbon has 19-vents. We counted. Fifteen of these vents are intake ports that allow air to flow into the helmet. These are all located on on the front side of the shell. There are some located on the chin bar, some at the brow, and some at the front of the crown of the head. The five exhaust ports are located at the rear of the helmet. The purpose of these ports is to allow the air that rushed in through the intake, to exit through the back. This system seemed relatively effective. The fancy diagrams in the product video on the Fox website illustrates the air rushing through the helmet. This is dramatic and intended to illustrate the concept. That said, we do feel it is effective.
The best way to test ventilation is to wear a super warm and stagnant helmet back to back with the helmet you are testing. The Giro Disciple MIPS and 7Protection M1 are both inherently warm and clammy. The Fox breathes significantly better than both.
The Fox helmet has a dialed visor with a very clever and impressive approach. No, this visor is not adjustable, but it is fixed in place with a magnetic system. In the event of a crash, the magnetic attachment will release and cause the visor to break away. This is important for two reasons. First, it has protective benefits. If you crash on your visor and it breaks away, it prevents any additional forces translated to the rider if the visor had stayed in place and bent/twisted. Second, it can salvage the visor. If the visor breaks away and isn't damaged, you can simply reattach it and go on your merry way.
The visor is not adjustable. It is set in one position, and it stays there. This isn't a big deal, but some people like adjustability. The Troy Lee D3 is adjustable. The Giro Disciple MIPS has a minor amount of adjustability, but the system is far from refined.
Throughout testing, we observed no durability issues. Everything remained intact and functional. The padding is perfectly fixed, the D-clip chin strap is working well, and the visor is still rock solid.
We don't have any serious durability concerns moving forward. According to Fox, the Fluid Inside will be unaffected by extraordinarily high and low temperatures.
This lid comes with a helmet bag that zips closed.
There is no doubt this helmet is really, really, expensive. Some may argue that you can't put a price tag on your safety and health. The truth is likely somewhere in the middle. There is a lot of grey area with all of the new technology floating around. If we believe 80% of the marketing hype around this helmet, we can still call this lid an okay value.
The Fox Rampage Pro Carbon Weld is a flashy helmet packed with new technology and a huge number of safety features. It can be difficult to differentiate between marketing hype and technologies that have merit. Still, we love that Fox is trying to improve helmet safety and push the envelope in design. We love this helmet, and it earned our Editor's Choice award. While it is costly, this would be our first choice for a downhill race or sending a new road gap.
— Pat Donahue