Fox Rampage Pro Carbon MIPS Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Supreme protection, confidence-inspiring, dialed visor
Cons: Limited ventilation, somewhat narrow range of use, expensive
Manufacturer: Fox Racing
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Fox Rampage Pro Carbon MIPS
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|Pros||Supreme protection, confidence-inspiring, dialed visor||Breathable, more robust than other enduro-focused options, lightweight||Extremely light, versatile, comfortable||Protective, reasonably priced, comfortable||Impressive price tag, comfortable, available in seven sizes|
|Cons||Limited ventilation, somewhat narrow range of use, expensive||Not suited for frequent bike park duties, a little expensive||Not the most protective, mud can clog up the chin bar bar attachment system||Average ventilation, heavier weight, no rotational impact protection system||Warm, poor ventilation, fit is a little loose|
|Bottom Line||A high-end full-face helmet designed for downhill racing, bike park laps, and sending freeride lines||A dialed enduro-oriented helmet that delivers excellent breathability and solid protection||An extremely light and well-ventilated convertible full-face helmet suited for aggressive trail and enduro riding||A full-face helmet that boasts a strong value and high levels of protection||A respectable full-face helmet at a stunning price tag|
|Rating Categories||Fox Rampage Pro Car...||Smith Mainline MIPS||Bell Super Air R MIPS||Troy Lee Designs D3...||7Protection M1|
|Specs||Fox Rampage Pro Car...||Smith Mainline MIPS||Bell Super Air R MIPS||Troy Lee Designs D3...||7Protection M1|
|Weight (size medium)||42.7 oz||27.0 oz||14.9 oz - half shell 23.8 oz - full face||41.0 oz||33.4 oz|
|Number of Vents||17||21||18 helmet, 8 chin vents, 4 brow ports||13||17|
|Shell Material||Carbon Fiber||Aerocore||Polycarbonate||Fiberglass||Polycarbonate|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Fox Rampage Pro Carbon MIPS maintains its position at the top of the podium as the best overall downhill helmet. If your idea of fun is blasting bike park laps, downhill racing, or freeriding, we feel this is the best helmet for the job. This new iteration of the classic lid is better than ever. It shares many similarities with the previous versions but now uses a MIPS liner. Protection, quality of the visor, and ventilation were notable strong suits for this helmet. The elephant in the room is a very high price tag. Yes, this helmet is very expensive and you can get a functional full face for a quarter of the price. We do, however, feel this is the best DH helmet in our test class and the overall quality is nothing short of outstanding.
If there is one area where the Rampage Pro Carbon MIPS is potentially not perfect, it is the fit. Simply put, the helmet has a very snug feel and runs a touch smaller than other helmets of the same size. The first time we put it on, it felt a little tight. Sizing up is always an option, but we're pretty confident that a larger size would have been too big. It comes in four sizes, S-XL, which should fit the majority of riders. The helmet has relatively thick, pillowy padding that holds the head with a somewhat firm grasp. After a few sweaty shuttle sessions, however, the padding packed out a bit and the fit did loosen up noticeably.
The X-static anti-microbial cheek pads and head liner are comfortable against the head. The fit is consistent throughout the shell and we didn't experience any hot spots or pressure points at all. Despite the liberal amount of padding, the ear pockets are well designed and we could hear well. Once they compacted a touch, the cheek pads were perfect and we had no problem speaking with the helmet on. One major benefit of the snug fit of the Rampage helmet is that it stays in place on your head very well. It didn't bounce around while riding and didn't rattle against our goggles. We found the chin strap to be comfortable with a D-ring closure that keeps the helmet secured on the head.
This helmet offers outstanding levels of protection. It provides excellent coverage, it has a substantial feel, and it comes with a MIPS liner. Additional features like a breakaway visor and removable cheek pads also aim to protect you should things go wrong. If we had to ride a world cup race track or send an uncomfortably big drop, this is the helmet we would reach for every single time.
The Rampage Pro Carbon uses a sleek one-piece carbon fiber shell with injection-molded Varizorb EPS foam. Varizorb isn't self-explanatory, but it is a dual-density EPS foam claimed to distribute impact forces over a wider area. Inside the helmet, the padding is plentiful and the whole package just feels robust and very substantial. The chin strap attaches under the chin with a D-ring to ensure that the helmet stays put in the event of a crash. Overall, the helmet feels impressively secure on the head, enhancing its protective feel. The chin bar vents are all covered with a plastic grip that is backed with a little foam. The covered vents help to prevent dirt and debris from passing through, though they do limit airflow somewhat.
The big story with the newest iteration of the Rampage Pro Carbon is the inclusion of a MIPS liner as opposed to the Fluid Inside system in the previous version. MIPS stands for Multi-directional Impact Protection System and is a layer of material hidden under the pads intended to allow the helmet to rotate slightly in the event of an angled impact. This slight bit of rotation between the head and helmet is meant to reduce the rotational forces that reach the brain. MIPS has been around for some time and is found in many half-shell and full-face helmets.
There is a little bit of debate as to how effective MIPS is. We can’t comment on the scientific side of things. We can say that regardless of how effective they are, we always appreciate additional safety features that may keep our heads safe.
Our size medium test helmet tipped the scales at 42.7 ounces or 1,211-grams. This helmet is certainly on the heavier end of the spectrum but is just slightly lighter than the previous iteration of the Rampage Pro Carbon. It is among the heaviest options in our test class, which isn't that surprising given the protective nature of this burly DH helmet.
While weight is always a notable number, we aren’t too concerned with a few extra ounces. The Rampage Pro Carbon MIPS is clearly designed for downhill racing, bike park riding, and freeriding. None of these disciplines prioritize weight savings. We are happy to wear a slightly heavier helmet if the protection is dialed.
For a big, bruising, DH race helmet, the Rampage Pro Carbon offers decent ventilation. Make no mistake, given the loads of padding, robust design, and lofty weight, this is far from the airiest helmet. Riders who are looking to do any climbing with their full face should look elsewhere. There are plenty of enduro-oriented or convertible options that are a much better choice. Still, given the intended application, this helmet breathes reasonably well.
The Rampage Pro Carbon has exactly seventeen vents, seven of which are found on the chin bar. The main vent is directly in front of the mouth, flanked with two, large, horizontal vents on each side of the face. There are also two small ports above the main mouth port. All of these vents have plastic, mesh-like covers backed with thin foam to keep debris out. While these vent covers are effective at keeping debris and even some dust from reaching your face, they inhibit airflow pretty significantly. Some air can still pass through, but there isn't exactly a cool breeze on your face like you might find with open chin bar vents.
The upper portion of the helmet has ten vents. There are two large intake vents above the brow along with two smaller ones above the temple. There are exhaust ports on the rear as well as a couple of vents directly on top of the head. Given the hefty amounts of padding, this vent system is appreciated. It feels like it works well enough although this will never be a super airy helmet.
The Rampage Pro Carbon has an excellent visor. Fox didn’t try to reinvent the wheel with some sort of slick adjustment system. Instead, the visor is fixed in position. We all love adjustability, but the manufacturer set the visor in a sensible, middle-of-the-road position and called it a day. The visor is high enough that you can stash your goggles under it when you're riding back up the lift.
The visor is average in length. It's long enough to block the sun when you need it to, but not so long that it really enters your field of vision. The visor starts off wide and tapers down to approximately 6-inches. The end of the visor is slightly rounded. The visor material is flexible and can be easily bent with the hand. It is attached at two points, one on each side of the head, with hardware that is designed to break away in the event of a crash. This feature is designed to prevent injury. If you crash onto the visor, the bending and twisting of the visor could create forces that could injure your neck. By allowing the visitor to break away, it removes that element from the crash. Should this happen, replacement visors and screws are available from Fox.
Throughout our testing period, we didn’t experience any premature breakdown or observe any signs of developing issues. Everything still looks and feels brand new. The cozy padded interior of the helmet did pack out a little bit and created a bit more space which was welcome. The exterior of the helmet also fared well, and the matte finish stood up to careless transportation and encounters with some branches and bushes with hardly a scuff or scratch to be seen.
One area of interest is the breakaway visor. We are curious to see exactly how much force it will take for the screws to shear off and release the visor. While we think this is a great safety feature, it could be frustrating if they break too easily. We think it would be nice if Fox included some extra hardware and a replacement visor with the helmet.
The Rampage Pro Carbon MIPS comes with a fancy helmet carrying case. It didn’t come with an extra visor or pads. It should be mentioned that fewer and fewer helmets are coming with extra visors these days.
This helmet is expensive. In fact, some might say it is very expensive. That said, we do feel that the protective features are top-of-the-line. If we had to reach for one helmet in our test class that provides supreme protection, it is the Rampage Pro Carbon MIPS. It is robust, protective, and it features a high-quality construction.
The Fox Rampage Pro Carbon MIPS continues its reign as the best overall DH helmet in our test. This helmet ticks the most important boxes, and we feel it is the most protective helmet in this review. The comfort levels are solid, the visor is decent, and it feels like it is built to last. When we're purely riding downhill and things get steep and gnarly, this is the helmet we want to be wearing. Yes, it is expensive, but we feel the price tag is justified by the top-notch performance and protection it offers.
— Pat Donahue
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