The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of outdoor gear

Leatt DBX 3.0 Enduro V2 Review

A convertible helmet with stellar half-shell performance but has some quirks in full-face mode.
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Price:  $240 List | $239.99 at Competitive Cyclist
Pros:  Simple chin bar attachment/removal, lightweight, well ventilated
Cons:  Styling, uncomfortable in full-face setting, narrow range of applications
Manufacturer:   Leatt
By Pat Donahue ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Jul 3, 2019
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75
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#8 of 12
  • Comfort - 25% 7
  • Visor - 10% 7
  • Weight - 20% 9
  • Ventilation - 15% 9
  • Protection - 20% 6
  • Durability - 10% 7

Our Verdict

The light and feathery Leatt DBX 3.0 Enduro is a convertible full-face that trends towards the enduro applications. You aren't going to want to strap this helmet on to send road gaps every weekend. That said, this is a great option for the rider who wants to grind up big climbs to get to some rough downhills. Yes, the name of this product is a mouthful, but it delivers good on-trail performance in half-shell and decent performance in full-face mode. When in half-shell mode, the DBX 3.0 is as comfortable as any normal trail helmet. In full-face mode, the helmet feels exceptionally light, airy, with a great range of vision. That said, it doesn't feel as burly as some of the dedicated downhill helmets or the other convertible options. Also, testers found it to be a touch uncomfortable. At $240, this helmet is a decent value for the enduro fanatic who wants one helmet to do it all but isn't likely to spend days banging bike park laps.


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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Star Rating
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Pros Simple chin bar attachment/removal, lightweight, well ventilatedHigh-quality finish, loaded with new safety features, sleek lookingBuilt in GoPro mount, well-ventilated,most comfortable fabric in test, great visibility, excellent peripheralLightweight, excellent ventilation, quality fitStellar performance in trail mode, Solid feel in full face mode, lightweight
Cons Styling, uncomfortable in full-face setting, narrow range of applicationsExpensive, tight fitExpensive, no center screw on visor - it rattlesNarrow range of use compared to other helmets, tight chin barPressure point on back of head on half shell mode, not as robust as other full face helmets
Bottom Line A convertible helmet with stellar half-shell performance but has some quirks in full-face mode.A high-end gravity lid packed with the latest and greatest helmet technology.The Full-9 Carbon could be a winning helmet in our test if it wasn't for a the lack of a middle visor screw.A lightweight and supremely breathable enduro-oriented helmetA versatile convertible helmet that functions well in both half shell and full face mode.
Rating Categories Leatt DBX 3.0 Enduro V2 Rampage Pro Carbon Weld Bell Full-9 Troy Lee Designs Stage MIPS Bell Super DH MIPS
Comfort (25%)
10
0
7
10
0
8
10
0
10
10
0
8
10
0
8
Visor (10%)
10
0
7
10
0
10
10
0
6
10
0
8
10
0
8
Weight (20%)
10
0
9
10
0
6
10
0
7
10
0
10
10
0
9
Ventilation (15%)
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
7
10
0
10
10
0
8
Protection (20%)
10
0
6
10
0
10
10
0
9
10
0
6
10
0
7
Durability (10%)
10
0
7
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
6
10
0
8
Specs Leatt DBX 3.0... Rampage Pro Carbon... Bell Full-9 Troy Lee Designs... Bell Super DH MIPS
Weight (size medium) 14.2 oz - half-shell , 26.8 oz - full face 43.5 oz 39.8 oz 24.3 oz 30.7 oz
Number of Vents 23 19 10 25 19 helmet, 2 brow ports, 4 chin vents
Shell Material Polycarbonate Multi-Composite Carbon Fiber reinforced Polylite shell Polycarbonate
Sizes 3 3 4 3 3
CPSC Yes N/A Yes Yes Yes
CE EN1077 Yes N/A No No No
CE EN1078 Yes N/A Yes Yes Yes
ASTM F1952 No N/A Yes Yes Yes
ASTM F2032-06 No N/A Yes Yes No
ASTM F2040 No N/A No No No

Our Analysis and Test Results

Given the light and versatile design, the DBX3.0 had some obvious strengths and weaknesses. This helmet faired well in the comfort, weight, and ventilation metrics while the ever-important protection metric wasn't a strong suit. The Bell Super DH MIPS is still our favorite convertible option.

Performance Comparison


The DBX 3.0 has a distinct look. It is polarizing to say the least.
The DBX 3.0 has a distinct look. It is polarizing to say the least.

Comfort


The DBX 3.0 offers decent comfort levels. This is an exceptionally comfortable helmet in half-shell mode. In the full-face setting, the comfort levels take a business-like approach and work aside from a quirk or two.

In full-face mode, the padding on the cheeks is snug without feeling like it is squeezing your face too tight. It certainly trends towards the tighter side in this area, and riders with more prominent jaws or cheeks may have a problem with this lid. The padding material feels quite a bit denser than some of the other ultra-plush options like the Giro Disciple MIPS which feels like a pillow. The crown of the head also has a fairly firm feel. The 360 Turbine impact protection system forgoes comfortable padding in favor of almost a dozen, little circles made of ArmourGel. We will discuss this in more detail in the protection section, but this isn't outstandingly comfortable. They may offer improved levels of protection, but we feel they are less comfortable than a nice plush fabric.

The retention dial is in the way when you put this helmet on in full face mode.
The retention dial is in the way when you put this helmet on in full face mode.

One other notable quirk is that after you have transitioned this helmet from half-shell mode to full-face mode, it can be difficult to put it back on. The BOA adjustment system needs to be set a little tighter in trail/half-shell mode compared to the full face setting. As a result, after reinstalling the chin bar, the BOA dial and retention dial is somewhat in your way when trying to stuff your head in the helmet. You need to loosen the helmet to put it on and then tighten the dial once it's on your head.

The removable chin bar system is very simple and well-executed.
The removable chin bar system is very simple and well-executed.

Protection


This helmet is EN1078 and CPSC 1203 certified. This high-quality helmet is loaded with features and has the safety certifications, but it doesn't feel as protective as some of the other helmets in this test. Part of this phenomenon is that our mind kind of assumes a slim fitting and lightweight helmet to flimsy and weak. Bigger and burly helmets like the Fox Racing Rampage Pro Carbon and the Giro Disciple MIPS feel a whole lot more confidence inspiring when charging downhill at full speed.

The other convertible helmets in our test, the Bell Super DH and Giro Switchblade MIPS, both feel substantially more protective than the Leatt. The feathery Troy Lee Designs Stage helmet has a similar lighter duty feel.

The rear offers a nice amount of coverage.
The rear offers a nice amount of coverage.

The main construction of this lid uses EPS foam. This is very common in cycling helmets as it is lightweight and simple; nothing out of the ordinary here. As soon as you look inside the helmet, you can see ten, blue, circular, turbines. These turbines sort of mimic a MIPS liner. In the event of an angled impact, these turbines will allow some rotation and reduce the rotational forces that will reach the brain. You can use your thumbs to wiggle these turbines fairly easily.

The "turbines" allow the helmet to rotate slightly in the event of an angled impact.
The "turbines" allow the helmet to rotate slightly in the event of an angled impact.

Weight


The DBX 3.0 weighs 26.8-ounces in full face mode. That makes it the third lightest helmet in the test behind the Troy Lee Designs Stage and the Fox Proframe. All three of these helmets are designed for the enduro crowd as opposed to the downhill racer/park rat type. As a half-shell, the DBX 3.0 weighs 14.2-ounces.

The lightweight feel is immediately noticeable as soon as you slide this helmet on. We have worn this lid for hours on end, and there is no strain on the neck or shoulders from having to hold this helmet up. This low weight is a fantastic attribute if you plan on pedaling or hauling this helmet uphill under your own power.

The DBX 3.0 allows plenty of air to reach your melon.
The DBX 3.0 allows plenty of air to reach your melon.

Ventilation


The ventilation is solid on the DBX 3.0 helmet. It can't match the excellent airflow found in the Troy Lee Designs Stage or the Fox Proframe Moth helmet, but it isn't tremendously far behind.

This is an enduro focused lid. Enduro racers are often hammering the pedals and are on the gas hard during a race stage. The chin bar has three main ports in the front. The ventilation port located front and center has a fine screen to keep debris out. The two horizontal vents located on either side do not have a screen are totally open ports. The portion of the chin bar closer to the ears also has an unobstructed vent on each side.

This lid is best suited for the enduro application.
This lid is best suited for the enduro application.

The top of the helmet has plenty of airflow too with many vents. In fact, the upper portion of the helmet has a whopping 18 vents. The DBX keeps your head relatively cool whether you are in half-shell mode or the full-face setting. This lid does not have the supremely clammy feel of the 7Protection M1 or Giro Disciple MIPS.

The Leatt helmet has a stout visor.
The Leatt helmet has a stout visor.

Visor


The DBX 3.0 Enduro has a sensibly sized visor. It is not as robust as some of the dedicated full-face helmets. That said, it is long enough to be functional without looking too goofy and huge when the helmet is in half-shell mode.

The visor is anchored at three points. There are pivots above each temple on the side of the helmet and one on the main slider on the center of the helmet. All of these anchor points use the same sized retention screws. These screws are about .75-inches in diameter. They are a little on the smaller side, but they can still be loosened and tightened with gloves on while the helmet is on your head. The visor angle can be adjusted, and the front edge moves about three inches from the highest to the lowest position. The visor bends easily with force. We didn't want to flex the visor too hard and break it. That said, we think it could withstand some indirect impacts without snapping. That said, it is designed to break away in the event of a direct impact to reduce the forces that reach the head.

In half-shell mode  the visor moves up so you can rest your goggles. So enduro.
In half-shell mode, the visor moves up so you can rest your goggles. So enduro.

The text Leatt is displayed in large text on the visor. It is also located on the brow just below the visor. We didn't particularly care for this aesthetic as our testers don't like feeling like a billboard.

The chin bar removal and attachment system still functions well and has no play.
The chin bar removal and attachment system still functions well and has no play.

Durability


Throughout testing, the DBX 3.0 showed no signs of weakening or deteriorating. This helmet uses a Fidlock closure system instead of a traditional D-Clip or buckle. This is a magnetic system that is simple and effective once your technique is dialed.

The removable chin bar was super easy to use and remains solid. We probably removed and reinstalled the chin bar 50 times. The attachment system is far more user-friendly than the Giro Switchblade MIPS and Bell Super DH. While the Bell Super DH developed some play during regular use, the Leatt is still rock solid.

We sweat quite a bit into this helmet. There are no signs of paint fade or chipping after being continuously soaked in sweat.

The DBX 3.0 in its natural habitat.
The DBX 3.0 in its natural habitat.

Extras


The DBX 3.0 comes with a couple of extras including a helmet bag and some extra padding should you wear through or need to replace the existing pads.

Best Application


The DBX 3.0 is best suited for the rider who needs to pedal a lot, but wants an added element of protection. He or she may have a different, dedicated, bike park/downhill helmet, but likes to wear a chin bar on rowdy trail rides. Enduro racers are also the perfect customer for this helmet.

If you are going to ride the bike park often or rip serious shuttle laps, we recommend looking towards a dedicated downhill helmet. The convertible/enduro full face helmets are best suited for someone who will be climbing to the top of the mountain.

Value


At $240, the DBX 3.0 is a strong value for the right buyer. You are essentially getting two helmets and one and both function well within the intended application. If you're looking to rip park laps, there are more protective helmets that cost much less.

This helmet isn't our top choice for bike park laps  but it works well for big climbs to get to some gnar.
This helmet isn't our top choice for bike park laps, but it works well for big climbs to get to some gnar.

Conclusion


The Leatt DBX 3.0 is a solid option in the convertible full-face realm. This lid is a stellar option for the enduro racer or the rider who needs to pedal up to the top of his or her favorite rowdy descent. We still prefer the Bell Super DH MIPS among the convertible options, that said, the DBX 3.0 is $60 less and has a better mechanism to attach and remove the chin bar.


Pat Donahue