Dainese D-Raptor LE
|Weight:||961 grams size XL 62cm|
|Materials:||Fiberglass Shell and dual-density EPS liner|
|Safety Ratings:||CE, EN|
|Vents:||Yes – Huge vents in shell and EPS liner – very well vented|
|Strap Style||Metal Buckle|
|Extra Padding for Custom Fit:||No|
|Fully Removable Liner:||No – Only cheek pads are removable – Read below.|
|Liner Held In Place How:||Metal button and hard plastic between EPS liner and shell|
The Dainese D-Raptor LE helmet is a visually jarring and lightweight. The see through fiberglass shell and dinosaur like ridges along the top and huge air vents make this helmet stand out in a crowd. The big chin guard design has caught some negative comments from a few riders, but this helmet is sure to draw attention with its unique style, and I’ve mostly heard positive things about it’s looks.
The helmet has six massive, screen-less vents in the shell and four screened vents on the chin guard. The chin guard vents are set on the sides instead of right at the noise. I didn’t notice any lack of air flow from this design style.
The visor is a tanned see through plastic that is held on by three low profile screws that have a latch type design for tightening or loosening. They work so so. The wire latch can’t really handle a lot of force with out bending. With in two months of use one of the screws feel out never to be found. I took the screw from the visor adjust and put it on the side, put lock tight on the remaining two, and used a zip tie at the top. A bit irritating for a $325 helmet.
The visor adjust screw is easy to access and use, and does hold the visor in place very well.
The chinstrap uses a high quality metal buckle design that did rust a bit over time but never lost strength or function. Most riders tend to shy away from the buckle style chinstrap, and with cheap plastic ones that warp over time I can understand. The metal buckle though is awesome and is very convenient. On pedals up the hill it is very easy to just unclip the buckle, than click onto the handlebars right near the stem, and pedal away. The D-ring takes more time, and normally I have to take my gloves off as well.
The inner padded liner is very soft and can with stand several seasons of sweat and abuse. The cheek pads are thick and slightly firm, running from the temples to about mid cheek. The cheek pads are held in place by a combination of metal clip and Velcro. Velcro holds the rest of the liner in place and over time the back sticky side of the Velcro can become unstuck to the EPS shell and liner and cause the liner to not stay in place. This is a major issue in the liner design on this helmet. The padded liner along the forehead can move down during a ride and start to cover the eyes, or at least make the helmet uncomfortable. Really, this is very frustrating, but buying more Velcro and replacing easily fixes it. Though a better designed inner liner would be ideal.
A metal screen covers the chin vents but vents on the top of the helmet don’t have any screen or filter. The screens on the chin guard have come loose over the past two seasons and just rattle around inside the chin guard now. The screen-less vents on the rest of the helmet are very large, and allow for a massive amount of air flow and cooling, but you can allow sticks and bugs into the inside of your helmet. Not some much fun when it is a bee, but mainly getting a stick inside from low hanging branches is more irritating.
The inside of the chin guard is not as plush as some other helmet nor as hard as the O’Neil 9 series. I’ve had many chances to get up close and personal with the inside of the chin guard and I’ve never found the padding to be lacking.
With Helmet On:
This helmet is amazingly comfortable. It probably fits better than any other helmet I’ve ever tried so far. It is snug and supportive around the cheeks and the lower back of the head. It is lightweight and vents the best of any full-face helmet I’ve tried to date (20090225). It can’t help it, with those massive whole on the sides and top.
There is very little side-to-side play and almost none back and forth. This is a stated size of XL at 62cm and fits my head perfectly. Even though my head only measures 59cm around. Every head is different, but if you get a chance to try a D-Raptor LE on I don’t think you’ll be quick to take it off. Comfort is where this helmet shines best and above manly others I have tried.
Even though the inner padded liner is a bit sparse there is no discomfort from the hard EPS liner against the skull.
The helmet can easily fit larger goggle sizes with out putting pressure on the nose and seeing side to side and down in front has never been an issue. One place I have found issue with the visor is sometimes on sharp G-outs or very sharp berms the curve near the front of the visor can cut off just the slightest edge of sight when you are looking for your exit out of those sharp places. This is with the visor moved just about all the way up and out of the way as well. Visor movement range is fairly normal.
The chin guard does a good job of covering and protecting the chin and the bottom of the helmet levels off below the jaw making sure it isn’t easily exposed in a crash. It is a good helmet in a crash. I’ve done it many times, and can still think coherently about 80% of the day.
The helmet fits similar to the TLD D2 and SixSixOne Evolution carbon. It also has a low profile. No Jack-in-the-Box head.
Cleaning the cheek pads is very simple and easy. Unfortunately the rest of the liner is not removable. Well, it is if you take the whole EPS liner out, take off the tape holding the padded liner on, wash it, and re-tape and reinsert the EPS liner. Basically, a pain and waste of time. I would suggest not doing it and just washing the liner inside the helmet.
Fits Similar To:
TLD D2 and SixSixOne Evolution. Though it is way more comfortable than either, at least for me.
The Raptor LE fits large goggles just fine with out forcing down the goggles and putting pressure on the bridge of the nose.
For the money the Dainese Raptor LE is very light weight, flat out amazing venting heat and air flow, and made of good quality material. Though, for $325 I would like to have seen better inner padded liner design and screens on the vents.
This helmet works for DH and certainly can take a bashing. Though in all honesty I think it is basically perfect for the XC rider who wants a full face. It is light weight, and has large vents similar to XC style helmets. For me personally and I glad I’ve owned it and used it for so long. I know what to look for in other dh helmets that the D-Raptor LE is missing.
For the record I’ve heard that Dainese is revamping its line of dh gear so I look forward to what they have planned. If they can solve some of these issues I think they would have a knock out helmet worth every penny and more.