Leatt DBX 3.0 helmet review

Good looking trail helmet with unique safety features

Helmets
Leatt DBX 3.0 Helmet Review

The Leatt DBX 3.0 has sleek lines and 18 vents to keep you cool on the trail.

What is it

South Africa’s Leatt initially made its name in the neck brace arena, but has since expanded headlong into helmets. The DBX 3.0 is their take on the trail/all-mountain segment. This brain protector combines a polycarbonate shell with an in-molded EPS liner and 360° Armourgel Turbine technology, which Leatt claims reduces head impact up to 30% and rotational acceleration up to 40% (think a different take on MIPS slip plane technology.)

Leatt DBX 3.0 Helmet Review

The helmet is highly adjustable, making it easy to dial in a hot spot-free fit. Photo by Otto Maddux

The helmet has 18 vents, an adjustable breakaway visor, and a Dri-Lex moisture-wicking, anti-odor washable liner. Chinstrap closure is achieved via a Fidlock magnetic buckle system, and the helmet is certified to EN1078 and CPSC 1203 safety standards, which are the norm for this type of helmet. It comes in small (51 to 55cm), medium (55 to 59cm), and large (59 to 63cm), and is offered in five colors: orange, blue, black, gray, and green. Our size medium weighed 389 grams. The Leatt DBX 3.0 sells for $170.

Pros
  • Looks good
  • Reasonable price
  • Reasonably light
  • Pads drain sweat well
  • Breakaway visor
  • Plays well with goggles
  • Comparatively sleek profile
  • Ample visor adjustment
  • Well designed magnetic strap and buckle mechanism
  • Discernable adjustment dial feedback
  • Comes with extra pad set
  • Unique advanced safety technology
  • Extended rear coverage
  • EN1078 and CPSC 1203 safety certification
Cons
  • Very long visor
  • Less venting than some other helmets in this class
  • Fidlock magnetic closure system takes some getting used to
Leatt DBX 3.0 Helmet Review

The 360° Armourgel Turbines reduce head impact up to 30% and rotational acceleration up to 40%, claims Leatt.

Mtbr’s Take

Anything that keeps us safer on the trail is a good thing, and that’s why Mtbr is a fan of the Leatt DBX 3.0 trail helmet. Though we didn’t actually put it to the test, the concept behind the South African’s 360° Turbine technology and Armourgel cushioning is sound. Ten soft rubber bumpers affixed to the interior liner are designed to add cushion and allow head and helmet to move independently in the event of a crash, which Leatt claims reduces rotational acceleration by up to 40 percent and impact force on the head up to 30 percent.

Leatt DBX 3.0 Helmet Review

Venting is good but not great on this helmet. But there is ample rearward head coverage.

The basic idea is that if you go flying over the bars, these flexible bumpers will allow the helmet to rotate enough to lessen the forces of that rock garden you just landed on. This is achived in part because while soft and pliable, the Armourgel hardens on impact as you can see in the video below.

Additional safety is provided via ample rearward shell coverage and a breakaway visor, which is highly adjustable but a tad too long for our tastes. The actual breakaway mechanism is the screws that attach the visor to the helmet, and Leatt includes a replacement set of screws lest you do have that incident. Finally, like the majority of helmets in this class, the DBX 3.0 is EN1078 and CPSC 1203 safety standard certified.

Leatt DBX 3.0 Helmet Review

The magnetic Fidlock chinstrap buckle takes some getting used to, but can be done with one hand once you master you master the technique.

Just as importantly, the DBX 3.0 fits well and is comfortable. The overall profile of the helmet is sleek, while the oversized rear tension dial has 50 discernable clicks of adjustment. You can also move the cradle up and down via a four-position internal adjuster. The helmet comes equipped with plush (and washable padding) that aids in sweat management, and the strap system is well executed, laying flat on the side of your face. And while the Fidlock magnetic closure system takes a little getting used to, it can be engaged with one hand, which can’t be said of most standard helmet buckles.

Leatt DBX 3.0 Helmet Review

The visor is a tad long for our tastes, but it’s highly adjustable and will break away in a crash.

Weight is a very reasonable 389 grams size medium, and the $170 price tag is below some of the other top helmets in this class, including the Sweetwater Protection Bushwhacker II MIPS Mtbr tested earlier this summer. On the flip side, I give the nod to the Sweetwater for ventilation and aesthetics, which are little less sharp and angular.

Leatt DBX 3.0 Helmet Review

The Leatt DBX 3.0 comes in three sizes and five colors. Our grey size medium weighed 389 grams.

Bottom line, Leatt’s DBX 3.0 trail helmet is a solid option for any rider interested in a little extra protection when bombing down the local gnar. It comes with some interesting advanced safety features, is reasonably light, and the price is reasonable when compared to the competition — think Giro Montaro MIPS ($150) or POC Tectal ($190).

Leatt DBX 3.0 Helmet Review

The oversized rear tension dial has 50 easily discernible clicks of adjustment.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 4.5 Flamin' Chili Peppers
Price: $170
More Info: www.leatt.com

Photo Thumbnails (click to enlarge)

About the author: Jason Sumner

An avid cyclist, Jason Sumner has been writing about two-wheeled pursuits of all kinds since 1999. He’s covered the Tour de France, the Olympics, and dozens of other international cycling events. He also likes to throw himself into the fray, penning first-person accounts of cycling adventures all over the globe. Sumner, who joined the Mtbr staff in 2013, has also done extensive gear testing and is the author of the cycling guide book "75 Classic Rides: Colorado." When not writing or riding, the native Coloradoan can be found enjoying life with his wife Lisa and daughter Cora in and around their home in the MTB Mecca of Crested Butte.


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