Rockgardn Blacklite Helmet

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Rockgardn Blacklite

Weight: 1350-1450 grams size XL 61-62cm
Materials: Thermoplastic construction shell, dual density EPS liner, padded inner liner
Safety Ratings: DOT, ECE 22/04
Vents: Yes – Only 4 small vents in ridged EPS liner
Goggle No trouble with large goggles
Strap Style D-Ring with grab tab and plastic snap
Extra Padding for Custom Fit: No – But Mark can send you some if you’ve got fit issues
Fully Removable Liner: No – cheek pads and most of inner liner will remove – some remaining glued in
Liner Held In Place How: Plastic snaps and hard plastic tucked between EPS liners and shell and glue, Velcro for cheek pads,
Price: $149.95

D-Ring and Chin Strap

Visor Adjust

Vents above forehead

Inside Chin Guard

EPS Vent

Inside Helmet

Removable Padded Liner

Extra Mesh Cloth

(Click on Thumbnails to Enlarge)

Description:

The Rockgardn Blacklite helmet strikes me as a mature helmet with its simple but good looking black and white coloring and sleek chin guard design.  It also has a fairly small profile for a DOT certified helmet. Looking at it straight on it isn’t as wide as some others, which will help reduce the Jack-in-the-Box head effect.  It is fairly light weight as well.  The XL ranges in weight from 1350-1450 grams which is only slightly lighter than  XL Kali Aatma, 1278 gram at double the price.

The quality of the helmet is very good.  The stitching  and quality of the padding very nice and the outer Thermoplastic shell with it’s screen covered vents and molding are all inline with what you would expect from a more expensive helmet.  The molding around the bottom of the helmet is white, so it tends to show dirt and abuse more, but it cleans up fairly easily.

The padded liner on the inside is on par with other most other helmet, not as soft as the Kali Aatma nor as plush as the Azonic Fury.  Which is fine, because the softness will fad at some point and the plushness restricts airflow.  So this is a good middle ground.

The padded liner is semi removable.  The cheeks pads are held in with a well stitched Velcro, something I would have liked to have seen on $375 TLD, which just uses Velcro stickers.  The padded liner around the head comes out but it doesn’t remove all the fabric and liner from the helmet.  There is still a bit of light weight mesh that is clued in.  My one complaint on this test helmet is that it appears that in the construction process there was too much clue used and it clued the removable liner to the EPS shell and ripped it when removing. This would obviously only happen the 1st time the liner is removed, but it is a bit irritating.

The Blacklite appears to only have four vents in the EPS shell and three in the chin bar.  There are two above the forehead with the ability to be closed and two near the back of the head that vent out of rear.  The EPS shell is rippled similar to the Kali Aatma, but less so.  This creates some space for air to flow over the scalp cool the rider down.  For me, the helmet didn’t get that hot, but I talked to another rider who just switched to a Blacklite off a Remedy and he said his one complaint was that it gets hot.  Otherwise he loved the helmet and the DOT level of safety it provides.  This is in a way not a fair comparison because the Remedy isn’t a DOT certified helmet, so doesn’t surfer from the less vented EPS shell that the Blacklite and other DOT helmets have. But it is a fact, it is a less vented helmet.

The visor adjust screws on the Blacklite are more in line with the O’Neil Series 9 helmet, moto style and you need a flat head screw driver to adjust the visor.  There are two adjust screws located at the back of the visor near the peak of the helmet instead of located below the visor with a thumb adjust screw.  The range of the visor has been increase this year over last years but it is still a narrow range compared to some other helmets.  Mark from Rockgardn said a couple guys had issue with the visor being in their peripheral field of vision.  That has been resolved in the ’09 model.  The visor itself is of a nice sturdy build and fairly wide.  The visor pivot screws on the side of the helmet have a smooth and low profile and shouldn’t get snagged on anything in a crash.

The chinguard on the Blacklite is a bit sleeker and doesn’t have the birds beak at the end like the Aatma and Series 9 do.  This is nice, it keeps the design in line with downhill helmets as opposed to moto helmets.

With Helmet On:

The fit of the Blacklite is like no other helmet I’ve tried on.  Which is great. It means for riders with heads radically different than mine there is a helmet that will feel comfortable.  The Blacklite was tight against the front and back of my head. It has a more round feel and the chin pads were and loose.  I’ve got a more narrow and long face, especially as I’ve lost some weight over the past year, and the Blacklite is better for a rounder face with a larger profile jaw.  If a Remedy fits you well the Blacklite will probably as be a good fit as well. If a TLD doesn’t fit you well, you might want to look into the fit of the Blacklite.

Do to the fact the helmet fits my narrow and long head so tightly around the top of my scalp there is very little side to side play when I push side to side near the temples.  But conversely when I push side to side down near my jaw there is a large amount of side to side play which did rattle a bit when riding.  So, know your face, if it is longer and narrow the Blacklite is probably not your choose.  If you have a rounder face with a larger jaw the Blacklite is probably going to be a good fit.

There is plenty of room for my ears in the helmet and the chin guard is spaced at a normal and good length away from the face.  The inside of the chin guard has a medium soft feeling foam.  It wouldn’t be too unpleasant a feeling to have the jaw smashed up against it in a crash.

The cheek pads on the Blacklite start at the temples and come to about half way down my cheeks.  The pads themselves are pretty thin and soft but they do their jobs.  One interesting thing about the Blacklite is the EPS shell come down and out to where the cheek pads are.  Comparing it to the Kali Aatma which has no EPS liner along the cheeks, and the O’Neil Series 9 which has thicker cheek pads hide the EPS liner that comes down along the cheeks.  The Blacklite is a good in between.

The helmet meets and/or exceeds the 105 degrees of peripheral vision standard laid out in the CSPC standard and the helmet handles large goggles just fine.

Cleaning:

The cheek pads and liner are easy to remove, though with it not being a fully removable liner my suggestion would be to just soak the full helmet in a bucket rather than removing the liner and having to re-insert it.  Which is a bit tricky.  The cheeks pads are easy to remove and re-insert.

Fits Similar To:

This helmet fits completely differently than any of the helmets this remove.  My only suggest from another rider is that if a Remedy fit you well than the Blacklite probably fit fine as well.

Goggles:

I had no problems with the bigger Blur B-1 goggles on this helmet. There appears to be enough space for large goggles with out smashing the nose.

Leatte Brace:

coming soon….

Value Rating:

This helmet is a very good value. It is well made and can obviously take a beating. For $149 it is obvious that Rockgardn didn’t cut any corners in design and manufacturering.

Overall Rating:

Overall this helmet is great.  The only complaint I had is the extra glue which ripped a bit of the removable liner.  Otherwise, for $149, DOT certified with a low profile and sleek DH designed chin guard, fair weight, you can’t go wrong.  Seriously this is a great deal if you are looking for a DOT helmet.

www.rockgardn.com

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  • Adam says:

    this is a great article but i think you should add some DOT and Snell rated helmets that are used for MX as i’ve seen lots of riders using MX helmets for MTN. Biking. I searched around (based on this article) and found the Fox V3 pilot..and it is excellent! and looking at your rating charts in your reviews, i think it would fit in very well with the rest of these helmets. just throwin’ it out there. keep up the awesome reviews!

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