Troy Lee Designs D2 Carbon


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Troy Lee Designs D2 Carbon

TLD Carbon D2

Weight: 937 grams size XL/XXL 60-62cm
Materials: Carbon Fiber Shell, Ti hardware, EPS Liner
Safety Ratings: CSPC, ASTM F-2032-00/1952-00, and CE
Vents: Yes – Very well vented
Goggle Seemed to have trouble with large goggles. Match carefully.
Strap Style D-Ring with grab tab
Extra Padding for Custom Fit: Yes
Fully Removable Liner: Yes – Easy to remove and re-insert
Liner Held In Place How: Velcro stickers and hard plastic tucked between EPS liners and shell
Price: $375

D2 Strap D-Ring

D2 Chin Bar from Inside

D2 Inside

D2 EPS Liner, note vents

D2 Velcro Stickies

D2 Back Side

D2 Removable Padded Liner

D2 Visor Adjust

(Click on Thumbnails to Enlarge)


The TLD Carbon D2 helmet is visually stunning and incredibly light weight. The quality of the helmet is completely top shelf. The helmet has small shell profile with eight vents in the shell and three in the chin guard.

The visor thumb adjust is easy to use and the visor itself has a very wide range of movement. Definitely the widest range of any of the helmets in the shootout so far. The visor itself is a bit wider than the other helmets in this shootout as well.  At the very front it measures about 6 and 3/4 inches. Thanks to the large range of visor movement, you can get that wide front end up and out of the way. I would assume that having a wide front would help more in the rain, unfortunately rain seems to have disappeared from the Bay Area at the time of testing and writing. The hardware that holds the sides of the visor onto the helmet has a low profile which should help to prevent snagging on anything in a crash.

The D-ring is easy to use and the straps are comfortable. The leather, or p’leather, along the strap and back of the liner does feel a bit on the less expensive side for a $375 helmet. However, it does do the job.

The liner is held in place with Velcro, you know the kind, one side Velcro and one side sticky, and a hard thin plastic that is pinched in place between the EPS liner and the shell.  One Velcro sticky on this test helmet had come unstuck from the EPS liner when removing the padded liner. These Velcro stickies might be something you’ll have to replace over time as sweat and water take their toll. But fortunately the sticky Velcro patches can be easily found at Wal-Mart in the fabric section. I’ve had to replace them on other helmets, isn’t really a big deal, but plastic snaps might have been nice.  Assuming the weight trade off was reasonable.

The TLD D2 does come with sizing padding to stick to the EPS shell under the padded liner to get the best fit possible for your head. You can make it fit more snug on the sides, the back, the front or all around.  A nice customizing option I am surprised more helmet manufacturers aren’t supplying their customers with. Seriously, TLD really has proven to be the most customer friendly by providing these sizing pads. After talking about sizing with several people, everyone argeed, a simple but truely handy option from TLD. This test helmet is an X/XL and I used the pads to make the helmet a bit smaller overall. I also tried on a M/L helmet, the stated size for my 59cm round head, that was too small for me. 

With Helmet On:

The Carbon D2 fits my head shape very well and is there for great to wear and comfortable.  But in a bare bones type of comfort, rather than the plush, soft, warm and enveloping comfort of the Kali Aatma. It is light weight and well vented. Fits a bit snug along the ears compared to other helmets, but mine seem to have enough room. Though snug ears don’t bother me like they do some people. Getting earphones in under the helmet, or even adjusted with the helmet on, was not much of an issue.

The liner inside is a bit sparse and therefore even though the D2 does fit very well to the shape of my head, if your head isn’t a great match I could see this being rather uncomfortable because there isn’t a plush padded liner to soften the contact with the hard EPS liner. At times I could feel the hard EPS liner through the padded liner, though the sparse liner does allow for better venting and a lighter weight helmet. There are pros and cons to every manufacturers decisions.

The cheek pads on the sides don’t go as far down the chin line as some other helmets. The pads themselves feel a bit less firm than some others as well, but about equal to the SixSixOne Evolution and the Dainese D-Raptor.  The DOT and DOT/Snell helmets seem to have thicker padding along the cheeks.

The EPS liner has many grooves and holes to allow for as much venting as possible. The SixSixOne Evolution Carbon has as much venting as the D2, though the Dainese D-Raptor has larger and more direct vents than either.  The EPS liner in the D2 is very thick at the forehead, the top of the head, and the upper back of the head. The EPS liner thins out considerably, in relation to the top, along the sides and botton back of the head.  This means that a good hit to the could cause considerable damage compared to a hit at the forehead, top or upper back part of the head.  Compared to a DOT/Snell helmet, or a helmet with thicker EPS liner all around,  the D2’s ability to displace impact energy from side impacts might not be as great.  The trade of here is a lower profile helmet. 

The helmet meets and/or exceeds the 105 degrees of peripheral vision standard laid out in the CSPC standard. I at no time had any issues with the helmet or visor blocking my view when looking through a berm or g-out.

The roost guard. You either love it or hate it. I had a friend completely cut his out, and others who swear by it. If you have a big chin or some facial hair you could always just trim the plastic roost guard back a bit. Overall, I’d say it is a bonus.

The TLD D2, similar to the SixSixOne Evolution, does expose a bit more of the back of the neck than some of the DOT and larger profile helmets and the shell settles about equal to my jaw line.  See the side view image above.

Sweat, this helmet gets it out! Unlike the other helmets I have worn so far, my sweat just pours out of the D2. I do sweat a lot, and it is good that it comes out of the helmet rather than stay in, I suppose. In all honesty, I am not sure if this is irritating or not, it is just something I noticed.


The side cheek pads are held in by Velcro so are very easy to remove and replace but the Velcro itself might have issues staying stuck to the EPS shell over time. Again, a weight trade off. The rest of the liner comes out easily and goes back in again without much fuss. But it is basically stuck to the EPS shell using Velcro patches that will wear out the more you wash.

Fits Similar To:

661 Evolution Carbon, Dainese D-Raptor


It seems that the D2 has a bit less room for larger goggles than some of the other helmets.  With Blur B-1’s on my nose was squished a bit, though the B-1s are very large goggles.  Spy goggles, a bit smaller than the Blurs fit fine. So, just note that larger than normal goggles might not fit as well.  At least they didn’t on my face.

Leatte Brace:


Value Rating:

The super light weight, venting, fit, build quality and bling factor of the TLD D2 is outstanding. Is it worth $375? Well it is hard to say. Does it have great value? Other helmets will obviously do the job.  I suppose if the fit is best, and you are not looking for a DOT/Snell helmet, than the D2 Carbon is definately worth it.

Overall Rating:

I can make a couple personal suggestions to improve the helmet. I’d like to see the design move to;  plastic snap on the chin strap and no Velcro to hold the lining in. SixSixOne was able to accomplish that, but, possibly at a weight penalty. I’d also look into a bit softer fabric on the inside and extending the cheeks pads down the length of the chin guard a bit more. Overall the D2 is dang near the pinnacle of helmet design if you are looking for the lightest, coolest, race helmet on the shelf. The carbon model is pricey.

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  • Brian says:

    I ride with a Specialized Deviant full face helmet and love it. Unless you are doing full on DH lift access riding…. For everybody else I think this helmet should definitely be on your list to look at.

  • Anthony S says:

    I have been running this helmet for about 2 years now. It has taken hits and been used about once a week. By far my favorite helmet I’ve had so far. definitely worth the price. only one velcro has fallen off and like the review said, its very easy and cheap to replace. I look forward to every time I get to put it on.

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