If you have been a consistent reader on our site, then you are no stranger to Leatt and their wide range of products. We’ve reviewed a good chunk of their product offerings on both the mtb and moto side of things. I attended one of their moto line launch days a couple years ago, where they introduced the GPX 3.5 helmet and handed out their media samples. Unfortunately for me, after a year of split usage between moto and bike park days, I left my helmet in Chili-Dogs car never to be seen again. Luckily, Leatt was kind enough to send out the 2021 versions of the GPX 3.5 to both Drew and I for another year of testing.
Coming in with an MSRP of $180, Leatt’s GPX 3.5 helmet might be one of the first, budget friendly moto helmets to include brain rotation and concussion reduction technology. The GPX 3.5 is DOT+ECE certified and includes Leatt’s 360-degree Turbine Technology. This technology is designed to help reduce up to 30-percent of head impacts at a concussion level while also reducing up to 40-percent of rotational acceleration to head and brain. The turbines are integrated into the multi-density impact foam. All of this is held into an injected polymer compound shell. The GPX 3.5 is equipped with a visor that has an incorporated breakway function, this function helps with rotational reduction in the event of a crash. Speaking of, should you find yourself in a heavy crash, Leatt outfitted the GPX 3.5 with emergency cheek pad removal.
Sweat is kept to a minimum in the GPX 3.5 thanks to Leatt’s use of a Dri-Lex inner liner. The Dri-Lex liner offers breathability while adding both moisture wicking and anti-odor characteristics. A traditional Double-D Ring closure system keeps the helmet snug on the wearers head. In an attempt to keep airflow up, Leatt has scattered fifteen small vents around the GPX 3.5 helmet.
The GPX 3.5 has been my go-to helmet for the last two years, pulling double duty between days on the moto to days in the bike park. I like just about everything about it. The GPX 3.5 has a true-to-size fit, albeit it is snug, but it’s a comfortable snug. I had been wearing 6D Helmets for both moto and downhill, so coming back to a more traditionally sized helmet that doesn’t weigh a ton nor make me look like a bobble head on two wheels was a welcomed switch. Plus, both brands have their own rotational reduction technologies, so it made the decision to switch easy. Thankfully, I have not had to put either of those systems to the test with any crashes that resulted in a head impact, though I have hit my head on low hanging branches on a couple occasions. Those impacts however, don’t seem to be enough to utilize any of those impact technologies.
The Leatt GPX 3.5 has a short chin bar which puts the large mouth guard close to the face and makes goggle selection an issue. Neither of us could use goggles with nose guards however, so we’d suggest trying your goggles on with the helmet before you get to the trail! This minor inconvenience doesn’t bother me much, however, on Drews size small helmet, it prevented the use of most goggles, leaving him with very few options. The one downside to the GPX 3.5 that I think could use some improvement, is with ventilation. This helmet can get fairly warm, I found myself sweating on warmer days when I would get stuck on a moto line and having to kick start the bike more times than I want to admit. Those tiny vents just don’t do enough, but with cooler months approaching, a warm helmet can be a blessing.
All in all, Leatt did a fine job when it comes to the GPX 3.5 helmet. How about, for a sub-$200 helmet, the weight is quite respectable, it has a nice shape and looks like a much higher-end helmet and comes in six different colorways. The incorporation of the 360-degree turbine technology while keeping the helmet at such an affordable price, makes it an easy helmet to consider. Sure, it can be a bit warm at times, but as long as a steady pace is kept, your head will stay cool. One suggestion I would make, if you are interested in the helmet but wear an Extra Small or Small, I would try to find a store to try one on and bring your favorite goggles with to make sure they fit.