Review by Drew Rohde | Photos by Dusten Ryen

The 100% Aircraft helmet has been 100%’s flagship Downhill Full-Face helmet for the last five years, seeing a whole lot of success in that time. It was a solid helmet offering, but things move quickly in style and protection, so they designed a totally new Aircraft 2, designed to succeed the original with small but notable improvements. We’ve been putting the 100% Aircraft 2 to the test for a while now, and we know bike park season is still a little ways away, but with inventory shortages the way they are, it could be smart to start making your selections with time to spare.

100% Aircraft 2 Full Face Helmet Review

The new 100% Aircraft 2 downhill helmet is built to offer stylish protection with certifications for the relevant downhill standards: those are ASTM (F1952-15), CPSC (16 CFR 1203) and CE (EN 1078:2012+A1:2012). We would however, love to see 100% and many more DH helmet brands send their helmets to Virginia Tech for more detailed ratings and information on how well they pass the tests.

New for the 100% Aircraft 2 is 100%’s own Smartshock Technology, which aims to achieve the same rotational protection in a different manner. Smartshock is a suspended rotational impact mitigation system that features strategically placed elastomers inside the shell. The elastomers can move freely inside and bend, squirm, and squish, helping slow down and dissipate the transfer of energy. 100% housed this Smartshock system within a Dual Density EPS liner that sits within a Carbon Fiber shell.

Weight for our size large Aircraft 2 helmet is 2lbs 9oz, or 1,162 grams. The patent pending chin bar is injection molded, featuring a large amount of ventilation to keep you breathing well as you pedal your heart out over the finish line. Ventilation is taken care of by 20 oversized vents, keeping air flowing through the helmet and your brain cool to function at its best. The visor is multi-point (3) adjustable to allow for goggle stowage and tailor the level of vision and sun-protection. A D-Ring buckle gives the highest level of security in the usual downhill style.

The fitment of the Aircraft 2 is made by a combination of two shell sizes for the four helmet sizes (S-XL) that are customized with three adjustable pads – the cheeks, liner and neck roll. These different thicknesses of pads will allow for fitment from heads from 52-58cm on the S/M shell, and 58-64cm on the L/XL shell. The suede comfort liner is of course removable, features moisture wicking and antimicrobial properties, and can be washed for when it inevitably starts to smell. The 100% Aircraft 2 is available in three variations of black colorways or in a white/red colorway, with a retail price of $400.

100% Aircraft 2 Mips Helmet

From the first time pulling the Aircraft 2 out of the bag, we were digging the new styling that’s closely aligned with their Trajecta enduro full face but beefed up to handle the rigors of downhill riding. The vents are stylized heavily on the mouthpiece, looking more akin to a Formula 1 air intake than a typical helmet vent, but not to the point that it looks garish. 100% simply did a damn good job with the shape of the helmet, and with three options for the correct color for a helmet (black), our eyes were very happy when the helmet was off our heads, or we were staring at ourselves in the mirror.

When we received our medium sized helmet for our First Impressions video, we struggled with the sizing a touch. I am and have been a size medium for years with a 57cm head measurement, yet I found the medium Aircraft 2 way too tight. It always pays to try on a helmet before you buy it.

In our case, 100% sent us a large size and after playing with some padding arrangements, this proved to be the ticket. The padding is slightly less “cushy” than some, but this doesn’t rob the helmet of comfort and only stands to improve airflow and reduce overall bulk. In fact, I’d say the luxurious suede comfort liner could make it one of the more comfortable lids I’ve tried on recently. The helmet carries its 1,162-gram weight very well, feeling light enough for comfort on long days at the bike park. Unlike some older MIPS-equipped helmets, the Smartshock system offers a solid connection between the helmet liner and shell until there’s enough force to potentially damage the brain. This means the helmet doesn’t shift around through rock gardens or on the big bounces that the Aircraft 2 is built to encourage. 100%’s Aircraft 2 is a quiet and comfortable helmet.

100% Aircraft 2 Full Face Helmet Review

The large intake ventilation ports do a good job at moving air over the head once up to speed, giving a comfortable environment on the trail, however the Seven iDP Project 23 does a slightly better job as it has quite a few more exhaust ports to keep that air moving out the back.

We tested the Aircraft 2 with a variety of goggles without issue and enjoyed the wide field of view the helmet provides. The adjustable visor is a nice option, and we appreciate being able to tailor the angle depending on the situation. A D-Ring buckle is the most reassuring option for gravity riding, so while it’s slightly less straightforward to use than a Fidlock system, we’re happy to see its continued use. We had an issue with the cheek pad tabs in our first helmet, but the large size didn’t present any problems through considerably more usage so we don’t imagine this will be a common occurrence.

The Wolf’s Last Word

With killer looks, a solid fit, once you have the right size, and good ventilation, 100%‘s Aircraft 2 is ready for takeoff this bike park season. From the impressive styling to the luxury car feel inside the helmet thanks to the suede comfort liner, it’s a helmet we always enjoy pulling out of the helmet bag. One big area we’d love to know more about however is the safety and ability to handle impacts of varying speeds. With the current system just giving consumers a Pass/Fail experience of only knowing that a helmet met the certifications, we think consumers deserve to know more. This is no fault of 100%’s, but as we reflect on our own head traumas and realize that we’re potentially affecting how other’s spend hundreds of dollars to keep themselves or their loved ones safe, we’d love to know if a helmet just barely squeezed by with a passing grade compared to another option that greatly reduced impact forces and the likelihood of a concussion or sub-concussive hit.

Safety ramblings aside, if you’re in the market for a premium downhill full-face helmet that makes you feel fast and comfy, the 100% Aircraft 2 is right up there with the best your $400 can buy.

EDITOR’S NOTE – If you’d also like more brands to send helmets to Virginia Tech or similar institute to see more definitive data on impact energy transmission, please let us know with a comment down below.

Price: $400/ £350
Weight: 2lb 9oz / 1,162g
Website: 100percent.com

We Dig

Great looks
Solid on the head
Suede liner feels cush
Streamline appearance and shell size

We Don’t

Worth checking the fit
Wish more brands had 3rd party safety test performance ratings


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