7iDP PROJECT 23 FULL-FACE HELMET REVIEW
CARBON & COMPOSITE HELMET OFFERINGS
Review by Drew Rohde | Photos by Dusten Ryen
Seven iDP’s Project 23 or P23 helmet brought some renewed interest to the protection company’s line up and had many riders reevaluating the differentiation between enduro and DH level helmets. This good looking, 945-gram full face helmet certainly blurs the lines and could be a great option for riders who are looking for one helmet to hit the bike park with or pedal their eBike or burly enduro bike with.
Seven iDP’s Project 23 helmet introduces Seven’s Energy Reduction Technology or SERT, for short. SERT is a slip-plane protection system built with smart foam designed that has two functions in mind. The first is putting a focus on reducing the amount of energy that reaches the brain, which SERT does by absorbing greater levels of energy than a run of the mill EPS Liner. The second function also focuses on reducing rotational motion of the brain on glancing impacts. To learn more about SERT, check out our interview with Seven here.
The Seven iDP Project 23 helmet is available with a carbon shell for $350, a more affordable fiberglass version for $249.99 and a budget ABS shell option for $159.99. Both versions share many of the same features, with the outliers being shell material and a fancy carrying case. The Seven Project 23 helmet has 23 vents, go figure, with Seven iDP claiming it as the most ventilated full face on the market. Seven iDP also uses a crash release visor system, which is designed to sheer off and help reduce rotational impact forces. The Projects 23 helmet has been tested to pass CE, CPSC, AS and ASTM F1952-15 standards, however we’d love to see reports from Virginia Tech or another third-party test facility to know how easily it passed and what sort of STAR rating it received compared to other similar helmets in category.
The innards of the Project 23 consist of an AGION quick-release, anti-microbial liner. Beyond the liner, are many SERT inserts and smart foam. Keeping the helmet secured to the rider’s head is a magnetic Fidlock closure system. The P23 helmet is available in sizes ranging from extra small to XXL. There are two color options for the carbon shell and four options in the fiberglass shell.
Seven iDP sent us a couple carbon and Composite Project 23 helmets for testing and we were very impressed with the looks and promise of increased ventilation. On my 56/57cm head, the size small fit well but after about 30-40 minutes of wearing it I noticed some pressure near the temple of my head, creating a slight headache. Sourpatch Sean, who was wearing a size Large, with a 58.5/59cm skull, felt that the helmet was a tiny bit loose on his head so it seems that test fitting the helmet would be worthwhile if possible.
After a couple of break-in rides we reached out to Seven and told them about our initial impressions. In order to keep the price of these nice helmets under $350, Seven iDP chose to not ship the Project 23 helmet with any sizing pads. However, for $19-$29 customers can order a cheek pad or liner kit to fine-tune the sizing of their new lid. After putting in a new cheek pad kit in mine and a liner in Sourpatch’s helmet we were both much happier and felt the helmet’s comfort was one of its best attributes.
The more we test aggressive e-bikes and enduro rigs out on the trails, the more we spend time in full face helmets. It’s allowed us to spend more than just five or ten minutes in a helmet at a time while lapping our favorite downhills at the bike park. We think more people will be spending time in full face lids in the future so protection will no longer be the only point to judge a helmet by. Weight, comfort, protection and breathability are all going to play big roles in the decision-making process moving forward. After how good it looks, obviously.
Luckily the Seven iDP Project 23 helmet looks good, feels good and breathes good. We have had a few minor spills in the helmet but nothing severe enough to warrant a real inspection of the helmet. Nevertheless, we have peeled out the liner and inspected the construction and SERT liner to see how it’s holding up and what we hope to expect in the event of a head-first landing. It does look like a quality design, and we can see the logic and thought process behind it.
Despite the fact it passes safety standards, the fact it is so thin and minimalistic in many areas, the Project 23 has our “More material and thicker padding must mean safer,” perspective working overtime. We have worn this helmet on DH bikes and in the bike park a ton, namely for our Bike Park Review Tour, yet when we compare it to other full-on downhill helmets like the Fox Rampage Pro, 100% Aircraft 2 or Bell Full 9, it seems more like a pedal-friendly full face helmet, or ideal for enduro racing compared to those more “moto-feeling” helmets that wrap and pillow your head. Without seeing numbers from test facilities on how well this helmet reduces energy we’re pretty much left with our perceptions ruling how “safe” this helmet is compared to its competitors.
The Wolf’s Last Word
We have a shop full of helmets and while we love having different lids to ride on different days, the Seven iDP is definitely a helmet we’re gravitating to quite a bit lately. The stealthy looks, nice blend of ventilation and overall comfort thanks to the low weight make it an easy pick for our crew. Seven iDP have definitely shaken up the full-face helmet game with this lid that blends categories so well.
While we appreciate it has passed certification standards a big area, we’d love to know more about from all helmet manufacturers how easily did they pass those tests. We believe consumers want to know how well a helmet handles impacts of varying speeds and how they compare to others in similar categories. 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 Seven iDPs, 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 or if said helmet greatly reduces the energy of concussive or sub-concussive hits compared to a competitor’s lid with a similar price tag.
Without those numbers we’d probably say this helmet is going to be better suited for enduro riders, eBike riders and shuttle shredders who spend some time at the local bike park as well. We think that full time park rats who only ride DH bikes and go big may FEEL more protected in a heavier, more padded DH helmet due to the conditioning we’ve all had over the years. Regardless of what type of rider you are though, Seven iDP’s Project 23 helmet is an awesome piece of kit at a great price and we really like it.
EDITOR’S NOTE – If you’d also like more brands to send helmets to Virginia Tech or a similar institute to see more definitive data on impact energy transmission, please let us know with a comment down below.
Price: $349.99 (Carbon) | 249.99 (Fiberglass)
Weight: 929g (small / carbon)