ENDURA HUMMVEE PLUS MIPS HELMET REVIEW
Words & Photos by Emma Wooldridge & Cole Gregg
Earlier this year, Robert gave us a preview of Endura’s mountain bike helmet range that’s been given the go-ahead to be sold in North America. The small spectrum of helmets that Endura offers allows a rider to choose their preferred style, price point, and ventilation, while never sacrificing safety. We set out to test the most affordable helmet in their line-up over the long haul, and have compiled our thoughts below.
The Hummvee Plus MIPS helmet is the most affordable of Endura’s current mountain bike helmet range, which also includes the Singletrack and MT500 MIPS helmets. Although it doesn’t double up on the brain protection technology using Koroyd, the Hummvee is a reasonably priced option that is equipped with Mips – a system many of us mountain bikers are familiar with and won’t leave the parking lot without. Mips is a safety system designed to reduce the rotational motion to the brain during an impact. And Endura comes in clutch with a crash replacement policy if you’re unfortunate enough to put the Mips-equipped helmet to the test.
The Hummvee is equipped with large vents to promote airflow over the head, and fast-wicking material in the paddle that’s intended to keep a rider cool. The helmet is designed to feel lighter on the head thanks to the in-mold construction method. The visor is adjustable and can be entirely removed. Even on this affordable model, Endura added a micro-adjust fit system that allows a rider to move the fit of the helmet vertically on the back of their head and dial in the fit around the head.
Offered in three sizes: S-M , M-L and L – XL; the Hummvee MIPS will fit riders with heads from 51-63cm, and riders can select between four color options to match their style. Coming in at $119.99/£84.99, this helmet is for sure wallet friendly when it comes to high end helmets that include Mips and a micro-adjust fit system.
Emma’s take: The Hummvee looks slightly chunky to me, yet it weighs 10 grams less than my typical riding helmet. The three gray logos on the white helmet are placed in spots that don’t scream “Marketing!” but they could have omitted the large logo on the back, in my opinion. I do like that the front vents are less visible underneath the visor. Many helmets have large vents that show off my forehead, making it seem huge – it isn’t small, but it’s not gigantic either! The Hummvee was designed with versatility in mind, meaning they wanted it to blend in on the trail or while commuting to work and I’d agree that they’ve accomplished that.
The fit adjustment sits lower on my head than my typical helmets. This feels more comfortable and secure, as it tucks into the base of my head rather than sitting slightly above it. If you’ve been wishing for a helmet that you can adjust to fit lower or higher, look no further! It took me about a week to discover it, but the Hummvee allows you to personalize the secured fit by giving two vertical adjustment positions in the back of the helmet. Although it won’t give you much more than a centimeter either way, I found it helpful when my ponytail placement wasn’t fitting with the helmet right.
I wear a small/medium helmet and Endura’s S/M felt consistent with other brands. The visor adjusts for three different settings as Cole so lovingly showed me one day, saying I looked like a goober with it positioned low (wear it however you like people!). The helmet’s interior padding is removable for washing, and secures to the Mips cage with velcro. I never experienced any issues with the fit or rubbing of the chin straps, which may have been due to the added plastic triangular piece incorporated in the straps just below the ear, keeping the straps flat and in place.
Although Endura boasts that the large vents placed throughout the Humvee keeps riders cool, I noticed significantly less airflow compared to some, and felt like most of the heat being generated was retained within the helmet. It lacks vents directly on top of my head, with more venting situated at the front of my head, along the sides, and at the base. I noticed the Hummvee has mesh placed between the interior padding and across the front vents. This could potentially be contributing to why the helmet feels so warm, though it’s nice to have the peace of mind for keeping unwanted critters off my head. It left me feeling a little hotheaded (it’s best to not get in my way) on the trail and I’d prefer a helmet that has more venting on the top. But this is a good pick for the slightly cooler days in the shoulder seasons and provides a little more protection from random bouts of rain.
Cole’s Take: Since Emma did such a great job breaking down her thoughts on this budget friendly safe pick of a helmet, I thought I would share some key takeaways I had during the test period. I generally wear a size medium in all helmets – specifically my go to pick is the Smith Forefront II. The M/L Hummvee Plus fit like a true medium, with a slightly narrower head shape than the Forefront 2. With that said it was super comfortable and gave me no issues, but rounder-headed riders may struggle. Riders on the cusp of mediums being tight I think would benefit from sizing up thanks to the very well designed micro-adjust fit system. The adjustment dial is easy to reach while pedaling and provides a super secure feel without digging into the back of your head. It sits lower on the base of your head than most, which really helps keep the helmet in place when things get rowdy, giving confidence in its protection.
One thing that I think is often overlooked is the way the straps go around your ears. My helmets have a very simple small adjustment buckle while the Hummvee has a very flush fitting buckle that is much larger. This keeps the straps snug and close to your head which is not only more comfortable but I believe also will keep the helmet in the correct position during the unfortunate event that you have to test its durability.
I found that even with the larger vents and their marketing pointing out that it was designed with airflow in mind the helmet ran quite warm, it was not the worst I have felt (that would be the Giro Switchblade), but it was noticeable. While this is a negative during the hot summer months, I absolutely see this being an advantage come fall with Spokane consistently dipping below freezing. The easily removable padding on the inside of the helmet makes cleaning a breeze, this is something I know all of us riders could be better with and any help I can get to keep up with avoiding the gnarly late summer stench!
The Wolf’s Last Word
The Hummvee Plus MIPS is a comfortable helmet that fits securely and is relatively budget-friendly. Endura didn’t skimp when it came to designing a helmet that protects your head and legitimately fits well, so long as you have the right head shape – it always pays to try protection on before you buy. It’s a solid pick if you want a low-key helmet look that’s as welcome on a road commute as on the dirt trail. It may be best suited for riders who don’t overheat easily or are looking for a helmet for the shoulder seasons, as its vent placement and corresponding low airflow doesn’t quite hit the mark for us for the hotter days.