Dainese provided me the Raptor helmet to test out during the Shimano Winter Series.
Full-face downhill helmet with fibreglass external shell and internal shell in dual-density polystyrene with ventilated structure. Band with micrometric quick-release buckle; lining in hypo-allergenic Sanytized® fabric, adjustable visor in transparent polycarbonate that avoids limiting the field of vision in downhill racing position. 14 front and lateral ventilation vents with back ventilation extractors ensure the maximum ventilation. Decals under soft, transparent paint. Exposed fibreglass forms the structure of the helmet while representing an element of design at the same time.
Cost: I’ve seen prices range from $200-$300
Hits: First of all the helmet looks amazing. I love black and white and the Raptor is wicked hot! Team Mate, Kim Finch has the transparent-ish Raptor, basically its not painted so you actually see the material in its true form. But I personally like the painted Raptor way better.
One of the key things I make sure I look for in a helmet is breath ability. The last thing I want is to be wearing a bowl that will cause me to over heat during a ride or race. The 14 vents on this helmet almost felt as cool as a XC helmet. Once you got going on the trail, cool air literally gets sucked into the vents and lowering the temperature by hundreds of degrees.
Another feature I liked about the Raptor was the fact that my mouth was not entirely blocked by the chin guard. Plus, the guard it self has vents on it for quick intake and exhaust of your breath when bombing down a hill. I have a cheap full face helmet that I rarely use anymore because the chin guard’s ability to move air was disappointing. But not the Dainese Raptor, this sucker felt like I was getting air forced into my mouth. Another key note I’d like to make is the visor. If you haven’t already noticed, its transparent. This is super useful when you have to stand up and sprint at the WALL in Fontana. Sometimes you just have to put your head down and mash those pedals and while you have your head down, your eyes need to be looking ahead. Having a transparent visor helps you see in situations where standard painted/colored visors won’t, just think of it as an additional advantage over you competition.
The chin strap doesn’t use traditional D-rings, it uses the same concept as car seat belt buckles. This is awesome because right after a race run, all you want to do is rip your helmet off, and sometimes bulky gloves will slow this process down. But with the Raptor, all you do is slide the button, and pop! The buckle is off!
Misses: Not much to be honest with you. One thing I did find out, the white and black will no longer be available, but a solid black or the original transparent styles will still be up for sale at Dainese.
We’d like to thank our friend Art from Dainese for providing us the Raptor to test and review. Please take the time to visit their site. Dainese Site and check out the other protective gear they offer. By the way, if you’re into motorcycles…they’ve got you covered too.