HJC IS-33 Helmet Review

by Alex Meyer

Helmet Labs may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. This comes at no additional cost to you, and all the prices and availability are accurate at the time of publishing.

When choosing a motorcycle helmet, there are many factors to consider, the main one being safety. There can not be any compromises when considering safety. You also want to consider the material it’s built with, the ventilation system, ease of visibility, overall comfort and much more. To get the best riding experience when out on the road, you must be equipped with the best and safest gear possible. 

The HJC IS-33 may be the perfect motorcycle helmet for you. Now when choosing a helmet that provides safety, an open-faced helmet might not be your first choice. However, this high-quality helmet can offer great head protection when riding on open roads. It also provides comfortable protection for wind and sun friction. 

It has a beautiful, sleek design that is able to suit almost any motorcycle out there. The shield-equipped, open-faced HJC IS-33 is one of the best on the markets, and for good reason too. Better yet, let us get right into the many features that make this motorcycle helmet so amazing.

HJC Helmets IS-33 Helmet - Apus (X-Small) (Black/Gold)











Outer shell material : Polycarbonate/Fiberglass

Shell size : XS, S, M, L, XL, XXL, XXXL 

Liner : HydraDry material

Weight : 3.79 pounds

Pinlock : No

Strap System : D-ring

Safety Ratings

DOT : Yes

ECE : No


SHARP : Not tested

Shape and materials

The helmet’s outer shell is made of an advanced polycarbonate composite material, like most lightweight motorcycle helmets. It’s very high quality but doesn’t have quite the impact absorption or the ultra-lightweight of the fiberglass composite shell. This helmet can convert from a full shield to a peak visor. It can also switch to an open-face, shield-less helmet with optional side caps. 

The collection of dirt, sweat and humidity can worsen the stitching and fabric, which may result in odor. Luckily, this helmet uses advanced CAD technology and has a Silver-cool interior that’s antibacterial, antimicrobial and moisture-wicking. It is also removable and washable. 

There’s a nylon strap retention system, and its single-density EPS liner between the outer shell and inner fabric helps absorb impact. These helmets have a somewhat snug, neutral to slightly round fit to them and are available in sizes from xs to 2XL. 

They also offer cheek pads and crown liners of several different sizes. The ear pockets are a bit larger than average, with a rather thick fabric liner along the bottom, compared to full-face helmets. They come in six solid colors and numerous graphics, as the paint quality is very good. It weighs about 3 lbs., 2-1/8 oz.

Overall comfort

Since this is an open-face helmet, there’s more wiggle room for the head mostly towards the bottom area of the helmet. This helmet fits quite comfortably and balanced with its thicker-feeling padding and liner, so it’s able to carry the weight well. You’ll find this helmet to be pretty lightweight. Not only is this lighter than a full-face helmet because of its material, but also because it’s technically an open-face helmet. 

Although, this shell does seem to be a bit larger than some, with sort of a “space helmet” look. It also might sit quite high on the head compared to other motorcycle helmets. This may cause the internal sun visor to not lower down enough. It uses the double D-ring attachment system which gives comfort from the extra padding underneath. 

This helmet also has snaps for the holding of the chin strap’s extra length. The moisture-wicking, odor-free capabilities of the Silver-cool interior adds comfort during heavy usage. Comfort also depends on how well the helmet fits on your head.

Things I liked

  • Excellent quality overall.
  • Comfortable padding and liner.
  • Elegant design.
  • The face shield has optical quality.
  • The face shield is easily removable and replaceable.
  • Has a solid construction.
  • Lightweight.
  • Removable and washable interior.
  • Great visibility.
  • Functional ventilation system.

Things I don’t like

  • Weak and noisy upper vents.
  • Smaller measurements than other helmets.
  • Drop-down sun visor may be a bit complicated.
  • Quite noisy compared to other motorcycle helmets.

To ensure your helmet is the perfect fit for you, check that:

  • Its inner lining has a snug fit around your head.
  • The top pad has a firm press on your head.
  • The cheek pads touch your cheek.
  • Your brow under the inner lining has no space around it: you can test this by seeing if you can insert your fingers. 

If the helmet doesn’t have a snug fit then try a smaller size. If it is too snug or tight then opt for a larger size.


The IS-33 helmet has a large eye port for good visibility, although, uses their unfavorited, standard spring-loaded sun visor design. However, this helmet has outstanding visibility through its optically correct face shield. It also has three locked-down positions that help circumvent touching with the nose. The top-of-shell push-button retraction is also pretty convenient. 

The face shield makes it possible to see everything around you and more. It contains an anti-scratch, anti-fog coating and it blocks a good 95 percent of UV rays. It seals across the top, tight enough to keep water from running in. This is as the eye-port gasket continues along the side of the face shield to shunt away the water. 

The one-touch inner sun shield is smoke-tinted and 3-stage adjustable for comfort and protection against the sun. There’s also a QuickSlide shield replacement system for a toolless, quick installation and removal to self-service the helmet without any fuss.


The top vents are well-positioned to catch the air when sitting upright. Although, this does not mean that the air just flows down onto your head and doesn’t make a sound. The air hitting it can actually end up making quite the racket. You may find these vents to whistle, hum and blow way more than other motorcycle helmets. 

The back internal sun visor operating appendage also makes noise from the air turbulence. The airflow seems to be quite nice around the rest of the helmet as the noise is well-controlled right around the lower half. This could be because of the tight seal that the padding and plush liner create.    


This helmet has good airflow around the bottom, for their vents work pretty well. Since the helmet has a CAD design, the placement and shape of the vents are optimized. Also, the channels in the multi-piece, multi-density EPS liner help to funnel air all the way through the helmet. It funnels air everywhere, from the adjustable crown vents at the top all the way to the back. 

The liner also has vent holes that flow air directly to the head, and assist in keeping the liner dry in hot weather. Almost the entire face is covered by the large face shield, keeping noise and wind levels well-controlled for part of the helmet. However, the fabric from the push liners may block some air streaming in through the EPS liner’s small vent openings. 

This results in it having the typical weak airflow through the vents at the top. There are secondary exhausts and functional exhaust vents with rear ones included in the rear part of the spring-loaded sun visor assembly. 

The Multi-Stage intake vents and exhaust vents allow for fresh, full front-to-back airflow which flushes humidity and heat out. It also has the ACS which provides flow-through ventilation.


The HJC IS-33 is DOT approved. Its advanced polycarbonate composite shell helps protect your head from even the toughest falls. A face shield may not be the sturdiest, compared to a full-face helmet. However, it will protect your face from the standard everyday problems like bugs, debris and windburn.


The HJC IS-33 is overall a great helmet. There are a few flaws like the overdesigned, spring-loaded internal sun visor system isn’t a favorite. Also, the lack of quietness from the top vents is a big downside. Nonetheless, this helmet has amazing safety features and an elegant, aerodynamic design for riding in style! 

The helmet is also self-maintainable. This is because the sun shield and interior are conveniently removable for ease of cleaning. The cheek pads are even equipped with speaker pockets for adding a communication system. The rear tab has been replaced with a patch of velcro to make speaker adjustments very easy. This is all a great feature of the helmet. 

Where to buy this helmet :