ICON Airmada Review

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Today we’ll talk about a helmet that’s become an all-time favorite on america’s street bike starting packs, the ICON Airmada. It’s budget friendly, comes in what’s likely one of the sickest and widest range of badass graphics we’ve seen on a helmet, and excels at ventilation and comfort.

Now, plenty has been said online about this helmet, but we thought we’d add our 0.02 to the conversation, just because.

Just because we know the helmet well, that is, and there’s more to discuss.

So, is this entry-level full face, omg-graphics bearing, 2SHARP stars (booooo) rated helmet worth the two benjamins (ish) it’ll set you back?

Ratings

Comfort:

80%
Comfort

Visibility:

91%
Visibility

Coolness:

91%
Coolness

Ventilation:

82%
Ventilation

Quietness:

72%
Quietness

Overall rating:

Specifications

Outer shell material : Polycarbonate

Shell size : XS, S, M
L, XL, 2XL,3XL

Liner : HydraDry

Weight : 1.62Kg

Pinlock : metal pin

Strap System : double-d ring fastener

Safety Ratings

DOT : Yes

ECE : Yes

SNELL : No

SHARP : 2 Star


Shape and materials

Ok let’s get straight to business here:

Polycarbonate shell (zzz), Hydradry liner (yay!), no sunglasses grooves (sad), optically correct, fog free visor (nice!) and lame water resistance (ouch!)

Is that it?

Well, not really. What’s to notice is that the polycarb is actually more resistant to some stress tests than other helmets with fancy organic fibers that will cost you a full 20ounces of liver.

Check the video further below to see what we’re talking about. 

Also ICON took the effort to produce this helmet in four shell sizes (applause) and bring in on extreme (2xs, 3xl) sizes, which is something we like and respect. 

We’ll talk about how ICON’s tendency to create narrow shaped helmets (this one is a long oval as usual) and aim for lightweight (which we like) has a tendency to result in poor impact protection ratings (when we go above DOT/ECE type of measurements)

But first:


Things I liked

  • HydraDry liner
  • 4 shell sizes, full range of actual sizes
  • Really big eyeport
  • Kick-ass graphics and IconOptics colors
  • Sweet price
  • Ventilation

Things I don’t like

  • Two stars SHARP
  • Louder than we’d like
  • Chinbar very close to your face
  • No speaker pockets

Overall comfort

Before we rip it on the quietness and safety sections of this review, we’ve got to praise it where it does well.

Overall, the Airmada is an all-round comfortable helmet, with no hotspots or weird pressure feelings, bit tight to get on and off (something they’ve done a much better job on the Airform) and while it has no grooves for glasses, we’ve had no unpleasant feelings wearing ours (thick acetate glasses for that matter)

It’s also pretty aerodynamically neutral and we’ve found no weird pulls or whistling when riding at high speeds and doing side checks, changing from upright to tuck, full tuck, etc. This combined with the helmet being pretty light for a full face, makes for a great choice for long rides.

Besides that, it features a double D strap system which people with beefier necks do very much appreciate.

It does not come with speaker pockets so if adding some is in your to-do list, there’s that (the Airform and Airflite do come with pockets)

Visibility

The Airmada, like its brothers on ICON’s product line, offers a wider-than-most FOV with the fantastic IconOptics face shield we quite like and you can also find on other models from ICON (meaning if you start collecting them, you’ll be able to swap them around from helmet to helmet, which you’ll likely want to do as coolness is one of the top selling points for this)

The faceshield is also fog free and does a great job at staying in place when closed thanks to a rather primitive (I know this is not something ICON will like to read) peg-in-a-hole mechanism with a fancy name that does work as it should.

Quietness

This is not a field of excellence for the ICON helmets we’ve tried so far. The materials and build used on them are friendly with your wallet but not with your hearing, so we recommend using plugs (which you should, anyway)

It does not get into the unbearable, what the hell is this type of loudness you get on open face or mx helmets of course, but it’s nowhere near the levels of noise reduction some other brands go to.

Ventilation

Now, this is indeed a field where the Airmada shines. With  5 front vents and 2 exhaust ports, big ass air channels on the EPS foam and overall a great design when it comes to airflow, the coolness doesn’t end at the graphics for this helmet but also comes on the inside, keeping your head feeling great during long summer rides and we like that.

Note the chin bar vents are rather impossible to operate while riding with gloves, so we suggest you pick your setting before riding. Just a thought.

Safety

Like we’ve briefly mentioned, this is a DOT and ECE approved helmet that got what’s otherwise an underwhelming result at the SHARP test with only 2 stars. When you think the AGV K3 got four stars on the same test at the same price point, it makes you weight your priorities :/

Doesn’t come with a SNELL sticker either so some trackday inspectors will turn their noses on you. We think Fortnine did a fantastic job testing this helmet here:

Conclusion

Overall we give the ICON Airmada a total of 83.2/100 or 4 out of 5 stars before we factor in safety ratings, which would bring it down a full one star.

We think it’ll make a great bucket for either long-time sport riders who’re bored to death by the uninspiring designs from most companies, or the starting rider who doesn’t want to spend an arm and a leg on a lid and values the design. It’s has a great bang for your buck ratio all things considered.

Now, our actual personal choices for alternatives would be

For aesthetics, at the same quality level (probably a tad higher) we would pick the airflite.
For safety, we’d go for the AGV K3

Where to buy this helmet :