Icon Alliance Review

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Many riders can appreciate a company that can consistently create a reliable helmet. That is exactly what you are going to get with the Icon Alliance and Alliance GT. The Alliance model has been around for years and has garnered a reputation as a reliable, comfortable, durable, entry-level helmet that isn’t going to break the bank.

This helmet originally came to be when Icon wanted to replace the old Icon Alliance SSR. This is a midrange sport helmet that Icon made a few noticeable improvements back when they transitioned from the SSR to the Alliance and the Alliance GT. They have continued to make changes and updates to this helmet over the years.

The Alliance and Alliance GT are coming in at the entry-level price from Icon, which is excellent considering that the GT has a dropdown sun visor. The visor comes in a variety of different colors which is another nice design element that alliance added to this model. The price point, the look, the design the comfort, and the feel of this helmet make it a great sport-oriented helmet that you can have on hand for you or a passenger.

For this being an entry-level priced helmet, there is a lot that the Icon Alliance and the GT have to offer. If you have a long oval head shape and are looking for a sleek, minimalist helmet to take on your commute to work, the Icon Alliance or Alliance GT may be just the one you’re looking for.

Ratings

Comfort:

98%
Comfort

Visibility:

81%
Visibility

Ventilation:

79%
Ventilation

Quietness:

92%
Quietness

Specifications

Outer shell material : Polycarbonate

Shell size : XS-XXXL

Liner

Weight : 1.64kg

Pinlock : Ready

Strap System : Double D-ring strap

Safety Ratings

DOT : Yes

ECE : Yes

SNELL : No

SHARP : 3 star


Shape and materials

The outer shell is made of durable polycarbonate which keeps the helmet relatively light and highly protective. The polycarbonate shell is one of the major reasons that Icon could keep the price down on the Alliance and the Alliance GT.

It weighs in at about 1.64 kilograms or 3 pounds and 10 ounces, which many riders could consider to be on the heavier side, but that’s a small price to pay considering the overall low cost of this model.


Overall comfort

The fit of this helmet is a long oval, which is kind of an outlier fit for the US market. This helmet is going to fit true to form when it comes to long oval head shapes. If you are an intermediate oval, you can squeeze into this somewhat comfortably, but know that it may not be the most comfortable. This fit should be totally out of the question for round heads unless you are getting this as something that you want to keep for when you have a passenger riding with you.

Another subtle feature the visor has matching side pods that create a tight seal around the shield. You will notice a major difference in its ability to block out wind and noise if you crack this open and then close it while riding.

The Hydra Dry lining is another well-known feature on the Alliance and something that Icon continues to include with this model, and it’s a good thing that they haven’t changed much. This lining has stayed standard with very few changes over the years, and is really one of the biggest selling points for the comfortability of this model. The microfiber is not only soft to the touch and comfortable to wear but also incredible at wicking sweat and keeping your face cool while riding. We really hope to see that Alliance continues to incorporate the Hydra Dry technology and lining in this model. The comfort liner is also lined with Hydra Dry, which is another nice comfort boost, particularly when you look back at the price tag of this helmet.

Things I liked

  • Awesome sun visor in a variety of styles and colors
  • Smooth actuators for vents, visor, and shield
  • Comfortable and cool interior and comfort liner
  • Variety of colors, textures, and exterior designs
  • Really cheap for the quality of the features on this helmet

Things I don’t like

  • Not a lot of great ventilation or ventilation options
  • There isn’t a lot of space for speakers

Visibility

The Alliance itself you can get without the dropdown sun visor, but for around an extra $50, you might as well get the dropdown sun visor, so that you don’t have to carry around and change out your clear shield for your smoke shield. For a little bit higher cost, that opens you up to a pretty large variety of different colors and styles of sun visors that you can add to your helmet.

Visibility through the main shield isn’t bad either. You aren’t going to get as broad of a peripheral view as you can with many other entry-level helmets of this caliber, but you aren’t going to feel like you can’t see out of the sides of your helmet. From top to bottom you have plenty of space to see up and down the road clearly.

The actuator on the side of the helmet that activates the dropdown sunshield works really nicely and smoothly. That, along with the locking mechanisms on the front of the shield are really easy to open and close with or without gloves.


Quietness

The lack of ventilation on this helmet does make this model considerably quiet. If anything, the Alliance and GT would be okay for riding in the summer, but perfect for the cooler seasons and months of the year.


Ventilation

The chin vent in the front is really easy to open and adjust, and you also have cheek vents along the front as well. The cheek vents adjust via an actuator on the inside of the helmet.

One of the drawbacks with the Alliance is that there isn’t that front brow vent right above the shield. This is something that you can see on the Icon Airmada, but a small touch that Icon intentionally left out for the Alliance and Alliance GT. This is going to make this helmet ride considerably quieter than the Airmada, though you should expect that this is going to make it hotter while you are riding. The upside is that you are going to have better insulation for colder weather riding.

The big horseshoe vents on the back have been standard with this model over the years. This is going to give you that smooth airflow from the front to the back of the helmet while permeating the liner to keep your head and the interior temperature of the helmet cooler as well. There is an actuator alongside these vents on the top of the helmet that makes the horseshoe vents very easy to open and close while you are wearing gloves. You also have some small vents at the back, just above the neck, that are going to supplement that passive extraction of airflow through the body of the helmet.


Safety

The Alliance is DOT and ECE rated. The polycarbonate shell is perfectly safe and suited for daily riding whether that be for leisure or your daily commute.

Conclusion

There are very few negative comments or takeaways from the Icon Alliance. Year after year, Icon has focused on maintaining the big selling points of this helmet while making a consistent effort to make small tweaks and improvements that end up going a long way.

The dropdown sun visor is one of the biggest convenience and visual touches, and most likely the first thing that the majority of riders are going to notice when checking out this helmet. All of the actuators are really easy to change and adjust. Besides that, the level of overall comfort you are going to get with the Hydra Dry liner is one of the greatest and possibly most overlooked features of this model. Though comfort takes a front seat in this design, keep in mind that this may not be comfortable for intermediate oval head shapes and would be out of the question for round heads.

The helmet is quiet, but the lack of ventilation can make it hot to ride with during the summer. Other than that, this is one of the best bang for your buck helmets in this price range.

Where to buy this helmet :