LS2 Pioneer Review (2020): Coolest Dual Sport Helmet For The Money

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The LS2 pioneer is, without a doubt, a cool looking helmet. It draws the gaze of off road riders with its fighter-jet looks. It’s a dual-sport helmet that leans more toward off road riding than on the road. The scoops, divots, angles, and ventilation on the front and sides make the LS2 Pioneer look like the real deal when it comes to high performance, offroad and dual-sport helmets.

This helmet fits a lot of heads as well as a lot of budgets. The fit of this helmet is intermediate oval, which means that it is going to be able to fit more riders in the American market, and it comes in just under the $200 mark.

There are a lot of nice touches and features that make this helmet a great value for riders that are looking for something that is going to give them performance and comfort in off-road and dual-sport riding. Let’s jump in and take a look at some of the other features that the LS2 Pioneer has to offer.

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Ratings

Comfort:

81%
Comfort

Visibility:

85%
Visibility

Ventilation:

80%
Ventilation

Quietness:

80%
Quietness

Specifications

Outer shell material : Kinetic Polymer Alloy

Shell sizes : XXS-XXL

Liner : removable and washable hypoallergenic comfort lining

Weight : 1.45Kg

Pinlock : No

Strap System : Micrometric fastener

Safety Ratings

DOT : Yes

ECE : Yes

SNELL : No

SHARP : Not tested


Shape and materials

This helmet was made for wide availability in the US. As such, the LS2 Pioneer weighs in at 3 pounds and 5 ounces, which is pretty lightweight for a polycarbonate shell. It has a flexible peak that is perfect for offroad riding.

An issue that we have seen over the years with some offroad and dual-sport riding helmets is they have firm peaks that can break or crack easily, especially when they are put under aggressive riding conditions. As opposed to being made of hard plastic, this flexible peak can take a beating and come back for more.


Overall comfort

One of the comfort features that we really like about this helmet is the fit that you have through the front of the mask. You have plenty of room underneath the shield to wear eyeglasses, sunglasses, or to keep the shield open and throw on some goggles. That’s a little bit that goes a long way in terms of versatility and comfortability.

It’s got LS2’s dual-mechanism quick release ratchet straps to secure your head in the helmet. The cheek pads have an emergency removal system. They also give you comfortable padding and contouring that will keep you comfortable. The cheek pads are also easy to remove and clean.

There is a 3D mesh, bubble, comfort liner on the back or occipital region of the helmet which is another nice comfort feature on this model. If you are riding in a forward position with the back of the helmet leaning against your neck, this liner provides comfort while creating a microclimate along the posterior region of your helmet. The material and support works to wick sweat and keeps your head cool in hot weather, and actually helps hold warm air in the helmet for cold weather riding.

One downside is that there isn’t enough room for a speak pocket cutaway in this helmet. If you are shopping for an offroading helmet that gives you a Bluetooth speaker option, this probably isn’t the best option for you.

Things I liked

  • Lightweight polycarbonate design
  • Lots of air intakes that keep it well-ventilated, inside and out
  • Under the $200 price point
  • Cool, fighter-jet-like look
  • Comfortable and well-ventilated liner
  • Fits most riders in the US

Things I don’t like

  • Lots of noise
  • Not great for year-round riding
  • No speaker pocket

Visibility

The drop-down sun visor is a nice touch for long summer days of riding in the sun. The face of the mask is really open, and the shield on the helmet gives you plenty of room that you can pop up the shield and wear goggles underneath it. Overall, the LS2 Pioneer gives you ample amounts of visibility, with a wide periphery and plenty of openness from the top to the bottom of the shield.

There’s a big pull in the middle of the shield which makes it really easy to adjust the shield up and down, without having to take your gloves off. It locks in place nicely at the top and bottom position, but it doesn’t have any detents, unfortunately. You aren’t going to be able to lock the shield at any other position, other than either fully opened or completely closed.

The drop-down sun visor comes down far enough to give you full protection from the sun. It has a nice cutaway for your nose is and is cable-actuated with a big switch on the side, making it really easy to open and close with or without gloves.


Quietness

Seven exterior vents on this helmet mean that it is not going to be a quiet ride. While the open vents and intakes on this helmet is going to give you plenty of airflow for keeping you cool, this is also going to let in a lot of ambient wind noise.


Ventilation

One big step that LS2 Pioneer made in the right direction was shifting a big part of their focus for this model to ventilation. Off road riding takes a lot of energy, strength, and control, which is why you end up sweating a lot and burning a ton of calories while you are riding. That being said, ventilation and staying cool is critical in taking an off road helmet from “good” to “great.”

There are seven exterior intakes on this helmet, so you are going to be getting plenty of ventilation for hot and aggressive riding conditions. The only issue with this feature is that you cannot turn off or close any of the vents. One of the biggest shortcomings with vents that don’t close is that the LS2 Pioneer is pretty limited in terms of weather and seasonality. If you kick up a dust or ride through a cloud burst, there’s a good chance that some of that debris is going to make its way inside the bucket. Thinking about riding this in the rain? We wouldn’t recommend it. Those vents are going to let in all kinds of falling rain and moisture that you kick up from the road or the track.

If you take out the comfort liner, you can see that there is nothing exceptionally notable or unique about the ventilation on the inside of the helmet. The vents and interior allow for enough airflow, but LS2 wasn’t really getting outside of the box with the interior ventilation or circulation with the Pioneer. The ventilation on this helmet makes it great for riding during the summer and hot, dry weather conditions, but completely excludes it from being a year-round or multi-season helmet.


Safety

Safety-wise, the LS2 Pioneer meets ECE and DOT standards. With its Kinetic Polymer Alloy (KPA) shell, you get adequate safety without sacrificing comfort, and all at a reasonably light weight.

Conclusion

What are the biggest takeaways from the LS2 Pioneer?

Overall, this is a solid off road biking helmet for under the $200 mark. There are a few nice features on it such as the drop-down sun visor with a prominent switch that makes it easy to open and close when you’ve got your gloves on. It has a wide-open face that gives you lots of visibility out the front and sides of the shield. This helmet looks great too, which makes it fun to wear.

The ventilation makes it great for keeping you cool, and the 3D rear neck support is a nice touch for making the interior temperature of your helmet more comfortable, but this is not really meant to be a four-season or year-round helmet. We do not recommend wearing this in rainy weather conditions or on wet roads.

In all, a lot of what you are getting with the LS2 Pioneer is the look and the comfort of riding in hot weather conditions. It has a few nice touches like the flexible peak and adjustment switches that are easy to use with gloves. The ventilation is nice but opens you up to a lot of other challenges while riding.

Where to buy this helmet :