Nolan N44 Review (2020): Most Flexible Crash Helmet With 6 Configurations

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Nolan has been a trusted name in crash helmets for over four decades now, and its more recent helmets have done nothing but bolster its already-sterling reputation. In addition to this pedigree, some of these new helmets have been surprisingly innovative -- a characteristic that Nolan has not necessarily been known for.

One of Nolan’s more innovative helmets is the N44. This particular helmet model is actually sub-divided into two separate models, the Nolan N44 Classic and the Nolan N44 Evo. Honestly, though, with only minor differences in the comfort lining, these two models are practically identical, which is why we’re going to talk about both of them here.

All in all, Nolan’s N44 helmet is one worth checking out.

Nolan N44 Hi-Visibility Helmet (Hi-Vis Yellow, Small)

Ratings

Comfort:

90%
Comfort

Visibility:

100%
Visibility

Ventilation:

90%
Ventilation

Quietness:

80%
Quietness

Specifications

Outer shell material : Thermoplastic

Shell size : Two shell sizes with one covering sizes XXS to L and the other XL-XXXL

Liner : Clima-comfort fabric

Weight : 1.55Kg

Pinlock : Ready

Strap System : Micrometric 2 fastener

Safety Ratings

DOT : Yes

ECE : Yes

SNELL : No

SHARP : Not tested


Shape and materials

The first thing anyone notices when looking at the Nolan N44 is its shape. This helmet has been created with versatility in mind, and the helmet design reflects this.

The front of the helmet boasts an incredibly large visor (more on that aspect later) which almost turns this into a full-face helmet. However, much of the front of this helmet is built for change: you can swap out the visor for a sun peak, you can take out the chin guard and you can even ride with open face. All in all, the Nolan N44 offers you six different customizable configurations that will suit your needs regardless of whether you’re taking your bike on the road, the dirt, the track or just about anywhere else.

The modular helmet is constructed from a sturdy thermoplastic carbonate which is very strong and can withstand just about anything thrown at it (as we said before, Nolan built its reputation building strong crash helmets). The inside lining is what they term as “Clima-comfort fabric,” which basically just means it tries to keep you comfortable and cool. Overall, it does a surprisingly good job, although the lining does go over the speaker pockets on this helmet, which some users suggest gives it a little bit of a pokey feeling, like it’s pushing in.


Things I liked

  • Fully customizable, allowing no less than six different configurations
  • Extra-large visor for full visibility
  • Sun peak, sun visor, anti-fogging spray and Pinlock-ready system practically guarantee you’ll always be able to see where you’re going

Things I don’t like

  • Tight chin strap
  • Louder than we would like

Overall comfort

The Nolan N44 comes in two shell sizes (the smaller accommodating sizes XXS to L and the larger sizes XL to XXXL). Don’t let that seeming lack of variety fool you, though. The inside liner and padding are fashioned to fit your head just right -- it’s a snug fit, but not uncomfortable, provided you get the right helmet for your head.

One issue that a handful of owners have reported is the chin strap. The chin strap on the Nolan N44 helmet can be a bit tight. Since motorcycle fatalities often occur when a helmet flies off during a crash, it’s likely that this was done on purpose to avoid this horrible chance. However, riders with large Adam’s apples or otherwise larger throats might find this part to be a bit difficult to get used to. This is definitely something you should check out before you buy.


Visibility

One of the most notable features of this modular helmet is the extra-large visor in the front. As you can imagine, this leads to superb visibility. Many riders say it is as close as they’ve ever come -- from a visibility standpoint -- to riding without a helmet at all.

In addition to its size, the helmet has been treated with an anti-fog chemical to help maintain that clear visibility. It is also Pinlock-ready, although you have to purchase the Pinlock insert separately.

You can also re-configure the helmet with the large sun peak, which can add an extra layer of protection from glare. There is also a sun visor that easily snaps down and then snaps back into place.

All in all, the Nolan N44 provides unmatched visibility.


Quietness

As great as the visibility is, it’s kind of the opposite story when it comes to road noise. This type of helmet tends to be a bit noisy to begin with, but Nolan doesn’t seem to have tried anything to alter that. While it’s not terrible, no one is going to be buying this helmet because of its quietness factor.


Ventilation

Ventilation is another area where the Nolan N44 helmet rates very highly. It features an innovative air vent right in the visor that might throw you off a bit. The purpose of that vent is to get air moving and flowing around the face -- although it seems like that feature doesn’t always seem to work. When that happens, though, you can actually remove the chin guard and get air flowing that way.

In addition to that front vent the N44 has a system of vents and scoops in the top of the helmet. Nolan refers to this as its “Airbooster” and these do a much better job of getting the air to move around and keep your head cool. Should you need them, there are several sliders that let you close off the vents completely.


Safety

The N44 modular helmet is both DOT and ECE certified, so you already know it’s safe. It should be noted that the N44 was tested with both the removable chin guard in place as well as removed, so however you configure it, you can be confident that you’re well-protected. It has not been SHARP tested, though, but before you let that worry you, keep in mind that the Nolan brand is synonymous with safety, and frequently shows up in industry “Most Safe” lists. So, you can ride without fear.

Conclusion

The Nolan N44 helmet might look a little different at first, but this innovation goes hand in hand with the safety that riders have come to know and expect over the years. The high visibility and customizability are only some of the perks of both the Nolan N44 Classic and the Nolan N44 Evo. When we look at everything this helmet has to offer, we give it an average rating of 90/100, which works out to 4.5/5 stars.

Where to buy this helmet :