As an off road rider, you know that kicking up dirt out on the track or backroads can make for a disaster if you don’t have the right helmet. Sharp turns at high speeds on dirt tracks or trails inevitably lead to kicking up a ton of dirt, mud, and debris. That means you need a helmet that is going to be able to keep flying chunks of dirt and mud off of your helmet, out of your vents, and away from your face and goggles.
This is the SE4 Dirt Helmet, and as you might expect, this is a model from Troy Lee that is all about maximizing your off road riding experience. Off Road riding is usually of the most aggressive, and intense riding you can get yourself into. Not only does it require a lot of effort and focus, but it is also going to get messy. It is also one of the best cardiovascular and strength workouts that you can get. With that, you are going to need a high-performance helmet that can keep you cool and is also designed to take a beating during aggressive off road riding.
Is the SE4 Dirt Helmet an answer to your offroad riding wants and needs? We are about to find out…
Outer shell material : carbon/Kevlar shell
Shell size : Three shell sizes
Liner : Removable snap-in, washable comfort liner with CoolMax and Dri-lex moisture-wicking materials
Weight : 2.92 pounds
Pinlock : Extra matching graphic visor
Strap System : titanium D-rings
DOT : Yes
ECE : Yes
SNELL : Yes
SHARP : Not tested
Shape and materials
The materials on the SE4 are a large step up from the SE3. One of the first things that you are going to notice about the SE4 is that for how robust it looks, it is surprisingly lightweight with the medium size of this design clocks in at just under three pounds?
How is that even possible?
The materials that this model is made out of is just one of the many aspects that make the SE4 a premium off road helmet. This Troy Lee model has a full carbon fiber composite shell that keeps the SE4 both lightweight, supremely durable, and also resilient to collisions, impact, and blunt force.
What about the fit of the SE4? This model is a little unique in that it has more of a neutral fit. If you need a little more room in the sides and your face isn’t as long, this helmet is going to fit your head nicely. If you have a longer head shape like an oval, you may find that the SE4 puts a little uncomfortable pressure on your forehead.
This model also incorporates a breakaway peak and a replacement peak. Troy Lee understands that aggressive off road riding can tear up peaks quickly. It’s a nice touch that they give you another one when you purchase the SE4. They also throw in a nice carrying bag that you can safely store your helmet in when you aren’t using it.
The mold for the shell incorporates an improved aerodynamic design, another step up from the SE3. There’s also a nice ridge on the back of the helmet that will hold your goggle straps in place while riding.
Things I liked
Things I don’t like
You are going to be blown away at how lightweight this model is. In the medium size, the SE4 only weighs in at 2 pounds 15 ounces, making it one of the lightest off road helmets that we have reviewed in recent history.
Troy Lee spared no expense in making comfort one of their top priorities in the SE4’s design. It has a removable snap-in, washable comfort liner with CoolMax and Dri-lex moisture-wicking materials. This is what is going to wick sweat away from your face to keep you dry and increase ventilation to your face to keep you cooler while you are tearing it up offroad. The cheek pads are very comfortable and hold your head securely in place as well.
The total visibility on the SE4 is excellent. The mask is wide open and can accommodate a variety of goggle sizes, and the peak is adjustable so that you can tilt it into the up, locked position for more visibility.
Great ventilation typically comes at the cost of noise. However, with the added insulation and protection in the triple-density design, we have found the SE4 to be surprisingly quiet.
One of the biggest concerns that offroad riders tend to have with their helmets are ventilation and breathability. No rider wants to be trapped in a stale, humid, sweaty prison of a helmet while they are tackling an aggressive dirt course or trail. The venting is another feature that is a big step up from that of the SE3.
There are several vents across the chin and front of the helmet. On the SE3 models, you will notice that the front vents are jutting out, or a little more exposed on the front of the helmet. You will notice the same with the hood scoop that is facing the front of the helmet. The shortcomings of the ventilation on the SE3 is that the vents on it were a pain to clean or pressure wash, especially when they are covered in dirt or mud. You will notice that the venting on the SE4 sits flush to the helmet. This accomplishes two important things. The first, in that this prevents excess amounts of mud and dirt from getting into the vents. The second improvement that Troy Lee made to the SE4’s vents is that they are far easier to clean than its predecessor, the SE3.
Another priority that Troy Lee took with this design is in significantly bumping the amount of total ventilation on this helmet to keep their riders cool. When you are looking at it you will notice that there are 16 intake vents and 6 exhaust vents around the exterior. This is going to give you plenty of airflow throughout the helmet and the liner for keeping you cool while riding. The comfort liner works to relieve pressure from your head and is also a nice complement to the external ventilation on the SE4. The liner has lots of venting within it to maximize airflow throughout the front and back of the helmet.
Everything sounds great so far, but is this helmet going to keep my head safe if I spin out and crash? Can the SE4 take a hit? The SE4 is both DOT and SNELL rated, and like any great off road helmet should have, incorporates the MIPS system to add another layer of protection.
Another unique safety feature that you are going to get with the SE4 is that they have incorporated EPS through the chin bar to give you even more through the front of the helmet. This is also a triple-density EPS, unlike the dual-density EPS that you will find in the SE3. That added third layer is going to give you more protection in both low speed and high-speed impacts, while the MIPS is going to protect you against rotational impacts and angular forces that are displaced on the shell. This is going to significantly slow the rate at which force (reducing the impact) is transferred through the shell and the liners of the helmet to keep your head and neck safer than a model that lacks the MIPS system.
The SE4 also has an emergency pull system for the cheek pads. In the worst of accidents, this gives emergency personnel a safe way to pull your cheek pads out of the helmet. They snap into place securely and are also easy to slide out.
Troy Lee also incorporated the Eject system in this model, making it even easier for emergency personnel to remove this helmet in the event of a crash or terrible accident. This gives an EMT the ability to inject air into the helmet to help them remove it from your head while keeping your head and neck secure.
After taking a thorough look at the Troy Lee SE4 it’s very apparent that Troy Lee had very few oversights in creating this one-of-a-kind offroad helmet. Not only is this a gigantic step up from its predecessor the SE4, but they also took the liberty to expand and improve on virtually all aspects of this helmet from comfort and performance to design materials and safety.
Make no mistake, premium materials, a comfortable fit, great ventilation, and maximum safety are going to cost you with this model, but if you are an experienced and aggressive off road rider it is going to be worth it.
Where to buy this helmet :