The 100 Percent Aircraft helmet is designed from the ground up for mountain bike and BMX use - it's not a modified moto lid.
Words: Hayden Wright
Photos: Gerard Lagana
The 100% Aircraft has been a staple of the full-face helmet market for some seven years now. Originally launched in late 2015, this helmet brought with it much excitement from the mountain bike industry and riders alike. It’s unique shell design and competitive pricing made for an enticing mix when combined laundry list of athletes including Loic Bruni and Loris Vergier who were debuting this helmet at the time of release. Following years of DH World Cup and EWS wins it is safe to say that 100 Percent have firmly placed themselves in the conversation of the best mountain bike helmet manufacturers in the market along with the likes of Fox, Troy Lee Designs and Bell. Much of these accolades and associated brand recognition coming directly from the success of the Aircraft.
Half a decade later, this helmet now lies in the mid-range of the 100 Percent product line-up. Available in Australia with a fibreglass composite shell and coming in four different sizes the Aircraft is now directly competing against helmets such as the TLD D3 Composite and the Fox Rampage Comp. We here at AMB have been luckily enough to have one of these helmets on test over the past few months, so read on for our breakdown.
- Fiberglass Composite shell
- 25 ventilation ports
- Antimicrobial, washable and replaceable comfort liner, cheek pads and chin strap cover
- Emergency Release Cheek Pads
- Integrated Compartment: Accepts inflatable emergency release systems.
- Steel D-Ring buckle
- 2 Shell sizes and 3 EPS Sizes and 4 Cheek pad options
- Adjustable Visor
- $499.99 from FESports
My first impressions with the Aircraft when unboxing it were great. This helmet has a quite unique design, that is as striking as it is purposeful. The main things that grabbed my attention were the flatter rear of the helmet, which is combined with a lateral fin as the rear transitions into the crown of the shell. This gives the helmet a very aerodynamic, aggressive look and also doubles as a fantastic contact area for goggle straps.
Other features include 25 intake and exhaust ports, and emergency release cheek pads. Combine these with a washable liner and adjustable visor and you have all the boxes ticked for a mid to high range full face lid. One thing we would like to see included with the Aircraft is a replacement visor. In the unfortunate event of a crash, it is not unheard of to damage or even break your visor. As such, it is typical to expect helmets to come with a spare visor upon purchase. Furthermore, it seems there is no individual part number for the visor itself so a replacement may be hard to come by.
Continuing on with the trend of extending the life of the helmet, it would have been good to see some form of storage bag included to ensure that the little knocks and bumps that are inevitable during transportation and storage do not result in scratches on your nice new lid.
On the bike
Helmet fit is something that is entirely individual, as everyone’s head shape will vary and as such so will the fit of a full-face helmet. I found the Aircraft to be very comfortable, with no pressure points, and sufficient clearance within the ear ports ensuring I didn’t feel like I was wearing rugby headgear when on the trail. The liner did a good job of providing a nice snug fit, and while not being the plushest I have ever used, serves its purpose well. This helmet has been designed from the ground up as a MTB & BMX specific offering, and as such has a nice lightweight feel to suit. This is not a slimmed down motocross helmet like some other brands offer at this price point.
The air ventilation was fantastic, and really helped to keep my head cool while on the trail. While this is not a super lightweight enduro style full face, you would not be amiss to keep this one on for hours on end without heating up too much. The addition of pop out cheek pads also means that on the longer, hotter climbs you can don those in your pack for a bit of extra breathing room. Tipping the scales at just over 1kg, this helmet is a touch lighter than other fibreglass composite helmets, which helps to aid in the overall light fit and feel of the Aircraft.
The goggle port on this helmet is compatible with outrigger style goggles, and does a good job of ensuring the goggles are snug on your face without putting too much pressure on your nose. As 100 Percent made their name in the goggle market, we expect no less than a perfect interface with their eyewear and this helmet delivers. Top it all off with the required Australian safety certifications and the result is a helmet that became our go to for any gravity riding.
Take a closer look at our 100 Percent range reviews:
If you are in the market for a full-face gravity helmet, be sure to consider the 100 Percent Aircraft. It has a striking design, great ventilation and a competitive price point to boot. Just ensure to grab yourself a helmet bag while you are at your LBS!