The new 100 Percent Altec trail helmet looks ready to sit comfortably atop your noggin. Form gaping vents to a sturdy adjustable visor, a quick look over the Altec seems to tick off the needs for most trail helmets.

The Altec has a complete microshell that wraps well over the rim of the helmet, and even partway into the cavernous vents. It's an extra piece of construction that helps keep your helmet in top condition. There are 15 vents in total but that big one at the front really sucks in a lot of airflow right over your head via a cooling channel. It's pretty solid on top but with so many big vents at the back as well, I didn't find it too warm - although I only rode in temperatures upto 25 degrees.

There is also slightly extended coverage over the temples and at the rear - nothing like some of the helmets from Fox like the Dropframe, but more than a traditional XC lid. The lid weighs 350g in a S/M size, which is the middle sizing. I found it perfect on my Always Medium head, but there is an XS-S and L-XL for the pinnies and big melons out there.

Of course, there's a retention system that uses an easy to operate dial right at the base on the rear. You can change the height to one of two positions when the helmet is off. And that's fine, this is likely something you only need to do once.

The visor is deep and by no means flimsy, although it does use a push in attachment unlike the hardware on either the Oakley DRT5 or Lazer Impala I have also tested recently. It has 3 positions, with the highest position being just enough to store goggles if need be. The visor catches a little on the edge of the vent when lifting it to the highest position, but only enough to just notice. It didn't move around at all during testing (and neither did the well-fitting helmet).

The EPS foam is generous on top of the helmet, but 100 Percent also use Smart Shock, their own Rotational Protection system. If you want to know more about how rotational systems or slip liners work, you have to go and read this piece from Anna Beck.

Did that help? Ok so the basic idea is that while a foam like the EPS foam used in helmets will reduce the severity of a blow to your head, real crashes involve many more forces, and a slip liner helps reduce those as well. So instead of using MIPS, 100 Percent made their own.

Under those blue dots are little elastomers that are tethered into the helmet. That's right, into the helmet, and not as a liner. 100 Percent claim that this means they start absorbing those rotational forces earlier, therefore making it more effective. I didn't crash while testing this helmet (my preference is always to do no harm when testing a helmet), but I did notice that compared to WaveCel equipped helmets this ws way cooler (and lighter) and compared to MIPS, well I didn't notice much. Some say long hair gets caught in MIPS liners a little but I don't have enough hair for that to be a worry. The padding is really nice and does a great job wicking sweat away, and there's a generous amount of it in the helmet too, making the Altec very comfortable.

On the trail it didn't budge, and it sits really low which does feel nice and secure. 100 Percent do have a bit of an integrated glasses holder, but funnily enough it best suits the shape of 100 Percent eyewear.

The main downside I found with the 100 Percent Altec helmet was the helmet straps. Given the price and overall quality of the lid I thought they let it down a little, as they are the same quality as something like the Lazer Blade or Coyote helmets that sell for around half the price.

They do the job, they work, they're safe. But they also absorb and hold sweat like a sponge, and I think in warmer weather (ie much of the year) that would get a bit gross pretty quickly. Having a spare set of the lovely helmet pads included in the box is a nice touch though.

All in all, a good helmet comes down to fit and being fit for purpose. If you need an open face trail lid with a nod towards extra protection, I would 100% recommend that you go and try this on. The Altec feels really secure on your head, and my gripe with the straps is only minor. From a value point of view, the Lazer Impala is cheaper, even for the MIPS model. But the Altec also sat further down on my head and therefore offering a bit more protection, but not so far to knock the top of my sunglasses. Fit is personal, so spend your time trying helmets on at your local dealer, and don't just buy on brand and fashion.

RRP: $269.95

From: FE Sports