This new .5 full-face helmet from THE (Toby Henderson Enterprises) is a bit of a bargain, borrowing the shape of the company's popular One lid (now replaced by the T2) but replicating it in cheaper ABS plastic instead of the original composite or carbon fibre construction.
As well as cutting the price – the .5 is £100 cheaper than the One was, and £240 less than the T2 – this also shaves weight, with our size medium sample coming in at 923g; lighter than many top-end carbon lids. It feels noticeably light in your hand and on your head.
That's great, so long as it still offers decent protection. THE say it exceeds CPSC and CE standards, so there shouldn’t be any worries on that score; we thankfully haven’t crashed hard enough yet to find out. Our only concern is that even with the strap done up tight, there was still a bit more fore-aft movement than we'd have liked (not when riding, but when rocking the helmet with our hands to check the fit).
The .5 lacks the reassuring feel of the latest motocross-inspired lids like the Troy Lee Designs D3 and the Fox V3R, but then it costs less than one-third of the price. Fit also suffers a bit compared to pricier helmets, and the thick side padding can give a bit of a hamster-cheeked look, though this depends on the wearer's head shape. This is soon forgotten once you’re riding though.
The large face opening means the .5 works with a wide selection of goggle shapes (we tried it with Smith, Fox and Thor) and there’s a handy press-stud on the D-ring fastening to keep the strap out of the way. Venting is minimal, as with most full-face helmets – although that does mean it's harder for sticks, insects, etc to find a way in.
The .5 is available in four colourways and six sizes, so there should be one to suit pretty much everyone. Unless you’re the kind of ‘go big or go home’ rider who needs the extra protection of the latest moto-style lids, the THE is definitely well worth considering. It looks good, is remarkably light and should offer ample protection – and all this for under £100.