The deep rear end of the fully in-moulded Recon marks it out as a full-protection trail helmet. Cleverly though, it’s done in a low-profile and attractive fashion that still makes it wearable for a fast XC blast.
The inner shape is quite round and can feel loose unless you tighten the rear retention buckle, at which point it really begins to feel good – bolted on, even. The retention buckle does creak when tilting your head upward, although this is easily drowned out by general trail buzz. With the helmet's straps located at the outer-edge, compatibility with sunglasses and even select goggles is without issue.
The liner pads are very comfortable and are also removable for machine washing. The removable visor isn’t adjustable, which is a shame, but it does fit quite high up the shell, which keeps it slightly further out of your eyeline.
The 2013 version is functionally identical to the 2011 model, so ignore the graphics if you can and grab yourself an end-of-model year bargain. If you’re looking for similar protection to the Recon without the bulk, the Bontrager Quantum is a good alternative, as the downside of the 661 is that you’re paying a slight weight (332g) and ventilation penalty for all that cranial security.