Leatt’s DBX 3.0 convertible helmet is designed for enduro duties with its removable chin bar, so only one helmet is needed whether climbing or descending.
It weighs just 760g in its full-face configuration and still manages to meet the EN1078/CSPC 1203 safety standards, which is an impressive feat in itself.
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That low weight is thanks, in part at least, to the 23 vents and deep internal channelling, which also help make it one of the airiest I’ve ridden in, even with the chin bar attached – great if you’re got a long, hot day in the saddle ahead of you.
That’s not to say Leatt has scrimped on safety features. In fact, far from it.
Inside the DBX 3.0 sits its own 360-degree Turbine Technology. These ‘turbines’ are essentially small bumpers made from Armougel – a rubber-like material that hardens on impact – and are strategically placed around the inside of the helmet.
Not only are they claimed to better help protect your head from low-speed impacts, they’ll also help safeguard against rotational forces too, similar to other slip-plane in-helmet technologies (think MIPS).
Of course, one of the hardest parts to get right on a convertible helmet is how easily the chin bar can be fitted/removed and how cohesive the whole thing is.
Leatt certainly hasn’t done a bad job, though I think there’s still some room for improvement. Fitting the chin bar is straightforward enough thanks to the two firm clasps that snap closed once you’ve correctly aligned everything, but bolting it in place with the helmet still on can prove tricky.
I negated this awkwardness by simply taking it off every time I wanted to fix the chin bar back in place. That said, it’s not too hard to remove with the helmet fitted. Just be sure the cheek pads are properly poppered in place so you they don’t disappear once you’ve removed the chin bar (the poppers aren’t the most prominent and need a hefty push to ensure they’re snapped correctly into place).
In terms of security on the head, Leatt has opted for a FidLock magnetic buckle on the chin strap coupled with an adjustable (via an indexed dial) retention cradle.
This cradle not only provides a nice even tension around the head, it’s also one of the few in this category that doesn’t need slackening right off when you’re putting the helmet on (as a full-face lid does).
Leatt also includes two sets of pads to help tailor helmet fit.
In use as an open face helmet, the DBX 3.0 feels quite shallow and perched on top of your head, with the helmet rim cut high above the ears, which almost seems to accentuate this feeling.
Comfort isn’t bad either, thanks to that light airy feel and the plush padding Leatt has used. There is one particularly large section of padding that sits slap bang in the middle of your forehead, which feels rather prominent and takes some time to get used to.
I like that there’s plenty of peak adjustment which means it’ll never creep into view when you’re looking up at the trail ahead.
In its full-face guise, the DBX 3.0 feels nicely secure on the head. The retention cradle and soft padding do a good job of creating a snug fit that, once you’ve got used to that bulky pad on the forehead, feels comfy for extended periods of time on the bike.
Thanks to the impressive levels of ventilation, I happily tackled a number of climbs with the chin bar in place and it never felt like it was impeding my breathing like some mesh covered numbers can.
That said, the DBX 3.0 never felt quite as substantial as the likes of the Bell Super DH or Giro Switchblade, which can impact on confidence as speeds pick up.
Overall, the DBX 3.0 does a decent job of keeping your head cool and offers some welcome added protection thanks to the relatively easy to fit chin bar.
It’s well ventilated and light too, but doesn’t feel as substantial or as head-hugging as some of its direct rivals.