Alpinestars’ Vector Tech helmet comes with MIPS protection as standard that’s claimed to help reduce the rotational forces exerted on the brain in certain impacts.
The EPS liner is reinforced with a rigid frame and it has a polycarbonate in-mould external shell that extends around the lower rim of the helmet.
It features 19 vents and a height-adjustable peak that, Alpinestars claims, raises enough to store goggles on the front of the lid.
It’s also been designed to be worn with goggles or glasses and has extra protection thanks to a dropped section around the temples and behind the ears.
The retention cradle is adjusted using an indexed ratchet thumb wheel and has two points of vertical adjustment.
The chin strap is fastened using a standard clip and the strap splitters are height adjustable. The front chin-strap passes over the top of the MIPS liner and padding to its anchor point.
The padding is made from a quick-drying anti-bacterial fabric that’s removable and machine-washable.
The Vector Tech wasn’t included in Virginia Tech’s helmet safety impact tests.
Alpinestars Vector Tech helmet performance
The Vector Tech has a fairly narrow and long fit, not helped by the large and voluptuous side pads. The length can be easily reduced by tightening the retention system, though, using the easy-to-access thumb wheel.
After a short period of time wearing the lid, the squashy pads reduced in size and the helmet’s narrow width became less noticeable. The general fit was fairly neutral, and I noticed no pressure points or hot spots even after wearing the helmet for prolonged periods on hot days.
The pads felt very comfortable and plush against my head, too, even when they were saturated in sweat.
Its ventilation looked deceptively promising, and from the exterior you’d be forgiven for thinking it is well vented. However, a quick glance at its interior revealed just how small all 19 of the vents are.
There are no dedicated internal ventilation channels, so air flow was severely limited and exacerbated by the large MIPS liner covering a significant portion of the inside of the lid, which reduced the gap between skull and liner.
The poor venting meant sweat was quick to build up. Initially the thick pads soaked it up, but once they got saturated it dripped down my brow.
With limited blow-dry potential due to the small vents, once the pads were wet they stayed wet for the duration of the ride. So make sure you have a microfibre cloth to keep your glasses and head sweat-free!
The lid was comfortable with glasses and once they were on they didn’t need readjusting. The retention cradle didn’t interfere with their arms, either, and they were easy to remove and refit on the move.
Goggles worked well and didn’t push the lid back on my head too much. Very large goggles did contact the lid’s rim, but smaller-framed options were less of a problem.
The adjustable peak moves high enough to store goggles on the front of the lid and in its lowest position didn’t enter my field of vision. However, on particularly steep climbs, the front rim of the lid was in my peripheral vision.
The chin strap is comfortable but the front-most strap, before it reaches the strap splitter, sat further forward on my face than I was used to. While it wasn’t a problem, it’s something to consider if you’re fussy about this.
Alpinestars Vector Tech helmet bottom line
The Vector’s looks are aggressive and up-to-date, and its compatibility with glasses and goggles is impressive. General comfort is good too, but its ability to keep my head cool certainly let it down compared to other lids on the market.
If you’re not planning on riding in hot climes or slogging it up to the top of the trails under your own power, the Vector is still a great lid.