Specialized Airnet helmet review

Impressive aero-meets-retro headgear

Our rating 
4.5 out of 5 star rating 4.5
GBP £100.00 RRP | AUD $200.00 | USD $150.00
Specialized's stylish Airnet helmet delivers handsomely on all factors except outright light weight

Our review

Stylish, well made with aero features and a very attractive price
Buy if, You want a supremely stylish and comfortable, and fairly well-priced aero lid
Pros: Fit, finish and construction all hit the right spot
Cons: You can find lighter lids at this price
Skip to view product specifications

Specialized’s latest helmet is another statement of intent from a company that has made aerodynamics its predominant design factor. After all, what other brand has gone to the extent of building its own wind tunnel on the doorstep of its HQ?

Advertisement

But the Airnet also shows the influence of retro headgear as well as aerodynamics – even the name is a play on ‘hairnet’, the made-of-leather precursor to the modern bicycle helmet.

Specialized has taken its ultra-aerodynamic S-Works Evade helmet as the template for the Airnet, which is most noticeable in the rear exhaust ports, though the Airnet’s low-volume body is very rounded.

One of Specialized’s lead aerodynamicists Chris Yu told us that the Airnet is 21 seconds faster than Specialized’s own lightweight Prevail over 40km, compared with the Evade’s 46 seconds, which is pretty impressive for a helmet that’s about more than purely performance.

Related: Leaked 2016 Specialized road bike products

The continuous front-to-back hard-shell strips evoke vintage lids, beneath which is a very heavily channeled EPS (expanded polystyrene) core that offers far more ventilation than your usual aero lid.

The large base vents at the temple also feature textured grippers to hold your glasses when you’re not wearing them, with matching grippers at the rear. The hard shell covers every exposed piece of EPS, which contributes to its 325g weight, but we’d take the extra protection from accidental damage over a few more grams, especially in a helmet as well vented as this.

Advertisement

The padding is made from merino wool for super-soft comfort, with Specialized including a second pad with an integrated cap peak. The fit should suit most head shapes, with the ‘Mindset’ rear cradle offering plenty of vertical adjustment, and the micro-adjust dial allowing you plenty of adjustability on the circumference. Considering its aero qualities, fit and the overall construction quality, the price is very impressive.

Product Specifications

Product

Name Airnet
Brand Specialized

Weight (g) 325
Reflective Piping/Accents Yes
Vented Yes