Rudy Project’s latest helmet, the Slinger, ticks many of the same feature boxes as better known and more expensive lids, making it one of the best buys for the more price conscious cyclist.
The Slinger boasts a pleasingly simple design that visually sets it apart from others in the bunch. That it comes in at just US$99 (approx £70) is a most welcome bonus.
The 13-vent count may sound low but their ample size and intelligent placement do a good job of keeping the breeze flowing through your hair and keeping your head cool.
In spite of its modest price, the Slinger never once turned our heads into burning cauldrons of lava even on brutally hot Australian summer days upwards of 35°C (95°F).
Six vents are situated right up front while 5 larger vents in the mid-section and 2 exhaust ports help to keep the air flowing from front to back.
However, the Slinger is no ice bucket either (though few things are at those temperatures short of an actual ice bucket) and it is here where more expensive helmets tend to pull away a bit with airier designs and deeper interior channels.
Exhaust ports both at the rear and up top help evacuate air though there could be more ports out back.: exhaust ports both at the rear and up top help evacuate air though there could be more ports out back. Paul Verkuylen
Enlarging holes is easy but doing so while still maintaining safety is the trick – while those high-end models are generally further reinforced with interior frameworks that maintain structural integrity during a crash, the Slinger makes do with just a co-moulded shell and simply requires more foam to stay together. Still, at this price, we’re not going to complain.
Fit ranks high on the scale, too, with an easy-to-use and comfortable retention system. Circumference can be adjusted on the fly with 1 hand using the intuitive dial while height is tweaked simply by sliding the unit up or down on the straps.
The straps also use locking sliders for set-and-forget adjustments and the thick hypoallergenic interior padding is plush feeling on bare skin.
All in all, the Slinger is a relatively cool and comfortable alternative to some of the bigger brands and wouldn’t look out of place in a peloton capped with far more expensive lids.
While those other more premium models may move more air and dress themselves up with generous swathes of composite reinforcements, riders looking for a stylish and well-designed helmet at an economical price could definitely do far worse than this.
The Slinger is offered in five colours and is available in sizes S/M and L. It weighs 280g (size S/M).
Plush interior padding adds to the comfortable fit.: plush interior padding adds to the comfortable fit. Paul Verkuylen