ABUS Airdrop MIPS Helmet review – is it form over function for this cool-looking enduro full-face helmet?

The Airdrop is ABUS first full-face helmet aimed at the enduro and DH racer. Jimmer takes to this enduro rig to find out if it’s up there with the established big hitters.

Side on shot of the ABUS Airdrop MIPS Helmet
(Image: © James Blackwell)

Bike Perfect Verdict

For those looking for a very well vented enduro DH certified helmet, the ABUS Airdrop could well be for you. In hot weather it’s hard to beat, comfort levels are good but there are plusher options out there. That’s said it’s packed with loads of neat design touches and looks really cool.


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    Looks very cool

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    Lots of vents

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    Tons of safety features

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    Cheaper than a lot of its rivals

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    DH race certified


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    D-ring buckle closure a little fiddly

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    MIPS is a bit noisy

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    Only comes in two sizes

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Protecting more than just the security of your bike, ABUS makes a wide range of helmets to cover all disciplines. Being a proper wannabe enduro racer and preferring a full-face helmet for hitting gravity trails, I’m giving the ABUS Airdrop MIPS a run for its money, its first full-face DH-certified helmet.

Side on shot of the ABUS helmet being worn

The Airdrop is a really cool looking helmet design (Image credit: Georgina Hinton)

Design and specifications

The Airdrop is quite a looker. Security remains paramount to ABUS with the addition of its Quin technology and MIPS protection, which is always good to have on any helmet for an enhanced level of protection.

Quin technology uses a built-in sensor that in the event of a big impact notifies a pre-defined contact. However, this model requires an upgrade for the chip (which is available separately), or you could go for the Airdrop MIPS Quin which comes with it installed.

The polycarbonate outer shell is bonded to an EPS (expanded polystyrene) core using in-mold construction and features an internal ActiCage system built into the EPS layer to increase structural strength. Abus uses its Zoom Ace FF adjustment system dial at the rear to tweak the fit and it’s secured by a slightly outdated double D-ring buckle system. The padding is ample, and the chin strap and cheek pads get a nice soft brushed cover. It also comes with a set of thicker cheek pads.

Photo shot from behind showing the vents on the back of the helmet

Lots of outlet vents at the back provide excellent ventilation (Image credit: Georgina Hinton)

With any full-face helmet aimed at gravity and alpine riding, the right balance of ventilation, protection and comfort is key, and this helmet delivers on the ventilation front. I counted 23 vents in total, but ABUS refer to them as 11 air inlets and six air outlets not counting the four in the forehead section to aid – well, cooling the forehead. I really like the breathable and removable cheek pad inserts that sit below the chin guard vents.

There are some great features to this helmet. Collarbone protection edges located on the chin guard act as crumple zones in the event of a crash – I’ve broken my collarbone and the resulting nine months off the bike isn’t fun, so any added protection is a win. Then there’s the ASC (ambient sound channels), a well-placed vent that channels sound more directly to the ear to help with spatial awareness. Breakaway peak bolts are also a neat design enabling the peak to easily separate in a crash to help reduce rotational forces to the head. The peak is easily adjustable via a neat turn bolt and there’s ample room to stick a GoPro up there to feed your fans on YouTube.

As I mentioned, it’s a stunning design, aggressive almost in its styling in the matt black colorway with shiny black details and logos. Aesthetically pleasing would be how my old school technology teacher would have described it. But as it was drummed into me in that class, form follows function, so how does it perform?

Close up of side of helmet showing the collarbone protection zones

Collarbone protection zones under the chin bar are a great idea (Image credit: Georgina Hinton)


The Airdrop is only available in two sizes, so I chose the small/medium which fitted perfectly and weighed in at a very reasonable 780g. The first thing I noticed was the slight creaking from the MIPS layer once cinched up. I’m not going to paint it as a big negative as once I hit the trails my focus was purely on hitting my lines and I no longer noticed it.

The helmet really does look cool. The matt Velvet Black colorway with gloss accents and understated logo are right up my street. Although I’m no fan of the D-ring buckle closure, it certainly works well for a secure fit with easy micro-adjustment, but it will never beat quick-release buckles (such as Fidlock) in my opinion. The ratchet dial at the back is easy to tune in fit, and stays firmly in place. It was also easy to release too.  

Photo from above showing the breakaway visor

The breakaway visor should help lesson rotational forces in a crash (Image credit: James Blackwell)

I found it a comfortable enough helmet to wear, not as plush as others but certainly not uncomfortable. All goggles I tried fitted no problem, although when climbing/pushing up, I had to wear them reversed with the frame at the back as they wouldn’t fit with the visor pushed up.

Airflow really is excellent. On long descents I could really feel air getting in and around my head, the large vents in the chin guard and at the forehead of the helmet really maximizing all possible airflow. I kept the helmet on, push-up after push-up in hot weather and never felt the urge to rip it off because of overheating. The low weight of this helmet and excellent breathability make it shine, although those who prioritize high levels of comfort may want to look elsewhere.

Shot of Jimmer wearing helmet from front showing air vents in chin guard

Big air intake valves at the front mean lots of cooling through the helmet (Image credit: Georgina Hinton)


It certainly looks the part, can claim a really high level of protection at DH-certified level and airflow is awesome. At the price point, it’s also a great buy, undercutting most of its rivals. Comfort levels aren’t quite as high as some other models out there but in hot weather it really shines.

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The lowdown: ABUS Airdrop MIPS Helmet
ProtectionDH-certified and ready to race★★★★★
Performance A bit creaky because of the mips but venting and weight are excellent★★★★
Comfort Comfy, but not super plush★★★
Value for moneyExcellent compared to the leading market big-hitters★★★★★

Tech specs: ABUS Airdrop MIPS Helmet

• Price: $330 / £259.99 / €304

• Materials: EPS foam in-mold construction

• Weight: 780g (S/M tested)

• Colors: Velvet Black, Black Gold, Concrete Grey, Polar White, Pink

• Sizes: S/M 52-58cm, L/XL 58-62cm

 Rival products: Fox Proframe, Troy Lee Designs Stage, Endura MT500

James Blackwell
Freelance writer

James, aka Jimmer, is a two-wheeled fanatic who spent 20 years working on MBUK. Over that time he got to ride some amazing places, ride with the world's top pros and of course, test a lot of bikes and kit. Having ridden and tested everything from XC to DH, he now calls the trail/downcountry stable his happy place. Although a self-confessed race-a-phobe, it hasn’t stopped him racing XC, DH, Enduro, Marathon and the notorious Megavalanche.