South African protection specialists started with neck braces but it's since expanded its range into a full set of clothing and protection including helmets. These new AM lids can get a bit sweaty over time but they add extra impact protection and secure fit in basic and bling formats and the 1.0 is a proper bargain.
Leatt DBX 1.0 AM
Weight: 342g (M) | Sizes: S, M, L | Colours: Black, Forest, Ink, Mint | Price: £54.99 (M)
You’re certainly getting a lot of helmet for the price with the DBX 1.0 AM. Fit is usefully universal and you get a big rubber dialled cradle to cinch it up snug. You only get 14 vents but they’re all pretty big and there’s enough internal channelling to get decent airflow once you’re up to speed. It’s not so cool if you’re slogging slowly up a climb though.
The nine ‘Turbine 360 Technology’ ‘wheels’ provide damped movement between helmet and head-on impact and Leatt claim 30 per cent reduction in head impact loads at concussion levels and 40 per cent reduction in rotational G transfer. A single piece set of thick, broad, machine washable pads line the front, crown and side of the helmet. That makes it very comfy initially but they soon start to soak up sweat when it’s hot and they’ll hold a lot of it, too.
The front straps are anchored into the outer edge of the helmet which makes putting it on easy and reduces glasses conflict. You also get a mid-sized angle adjustable peak for reasonable glare/rain protection but it doesn’t move enough to store goggles underneath. Like most cheaper helmets there’s no hardshell protection around the bottom edge either but otherwise, you're getting excellent all-round performance for the money.
Leatt DBX 3.0 AM
Weight: 403g (M) | Sizes: S, M, L | Colours: Black, Forest, Blue, Ruby, Brushed, Grey, Green | Price: £138.99
The DBX 3.0 has a similar shape and the same cradle system as the 1.0 so fit is equally friendly and secure. You get ten 360 Turbine ‘wheels’ though and the strap gets an offset buckle at the Y junction so they sit really well and they’re fastened with a magnetic Fidlock catch. You get more side vents as well and the internal channelling is more extensive so it’s cooler going fast and much cooler if you’re crawling. The pads are even thicker though so they can hold even more sweat (and stay wet for even longer) once you do start heating up.
While the bolt-on ‘MX’ peak is relatively long, detaches easily in a crash and lifts up far enough for storing goggles it’s relatively narrow, so there’s little protection from rain/sun at an angle. While complete hardshell protection makes it more durable and the metal badge on the back is a nice cosmetic touch, pricing seems high especially when the 1.0 performs almost as well for £84 less.
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With enhanced ‘Turbine’ protection, decent venting and quality strap set up for security Leatt’s DBX 3.0 helmet ticks all the current AM helmet boxes but the big pads get very sweaty, the peak is a bit narrow and it’s a lot of cash. In contrast, the DBX 1.0 AM isn’t quite as cool at lower speeds but you’d be hard-pressed to notice any other compromise in performance and protection levels are the same which makes it a really good affordable trail/enduro option.