- Great ventilation for a trail helmet
- Comfortable and adjustable
- Works really well with glasses or goggles
- Smartshock anti-rotation system doesn't have the cachet of MIPS
The 100% Altec is a supremely comfortable trail helmet that offers good coverage and very impressive ventilation. It's got some great touches that make it work really well if you go full enduro with goggles and the MIPS-alike Smartshock system promises extra rotational injury protection too.
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While this is the only open face lid in the 100% lineup, the brand has obviously put a lot of thought into it as it scores points on pretty much every feature that counts. There's a full co-moulded outer shell that has 15 chunky-sized vents poked through it that direct significant cooling airflow over your head.
The retention system is nothing fancy but well thought out. You get height adjustment via a popper system at the back plus a bit of reach adjustment on the front-mounted floating headband and a wheel with a rubberised edge to tighten it all down at the back. I found it really easy to get it both in a position where it was comfortable and my view wasn't compromised, even in head-down, full-attack position.
The straps are similarly simple but well thought out; fixed ear loops have an adjustable cradle either side that holds the chin strap in place, with a simple but secure click fastener to hold it all together. The straps didn't irritate my chin and there was minimal flapping about of excess strap thanks to a sturdy rubber retainer.
The helmet gets a proprietary anti-rotational injury system called Smartshock. Instead of having a slippery liner between pads and helmet, like MIPS, the pads are attached via 14 little wand-like stems in the helmet body. The system has none of the research behind it that MIPS does, but the very unscientific method of applying lots of force and then seeing if the liner moves freely seems show it does the same sort of thing.
The pads themselves are removable and antimicrobial as well as being very comfortable. They did get quite whiffy in the long sticky days of summer, but it's easy enough to remove and wash them. I like the fact the front one pokes down a bit from the brow of the helmet - it seemed to help a bit with preventing drips when saturated.
One of the best features of the Altec is the peak. It works really well with most sunglasses I tried, where you can also use the vents in the lid to hold them when not on your face. However, if like me you enjoy going full enduro with goggles, then it's possible to park them underneath the visor, which is much less faff than going on top.
All in all, the Altec is a very impressive lid in terms of features, comfort and ventilation. It's rapidly become my go-to lid for most riding for that reason, while the price is on a par with most other high-end trail lids, assuming you place the same faith in Smartshock as MIPS.