Snowmobilers can be picky about their helmets – and with just cause. It seems everyone has their own strategy for what seems to work best for them in the conditions they ride most often – all done in an effort to keep a face warm and fogging at bay for most of your day.
Last season I was able to test the GMax MD-O1S Solid Helmet w/ Electric Shield; compared to other modular helmets I have worn I was very impressed with its overall quality throughout the duration of an entire season.
According to its specs, the ECE- and DOT-approved modular helmet includes the new SpaSoft Dupont Coolmax interior that’s removable, washable and adjustable as well as an integrated LED light to further ensure visibility by other riders at night. It has a drop-down hi-vis amber sunshade, maximum seal double lens face shield and large eye port for improved visual range. A push-button chinstrap is also designed for use with gloves on.
After a season of testing, I found that the full-front lift that allows for a full-face opening becomes especially useful when trying to look at maps or converse with other snowmobilers.
I was also impressed by the heated face shield’s ability to keep vision clear in a variety of riding conditions, including sleet. However, I found the line of vision to be slightly smaller with the face shield lowered – you can see the upper heated panels in your line of vision, but peripherals remained uninhibited.
The hidden sun face shield was useful during a variety of weather conditions, allowing a rider to adjust preference in accordance with terrain and time – although at times I found it difficult to find the lever to bring the yellow sun shield down when moving, so I usually opted to wait until a stop to make the adjustment instead. I also found that if you had the clear shield down and then dropped the yellow face shield, the yellow one would steam up quickly – the solution was to have the clear face shield lifted first, which allowed cold air to clear the yellow lens. Then once moving again, I could drop the normal face shield back down – this maneuver seemed to keep the system from steaming.
Aesthetically speaking I really liked the helmet’s looks and received many positive comments about the rear red light on the helmet from companions trailside – so much so that I believe it would be a great addition for all helmets, and in the future should become a standard feature.
If there was one thing I would change for future production it would be improving the upper line of vision, but it does not pose a large enough issue to stop us to from recommending anyone purchase one for his or her fleet.
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