If you’re racing enduro, you are often faced with a bit of a dilemma when it comes to helmets. Do you wear your downhill full-face helmet? Or stick with your regular open face? Full-face helmets are by default, a lot hotter and heavier - but there is no denying the extra protection that you get from having proper chin and cheek protection. Having to wear a full-face helmet all day – with all the climbing you inevitably do - is a deal breaker for some; the sense of overheating outweighs the benefit in protection. But, what if full-face helmets were lighter, breathed more, and still gave you all the protective benefits? Enter the 100% Trajecta, which does just that.
The Trajecta is a modern, enduro-friendly full-face that seeks to offer all the benefits of a traditional full-face in a lighter weight and more breathable package. What’s apparent even before you put it on, is the massive vents designed into the chin bar. I have owned plenty of full-face helmets over the years and, while they all had vents around the chin bar, none of them come close to the amount of open space the Trajecta has.
Safety wise, the Trajecta has its own Smartshock® Rotational Protective System, designed to act as a version of the MIPS system popularised by other helmet manufacturers to reduce the severity of oblique, angular impacts that produce both rotational acceleration and deceleration forces on our brain. Taking the liner out reveals some blue elastomers moulded into the main polystyrene body of the helmet, and these are what the liner connects to. The system improves protection by immediately compressing and absorbing direct impact, and allows the elastomers to move independently from the helmet's shell. Both features help reduce energy transfer to the brain over a wide range of speed and impact types.
Style is a personal thing, but I think the 100% gear always looks on point. The Trajecta has the super aggressive moto look about it and just looks fast. I tested the matte black option, but it is available in six other more colourful options too. Weight wise, the Trajecta weighs in at 860gm (size medium) and feels light in your hand and on your head. Regarding fit, I find I sit on the cusp of a medium and a large. Testing the medium, I found it was just on the tight side and I would go up to a large if I was doing it again. Each helmet comes with a spare set of pads so you can customise your fit, however the medium came with a thicker set of pads that would have resulted in a tighter fit still. There isn’t too much margin when it comes to full-face helmets so it is something I would try on in a shop instead of ordering online.
Out on the trail, I began to really appreciate the gaping vents in the chin bar. They create airflow like no other full-face I’ve worn, and I definitely found my breathing more natural than the huffing and puffing I usually end up doing when wearing my downhill helmet. No surprise, but worth mentioning, the helmet shape around the main opening sits great with my goggles and they didn’t seem to interfere with each other.
Could you ride in this helmet all day? Yes, definitely. Is it hotter than a regular helmet? Yes it is. But can you live with it? Well, I rode this helmet during the changeable weather of spring, and on the odd colder day I really appreciated wearing a full-face - it takes the chill off nicely. I didn’t get a chance to ride it on a full-on summertime scorcher, so it’s hard to tell just how it would feel then. For all bar mid-summer, I think I would be pretty comfortable in this temperature wise, but it really comes down to what you’re setting out to do on your ride. If you’re just smashing out an XC loop of the forest then no, you’re not going to wear this. But, if you’re doing a few shuttles, or doing a more skills-based day where you might be working on a particular jump or drop, there’s no reason to wear an open face. Save your pretty teeth! Personally, I’ve got a few enduro’s I’m tentatively booking into the calendar, and I think this will be my helmet of choice. I believe this will be a helmet that really appeals to those riders who go a bit of everything, the odd DH race, the odd enduro, the odd just mucking-around-on-some-local-jumps and, while regular downhill helmets no doubt offer a greater level of comfort and protection, if you are only going to have one full-face helmet, having one that you will actually wear on a larger variety of occasions surely means there is a greater likelihood that it will actually be on your head when you need it. For that reason, I think these are a great option.
Words: Lance Pilbrow