As a keen motorbiker I appreciate the importance of a good helmet, but I also appreciate the story attached to things I own. And hence, for me, this helmet is unique for two reasons.
First, that Italian flag is more than just a decoration. It represents its Italian heritage in a much more meaningful way - it is actually designed and made in Italy.
Second, I like the fact that I am wearing a flip-up helmet from Caberg, an actual inventor of the flip-up helmet concept.
Very impressed indeed – that would be my very first statement. I usually put priority to the story, history or quirky fact to any item I own. And I will admit it was the main reason why I bought it. It was an Italian made helmet with an Italian flag on it.
But as I started using it, I was more and more impressed with the features and quality of this thing. Safety was my second most important criteria, and if it were not certified as “excellent” by a SHARP test carried out by the UK Department of Transport, I would not be reviewing it today.
And lastly, I liked that it was relatively light (1500 g) as I picked it up, and all moving parts felt solid. But at the end of the day, the truth is in the pudding – riding and using it daily. So here is my detailed review below.
Briefly about Caberg company. Unlike many globally recognised manufacturers these days, Caberg makes it quite simple to track where they make their helmets - it produces everything in one factory, in Bergamo, near Milan. Even its testing facilities are bases in the same building.
In comparison, many Italian brands are getting tempted to outsource manufacturing, and hence different product ranges are often made by different suppliers globally.
Thanks to the P/J lever, it is both - a legally full-size helmet and an open face helmet.
Switch the lever to J (Jet mode) with the chin guard fully open, and it will secure it in place, avoiding any accidental drops in a critical moment.
While in P (full-face mode), you can bring the chin up when it is needed. It locks quite firmly but can be pulled down and locked in full-face mode if required.
Both modes are equivalent to open and full-face helmets from the safety point of view, thanks to its dual homologation approval.
I find jet mode (J) useful for low-speed rides and when I am stuck in traffic - especially on a hot day. It is a pure joy to open it up when I feel like it, and I would not change this for a straight full-face helmet ever.
To pull it up, I need to press the big black button at the front with my thumb while lifting the front of the helmet with the rest of my hand. It is going up relatively smooth and has a good and firm lock in position at the top. It has never dropped on me accidentally and still allows for an easy access to the internal visor controls at the top.
To pull it down, I just use one hand and then give it a push from the front to lock it in securely.
I found it very handy on numerous occasions and see the advantage of having one.
I can deploy it in all modes – when the helmet is in Jet mode (as pictured) and when it is in full helmet mode - with the front visor either up or down.
It was strong enough to block the bright sun, and the design did not allow any unwanted airflows into my eyes.
The visor itself also treated for anti-scratch properties, and it has been more than six months of daily use, before I started seeing the first light scratches.
Initially, I did not think that I will need this that much, and hence it was only a bonus when buying it.
However, now I can hardly imagine not having an option to pull down the ‘sunglasses’ with a quick pull of a lever.
I had a case where it was raining, and I started to get bright sunlight from the edge of the cloud. Without opening my visor, I just lowered the sunscreen in seconds.
The lever is easy to feel even with thicker gloves, and it clips softly yet firmly into position.
Before I go into details, can I say that these air vents' design also makes a statement? It just looks so mean, so 'bad boy'.
There are five vents on the chin guard and three on the back of the windshield to prevent fogging. While the bottom two provide general ventilation. Considering that visor is also coated by an anti-fog layer – it works really well.
Unusually though, I found it strange that it did not have an on/off button to reduce the flow on the colder days.
There are also two square vents on the top (with an on/off switch) to ventilate the helmet's back.
The lining can be removed completely and is suitable for washing. And it was also useful when I needed to instal my Bluetooth set.
As you can see in the picture, it is mostly clipped together in sections across the entire helmet.
The fabric is breathable and hypoallergenic throughout. It has some leather patches in high worn areas at the bottom and a strip of reflective material at the back.
From the noise perspective, I found it quieter than my previous helmet, and a snug-fitting lining is significantly contributing to that.
Anti-Turbulence Roll was something new to me - initially, I found it to be one of those pieces that just lay in your drawer for years without even being touched.
But when autumn came, I realised that it is nice to attach it quickly to the helmet to prevent cold air from flowing inside.
But most importantly, this nifty feature reduces noise when riding at high speeds. It was handy on my recent ride London – Barcelona – Lisbon.
Interestingly, I still haven’t managed to understand what are those additional four holes are for. But I doubt it is anything important.
To learn more about Caberg, a truly Italian helmet maker, visit their site - www.caberg.it/en/company/
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What Italy makes is a multi-layered story. Learn more about Italian manufacturing, design and trends.
There are many countries in Europe, surely there are some hidden gems waiting to be discovered.
It is called 'Big Corkscrew' for a reason. Its Italian craftsmanship is impressive; and this thing is huge.
We spent years searching the web, artisan shops and visiting variety of makers in Europe. You welcome.