Manufacturers producing helmets, often but not always, happen in the form of re-badging another companies helemt. You’ll rarely see a re-badged premium helmet like a Shoei, Arai, or Bell and very rarely you’ll see an in-house designed item. BMW deserve some credit here, the Germany Juggernaut has been designing their own helmets and having reputable brands, Uvex, Schubert and others make them for a long time. Just like BMW, Touratech must all be given the credit they deserve. The Aventuro is, unequivocally, a Touratech designed product.
The Aventuro has caused an internet, and to some extent, sales frenzy. It seems like everything they do arrives with serious hype and as a journalist that evokes a response that requires me to tell folk to calm down and wait. One of the details that really struck a negative chord with me was the ‘produced by Nexx” line in the initial information. I’m wary and generally frustrated by manufacturers putting unknown brands in our face like we should know them, and punching NEXX out as though they’re a household name is in my opinion was ‘not cool’.
When the research into the Aventuro started, we stumbled across an almost identical NEXX helmet named the X.D1. This can only fuel the fire of scepticism. We put that point to Touratech UK MD, Nick Plumb. “It’s a bit of a frustration of mine with Touratech and I think it makes us look a bit silly sometimes, but they’re is a lot of business sense behind this. At Touratech they have an opinion, that I entirely agree with. They make parts for bikes and know what they’re doing in that area, but when they venture into new markets they don’t and so the aim is to work with a brand of big experience. The trouble with this is that there is always a nervousness about producing a product and Touratech fronting the full cost of it. We have a partnership like this with Stadler, who produce our clothing. With our first suit, the Camponero Worldwide, the suit was designed by the Touratech and then we worked with them to achieve the parts that were possible and the parts that weren’t. We also then let the product be sold by both brands to even out the cost of production and so on. With that suit, it was until this year available from Stadler without Touratech branding. We’ve done a similar thing with NEXX and the new helmet. They’re allowed to sell a similar, but quite different version of the helmet to help us manage production costs.”
Touratech were also quite keen to point out the differences, namely the material of production, between the two brands. The Touratech Helmet is a full Carbon Fibre shell, a material they claim is better because of both weight and impact resistance and absorption properties. The NEXX is a rather fruitily named X-Matrix Shell comprising of “multiaxial fiberglass, 3D organic fibers, special aramid fibers and carbon reinforcement”, whatever that actually means. The biggest crux is essentially 150gram weight saving, with the Aventuro rocking in at 1350grams, relatively light for a road based helmet.
Some things we like a lot, some we are definitely ambivalent toward and some, frankly are plain odd.
The other big differences are centred around the exclusion of a flip down sun visor on the Aventuro, something the X.D1 does have. We’re not a fan of flip down sun visors and apparently neither are Touratech. They claim they feel it’s less safe as you have less polystyrene in a crucial are and the visors aren’t replaceable and become scratched and useless over time. Wether that is true is up to you.
The Touratech Aventuro itself is helmet that has clearly had some time and thought put into it. The look of the helmet is with out doubt an acquired taste. It’s extremely ‘Euro’ in design, with sharp edges and hard lines. Everything from the emergency removal cheek pads, to the extendable visor, the ventilation, the Coolmax® foams, the wide aperture visor design, goggle strap holder and the collection of action camera mounting plates are all things that have clearly come from a brainstorm of ideas. Some of them we like, some of them we think are odd.
NOTE: A Helmet’s fit is entirely personal, no two heads are identical in shape and so this must be taking into consideration.
The Touratech Helmet is something that has entirely divided our opinions. Some things we like a lot, some we are definitely ambivalent toward and some, frankly are plain odd. The very first thing we did was change the visor to a darker version, the 60%. At first we found they peak and visor fitment infuriating, to the point of anger. A quick lesson in fitment from the guys at Touratech solved those issues and actually, with the knowledge that the helmet visor clips are marked L and R, things became drastically easier and the visors can be removed, cleaned and replaced with high speed and ease, under 30 seconds.
Dropping the helmet onto your head is a nice experience. The foams are made of a nice material and feel comfortable on your skin. They don’t irritate in any way and are comfortable when being worn for hours on end. The second helmet we had fitted differently from the first, with the lower rim of the helmet being tight on the second.
The top of the helmet feels like it is very high, but that is very personal and could easily be attributed to an odd shaped head. The wide aperture is a departure from older, more traditional designs. A dedicated MX or Road helmet tends to have a narrower aperture and it could just be a matter of design progress. The only way to find how well it fits you is to try it.
Generally the venting on the helmet was decent. It’s not the best venting I’ve used on a helmet, but it is better than most. You can feel the air flowing in when moving slightly and if the weather is colder the vents need to be shut. In hotter weather the helmet did feel warm. Strangely airflow could be drastically improved by tipping your head so the vent was into the wind, as odd as that may sound.
When riding more intense off-road things quickly warmed up in the visor but that’s to be expected and probably why they suggest goggles… The very first time we wore the helmet, we road pin-lock free and in the cold temperatures of that day, it was a disaster. It’s imperative you run pillock or some anti-fog system. The flippable vent from the mouth piece is about as useful as a pint of RedBull before sleeping…
The cold weather attachments that clip under the chin piece are a touch we really like. The flexibility they offer when you switch from cold road riding to technical off-road were really useful. I like being able to swap that in and out and the difference in airflow was quite incredible. As well as that, the peak is pretty good. It’s far better at speed than a dirt-bike helmet but it does still catch the wind at speed. You can’t expect perfection when wearing a peak, but it’s could be better. It does do a good job with low sun however. The square edges are good and make blocking that pesky sun out possible. The extendable peak, is not something we’re convinced is necessary. It works as you’d expect but the difference isn’t big enough to go shouting from the roof tops.
There are however some slight gripes with the helmet. Firstly, the removable padding; it’s far from the easiest system to manage and use, proving to be more fiddly and complex that it ever needed to be. When you remove the pads, the lugs that hold the foam in have a habit of separating, as designed by the for the emergency cheek pad release. It makes fitting and removing them an awkward process and the little tabs could easily get lost. The design of this is better on other helmets, but at the same time Touratech must be commended for including it.
I’ve never had any issues with the problems that the Aventuro tries to fix and that’s the part that confuses me the most.
The second small gripe comes in the form of the helmet strap. It’s extra long to allow for it be loosened instead of undone entirely for removing the helmet, something that does make sense, but oddly the distance between the button to clip the strap away and the end of the strap is much bigger that any other helmet. This button has, for 20 years of riding, served as marker for doing straps up whilst wearing gloves and by moving it’s relative position they’ve made it exponentially more difficult to do something than it was. Seems minor, but it was enough to bug me to the point I wanted to trim it.
Between the bits I like and the bits I don’t, you’ll find the elements of the helmet I don’t understand. First is the goggle strap holder. I’m really not sure why this is fitted. It makes fitting goggles harder and goggle just don’t fall down, they just don’t. They have silicon on the strap to solve that exact problem. It’s an addition for the sake of it. I’m also not really sure why they’re promoting the helmet as a 3-in-1 product like it’s something you can’t do with other helmets, it’s a marketing gimmick for the sake of it. You’ve always been able to fit quick straps and goggle by taking a visor off and plenty of folk remove peaks on their Tour-X’s or other such helmets. The helmet as isn’t as quiet as a full blown road helmet. It’s not horrendously loud, not even close, but i’d not put it in the super quiet box either. If you were travelling a long way, like most helmets are, it’s an ear plug job
All in it’s seems like I’ve been really negative about the Touratech helmet, but it’s not a negative product, quite the opposite. It’s light and the carbon looks really good. The general helmet feels good on head and there are a huge amount of features packed in. Some people will like a lot of the features more than I do and probably get far more from them. I’ve never had any issues with the problems that the Aventuro tries to fix and that’s the part that confuses me the most. Some of the oddities of the helmet also make me feel like the helmet hasn’t been fully tested by a wide range of people, because among our test staff we also noticed similar points. The only way to find out if these things bother you is to go into a store and put one on your head, pull it apart and fiddle with it like you would any other helmet.
Some of the systems are well thought out, the visor/peak system is great and the cooling is decent but the foam pads are fiddly and that really is the theme of the helmet. Some good, some awkward and fiddly. There isn’t anything fundamentally wrong with it and if the helmet fits your head it’ll undoubtedly be a good lid. That’s probably the most important part for us, make sure you’ve got a really good fitting helmet.
We also really like the Action Camera Mounting options, it’s a really cool little touch. lot’s of people like to run a Go Pro on their helmets and including our preferred side mounting point shows thought. That said, we stuck a Go Pro onto the actual helmet and it removed some paint when we removed the sticky pad.
The final point I’d make is that if you’re planning on travelling with the Aventuro, it’ll work well. The day to day running of a helmet on the road, the peak and the changing of the visor, the fitment of your Go Pro, those parts work very well and they’ll make life good.
- Features to suit everyone.
- Great visor/peak system.
- Peak a little blowy on the road.
- Some niggles.