Review: Triple 8 Brainsaver Helmet

To continue with our “Spring Safety Series” this week we’re going to take a look at Triple 8’s classic half shell helmet, the Brainsaver. The Brainsaver helmet comes in two distinct flavors, EPS Hard Foam and Sweatsaver, which are designed to withstand different types of impact and have slightly different fits.

The EPS Hard Foam version of the Brainsaver is CPSC certified, the bicycle standard in safety, meaning your head will be safe even if you take a spill going very fast. While it’s safer when it comes to harder impacts, there are some drawbacks that you should consider, especially if you’re going to be mostly freeriding the helmet at speeds under 30/35. Because of the hard foam liner the helmet is designed as a single impact helmet, meaning if you take a spill and hit your head, chances are the helmet is toast. Why? Since the hard foam absorbs a lot of the impact it compresses and cracks, making it much less effective for subsequent impacts. Even if you can’t see the damage there’s a good chance that if you slammed your head, it’s time to replace the lid. The other drawback is the fact that unlike the Sweatsaver version of the Brainsaver, the thin pads that come in the EPS Hard Foam version get soaked easily and don’t wick the moisture nearly as well as the terrycloth found in the Sweatsaver.

For your every day freeride helmet the Sweatsaver version is awesome. It features a terrycloth liner that wicks sweat and keeps it from running down into your eyes very well, even after you’ve been skating in it for a while. It’s absorbant and comfortable and doesn’t hold any incredibly nasty odors, extremely helpful if you’re commuting and storing your helmet around other people. The Sweatsaver is also designed as a multi-impact helmet since there’s no hard foam to crack and deform, meaning you can take multiple spills and as long as the shell looks good, you should still be safe to ride. The Sweatsaver version also comes in almost any color you can imagine, meaning you can not only be safe but look great while you ride, too. I wear my Sweatsaver every time I ride and absolutely love it, it has a super comfortable fit and manages the moisture better than many of the other soft-foam helmets I’ve seen out there.

One thing to note, though, is that the sizing on the EPS Hard Foam version is definitely a bit smaller than the Sweatsaver. Maybe it’s just me, but I also had trouble fitting into the L/XL hard foam Brainsaver despite wearing a L/XL Sweatsaver lid as my primary helmet, so it’s something you’ll want to be aware of if your head tends to be a bit on the bigger size.

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Review: Triple 8 T8-Racer Downhill Helmet

Welcome to the first edition of our 2012 “Spring Safety Series”! This is where we’ll take a look at various pieces of safety equipment and safety techniques to help make sure you have a long and fruitful season through minimizing unnecessary risks and reckless behavior that could result in serious injury for you or the skaters around you. To kick it off we’re taking a look at one of the newest and hottest full face helmets out there, the Triple 8 T8-Racer Downhill Helmet.

Ever since Triple8 announced the T8-Racer Downhill Helmet I had been dying to try it out. Unlike many other full face helmet options, many of which are bicycle or paragliding helmets repurposed for downhill skateboaring, the T8-Racer has been specifically designed for downhill skateboarding, allowing for a very wide field of vision even while in the deepest of tucks. The biggest drawback: the helmet is kinda small in my experience. The L/XL I wore either left the majority of my chin exposed and the helmet sitting dangerously high on my head (not really on) or I stuffed my chin in and was unable to talk, with my jaw stuffed in there without any room to move. I’ll say it right away: if you have a big head this helmet is most likely not going to work for you, plain and simple. If you don’t however, this thing is purdy sweet.

Available in white or black the T8-Racer comes with a tinted visor that opens and closes with ease (even while wearing gloves thanks to the tabs on the side) and seamlessly blocks wind at high speeds, giving you an oddly quiet zen-like atmosphere to skate in (like many other full-face helmets do). While I personally can’t attest to the helmet’s comfort, other friends that I allowed to wear it said it fit nicely and wasn’t awkwardly heavy to wear, even when casually freeriding. One drawback we heard from Henry our tester though, was that without a hole in the front near your mouth, the visor tended to fog up at times, forcing him to lift the visor a little to clear it, other than that he was quite stoked.

As I said earlier, because the helmet was designed with skating in mind it offers a very wide field of vision, making you feel comfortable holding your tuck nice and tight without feeling like you’re sacrificing eye contact with the road in front of you or peripheral details around you, allowing for added confidence at high speeds.The helmet is also cut a little higher in the back to allow for maximum comfort while you’re in a full tuck, without the helmet digging into the back of your neck at all. The helmet also drops a lof of the added weight of some full-faces by opting for a slimmer back, making it light enough to comfortably freeride with, our tester told us.

Overall the T8-Racer looks like it’s right at the front of the pack along with Predator’s DH-6, which has been on the market for much longer. For a first attempt Triple 8 did a damn good job, anyone in the market for a new full-face DH helmet, especially one that’ll be just as comfortable for freeride as intense downhill the Triple 8 T8-Racer might be the ticket. The average price we’ve seen for the Triple 8 T8-Racer is $299, making it slightly cheaper than some of its biggest competitors.

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