Vital MTB Recommends the D4 Helmet

Vital MTB Recommends the D4 Helmet

Vital MTB tested the top open face helmet on the mountain bike market in their latest Round-Up and the D4 Helmet received the “Vital Recommended” stamp of approval. Here’s what Vital had to say about the D4 Helmet -

Vital Recommends:

Troy Lee Designs D4 Carbon

  • Protection: 4.5 stars
  • Breathability: 5 stars
  • Fit and Comfort: 4.5 stars
  • Quality and Finish: 5 stars
  • Weight: 5 stars
  • Price/Value: 4 stars
  • Overall: 4.5 stars

Troy Lee Designs D4 Mountain Bike Helmet

“When a product has been loved and appreciated for 10 years, it’s no easy task coming up with a new version, but Troy Lee Designs took everything that was good about the venerable D3 and made it better with the all-new D4. Stronger, lighter, more breathable and with innovative safety features, the D4 looks a lot like its predecessor but it is, in fact, a ground-up redesign. Starting with the outer shell, it’s made out of “TeXtreme”, a particular type of carbon fiber manufacturing technique that yields a very light yet very strong product. Our size L sample weighed in at 955 grams, the lightest of all the helmets tested here.

Digging deeper into the design, we find a large number of vents, many of which connect directly to channels in the EPS liner. The inner comfort liner has also been totally reworked, it is now based around the kind of smaller pads that are often found in half-shell helmets. Many of the channels in the comfort line up with the air vents as well, all in an effort to promote better breathability. As for safety features, aside from the ubiquitous rotational impact protection system, TLD has also developed what they call a “collarbone suspension system”, essentially a softer area at the base of the helmet intended to provide a little relief if you crash on your head and ram the helmet into your collarbone. The visor screws are of the breakaway type, and wherever the EPS liner is exposed through the vents, it has been given an extra polycarbonate layer to increase strength and durability.

Putting the new D4 for the first time, we were struck by how light and comfortable it is. Yes, the comfort liner looks a bit like something you would find in a half-shell, but there are more pads here and they reach all around your head to still give you that enclosed full-face feeling. The fit is true to size, and the helmet is really stable in use – you’ll soon forget you’re wearing it. The large goggle port easily accommodates your goggle of choice and the D-ring strap is something that you’ll soon get the hang of if you aren’t used to it already.

When things heat up out on the trail, the improved ventilation of the D4 really becomes obvious. As soon as you start moving, the airflow will help cool your head. The fact that some of the vents now connect all the way through the comfort liner also lets you hear a little bit more of what goes on outside the helmet, which is a welcome improvement in action (we like being able to hear what we are doing on the bike). All in all, the new D4 is a very impressive piece of kit. Safe, light and very well ventilated, it is a significant upgrade over the D3, and even though it is easily the most expensive helmet in this test, we think it’s well worth the premium.

Troy Lee Designs D4 DH Helmet - Vital MTB Top Choice

Troy Lee Designs D4 Carbon Highlights

  • MIPS C2 brain protection system-protects against rotational impacts
  • TeXtreme® Spread Tow carbon fiber shell
  • 3 Shell sizes and 3 EPS sizes, 6 total size ranges from XS-XXL
  • 24 total vents: 10 front intake ports, 5 overhead intake vents that channel air on top of your head and an industry-leading 7 rear exhaust ports
  • Anti-Microbial/Quick Dry XT2® Quick release contoured 3D cheek pads create an anatomically optimized fit. Separately placed X-Static® & XT2® precision fit headliner with 7 anchor points gives you an optimal fit
  • EPP Collarbone impact system; a relief area that reduces the forces in the center lower section of the helmet where shoulder/collarbone impacts have been known to occur
  • Lightest Carbon DH/BMX Race helmet we have ever built at 1000g (+/- 50gm and Size M)
  • Titanium D-Ring fasteners
  • 3-year warranty

Click here to read the full review on