€ 349 is a lot of money for a full face helmet. The new IXS XULT claims to be worth it and appeal to downhillers and enduro-riders alike. Alongside maximum protection and good ventilation the weight of 1.100 g is impressive. We gave it a hands-on test.

Style und das Geld - der neue IXS XULT Fullface wechselt ab Juli für stolze 349 € den Besitzer.
Style and the money – the new IXS Full Face XULT is available from July for € 349.

In July 2015 IXS will introduce the new XULT to the market. We already reported in detail about the new product presentation, and now we can present an exclusive test to see whether the performance of the XULT reaches its ambitious aims and justifies the lofty price of € 349.

The facts

The IXS XULT Full face, was developed in collaboration with flamboyant Enduro World Series-professional Cedric Gracia and above all aims to score points with its good ventilation. To achieve this special so-called VORTEX-air channels are used which continuously circulate the air allowing sweat to be transported away thus avoiding the build-up of heat during long stages or transfers.

Die VORTEX-Belüftungskanäle sorgen für eine äußerst effektive Ventilation im Downhill.
The VORTEX – ventilation channels ensure an extremely effective ventilation on the Downhill .
Das Schutzgitter an den Ventilationsöffnungen lässt Eindringlingen keine Chance.
Screens on the vents mean there’s no chance for intrusion.

The high impact strength is achieved by a FRP-(Fiber Reinforced Polymer) shell. The FRP-technology also allows the mass of the helmet to be reduced which minimises the risk of brain damage caused by rotational forces – maximum protection and minimal weight are the result according to IXS. The quoted weight of 1110 g (our test model weighed 1085g) fulfils the European EN1708-Norm as well as the American C.P.S.C-Standard. So in terms of protection it has nothing to hide from its heavyweight downhill competitors.

Hier ist nicht nur der Look Massiv: Im XULT kommt die so genannte Fyber Reinforced Polymer Technologie zum Einsatz.
It not only look solid, the helmet is also made of Fibre Reinforced Polymer.
Der Kinnschutz des XULT baut hoch und ist ebenfalls mit vielen Belüftungsöffnungen versehen.
The chin guard of XULT raises up and also comes with air vents.

Inside the helmet the X-Matter inserts already used in IXS pads can be found. They are positioned in the most important absorption zones and should maximise impact damping whilst minimising torsional forces. The ergonomically shaped pads offer comfort without interrupting the flow of air. The cheek pads can be quickly removed without taking the helmet off thanks to the EPR-System (Emergency Pad Release). Two sets of pads with different thicknesses are included with the helmet allowing fit to be optimized.

Im Notfall lassen sich die Backenpolster mit Hilfe des Emergency Pad Release Systems einfach und schnell herausnehmen.
In an emergency, the cheek pads use an Emergency Release System meaning removal is quick and easy.

The test

As is well known there are two ways a helmet test can end. Either after long and comprehensive testing one can reach a nuanced conclusion about how the helmet performs and who it is suitable for. Or one doesn’t want to say anything at all because of concentrating on kissing the ground and then being thankful the whole thing didn’t end with a trip to the hospital. We’re happy that after multiple intensive test runs we can only report on the first instance.

That the helmet has a high level of protection can be supposed based on the high quality look and feel of the shell. In addition the certifications also promise a high level of safety: after all the XULT fulfills both the European EN1708-Norm and the US C.P.S.C standard. As we set ourselves the arduous task of wearing the helmet on our pedalling heavy hometrails and during the Enduro Series race in Willingen a detailed description of the comfort level is possible and in this case is especially relevant. After all we want to answer the question of whether IXS has created an enduro compatible helmet with the XULT.

Praxistest beim dritten Lauf der Specialized SRAM Enduro Series im ausnahmsweise staubig tockenen Willingen
Practical testing at the third round of the Specialized SRAM Enduro Series in exceptionally dusty conditions.

As I pulled on the L/XL size helmet for my 62cm head circumference the first things I noticed were the snug fit and the high chin guard which doesn’t however reduce your field of vision. In the cheek padding area testers with a wider head wished that a thinner replaceable pad was included with the helmet instead of the thicker one supplied.

The colourful, not yet available helmet attracted quite a lot of attention in Willingen and lots of riders were keen to give it a short test. After many positive statements the first impressions can be summarised as: “light, solid fitting and fast looking.” So far, so good.

DH1E0954 DH1E0955

In after-work ride use on our home trails the helmet’s ventilation was convincing even in summery conditions. On longer climbs and pedalling sections it became more noticeable. On the other hand the light (real life) weight of 1085 g in size L/XL was all the more positive. In spite of this the difference to a regular open face helmet in terms of weight and ventilation was still clear.

During the third event of the Enduro series in Willingen it was time for me and the XULT to get down to the nitty-gritty! With temperatures of 25–30 °c on both training and race days and five demanding stages both rider and material were tested hard. Whilst many riders chose a dual helmet combination I went for the simple solution and rode all timed stages and transfers wearing the XULT. In contrast to many other competitors my hand never reached up to the helmet in order to take it off, the XULT provided me with a cool head during the descents and I never felt the need to ride without it on the climbs.

Man fährt zwar nicht gleich wie CG höchstpersönlich, doch die hohe Schutzwirkung des XULT sorgt für mehr Selbstvertrauen und lässt einen mehr am Gas drehen als sonst.
Although we don’t run the same as CG in person, the high level of protection from XULT ensures more self-confidence and leaves a lot more on the gas than usual.

The high chin guard and snug fit of the well-made helmet mentioned earlier provided me with more confidence and never restricted my field of view. My 100 % goggles fitted perfectly both in terms of style and technically. The double D buckle can be operated blind with ease and allows quick removal and fitting. In addition the strong visor offered a sufficient adjustment range and a simple fixing mechanism.


The perfectly formed design of the XULT makes it both a visual and technical highlight. It is one of the best ventilated full face helmets on the market, is exceptionally well built, stylish and therefore well worth the high € 349 price. It can’t however replace a normal helmet on the uphills.

For more Information visit ixs-sportsdivision.com.

Words: Laurenz Utech | Photos: Hanno Polomsky & Andrew Richardson

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