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Troy Lee Designs A2 MIPS ReviewBest Open Face Mountain Bike Helmet Review

Tie for Best MIPS Mountain Bike Helmet

  • Coverage 90% 90%
  • Safety Tech 80% 80%
  • Weight 80% 80%
  • Ventilation 90% 90%
  • Features 70% 70%

Category: All-Mountain/XC

Weight: 377g

Vents: 13

Price: $149.00 – $175.00

What We Like: Well ventilated, great coverage, and great looks.

What We Don’t: Limited visor adjustability.

Troy Lee Designs is a giant in the full face helmet industry, with a motocross background. TLD made a big splash in the half shell market with the Troy Lee Designs A1 helmet, and the Troy Lee Designs A2 MIPS aims to take what made that helmet great and make it even better.

Compare to Similar Products

See Our Best Open Face Mountain Bike Helmet Review HERE!

POC Tectal Race Spin

  • Coverage 90% 90%
  • Safety Tech 90% 90%
  • Weight 80% 80%
  • Ventilation 100% 100%
  • Features 90% 90%

Pros

Innovative

Well Ventilated

Great Coverage

Cons

Price Tag

Category: All-Mountain/XC

Weight: 354g

Vents: 15

6D ATB-1T EVO

  • Coverage 100% 100%
  • Safety Tech 100% 100%
  • Weight 50% 50%
  • Ventilation 70% 70%
  • Features 90% 90%

Pros

Innovative Safety Technology

Best in Class Coverage

Cons

Hot and Heavy

Category: All-Mountain

Weight: 484g

Vents: 15

Troy Lee Designs A2 MIPS

  • Coverage 90% 90%
  • Safety Tech 80% 80%
  • Weight 80% 80%
  • Ventilation 90% 90%
  • Features 70% 70%

Pros

Well Ventilated

Great Coverage

Great Looks.

Cons

Limited Visor Adjustability

Category: All-Mountain/XC

Weight: 377g

Vents: 13

Smith Forefront 2 MIPS

  • Coverage 90% 90%
  • Safety Tech 90% 90%
  • Weight 100% 100%
  • Ventilation 60% 60%
  • Features 100% 100%

Pros

Very Lightweight

Comfortable Fit

Innovative Safety Technology

Cons

Sub-par Ventilation

Expensive

Category: All-Mountain/XC

Weight: 340g

Vents: 20

Kali Interceptor

  • Coverage 90% 90%
  • Safety Tech 100% 100%
  • Weight 80% 80%
  • Ventilation 100% 100%
  • Features 60% 60%

Pros

Insane Safety Tech

Great Ventilation

Cons

Subpar Visor

Slightly Less Coverage than Other Top Picks

Only Available in Two Sizes

Category: All-Mountain/XC

Weight: 388g

Vents: 18

Leatt DBX 3.0 All Mountain

  • Coverage 80% 80%
  • Safety Tech 100% 100%
  • Weight 80% 80%
  • Ventilation 80% 80%
  • Features 100% 100%

Pros

Epic Safety Innovation

Lightweight

Well Ventilated

Cons

Not quite as much Coverage as our other Top Picks

Category: All-Mountain

Weight: 360g

Vents: 18

Kali Protectives Maya 2.0

  • Coverage 80% 80%
  • Safety Tech 90% 90%
  • Weight 90% 90%
  • Ventilation 70% 70%
  • Features 40% 40%

Pros

Premium Helmet Protection with a budget Helmet Price Tag

Cons

Two-handed Retention System

Category: All-Mountain

Weight: 360g

Vents: 12

Giro Chronicle

  • Coverage 70% 70%
  • Safety Tech 70% 70%
  • Weight 80% 80%
  • Ventilation 60% 60%
  • Features 60% 60%

Pros

All of the Features of a Top of the Line Helmet at half the Price.

Cons

Warmer than average, not the greatest helmet liner.

Category: All-Mountain/XC

Weight: 371g

Vents: 14

Bell Sixer MIPS

  • Coverage 90% 90%
  • Safety Tech 80% 80%
  • Weight 60% 60%
  • Ventilation 80% 80%
  • Features 70% 70%

Pros

The tried and true features of the Super 3 in an updated package

Cons

Average Weight and Pricing

Category: All-Mountain

Weight: 411g

Vents: 26

Smith Session MIPS

  • Coverage 70% 70%
  • Safety Tech 80% 80%
  • Weight 70% 70%
  • Ventilation 90% 90%
  • Features 60% 60%

Pros

Great Ventilation

Cons

Price to Performance

Chin Strap

Category:  All-Mountain/XC

Weight: 377g

Vents: 15 vents

Giro Montaro MIPS

  • Coverage 60% 60%
  • Safety Tech 80% 80%
  • Weight 70% 70%
  • Ventilation 90% 90%
  • Features 90% 90%

Pros

Decent Coverage

MIPS Tech

Well-Ventilated

Cons

Not as good of a value as the Giro Chronicle, and not on par with our Top Picks

Category: All-Mountain/XC

Weight: 369g

Vents: 16

Coverage, Weight, and Ventilation

Few helmets strike as fine a balance in the holy trinity of coverage, weight, and ventilation as the Troy Lee Designs A2 MIPS open face mountain bike helmet. In fact, the POC Tectal Race Spin only barely edges it with a marginally lower weight and slightly better coverage. The Troy Lee Designs A2 and POC Tectal Race Spin are also neck and neck when it comes to ventilation, being two of the coolest helmets in the entire test. If you were ever in doubt that more vents don’t necessarily equate to a cooler helmet, then look no further than the Troy Lee Designs A2 MIPS, which uses 13 vents to keep your head cooler than some helmets with more than 20!

Safety Tech

The Troy Lee Designs A2 MIPS uses the standard MIPS insert to provide protection against rotational impacts. However, similar to some of our other top picks, the Troy Lee Designs A2 MIPS has its own, in house innovation to protect your brain. The A2 MIPS helmet adds a layer of EPP foam to the standard EPS foam that most helmets use. Unlike the 6D ATB 1t EVO trail helmet, which sets a softer inner layer and harder outer layer apart, the softer EPP and denser EPS foam of the Troy Lee Designs A2 are “co-molded” together. Still, the theory is the same. The softer foam should provide better protection for slower impacts, as well as bolster the harder foam to dissipate the force of harder impacts.

Other features

The retention system of the Troy Lee Designs A2 MIPS is yet another strength. With the adjustment in both the front and rear of the helmet, you can adjust both how tight the A2 is on your head, and how low and snug it fits. This adds to the helmet’s already great coverage, for an open face mountain bike helmet.

The TLD A2 MIPS also features an X-Static padding system, which wicks away sweat and fights odor buildup.

The TLD A2 works very well with goggles, though it does not provide a dedicated goggle strap. However, the short visor of the Troy Lee Designs A2 offers only minimal adjustment, making it virtually impossible to store a pair of goggles under while climbing. Finally, be prepared for longer armed sunglasses to bump the frame of the TLD A2, as is the case with most high coverage helmets.

The TLD A2 MIPS is a stylish helmet. With Troy Lee Designs origins going back to custom paint jobs on motorcycle helmets, it should come as no surprise that the TLD A2 MIPS helmet offers as wide and stylish a range of color options as any helmet on our list, and would easily be our pick for the best looking high coverage open face mountain bike helmet on the list.

The Bottom Line

The Bottom Line on the Troy Lee Designs A2 MIPS mountain bike helmet is that it is an amazing all around helmet. There might not be one thing that blows you away, but it does virtually everything very well while having no glaring weaknesses, which can only be said for a handful of helmets on our list. In fact, we call it a tie for the best open face MIPS equipped mountain bike helmet, between the Troy Lee Designs A2 and Smith Forefront 2.

Finally, with prices between $105 and $179 (depending on color and size), it can be the cheapest of our favorite open face mountain bike helmets of 2020, if you choose a color scheme that is on sale.

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