The Bike List

T.H.E. Industries Thirty3 Full-face Helmet £170

Tested by Ben Horan, tester for The Bike List

I've landed on my head a fair few times recently. My search for a new helmet for Downhill and Free-ride duties led me to T.H.E. Industries' all-new, full-face Thirty3. And in my 15+ years of off-road riding, I've found few that offer such a decent combination of venting, style, build quality, weight and protective capabilities.

The version tested was the Thirty3 Composite, retailing at £170, although the helmet is also available in a carbon version. The tested helmet pictured here is the Tracer design, but also available are the Cube, Vtron and Rod; each design comes in two different colour versions.

The Thirty3 arrived neatly boxed, with a good quality protective helmet bag and spare visor. In the past I have bought many lids that come with a flimsy drawstring bag offering little protection and which falls apart in weeks. As such, having a good quality helmet bag arrive as standard felt like a nice touch. Again, it's nice to have that spare visor too, just in-case!

On removing the helmet from the box and bag, I instantly noticed the quality of build; the helmet felt sturdy although not weighty; mine was a size medium weighing in at 1320g. I personally like the way the vent on the front looks aggressive, and the shape of the helmet is cleverly designed for a goggle strap to sit neatly and securely around the rear of the helmet. As T.H.E. Industries state in the helmet specification, the helmet has 12 vents, although the main section of the covering shell appeared to have very few, making me wonder how hot the helmet might be during use. Possibly not everyone's cup of tea, the fastener for the chin strap was a motorcycle helmet-style 'D'-ring set-up; probably the chosen fastener as this helmet meets the USA's DOT (Department of Transport) on road motorcycle standards.

On placing the helmet on my head, it felt comfortable, and the chin strap was easily done up even with gloves on, giving a secure fit. My head measures at 57 inches circumference and the Medium size aimed at fitting a head size 57-58 inches felt right. No extra padding came supplied with this helmet, so ensure you measure correctly from the outset.

The first testing ground for the Thirty3 was the Portes Du Soleil in the French Alps. The first part of the trip gave good hot weather, which quickly dispatched any concerns I had considered with regards to ventilation. While riding down trails I could actually feel a flow of air over my head with thanks to the Thirty3's internal ventilation system. I rode with a variety of goggle brands and shapes and all fitted well within the face opening of the helmet, staying securely in place with the integrated goggle guide shape on the outer shell of the lid. With the adjustable visor, glare from the sun was kept at bay, and in the second half of the trip with some horrendously muddy conditions, a certain amount of spray was kept at bay too. After a muddy day's riding, the removable cheek pads and lining allowed for easy cleaning, too; a nice feature many of my previous helmets didn't have.

Fortunately, I didn't land on my head during the months-long test period, so can't comment on the Thirty3's impact bearing ability, although by meeting DOT standards, I would suggest it's pretty good. Another point worth mentioning is that this helmet supports the Eject® Helmet Removal System, which many racing associations in the USA now require for licensed riders and drivers; another bonus point if racing is your bag.

All in all, T.H.E. Industries have produced a really nice piece of kit with the Thirty3; it sits in the middle of the price range for MTB full face helmets, is available in a range of colours and designs, and comes with a lot of useful features. It's very difficult to think of anything negative to say about this helmet, and when heading out, it has quickly becoming my lid of choice.

At a glance

Verdict A mid-priced, well-made, comfortable, very well vented downhill helmet, with impressive protection credentials. Highly recommended.

T.H.E. Industries says:

At the speeds of which today's riders are capable of propelling their machines, extreme protection is mandatory. That's why t.h.e. created the Thirty3-the world's first DOT certified helmet designed specifically for mountain-bike and BMX use. We took the protection of our existing full-face lineup and perfected it by making it strong enough for the guys burning dinosaur bones, yet lightweight and breathable enough for stomping pedals at the racetrack or on the trail, then gave it a dose of hot rod-inspired design.

  • Lightweight fibreglass shell
  • 18 vents / multi-level internal ventilation system
  • Twin Venturi-induction scoops
  • Rear-exit ventilated exhaust system
  • Stainless-steel grill guard
  • adjustable, replacable louvered visor
  • EVA impact-foam chin-bar liner
  • Integrated goggle guides
  • Moisture-wicking, breathable, washable comfort liner
  • Emergency-removable cheek pads
  • Eject® helmet removal system approved design
  • Exceeds DOT, ASTM 1956, CPSC, EN 1078 and AZ/NZ 2063 (certification pending)
  • Includes protective carry case

Supplier: Silverfish UK, +44 (0)1752 843882,