Over the last couple decades, we have brought you tests of heated grips, heated seats and even heated socks. However, until now, we have never featured a heated helmet. When we tested ATV snow tracks last winter with the guys at ATVTracks.net, our editors were properly equipped with a modular-style heated helmet from Zoan. So as winter settles in this year, we wanted to give you a closer look at this unique product.
Modular-style helmets are commonly used in the snowmobile and adventure-bike world. We have found for certain ATV and UTV applications they come in very handy as well. A modular helmet is a full-face helmet that has a hinging front half that lifts up out of the way—quick and easy. A small lever on the mouth area operates the system, allowing you to move the chin piece and the shield all at once. During operation, the helmet basically turns from a full-face to an open-face and back again depending on your needs.
The unique thing about our sample is that the eye shield is heated with a system much like a defroster heats the back window of a passenger car. Although the heat created is minimal, in such a small area it provides plenty of warmth to the rider’s head.
Power is supplied by the quad’s battery. You can either use a directly wired plug that is mounted on the handlebars or on the bodywork of the quad. There is also an option to simply use the 12-volt power source. The other end of the wire plugs right into the side of the shield and uses a lightweight, coiled cord that you can’t even feel when riding. To keep the cord from getting caught on branches, we simply ran the wires down our jacket neck and sleeve and out of harm’s way.
In addition to the heated, dual-layer, anti-fog shield, there are a few other features we don’t see on a typical MX helmet. Below your mouth, a soft-chin curtain keeps cold air from entering the helmet from below. Above your nose, a breath guard provides more anti-fog protection. And behind the main shield, this helmet has a drop-down, smoked (dark) sun shield. It is operated by a smaller lever on the left side of the helmet.
At $270, the Zoan Hydrogen helmet, with its extra features, is competitively prices with mid-priced motocross helmets. This helmet has multiple closable vents, a trick paint job and is DOT/ECE rated. Even with those extra features, the Zoan helmet is only about a pound heavier than a good Snell MX helmet. When you are bundled up, the extra weight is not even noticeable. The helmet was very comfortable and easy to operate. The heat source blocked every fog vapor and did more than enough to warm the rider. On several occasions, we even found ourselves opening the visor to let some cool air in. Our Zoan Hydrogen helmet with the heated shield weighed in at 3 pounds 4 ounces. We can think of numerous ATV and UTV rides we are to going use this modular helmet on. Popping up the front portion is great when you need to stop and talk to someone, or in a UTV when you are just cruising at slow speeds. The fold-down sun visor will come in very handy riding in the dunes at high noon or riding into the bright sun. For a Zoan helmet dealer near you, give them a call at (989) 872-2109.
This helmet not only has a heated shield to prevent fogging and adds warmth to the rider, there is a second tinted shield inside that flips down to block the sun. The three front air vents can be opened or blocked depending on conditions.
A modular helmet’s front section flips up and out of the way if needed. We know plenty of uses in the ATV world for this type of product. One is when you want to stop and talk to another rider on the trail. Or, you may want to flip it up when you are driving slowly in a side-by-side.
WARNING: Much of the action depicted in this magazine is potentially dangerous. Virtually all of the riders seen in our photos are experienced experts or professionals. Do not attempt to duplicate any stunts that are beyond your own capabilities. Always wear the appropriate safety gear. Copyright 2008 Hi-Torque Publications, Inc. All rights reserved. Console Login