100% may be best known for its distinctive sunglasses and goggles, but the San Diego-based brand actually offers quite a broad range of riding gear that includes apparel, body armour and gloves. 100% also produces helmets, including full-face and regular half-shell options. Most of these incorporate the unique Smartshock system, which is designed to provide greater impact absorption and protection from rotational forces. Indeed you’ll find it built into the Altec that we have here, which is the top-end trail helmet from 100%.
100% Altec Helmet
- Sizes: XS/S, S/M, L/XL
- Price: $269.99 AUD
Designed to handle the rigours of high-speed trail riding, the 100% Altec is an open-face helmet that offers more coverage and protection than your typical XC helmet. The Altec is built around a multi-density EPS foam core, which allows 100% to change the density of the material throughout the structure to handle a variety of different impact forces. A polycarbonate shell then wraps around the entire helmet to protect the foam from the typical bumps and scrapes you’re likely to encounter on the trail.
Despite its broad coverage, the Altec features loads of big vents to maximise airflow whether you’re pinning a descent at warp-speed, or crawling your way up a steep mountain climb on a hot summer’s day. For those who get particularly sweaty, you’ll be happy to know that the internal padding is treated with an anti-microbial lining. They’re also removable for washing separately if things get particularly funky.
The visor offers good coverage, and it can be raised or lowered depending on how much shade you need. Pop the visor all the way up and you can store your riding glasses or goggles underneath it.
See all those blue springy things inside the helmet shell? That’s the Smartshock Rotational Protective System, and in the Altec there are 14 of these blue rubber elastomers. While quite a simple solution, the Smartshock system provides two very important functions. In addition to absorbing direct impacts, they also allow the helmet to rotate slightly around your head in the event of you hitting the dirt on an angle. That makes it a legitimate alternative to the popular MIPS system, and we reckon it’s pretty clever.
The additional springiness makes the 100% Altec quite a comfortable trail helmet. It’s complemented by a simple ratchet adjuster for dialling in the harness tension, and we like how the neat strap splitters prevent the straps from rubbing on your ears. The Fidlock magnetic buckle is a nice touch too.