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Product Evaluation

HJC Symax Full-Face Flip-Up Helmet
While preparing for our annual trek to ride the industries new snowmobiles, we figured it would be a great time to try out HJC's new Symax flip-up helmet. After all, this would mean no helmet removal for taking photos, and we were headed to West Yellowstone Montana late in the season so frigid temperatures weren't a concern. 

The Symax features a fiberglass/thermoplastics composite construction and carries only D.O.T. certification. Outside you'll find a smallish front vent as well as a closeable top vent. Inside you'll find a removable and washable COOLMAX™ liner which really does a great job of whisking away sweat and perspiration. Take our word for it, we've sweated a lot to prove this material in the past. The Symax is a normal sized helmet and of normal weight. The shield has excellent optics and is the same part number as so many other HJC helmets. 

Well, the not removing your helmet for photos thing didn't prove to be the case with larger cameras, but we did fall in love with the Symax helmet. It's comfortable to wear and features a slightly more rounded, and plush, fit than most HJC helmets. The Symax certainly feels normal in size - no extra large proportions to accommodate the flip-up. And speaking of the flip up, it's simply the easiest and most convenient setup (latch release) we've come across - it's what makes the helmet so damned nice to use. The latch is located on the front of the helmet on the bottom of the chin bar. Rather than push something in or down, you naturally push the latch outward with one hand to open it. Our photo model used a number of helmets and still found the HJC unit to be the easiest and most natural to use. What's more, you can put this helmet on or take it off with the front flipped open or closed. This is convenience times two, as you can pull it on like a traditional full-face helmet or slip it on, in the open position, put on you glasses and pull the front shut without disturbing a thing.

While riding motorcycles, we found the noise level provided by the Symax to be completely acceptable, though it is a little louder than a quality full-face helmet. The shield is the same affordable and high quality one used by other HJC helmets, which means it should be easy and relatively affordable to replace. Changing the shield is quick and easy, like  with other HJC helmets featuring no side plates. The shields ratcheting positions are stiff, meaning they hold their  positioning commendably while riding. There's also a slightly open shield position to fight fogging or to just get just let in a bit of fresh air. 

The only trouble we experienced with this helmet during extensive motorcycle and snowmobile testing was when we walked into open doorways or under low tree branches with the front of the helmet flipped up. It was embarrassing for the person wearing the helmet but had to be a good laugh for casual observers. You'll want to try this helmet on before purchasing it, as it feels different to persons with slightly different head shapes. We really like the Symax helmet and it's a good barging to boot. Don't hesitate to purchase this helmet, just watch those low hanging branches and doorways.

Note: Check with your dealer for the snow version, complete with breath guard and double lens shield. You can find HJC helmets at most quality dealers.

Available Sizes: XS - XXL
Available Colors: black, white, silver, candy red, wineberry, and pearl white
Suggested Retail Price: $239.99 for solid colors, $249.99 for metallic.

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