Abus AirDrop MIPS helmet review

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The Abus AirDrop MIPS is an extremely well made and designed helmet that offers great levels of breathability and forget-you’re-wearing it comfort (if you can live with the MIPS creak).

  • Brand: Abus
  • Product: AirDrop MIPS helmet
  • From: Upgrade Bikes
  • Price: £260
  • SQUIRREL_TEXT_13047592
  • Tested by: Benji for 18 months


  • Substantial
  • Impressive breathability
  • Decent field-of-view


  • Visor is relatively high
  • MIPS isn’t silent
  • Some may not like Double D-ring buckle system

‘Lightweight full face helmet’ is a relative term. They aren’t ‘lightweight’ compared to a regular trail helmet (Giro Source MIPS approx 351g) but at 940g for this S/M size Abus AirDrop MIPS, that’s a bit lighter than a full-on DH helmet (Fox Rampage approx 1,130g).

There are lighter ‘lightweight full face helmet’ options out there. I can particularly recommend the 630g Specialized Gambit helmet for example. But the Abus is not really the same sort of product.

Without wishing to get overly bogged down in pigeonholes, the Specialized Gambit is a full-facer for trail riding in (did someone say “All Mountain”?) The Abus AirDrop is more about uplift days, or days sessioning the most consequential lines in your local steep woodland or moorland.

I’d also just like to say that it makes for a good winter helmet for e-biking in. Sorry, but it’s true. I R tragic overdressed e-biker. I don’t care. Warmer, cosier but without being OTT.

Why not just get a full-on DH helmet? Good question. If you’re going to be racing, or you own a full-on DH bike, get a full-on DH helmet. If you’re a DH bike-owning racer, the argument for a ‘lightweight full face helmet’ is arguably three-fold.

Firstly, the aforementioned weight saving (your neck will thank you for it). Secondly, the extra breathability (they also tend to offer better, wider field of view too). Thirdly, the cost saving.

This cost-saving claim needs extrapolating; basically, to get a full-on DH helmet with anywhere near this level of breathability and weight you have to spend more than the AirDrop’s RRP of £250.

S/M (52-58cm) or L/XL (58-62cm)

And a quick Google Shopping search reveals that the Abus AirDrop MIPS helmet can be commonly had for around £150. Why? Because Abus doesn’t have the kudos or brand recognition of a Fox or a Troy Lee Designs. The AirDrop is also willfully ‘dull’ looking.

As it happens, I actually think the aesthetic of the AirDrop MIPS is cool. Understated but slick. And there’s no denying that it is incredibly well made. All the dials, fixtures and adjustments are all really well executed.

In terms of the ventilation and breathability factor, perhaps the most signficant airy-enabling aspects are not actually the vents. It’s the forward-set chin bar and pads. It makes for a less claustrophobic, hemmed-in experience. (I have been known to run the helmet with the cheek pads removed entirely to further enhance the airy vibe but I wouldn’t be surprised if running pad-less compromises some of the certified protection potential.)

The wide (and tall) field-of-view on offer also helps you to foirget that you’re wearing a full-facer. There’s ample room to accommodate modern massive goggles and I particularly appreciate that there’s a bit of room between goggle frame and the brow on the helmet. Again, it’s just more breathable. And quieter (as there’s no frame knocking against helmet).

Speaking of quiet, this is a MIPS liner-ed full-facer and thus is not a totally silent experience. MIPS liners creak. Personally, it totally doesn’t bother me but I can imagine some folk being driven mad by it. If you’re such a person, don’t get a MIPS liner full-facer.

Speaking of quiet (again), the AirDrop MIPS doesn;t overly block out or reduce your audio capacities. Weirdly, you can hear more with this helmet than you can a regular trial helmet. There’s less wind noise. But you can still hear your bike and the interaction of your tyres on the dirt. It’s a really cool and useful aspect actually.

In terms of adjustment, the trad motorbike style double D-ring chin strap may look rather old-fashioned in this day and age of magnetic buckle closures but… I prefer it. Much like I prefer laces on show to BOAs. There’s just more feel and accuracy when doing it up. Sure, D-rings are fiddly for the first few times of use but then it becomes second nature.

The relatively chunky retention system on the rear of the helmet may not play nicely with certain people’s skulls. There’s no way of telling if you’ll be one of the unlucky ones. For me, it felt fine and comfortably flush with the rear of my noggin. YMMV.


This is a helmet that’s more substantial and reassuring than a gram-chasing super lightweight full facer. Think of it as like a full-on DH helmet that’s way more breathable and with better visual and audio capability ie. your eyesight and hearing aren’t so compromised. Sure, it’s only available in boring colourways. Sure, there’s no superstar racers wearing Abus kit. But so what? The Abus AirDrop MIPS is an extremely well made and designed helmet that offers great levels of breathability and forget-you’re-wearing it comfort, if you can live with the MIPS creak.

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Review Info

Brand: Abus
Product: AirDrop MIPS helmet
From: Upgrade Bikes
Price: £260
Tested: by Benji for 18 months

Orange Switch 6er. Stif Squatcher. Schwalbe Magic Mary Purple Addix front. Maxxis DHR II 3C MaxxTerra rear. Coil fan. Ebikes are not evil. I have been a writer for nigh on 20 years, a photographer for 25 years and a mountain biker for 30 years. I have written countless magazine and website features and route guides for the UK mountain bike press, most notably for the esteemed and highly regarded Singletrackworld. Although I am a Lancastrian, I freely admit that West Yorkshire is my favourite place to ride. Rarely a week goes by without me riding and exploring the South Pennines.

More posts from Ben

Viewing 2 posts - 1 through 2 (of 2 total)
  • Abus AirDrop MIPS helmet review
  • Sea-Urchin
    Full Member

    Any pictures of it on your head.? or with Goggles.??

    Full Member

    In a world where clips and other funky locks are not super expensive, the double D ring is kinda disappointing.

Viewing 2 posts - 1 through 2 (of 2 total)

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