As summer inevitably draws to a close and longer nights draw in, it’s time to start thinking about faceshield options. Traditionally, you should carry two shields – tinted for day and clear for night – or try to squeeze sunglasses inside the helmet. However, dual shield helmets offer a more satisfactory solution by providing both clear and tinted shields without needing to swap anything over.
The new Vemar Zephir helmet, distributed in the US through motonation.com, is one of several options on the market. It caught our attention because it’s affordable, stylish, practical and incredibly stable at high speed.
In case you’re unaware of Vemar, the company was founded in 1975 in Italy. Originally it produced fiberglass tanks to preserve wine, oil and water but one of the partners established a helmet division to build on the company’s experience of working with composites. Vemar was formed as an independent company in 1992 to focus on helmet production in Kevlar, carbon and multi-composite materials, adding superior liners and Italian style. Vemar is now on of the largest and most experienced European manufacturer of composite helmets.
The Vemar Zephir we’re reviewing uses lightweight plastic construction to keep it affordable but despite its $169 MSRP we found it loaded with useful features. The most obvious is the flip-up, internal, tinted faceshield. It sits behind the conventional clear visor and can be flipped down with a sliding tab on the left side of the helmet. It offers good vision in bright sunlight and is quickly flipped out of sight with the same tab.
The outer shield can remain open for extra airflow or closed for reduced drag effect. Both offer good acuity and a wide field of vision.
Securing the Zephir is achieved with a catch system, which is quickly slid shut and instantly opened by pulling on a red tab. The catch has a series of locking ridges to allow it to be adjusted to fit over a facemask or similar. You can also adjust the overall strap length with a conventional buckle to make bigger adjustments for any reason.
The fit of the Vemar Zephir is relatively unique thanks to a “mid-oval shape.” This is intended to provide a “more generous fit front to rear but with a snug fit ear-to-ear.” The effect is interesting because you can feel it’s pinched in around the cheeks and jawbone, providing a close fit that feels comfortable and secure. However, I personally had some problems with the helmet applying pressure to my forehead, but this shouldn’t be seen as a negative. We all have different head shapes and while it didn’t suit my noggin perfectly, it could be ideal for somebody with a slightly different curvature. I’d certainly recommend you test fit one if you have the opportunity because it’s a comfortable helmet otherwise with a wicking liner and efficient cooling through front inlets and rear exhaust ports.
With all these features, we still haven’t mentioned the Zephir’s greatest asset – its incredibly stable. It has to be one of the most aerodynamic helmets I’ve ever tested. At speeds up to triple digits I experienced no turbulence at all and could feel a slight downforce effect from the rear spoiler as I turned my head. It allowed me to relax more during my commute, with my neck and shoulders not having to compensate for the usual buffeting from regular helmets.
With a better fit for my head, this would be the perfect, affordable, dual shield helmet. And for somebody with the right head shape, the Vemar Zephir will be an indispensible addiction to their riding gear.
View More Products
− Engineered in Italy, manufactured in China to DOT and ECE standard
− Shell constructed from lightweight Advanced Thermo Material
− New shape provides aerodynamic efficiency and good ventilation
− Zephir features mid-oval shape to provide a more generous fit front to rear, with a snug fit ear-to-ear
− Double-density high-impact EPS liner
− Removable and washable cheek pads, liner and chin curtain
− Liner and cheek pads manufactured from technical fiber that protects against odor, fungus and bacteria
− Liner wicks away sweat for extra comfort
− Chinstrap with buckle closure
− Wide viewport improves peripheral vision
− Anti-scratch shield with controlled anti fog airflow
− Double position shield locking system locks the visor closed or open 3mm to increase air circulation
− Replaceable interior tinted shield adjusted with lever on the left side
− Removable nose guard
− Vemar Klima ventilation system uses two top intake vents and adjustable rear exhaust for air circulation
− Adjustable chin vent
− Communication device compatible – VCS port on side of helmet and recessed path for cords and speakers
− Size XS-XXL, available in black/white/red, black/white/purple, black/white/grey, black/yellow, matte black
− Five year warranty
MSRP: Vemar Zephir helmet (graphic) $169 (solid color $149)
For more information visit motonation.com