HJC IS-MAX II Elemental Helmet Review
Despite its affordable price, the HJC IS-MAX II Elemental helmet is a modular helmet packed full of features. The convenience of quickly flipping up the chin bar is what pleases the sport tourers, commuters, and all types who enjoy racking up the miles.
What is a modular helmet? By today’s standards, it’s a helmet that allows one with a simple click of a button to experience the benefits of an open-faced helmet. You’ll be able to eat, drink, talk and walk into places such as banks or liquor stores without having employees run in fear of robbery.
In the case of the HJC IS-MAX II Elemental, this feature couldn’t be simpler; a single-button chin bar release is easily to manipulate with gloved hands, and snaps down in place with a confidence-inspiring click.
Constructed out of a polycarbonate composite shell and chin bar, the HJC is relatively light. Our helmet came in at 3 lbs. 13.8 ounces – relatively light for the affordable price. A heavy helmet can cause fatigue, and that’s the real upshot for the HJC IS-MAX II Elemental. And of course, it’s DOT approved.
The HJC IS-MAX 2 Elemental’s face shield is key point of interest. Arriving complete with a 95% UV protection, anti-scratch coating and Pinlock ready, HJC didn’t throw in its bottom rung face shield. Having worn this lid in several different climates, I was very pleased with this aspect of its performance. In the morning or evening, I didn’t experience fogging, despite the fact that I wasn’t running a Pinlock lens. Now, for weather in the extremes, there’s no doubting the benefit of a Pinlock, but the helmet is functional without one in most climates.
The face shield uses a tool-less removal system. HJC’s QuickSlide Shield Replacement System is quite similar to the kind of systems on Shoei, Simpson, and several other top brands. Without instructions of any kind, the locking mechanism is intuitive and has a flat learning curve. Also, the closed unit seals tightly, keeping noises down quite well. This is definitely one of the quietest modulars I’ve used.
If you’re touring, chances are you’ll be riding at all hours. With other lids, that means carrying a spare face shield or sunglasses. But forget that; the HJC IS-MAX II Elemental has an integrated SunShield.
Anti-scratch and a medium smoke tint, the SunShield can be dropped down with a slide at the top of the helmet and released back into the lid with a single button. Finding the slider with gloved hands is a snap and to release the visor, the single touch button works flawlessly. As the day grew on, I found myself making use of this feature more than anything else. Additionally, you can upgrade the SunShield to Smoke, Dark Smoke or Amber color.
As an added bonus, bespectacled riders need not worry about having the SunShield bump against their glasses. I happen to wear large framed glasses – think Clark Kent without the ripped Superman thing. I never had any issues, so other bespectacled riders should be fine. One more point for my fellow four-eyed friends; the HJC IS-MAX II Elemental has a glasses groove in the padding. Pain from having your glasses mashed against the side of your head or ears is a thing of the past.
Venting can be found in the chin bar and up top, both adjustable for airflow.. Between that and the moisture-wicking, antibacterial fabrics, I fared well all day. We can’t speak to fitment, as head shapes are as unique, but what we can say is that HJC created a very plush environment. Firm yet forgiving foam won’t cause any undue pain; in short, it’s a comfortable for a full day’s worth of riding.
Available in a wide variety of sizes and color options, the HJC IS-MAX II Elemental is a prime pick for anyone who wants an affordable modular helmet with premium features. Currently, the HJC IS-MAX II Elemental has an MSRP of $213.99. For additional information, visit HJC Helmets.