HJC RPHA 70 ST Sport-Touring Helmet Review
After establishing itself as a maker of low-cost helmets, HJC has upped its game with the RPHA (pronounced are-fuh) series of premium helmets. The latest in this line—the HJC RPHA 70 ST—continues HJC’s streak of high-quality helmets at a mid-level price point.
As the ST might have suggested to you, the RPHA 70 ST is a sport-touring helmet. Visually, it is to mistake the ST for a pure sport helmet. The tip-off is subtle—the ST has the integrated sunshield that eliminates the need for sunglasses or carrying along a second faceshield for after dark.
HJC has had internal sunshields before, but the RPHA 70 ST moves the quality up, as you would expect. The down-line HJC internal shields are often spring-loaded, and can be awkward to implement, as well as noisy in operation.
The RHPA 70 ST’s sunshield is completely silent, in addition to being easy to open and close via a lever on the left of the chin guard. With it convenient to use, you are much more likely to deploy it when needed only for a few seconds. Also, you can fine-tune the exact positioning of the sunshield, though I preferred it either all the way up or down.
The optical quality and coverage of the sunshield is also outstanding, making it distraction-free. This is a huge step up for HJC.
Another impressive feature is the weight of the HJC RPHA 70 ST; despite having an internal sunshield, at 3 pounds, 3.6 ounces, the ST is just a hair heavier than the lightweight RPHA 11 Pro. In addition to being light, the RPHA 70 ST balances on the head nicely.
Light helmets can be noisy, yet the RPHA 70 ST is exceptionally quiet. If you are not a fan of earplugs, this helmet is highly appealing. Those who use hearing protection will truly appreciate the lack of wind noise.
Another sport touring feature is the angles of the air intake vents. They are designed to work when crouched down aggressively, as well as in an upright touring stance.
Most of the ventilation comes through a large center-forehead intake that forces the air through to small holes at a good velocity. With the scalloped internal padding, you do feel the air coming through. When it’s cold, it’s easy to close the top intake while riding.
There are two small auxiliary vents toward the back of your skull. While they are rocker adjustments, you’ll have to learn where to reach for them while riding. They aren’t essential to the airflow, but they will add or subtract a bit as needed. The exits vents are fixed open.
The main faceshield is a nicely locking affair, with the latch dead center on the bottom rim. It’s convenient to be able to click the faceshield shut, as well as open it up effortlessly while riding. While you will rarely need to do so due to the internal sunshield, the faceshield is quickly detached and installed without tools.
The faceshield comes with an anti-fog lens, plus there’s a nose guard and a removable chin curtain. Additional anti-fogging comes from an adjustable chin guard vent.
From a safety standpoint, we have no way to measure helmet impact resistance. So, we rely on the DOT and ECE accreditation. The outer shell is a combination of carbon fiber and fiberglass, which undoubtedly contributes to the light weight of the HC RPHA 70 ST.
Fit is a personal issue, so we strongly recommend that you have any helmet professionally fitted to your head. Having said that, I’m reliably a medium helmet for all but some European brands. I have an Arai-shaped head, and the RPHA 70 ST fits me perfectly. I have no problem wearing it on all-day rides, be they on the open road, in canyons, or through urban areas.
According to HJC, the RPHA 70 ST is designed to be compatible with the Cardo SmartH communication system. The SmartH system blends in nicely with the helmet, so if you run Cardo, that’s definitely a plus.
The double-D chinstrap is intuitive to use, and a snap retains the strap. The internal padding is held in with snaps and tabs. It’s easy to remove for washing; reinstalling it requires your attention.
Fit and finish is excellent, and the HJC RPHA 70 ST feels like the premium helmet that it is. At a penny under $400 for a solid color, to just over $600 if you like the Marvel Iron Man graphics, the HJC RPHA 70 ST accomplishes the goal HJC set for the helmet—high quality sport-touring performance at a highly competitive price.
HJC RPHA 70 ST Fast Facts
- Sizes: XS-2XL
- Certifications: DOT/ECE
- Weight: 3 pounds, 3.6 ounces (medium)
- Colors: Various solids, graphics, and Marvel Iron Man
- HJC RPHA 70 ST Price: From $400 MSRP