In this review we will take a look at the 661 Comp full face helmet that was put to the test over the 2017 race season in Queensland, Australia. A mid range lid that comes in at a very affordable price point and offers DH rated protection for your melon whether you are pinning it at a bike park or blazing the trails at your local gravity enduro…..
When we first start racing downhill or gravity enduro it may well be the first time we don a full face helmet and often we turn to an affordable lid to throw on our melon and protect our precious brains from turning to mush. The 661 Comp is a staple of the 661 protection line up and is most certainly a popular lid when it comes to hitting the trails with our head fully protected. This writer donned one for the 2017 race season as a long term test to see if the comp lived up to the requirements of both downhill and gravity enduro racing.
The 661 Comp is certainly a good looking lid and with it’s modern graphics and polycarbonate shell it hit the spot when it came to fashion, although we weren’t here for a pageant were we? The helmet certainly came in at a good price point retailing for approximately $150, for a full face lid that’s about as low as you want to go. It certainly hit the spot for looks and for price, felt good on the head and was comfortable enough to wear for a prolonged period of time. The real test was going to be how it performed on the trail when the nose of the bike was pointed firmly downhill….
The breathability was put to the test on the Comp with five gravity enduro races, all in temperatures greater than 25 degrees celcius. The sweat factor was high indeed, the need to remove the helmet was certainly there but lets face it, Queensland weather is certainly warm enough. The breathability was okay but I certainly thought that I was pushing the limits and gasping for breath on the downhill. The limited ability to remove some of the padding within the helmet also made things a little warmer than required, it certainly would help to be able to remove the cheek pads at least for the climbs. Overall I would rate the ventilation at moderate to average, it certainly isn’t a Fox ProFrame, but it is also half the price point.
Overall the 661 Comp performed well for a mid range helmet, I certainly didn’t feel the need to remove the helmet because of any pressure points. In fact, I found the Comp to be an extremely comfortable helmet, good enough to wear for half day races but certainly a great fit for downhill. The padding was plentiful and there were absolutely no pressure points, making it a great lid in the comfort stakes. Overall the 661 Comp is extremely comfortable helmet.
Cost effective, comfortable and durable
The 661 Comp is a helmet that will not win awards for being the best in its class, but it certainly won’t come in worst in the class either. It is a comfortable, good looking helmet that meets most international DH ratings (CSPC, CE, AS/NZS 2064 but does not meet ASTM F1952) and has been put to the test on many occasion. The one area that would be an area to improve would be ventilation and weight, although this is certainly adequate for Downhill use, but may become much more noticeable to the Gravity Enduro riders out there. The price point is a great talking point and whilst its not the cheapest helmet out there it is certainly extremely affordable, after all cheapest is not always best…… especially when it comes to protection.
I found this helmet got the job done for full face Enduro races but there are better choices out there when it came to ventilation. As the trail turned steep and the shuttles were fired up, this helmet hit all the spots required and was certainly a comfortable lid to protect your melon on the DH track or in the bike park….