The Alpinestars Vector Tech MIPS helmet is not for those who are modest about style. My test helmet came in black and white; fairly neutral in the color department. However the agressive up-to-date look certainly has a beefy air about it. The Vector Tech is constructed using an EPS liner, reinforced with a rigid frame and a polycarbonate in-mount external shell wrapping the lower portion of the helmet. In short, it will protect your cranium.
Though the Vector Tech is a half shell helmet, it feels like full face protection due to its dropped position around the temples, nape of neck, and back of head. This design, coupled with a height-adjustable visor makes the Vector Tech easy to pair with goggles and windshield-size glasses. I found it quite easy to secure goggle straps in the rear with little slippage. My goggles also docked securely below the visor and never unexpectedly snapped off the front and hit me in the face. To be clear, I have small/medium sized goggles; larger goggles don’t integrate as well in the face window and are not as easily docked below the visor even at the highest of three adjustment points.
Fortunately, I don’t regularly wear goggles unless I’m racing and had no issues pairing the Vector with large sunglasses. The top of most glasses fit flush with the brow profile and the arms were comfortable below the straps and over the internal adjuster.
The Vector Tech has a narrow, long fit, with plush and comfortable inner padding. This helmet is great for people with tiny heads like myself. The shape and depth didn’t overwhelm my small head circumference internally, however the outer profile does have a bulkier-than-average aesthetic. The particular shape of the Vector will suit most heads just fine. The depth has two points of adjustment and the circumference can be increased or reduced with the thumb wheel tightening system, both located in the rear.
Due to the ample padding, the Vector feels narrow at first, but over multiple wears (and sweat sessions) I found the padding packed down a bit, creating slightly more space and fewer pressure points.
The Alpinestars Vector Tech helmet also touts MIPS Multi-Directional Impact Protection. Often helmets that are equipped with MIPS liners snag and pull hair. However the thicker, quick-drying, anti-bacterial, machine washable padding placement really minimizes the typical MIPS hair snags.
The chin strap is a standard clip and can be adjusted easily through the strap splitters located below the ear. One nice attribute is the front chin strap comes over the top of the padding and MIPS liner, whereas some pass below or come from the bottom of the helmet itself. However, this means the strap also sits further forward on the face than most helmets I’ve tested. This doesn’t bother me, but it does have a different look about it.
The Vector Tech boasts 19 vents, which in theory sounds like a lot. However, the vents themselves are quite small and the internal ventilation is partially blocked by the MIPS liner. Unfortunately it didn’t provide as much airflow as I’d hopped which resulted in more sweat build up internally. The thick padding can soak up quite a bit, but at some point the padding gives way to streams of sweat down the brow and throughout the head. Unfortunately, unless you’re in the arid desert the pads stay wet for the duration of your ride, so bring a microfiber sweat towel.
I tested the size small, which weighs 386g (13.5oz) and fits heads 51-55cm in circumference. The Vector feels heavy, though it’s within range of similar helmets.
The Alpinestars Vector Tech MIPS helmet is a great trail helmet that provides excellent protection, specifically for those who prefer goggles. I’d also venture a guess this will be a lovely helmet in the fall and winter, counterintuitively, because of the vents. The Vector Tech is available in three sizes: S (51cm-55cm), M (55-59cm), L (59-63cm). It’s comfortable, accommodates goggles and sunglasses, and has a unique look. It feels heavier than some trail helmets, but if that doesn’t rub you wrong, it’s a great choice.
- Multi-directional impact protection
- Goggle compatible
- Great fit for most head shapes
Pros and cons of the Alpinestars Vector Tech A1 MIPS Helmet
- Poor Ventilation
- Larger Profile
Check out our mountain bike helmet buyers guide and our picks for the best mountain bike helmets.