Earlier this summer I had the chance to check out Lazer’s Magma XC helmet, and lauded it for offering an excellent fit system and a very low weight at a competitive price. I was left thinking Lazer is a brand that budget-conscious riders should keep an eye on, and those impressions remain after doing some downhilling in their new Phoenix+ full-face helmet.
The Phoenix+ is a decent looking price-point helmet that will do the job of protecting your head… without MIPS or any proprietary impact technology, that is. It also provides an excellent field of view, and like the Magma weighs less than many of its competitors. Head past the break for the full review…
Despite its fibreglass composite shell, the Phoenix+ carries an impressively low claimed weight of 980g (size medium) which is in the same neighborhood as some brand’s carbon offerings. As you would assume for its price point this is a basic one-hit helmet; We’re not getting advanced impact protection for a hundred bucks just yet.Lazer notes ‘wide view’ as a feature of the Phoenix+ on their website, and I’d agree the field of view is great. I found nothing obstructed side to side or top to bottom, as the chin bar sits low and out of the way. My Oakley goggles fit nicely into the Phoenix+, and the channel in the shell keeps the strap in a comfortable position.
The visor has a wide range of up/down adjustment, but I found most of that range useless. In the lowest possible position the visor still just reaches into my upper peripheral. Really your options are ‘fairly high’ to ‘pointing skyward’ and frankly I can’t imagine anyone riding it in its fully up position.
The chin bar features generous ventilation, but despite their logical positioning the other vents around the Phoenix+’s shell are rather small. Your head is well protected from debris with screens in the shell vents, and tough metallic mesh with a fabric filter in the chin bar. Eventually the button closure on the chin strap made life easier, but it took a bit of practice before I could quickly line it up with gloved hands. Early on I gave up a few times and took my gloves off, but after several days I got the feel for it.
I’d strongly advise trying on a Phoenix+ before making a purchase. I always wear a small helmet, but I really had to cram my head into Lazer’s size small. Once my head was inside it was rideable but still a little more snug than I’d prefer. The interior shape is good, and with my noggin jammed into the Phoenix it fit my skull well. It do find it a bit tight on my cheeks, and once you’ve put the helmet on and off several times in a day (eg. between bike park runs) the interior padding gets a tad scratchy on your face.
All in all Lazer has a solid offering in the Phoenix+ for its very reasonable price of $99 USD. More ventilation would be a great improvement for future models, and it doesn’t quite boast the flashy looks of pricier options on the market. If you’re after good bang for your buck, the Phoenix+ provides a nice wide view and the protection you need at a very competitive weight.