Bell Qualifier DLX Review

 Date reviewed - December 2018                                         Reviewed by - Ella                                                          Price - £100 - 200

BELL are known for delivering outstanding quality helmets and the Qualifier DLX has caused a bit of a stir among BELL fans. The DLX comes with a Transitions photochromic face shield which is a pretty big selling point for this helmet. This means that the need for a sun visor is eliminated, as the DLX visor changes to a darker colour when it senses UV lights.

Safety

Like most motorbike helmets nowadays, the Bell Qualifier DLX is DOT and ECE 22.05 approved which means you can legally ride this helmet anywhere which these standards apply. The DLX has been SHARP tested however it scored an average 3 out of 5 star rating which is disappointing considering Bell are usually high achievers in the SHARP test.

The helmet is made from a lightweight polycarbonate shell which can tolerate high impacts in a crash. The DLX also has an integrated ABS shell construction which increases the amount of protection the rider will receive. The Qualifier DLX comes in three shell sizes which means you should be able to find a shell which is the perfect fit for your head. It's got a double-D ring strap so the helmet stays tight onto the head which is exactly what a well made helmet should do.

Ventilation

The air vents on the DLX are pretty impressive. There's some above the brow, by the chin, and four open exhaust vents on the top of the helmet too. Each of these vents can be closed and opened easily so if you want to close a vent, it's not an issue.

The DLX also uses a dynamic flow technology system which means that ventilation occurs all round the helmet. The hot air is released through the exhaust vents towards the back of the helmet whilst the cool air enters at the front vents. 

Visor

The visor on the Qualifier is one of the main selling points of the helmet. It comes with the Transitions photochromic face shield as standard (in the U.S. and UK.)  This visor changes colour (darkens) when it senses UV light, meaning when you're out riding in the sun, the visor will dim. In daylight conditions the helmet will dim so it's essentially a tinted visor. The visor changes dark pretty quickly but it will take a while (twice as long as it took to darken) for the helmet to go back to its original colour, depending on the ambient temperature.

People enjoy using this feature of the helmet because using a sun visor can get a little fiddly and complicated. If you're riding at night, the visor will remain clear so you don't need to be worried about random colour changes! Another visor that Bell have featured on the DLX is the fact it's Click Release. Owners of this helmet love the fact it's so easy to take apart and reassemble, often saying it's one of the easiest visors to use on the market!  

Unfortunately, the visor does have a slight downfall in that it doesn't come pinlock ready. This means it's pretty common for the visor to fog up, therefore restricting the riders vision. There is a pinlock anti-fog insert available to buy, but it only works with some of the other pinlock-ready visors, not the Transitions. However, the visor does come with a NutraFogII coating on which is supposed to prevent fog building up, rather than using a pinlock.

Wind Noise

Having a large amount of noise whilst you're riding can become really distracting, and could even lead to a crash. The Qualifier DLX has a built in, padded wind collar which reduces wind, and in turn, reduces the amount of wind noise entering the helmet. At the top of the helmet, it is slightly louder due to the amount of large vents where the air can get in however the noise isn't a major issue with the DLX, particularly wearing earplugs.

The padding of the helmet is fitted with speaker slots which means headphones can easily fit in. This means that riders can enjoy listening to music whilst on the road!

Appearance and Comfort

Inside the Bell Qualifier DLX is a thick layer of removable, moisture wicking and odor eliminating padding. The inner lining is adjustable so if the helmet doesn't fit very well, you can adjust the cheek pads to either slacken or tighten the pads. The Bell Qualifier uses 3D laser contoured cheek pads to make sure that it fits with absolutely no effort at all. That said, at times, you can feel the plastic poppers that secure the lining in place, whilst wearing the helmet which can be a little uncomfortable at times. 

If you're ordering this helmet online, it's worth noting that the sizing does come up a little small. We recommend if you're stuck between two sizes, go for the smaller one.

Conclusion

Overall, the Bell Qualifier DLX is a pretty decent helmet. Bell have a reputation for creating fantastic quality helmets and the five year warranty shows how reliable Bell is as a company. Although the visor isn't pinlock ready, the Transitions photochromic face shield is pretty useful whilst you're riding in the sunny weather.

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