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PRODUCT EVALUATION: O'NEAL STAGE 5 HELMET; High quality for $130

 
(2/11/2009)


We say it time and time again: a helmet is the most important safety item that every ATVer should wear. With all of the options on the market these days, there should be no excuses not to have your head protected. O’Neal is one of the companies that offer great quality helmets for very reasonable prices. Although O’Neal offers a 3 series helmet for under $100, we opted to try out the 5 series instead. At $129.99, it is still very affordable, but meets Snell, DOT, ECE and AS helmet standards. That is quality you can trust to keep your noggin in a safe place, and at a fair price.

STAGE 5
For our test we chose the blue and white lid design, but O’Neal has an assortment of colors to choose from. O’Neal’s Stage 5 helmet is crafted from a durable polycarbonate plastic. This is the same material used in a few of O’Neal’s higher priced helmets. This is also one of the most affordable helmets on the market that exceeds SNELL, DOT, ECE 22/04 and AS standards. To reach each standard the helmet must go through a series of pressure and crash tests. We love this because it is keeping us from having to crash test the helmet for you. No more headaches for this test crew.
The helmet fits great, and is light on the head. Some helmet companies ’sizing charts are off a bit, but a large is a perfect large with the O’Neal helmets. Vents in the front and rear of the helmet were designed to improve aerodynamics. While we didn’t notice a huge improvement in our track lap times, we did find the airflow appealing in warmer climates. Colder temperatures? The vents snap shut with ease. We just put some Dirt Wheels stickers over the intake vents.
After each ride, we removed and washed the liner. The liner has held up just as well as the helmet’s sweet glossy paint job. Mud riding and bushwhacking have been no problem thus far.

FINAL THOUGHTS?
For $129.99, O’Neal’s Stage 5 helmet gets two thumbs up from the Dirt Wheels test crew. For someone who is delaying the helmet buying process, this could be the perfect choice. It is comfortable, lightweight, rugged and most of all affordable. The stage 5 helmet is available in sizes extra small to XX large in white/blue, black/silver, black/pink, black/green and white/­red as well as a Crisis pattern in white/grey, Scarlett pattern in white/­pink and Legacy pattern in black/­grey.
Check out O’Neal’s entire helmet lineup or purchase the Stage 5 helmet at www.oneal.com, or give the O’Neal guys a call at (800) 32-ONEAL.


Topic: Product Tests

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WARNING: Much of the action de­pict­­ed in this magazine is potentially dan­gerous. Virtually all of the riders seen in our photos are experienced ex­­perts or professionals. Do not at­tempt to duplicate any stunts that are be­­yond your own capabilities. Always wear the appropriate safety gear.
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