PRODUCT TEST: EVS VORTEK T5 HELMET

WHAT IT IS:
EVS Sports specializes in head-to-toe protection for action sports stars like Travis Pastrana, and EVS has two fairly inexpensive motocross helmets that protect us in style. The Vortek T5 helmet has an MSRP of $99, and the Vortek T7 has an MSRP of $159. Both are DOT- and ECE-approved and are products of 30 years of rider-protection experience.

EVS Sport’s Vortek T5 motocross helmet provides a lot of style, safety and function for only $99, and the Circus Freak version matches the Nitro Circus body armor collection.
WHAT YOU GET:
We got a Vortek T5 Circus Freak, and there are two other graphic packages in two colors: Helmet Lines, Helmet Lines Matte Red, Panama Blue and Panama Red. The construction is polycarbonate with a removable comfort liner and rubberized eye-port ring for securing goggles. Cheek pads are also removable, and different sizes are available to customize fit. Both Vortek helmets come in X-Small through XXL (hat sizes six to eight), but only the T7 is SNELL approved. The more expensive T7 uses the Ram air-cooling system with four intake and six exhaust ports for maximum airflow. Two mesh-covered vents over the visor force air through internal EPS channels over the scalp and through two exit ports in the shell. The lower rear vents are larger than the six T5 exit vents. The T5 only has six small coolingsystem rear ports to vent air flowing through from the nose vent and eye port.

PERFORMANCE:
Fit is excellent with the Vortek T5, and the helmet feels very light and comfortable, so it’s great for long days in the saddle. The eye port is large enough to fit most full-sized goggle frames, and the helmet shell is contoured to route the goggle strap to avoid looking like a goon. The liner and cheek pads are comfortable, as is the padding on the chinstrap, which is long enough to loop around several chins—if you have more than one. The adjustable visor is on the small side for deflecting roost or keeping a low, setting sun out of your eyes, but it’s stylish. Cheek-pad fasteners are also small but effective, and it’s easy to remove the pads and liner for cleaning.

Removable and washable cheek pads and inner comfort liner soak up sweat, which is good, because the T5 shell has six small exhaust ports but no Ram air venting like the more expensive T7. 


THE VERDICT:
Fit is very important when buying a helmet, and fit is where the EVS Sports Vortek T5 motocross helmet shines brightest. We didn’t have to crush any of the expanded polystyrene (EPS) for forehead room (we’re looking at you, Shoei), and the fit is snug but comfortable. A snug fit is the most important part for safety, so the helmet doesn’t rotate on your head. The liner and cheek pads wick moisture, too, which is a good thing. The T5 doesn’t have as much cooling airflow as the more expensive T7, so it’s more of a fall/winter helmet. We also like the Circus Freak T5 for its ability to match all of EVS Sport’s Nitro Circus-licensed body armor (we wonder if Pastrana actually crash-tested the T5?).
contact : EVS-Sports; (800) 229-4387, www.evs-sports.com

rating: 4/5
price: T5, $99; T7, $159