Bell Qualifier DLX Helmet | Gear Review

Bell Qualifier DLX Helmet
Bell Qualifier DLX Helmet

Retailing for just $109.95, the Qualifier is Bell’s entry-level full-face helmet. With an aerodynamic, lightweight and ventilated polycarbonate shell, removable/washable antibacterial comfort liner, anti-fog/anti-scratch/UV-resistant face shield, super-easy ClickRelease shield removal system, integrated speaker pockets, padded wind collar and 5-year warranty, it’s a lot of lid for the money.

Stepping up to the Qualifier DLX ($229.95) tested here adds a communicator port on the left side of the helmet that’s compatible with Sena’s 10S and SMH10 and Cardo’s scala rider Q1, Q3 and Qz Bluetooth communicators. The communicators clip into accessory adapters ($39.95 for Sena, $59.95 for Cardo) that include speakers and microphones, and all of the wires can be hidden inside the helmet.

The DLX also comes with a Transitions SOLFX adaptive face shield. Like sunglasses with Transitions or other photochromic lenses, the tint of the Transitions shield automatically adapts to light—it’s clear at night and in low light and gets progressively darker as brightness increases. It takes about 10 seconds to go from fully clear to dark tint when exposed to sunlight, though it doesn’t get quite as dark as I would like on really bright days. According to John Ligas, vice president of R&D at Transitions, the photochromic properties are temperature sensitive—the shield gets darker when cold than it does when hot (I tested the DLX during a prolonged heat wave). The shield is designed to meet light transmittance standards across the wide range of climatic conditions that motorcyclists will encounter. The shield’s photochromic functionality should last the life of the helmet (5 years or longer), but prolonged exposure to heat and sunlight can shorten its lifespan, so don’t store the DLX on your bike, outside or in direct sunlight. The Transitions shield is also available as an accessory ($119.95) for Bell helmets that use its ClickRelease system, including the Star (2015 and earlier), Vortex, RS-1 and Revolver.

Accessory adapters allow some Cardo and Sena communicators to be installed easily.
Accessory adapters allow some Cardo and Sena communicators to be installed easily.

Weighing 3 pounds, 6 ounces (size medium), the Qualifier DLX weighs less than most of the $450-and-over helmets in our last full-face helmet buyers guide (July 2013). It’s reasonably quiet and flows a good amount of air through its chin, brow and crown vents. The interior, which is a mix of suede-like moisture-wicking fabric and high-flow mesh, is well padded and comfortable, and the helmet’s chinstrap secures with a classic D-ring.

Available in sizes XS-2XL and several solid colors (including hi-viz yellow) and multiple graphics, all for the same $229.95 price, this versatile helmet is a great value.

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