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509 Altitude 2.0 Helmet Review

You might think that working in the powersports industry and testing new gear every year could cause a person to grown a big head. But for me, I entered the industry with a big head—literally. I was born with it. Growing up, my parents called me baby big head. I started wearing adult sizes as a pre-teen.

So I was stoked to test out the new 509 Altitude 2.0 helmet to protect my big noggin this season. It turns out that I comfortably fit a size medium, and have found it to be a great addition to my snow bike gear.

Here is my 509 Altitude 2.0 Helmet review.


509 Altitude 2.0 Helmet Review

Weight

The 509 Altitude 2.0 is significantly lighter than both the less-expensive 509 Tactical model and the first generation Altitude helmet. The Altitude 2.0 is only 150 g heavier than the new carbon fiber model!

Moving from the original Altitude to the Altitude 2.0, I’ve really noticed a difference in how light it feels. The days when I would come home with a sore neck from the weight of my (huge) head plus the weight of a heavier helmet are history. The Altitude 2.0 is light enough I can even wear my GoPro chin mount and barley notice it.

Every gram counts when you’re out there riding for long days. I think 509 did a great job on making this helmet as light as possible. Now I can pop pillows as much as I like and not have to worry about headbanging my big head.

Design

This helmet was designed with the rider in mind. Three design features that I love are the Fidlock chin strap buckle, the breath box and the temperature regulating ventilation system.

Fidlock Strap Securement

With Fidlock, the days of removing my gloves to manually weave a strap through two clasps to secure the helmet are gone.

Fidlock is a game changer. Now I can buckle up my helmet with my gloves on! This one-handed, magnetic system makes it easy to buckle up or remove my helmet in the backcountry and save my hands from exposure to the elements while I do it.

Photo: Jason Cooper

Breath Box

I get cold easily, but I don’t like the feeling of wearing a balaclava under my helmet. The breath box adds a level of protection from the elements and prevents my goggles from fogging at the same time. It is removable for warmer days (or washing) and uses a quick snap-in system, and is a seamless fit with 509 goggles.

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Jason Cooper

Ventilation and Warmth

I’m very sensitive to temperature extremes. When I’m too cold, I notice. When I’m too hot, I notice. I have come to learn that the best gear is the gear you don’t even notice you are wearing.

The 509 Altitude 2.0 Helmet features a perfectly designed ventilation system that uses two quick sliders under the visor to control air flow through the helmet.

This winter I’ve ridden in temperatures ranging from -21˚C to +2˚C and using the ventilation system, I have not experienced any temperature discomfort.

509 Altitude 2.0 Helmet Review

Sliders under the visor control airflow, which exhausts out vents in the back of the helmet. Photo: Jason Cooper

Fit

For the first few rides in the Altitude 2.0, I was very aware of pressure on my cheeks. I thought maybe it was just the chubbier cycle of my winter bod, but then I realized that it was likely due to the fact I had been riding in my first generation Altitude helmet for three years, and it was packed out.

In the new 2.0 I felt like my cheeks were being squished at first, but after about 10 rides it started to pack out and the cheek pads felt better around my face.

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Jason Cooper

Style

I love the look of this helmet! The colour choices for the Altitude 2.0 are plentiful, but the Teal Aura option is like it was made for me.

I posted this helmet on my Instagram story when it arrived and my good friend Cody said, “Oh yeah, that thing looks like it has you written all over it.”

I don’t think I could have designed a more stylish helmet if I tried. Plus, it pops nicely when I am dipping into the pow, or riding through trees. It’s reassuring to know that it would be hard to lose me in the backcountry with this bright helmet on!

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Jason Cooper

Value

The Altitude 2.0 is priced between the original Altitude ($349.99 CAD) and new Altitude 2.0 Carbon ($599.99 CAD). Priced at $449 CAD, it is great value for the excellent performance and features offered in this helmet.


509 Altitude 2.0 Helmet Review

I absolutely love the 509 Altitude 2.0 Helmet, and think it is awesome value for the price.

I think I have finally grown into my big head, and it is great to have gear that I trust protecting it.

 

– Brooke