Scott 550 Split Helmet Review
I managed to put the helmet through its paces on more than 50 days of hard mountain riding in the mecca of mountain sledding—British Columbia, Canada.
Personally, I spend enough time on the mountain that I want the best gear. I believe that safety, comfort and durability are the main factors to look for when piecing together riding gear for the season. With that in mind, I had high expectations when testing this helmet.
Here’s my Scott 550 Split Helmet Review.
- Affordable price point $300 CAD
- MIPS and Conehead safety technology
- Amazing ventilation
- Difficult to keep looking clean
- Paint from visor and helmet doesn’t match perfectly
- No chin strap quick release
- Wind catches visor and strains neck at certain angles
Scott 550 Split Helmet Review
Right out of the box, the first thing I noticed was the unique design of the visor. It doesn’t look like any other moto or sledding helmet I’ve ever seen. The visor is sleek and catches the eye instantly. The styling resembles the sleek lines of a European sports car more than a traditional full-face helmet.
I also immediately liked the hi-vis yellow highlights. Bright, noticeable colour is a safety feature I pay attention to when choosing sledding gear. You never know when you might get in trouble when you’re backcountry riding, and having bright colours can make you easy to find when you need a hand.
The helmet comes in a protective bag along with a couple of different pieces of foam that can be used to block the large air intake built into the visor and helmet for cold days.
Right away I noticed that the helmet is lightweight—a factor that’s high on my criteria for a sledding helmet. The fitment is true to most other helmets I own, have tried on or tested.
The padding inside the helmet seems slimmer than most helmets, including the cheek pads. But the main difference is the padding at the top of the head; it is very thin and has open cutaways for massive airflow.
The helmet fits well, with no excessive movement. It was comfortable right away for my head shape and doesn’t squish my ears.
Scott has obviously put a lot of effort into the design of this helmet, especially for safety.
The Scott 550 Split Helmet uses MIPS, which has become an industry standard for high-end moto helmets. MIPS features a low friction layer in the helmet which helps provide additional protection from rotational forces.
The helmet also uses Conehead technology, which is a specially shaped multi-density EPS foam that allows the helmet to absorb impact energy more effectively than standard EPS.
The helmet is ECE certified, making it legal for on-road use in Canada.
Testing on the Scott 550 Split was done inside a wind tunnel to ensure maximum ventilation and cooling. While ventilation is extremely important for motocross riders, this is also something I look for as a mountain sledder who typically runs hot.
This helmet offers hands down the best venting of any helmet I’ve used. In fact, I only made it two rides before installing the foam insert to block the wind. Even with a balaclava on it was too cold for the trail ride up to the alpine in mild weather.
After the first couple rides, I noticed the matte finish around the mouthpiece and up towards the side of the helmet began looking rather dirty. After a quick scrub with soap and water the finish came right back to its original appearance, but it would then quickly return to looking filthy in another few rides. Now this I might expect from a helmet I had been testing on a motocross track in summer, but not riding sleds in 3 meters of white, clean snow.
The second issue is probably just me being particular, but I can spot unmatched paint from a mile away. The high-vis yellow accent on the helmet is bright and vivid, but on the visor it has much more of a green tinge to it. The colours were close enough that I didn’t think I had the wrong visor, but far enough away from matching that I couldn’t stop looking at it.
Both of these cosmetic issues may be something that only applies to the yellow/deep blue colour combo helmet I received, but I feel it is worthy of mention as something that bothered me.
Scott 550 Split Helmet Review Summary
Scott has a great job in redesigning a helmet that the average sledder can afford and ride with confidence knowing they are fully protected. The air intake and ventilation are like nothing I’ve ever experienced in a helmet and I look forward to using this helmet in the summer months on the dirt bike as well. After 50 rides, the helmet shows no signs of failure or premature wear.
I would absolutely recommend this helmet to anyone looking to upgrade!