The Abus StormChaser is an exceptionally comfortable helmet with great ventilation. It's light, offers lots of adjustment, and all pads and straps can be stripped out for washing – in fact, it gives some of Abus' own more expensive helmets a serious run for their money. The lack of MIPS or similar at the price may put some off, though.
The name is somewhat confusing as StormChaser suggests some form of wintry protection, but this helmet is really well vented and actually best suited to summer warmth.
It has most, if not all, the features found on Abus' high-end AirBreaker, including in-mould EPS construction, ActiCage internal reinforcement and the Zoom Ace retention system.
I found the fit excellent and the helmet very comfortable despite minimal padding. The amount of adjustment is enough that it should fit most head shapes. The dial adjuster is easy to find and use, even with gloves on, and the steps are small enough to really fine-tune the fit. You can also adjust the height by almost 4cm, and even the mounting points for the cradle itself can be moved between three options for the most secure, comfortable fit.
Abus has put thought into the need to wash fabrics, as the pads detach easily as one unit and don't rely on Velcro – never ideal if removing and reattaching often. The straps are also fully removable using a click-in system, though there is a risk, when they're out, of losing the small metal bar they work on. Even so, the whole system is smart and a genuine improvement over most helmets.
Instead of joining in a buckle under the ear, the straps are sewn together, which creates noticeably less bulk and is very comfortable. This does mean there is no adjustment, but it never posed a problem for me – the angle and height of the straps around the ears worked perfectly.
The 23 vents (7 in, 16 out) have a noticeable effect, and the cooling is very welcome on warm days. The ventilation seems at least on a par with the more expensive AirBreaker model. Sunglasses fit neatly into the vents and sit securely, too, which is a bonus.
The weight is low, too, at 231g on the road.cc Scales of Truth (Abus claims 220g for the Medium, the same as it claims for the AirBreaker, although we weighed that at 214g).
If you're keen on co-ordination, the StormChaser is available in nine different combinations of colours too.
If there is one negative it's the lack of MIPS or equivalent rotational impact system – certainly there are plenty of options that include it at this price, though generally they'll be a little heavier and hotter.
The MIPS-equipped Giro Syntax, for instance, is 296g with a very similar shape and vent arrangement for £99.99.
That said, the Lazer Z1 MIPS is 261g and £169.99, and for my money (or skull, anyway), the Abus StormChaser is a much more comfortable helmet.
It offers many of the benefits of Abus' own far more expensive options while remaining light, cool and extremely comfortable. Its lack of rotational impact protection may put some off, but as a 'traditional' helmet the StormChaser is both impressive and effective.
Incredibly comfortable, light and well-ventilated helmet
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Abus StormChaser
Size tested: M (54-58)
Tell us what the product is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Abus says: "The StormChaser offers the right performance for any race: road, cross and even crit. It is light, comfortable, perfectly ventilated and the ActiCage, a structural reinforcement built into the EPS, offers superb protection."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
-In-Mould: Lightweight, durable helmet with a long-lasting combination of EPS core and Polycarbonate shell
-Ponytail compatibility: Perfect fit for people with long hair
-Zoom Ace: Finely tuneable retention system with height and length adjustment for customisable fit
-Lower edge protection: Provides the helmet with additional protection from external damage
-Excellent ventilation with 7 air inlets and 16 air outlets
-Forced Air Cooling: Innovative ventilation system using intelligently arranged air channels in the EPS
-High visibility: High visibility due to reflectors
-AirPort: Aerodynamic glasses holder with earpiece guide
Lots of ventilation and is among the lighter helmets available.
No issues, and nothing to suggest any might start.
A little heavier than claimed, but still a decent weight.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Comfortable straps, great fit and effective ventilation.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It's at the upper mid-range, and it's easy to find helmets with the extra protection of MIPS (or similar) at this price, though generally they'll be a little heavier and hotter. The MIPS-equipped Giro Syntax, for instance, is 296g with a very similar shape and vent arrangement for £99.99, while the Lazer Z1 MIPS is 261g and £169.99.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
It's well designed, well made, cools very well and extremely comfortable. It may lack MIPS but it's certainly not alone in that – and it would be hotter and heavier if it did. It's an exceptionally good helmet.
About the tester
I usually ride: My best bike is: Cannondale SystemSix
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, cyclo cross, sportives, mtb,