Box BX-1: a cheap but safe full face crash helmet
Search any online forum discussing crash helmets and someone always chirps up with that old chestnut ‘if you’ve got a cheap head, buy a cheap helmet’. The Box BX-1 is undoubtedly aimed at those riding on a small budget but does that mean it’s rubbish? We’ve hopefully debunked that myth several times (notably in Cheap v Expensive helmets and our look at SHARP testing data) – but let’s see what the undeniably cheap Box BX-1 says on the matter.
The Box BX-1 is a decent crash helmet. Most owners are newish to biking but they’re surprised by the build quality and like the helmet. Likewise many seasoned bikers with many helmets/winters under their belts reckon it’s surprisingly well built and capable.
It does everything pretty well. Sure, it’s lacking some of the build quality of the big brands or some of the bells and whistles of the best featured helmets. But that said, it’s safe, has good ventlation, looks decent and, at this price, you really can’t go wrong. Well worth the (not very much) money.
- Not DOT certified for sale or use in the US
- SHARP four star safety rated (out of 5)
- Thermoplastic shell
- Micrometric fastener
- Quick release shield
- Removable breath guard
- Sizes XS-XXL
- Expect to pay $65-90 depending on design
The BX-1 has been tested at the UKs SHARP crash helmet safety testing labs and awarded 4/5 stars which is an excellent rating and up there with many much more expensive helmets (see other 4 & 5 star rated helmets here)
Which means the Box BX-1, despite being a low-priced crash helmet, should give you decent levels of protection in an accident. The reason for this is explained in the links towards the top of the page but, in a nutshell, it’s believed it’s because even though it’s a thermoplastic shelled helmet (which many lower priced helmets are) the slight flexing of the shell absorbs some of the impact and allows the expanded polystyrene liner to do its job more effectively.
All in all, nothing to worry about on the safety front with the BX1.
The BX-1 isn’t the quietest helmet around (for the quietest helmets, look here) but it’s not bad either. Most owners rate it as average or slightly below average for noise suppression. As usual, it’s very subjective and dependent on the type of bike you ride and how quiet your previous helmet was. However, most people agree that it’s easily manageable, especially if you wear ear plugs.
Like many budget helmets, Box produce the BX-1 in just one shell size to cover the full range of sizes from XS – XXL.
That means, to produce this range of fitting sizes, they have to put more padding into the smaller sizes (XS-S) and less padding into the larger sizes (XL & XXL) which may make the helmet look slightly large on your head if you’re a smaller size and may possibly compromise safety a little if you’re a larger head size. See here for more information on crash helmet shell sizes.
There’s five air vents on the BX-1: two in the chin and three in the forehead – and owners say they work pretty well.
The chin vent directs air onto the back of the visor area and owners seem mostly happy that it does its job, though like any helmet, when things get cold or wet, the BX1 will steam up its visor. There is a removable breath guard as standard, which helps a little with keeping the visor condensation free, and the chin vent can be opened and closed using the very glove-friendly large slider covering the vent.
Similarly the top vents have a reasonably large sliding switch to open and close them and, like many more expensive helmets, there’s a rear exhaust vent to remove hot, stale air from inside the lid. Again, owners say it does its job well.
Many ads for the BX-1 show the helmet with a dark shield and some folks have ordered one, unsurprisingly expecting it to come with a dark shield. It doesn’t. Like pretty well all helmets, it comes with a standard clear shield in the box, so beware.
The shield itself is good. It opens on a nice, positive ratchet, has an opening tab to the left in just the right place to help you open the shield without fiddling about too much and the aperture is a reasonable size to give decent peripheral vision.
It’s also got a quick-release mechanism that works really well. Open the shield, push the lever and out pops the shield. Reverse to refit. Nice and easy and no problems here.
The only very slight fly in the ointment is there’s no anti-fog insert included and the shield isn’t Pinlock ready. Pinlock is probably a bit too much to ask in a helmet at this price but, if you’re going to be riding around in cold or wet conditions, you’re going to use some antifog spray or an antifog insert to stop it fogging up (or don’t bother and pretend you’re riding in the 70’s – your call 🙂 )
Owners say once you get the right size of helmet, the BX-1 is just as comfortable as many more expensive helmets. They do say it takes a little while to wear-in and that you might find it’s pretty tight for the first few rides. But once it’s worn in, you shouldn’t have any problems.
Note that the BX1 is one of the few helmets we review that doesn’t have a removable/washable liner. Again, just like most helmets used to be. But if you like to be able to fumigate your helmet with a good wash of the lining, you might want to look elsewhere (our crash helmets with removable linings section is probably a good place to start!)
Looks & Graphics
It’s probably fair to say the Box BX-1 is reasonably average looking. But then I guess it wasn’t really designed to be anything more than a standard, workmanlike helmet. There are some pretty cool designs and paint schemes available though and you’ll find some of them dotted around this page: including the funky BX-1 Lions and Jack as well as the usual plain blacks and whites (no hi-viz unfortunately though).
Other stuff – fasteners, weight
The Box BX-1 is a fairly standard crash helmet so not much else to report other than to say it comes with a nice and easy micrometric fastener and weighs in at 3.4lbs/1.55kg (round about average for a full face thermoplastic helmet).
There are plenty of budget helmets out there and you can check out the ones we’ve covered in our budget helmets section.
Crash Helmet Buying Guides
For (hopefully!) other useful information to help you when buying your next helmet, check our various guides - or have a look at our top helmet lists where we've got the top 10 rated helmets overall and best budget/safest/full face/flip-up helmets.