Caberg Drift full face motorcycle helmet review
Note: Caberg helmets are not DOT certified for use in mandatory helmet states (only ECE 22.05 certified for sale/use in Europe).
The Caberg Drift is a composite fiber full face helmet that’s designed to suit most riders – think sports/touring and you’ll not go far wrong.
So what makes the Caberg Drift different from all the other sports/touring helmets out there?
Well, the main selling point of the Drift is that you’re getting a composite helmet with a Pinlock anti-fog and drop down sun visor at an extremely reasonable price. I mean, really really reasonable. How does $250 for a tri-composite sound? Or £300 for a carbon fiber version? Thought so.
But price is far from the whole story. It’s gotta work well too.
The great news is it looks like Caberg have designed-in some very useful features that could well make it a really nice helmet to live with too.
- Composite fiber full-face
- Full carbon version also available
- SHARP 3 star safety rated
- 3lbs (1.35Kg) – lighter than average
- Drop down sun visor
- Pinlock Max Vision anti-fog insert included
- Size XS-XXL
- Expect to pay $250 (composite) $300 (carbon)
The shell of the Drift is made from a composite of carbon, kevlar and fiberglass to make a helmet that should, on paper at least, be strong and light. And the scales bear this out – the Drift is around 1.35Kg for a medium size (the average weight across all full face helmets tested by SHARP is 1.48Kg).
That’s good for both helmet safety performance and comfort.
And if you want a Drift that’s even lighter, there’s the full carbon fiber drift that shaves a further 100g off the weight of the composite version (and looks pretty mean as well!). It’s only about $50 more too which is amazing value for a full carbon helmet.
Unfortunately, Cabergs aren’t DOT certified yet (or Snell) so not legal in mandatory helmet states. And because the Drift hasn’t yet been tested by SHARP, it’s very difficult to know how well it’ll protect you in an accident.
In the past, Caberg have produced some really safe helmets – in fact at the time of writing they’re our joint first place safest brand with their helmets scoring a massive 4.6/5 stars for safety across their tested range.
In fact, the Drift is the first Caberg composite helmet that we’re aware of that’s been lab safety tested by SHARP. It scored three stars (out of a maximum 5) in their safety testing, dropping a couple of stars for average side impact protection.
If you’re after a helmet with a higher safety rating, you should click through to our Safest Crash Helmets pages where you’ll find all our SHARP 4 & 5 star rated helmets.
Of course, like all helmets in the EU, it’s been ECE 22-05 certified; and that’s no walk in the park. It’s a very comprehensive testing regime meaning the Drift should give at least an acceptable level of accident protection.
One final note on the shell and safety is that the Drift’s only manufactured in one shell size. That’s not ideal for either fitting or safety – for those with smaller heads it may mean the helmet looks overly large on you and for those with larger heads, comfort and/or polystyrene lining will have to be reduced in thickness to compensate. Potentially, that’s not great.
Want to buy a Caberg Drift?
Have a quick jump to our UK site where you’ll find our UK and EU recommended retailers who’ll be delighted to ship you a Drift. But bear in mind, if you’re in a DOT state, a European ECE certified helmet isn’t legal.
Word is that the aero and padding on the Caberg Drift work pretty well and combine to make a helmet that’s slightly above average for helmet noise suppression.
Of the owners who mentioned helmet noise, three quarters thought it’s reasonably quiet, with one saying it gets noticeably noisy above 70 mph and another saying it’s noisier than average. One comment a couple of people said was that whether the vents are open or not doesn’t seem to make much difference to the noise levels – which is unusual (and welcome!).
As usual, everyone’s perception of helmet noise is different and it’s dependent on lots of factors (type of bike, riding position, fairing, speed) so you’ll have to take any review’s findings with a pinch of salt.
Onto ventilation, and there’s a single chin vent and single crown vent to bring air into the helmet and a single rear exhaust vent to help remove it.
All three have a large slider covering them, and word is they’re nice and simple to use and are great for using in gloves. And while it doesn’t sound like the most comprehensive ventilation system in the world – indications are that it works well.
Owners reckon it pushes a decent amount of air onto the rear of the visor and the top vent channels a decent amount of air around the scalp.
Shield and Sun Visor
The main shield is quick-release and has a spring loading mechanism that’s designed to pull the shield onto the rubber seal and create a nice tight joint against wind and rain.
It’s also nice and large and has a potentially useful shield lock/opener just to the rear of the left-hand shield pivot. In one position it locks the shield; or flip it backwards and it’ll crack open the shield about half a centimetre for defogging.
I say it’s potentially useful because no-one mentioned they actually used it. And besides, most of us probably won’t really use the cracked-open position too much because if you need a bit of air, I suspect most of us will crack the shield open in the conventional way – i.e. open the shield a bit. And also because there’s a Pinlock Max Vision antifog insert included free with the Drift, that should see the shield being fog-free in all but the most extreme circumstances (i.e. think slamming down with rain in near-zero conditions and stopped at traffic lights!).
And even then you’ll usually be fine with a Max Vision in place.
The shield works on a ratchet (as opposed to friction alone) and has a couple of tabs on the bottom for opening with either left or right hands. That’s good.
Underneath the left shield pivot is another slider – this time for the drop down sun visor.
Word is that all’s well with the sun visor. It comes down nice and low and, while it can be prone to fogging, that’s not uncommon with sun visors. And because the sun visor slider works on friction, that means you can have the sun visor either fully-up or down or any position in between.
Inside the Drift, you’ll find the usual removable/washable lining found in all but the most budget helmets these days. The drift’s lining is both removable/washable and hypoallergenic. It also comes with a neck roll to reduce turbulence and a chin curtain to reduce noise.
And owners overwhelmingly say that the Caberg Drift is a comfortable helmet. They reckon it feels light to wear, is a roughly neutral shape and, as long as you get the fit correct in the first place, should be all-day comfy. Sizing seems to be true, so if you don’t know what size you are or would like to double-check, just follow our fitting guide to find the right size for you.
Looks and Graphics
There’s a stinkload of graphics options available for the Drift. We’d say the most-eye catching are probably the raw carbon version (when are we gonna tire of carbon fiber!? It’s just timeless!) and of course the moody black versions.
Of the rest, the Shadow Italia is pretty striking, as is the Armour and it’s subtle Union Jack design. And we’d have to give a nod to the excellent Drift Tour – which’d go very nicely with any non-Repsol Honda HRC Racing bikes out there!
Other than these, please check out our recommended retailer links below to see all the latest designs and deals for yourself.
Looking to buy a Caberg?
(Note Cabergs aren’t legal for use in US DOT states)
Then head on over to our UK site where you can find links to some excellent retailers who’ll ship you a Stunt.
Caberg Drift Video
Here’s a short video looking at the Caberg Drift (a Drift Shadow orange/grey in fact) from those funsters over at WebBikeWorld. He can barely contain himself can he 😉
Other Stuff – fastener, communicators, build quality, warranty
The Caberg Drift has been designed to work with a range of bluetooth sets. There’s fairly generous speaker and microphone pockets/spaces included, so hopefully it’ll fit a wide range of communicators – along with Caberg’s own Just Speak range.
If you’re thinking of buying one, it’s worth noting that Caberg helmets come with just a one year warranty against manufacturing defects. Many manufacturers offer a 5 year warranty these days so if you’re after a bit more protection on your purchase, click the link and check out one of those helmets.
The Caberg Drift looks to be a smashing helmet – it’s got a great spec with some quality and useful features – all for not very much money at all.
If you buy a Drift from Europe, it be ECE certified – meaning it’s been tested to European safety standard level – though it did drop a couple of stars when safety tested by SHARP. But owners reckon it’s a good helmet to live with that’s comfortable, reasonably quiet, has a good shield with Pinlock anti-fog, has great build quality and decent ventilation. In fact, there’s very little that owners seem to find fault with their Caberg Drifts. And it’s a great route to composite fiber or carbon fiber crash helmet ownership for not very much money. Well worth a look.
Definitely want a Caberg?Here you'll find all our Caberg crash helmet reviews and previews including full face, flip-up and open face helmets.
Alternatives to the Caberg Drift
At this price point, there’s lots of great alternatives to the Drift.
Around around the same price as the Drift is AGVs K5 – another composite fiber crash helmet with a sun visor and this one is SHARP 4 star rated.
Or, if you can afford another $100 on top of the price of the Drift, you’re into the territory of the more exclusive Schuberth SR1. It’s a little more track focused but this carbon composite helmet is SHARP 4 star rated and has great build quality (and of course there’s now the Schuberth SR2 to contend with).
There’s also the Nexx X.R2 – it’s a few more $ than the Drift but it’s super light weight, got a great shield and is popular as a track helmet in particular. And, like the Drift, you’ve got the option of composite or full carbon fiber versions to choose from. Oh, and it’s a real looker!