Icon Airmada: mid-priced full face street helmet
The Icon Airmada is a sporty full face polycarbonate helmet that’s aimed at road riders but that gives a definite nod towards sports/track use.
And if that’s the sort of motorcycle helmet you’re looking for, you’ll also be stoked to hear that it’s at the lower end of the price range too.
So, if you’re looking to buy a new full face helmet, here’s what you can expect from an Icon Airmada, along with some insight of what owners and riders think of theirs, gathered from around the web.
- Polycarbonate Full Face helmet
- Great visibility
- SHARP 2 star safety rated
- Longer narrower fitment
- 4 shell sizes
- Weighs around 3.6lbs (1.62Kg)
- Optically correct shield
- Optional tear off shield
- Good ventilation
- Extreme Sizes XXS-XXXL
- Expect to pay $180-$300 depending on graphics
Looking to buy an Icon?
OK, first up, you want a helmet that’s going to give you great protection in an accident, right?
Well, the Icon Airmada is both DOT certified – so is legal in mandatory helmet states – and ECE (which means in Europe it’s been put through its paces in the testing lab and come out with a smile and a thumbs up!)
That’s the good news. The not so good news is that it was independently tested in Europe by SHARP where it scored two stars out of a maximum five.
That’s not great. But before you do skip on to the next helmet review, you should know that getting a helmet that fits just right is your #1 priority when buying a new helmet to maximize its ability to protect you. Having said that, there are a few four and five star safety rated helmets out there to choose from that are the same price as the Icon or less. Just sayin!
One thing definitely going for the Airmada is that the helmet shell is made in four shell sizes – that’s great for helping get just the right fitting as well as looks. And different cheek pads are also available to help you customize the fit even more.
The Airmada is fastened to your head with a double-d ring fastener and there’s a big shield opening in there that gives excellent all round vision. That’s always good for safety – on the track and on the road.
If you’re after a particularly quiet helmet, then check out our quietest helmets pages. But note, helmet quietness is incredibly subjective.
As for the Icon Airmada, it seems like it’s a bit of a noisy brute. Maybe that’s down to the fantastic ventilation (see below) letting in lots of noise along with loads of air? Or, as a couple of owners suggested, those side pods could be sticking out a bit causing turbulence. Whatever the reason is, most owners reckon it’s somewhere between average for a full face to really loud.
Having said that, if you wear decent ear protection, we’d expect you’ll be fine.
Ventilation is one of the Icon Airmada’s strong points.
There’s six front vents and four rear exhaust vents.
To each side of the chin bar, there’s a couple of vents that pull air towards the chin and mouth area. They’re opened/closed by way of a slider on the inside of the chin bar. Those can be fiddly to operate, especially when you’re riding along; so probably best to set them in position before you set off and leave alone until you stop.
There’s also a flip bar covering the central chin bar vent that pushes air up onto the back of the shield, helping the anti-fog treatment keep your shield clear as well as giving cooling to your face.
Above the shield, there’s another slider that reveals a couple of inlets to take air onto the forehead. They’re further supplemented by a pair of crown vents that direct air inside the helmet shell to ventilate the rest of the head.
Most Airmada owners reckon the ventilation system really works – anywhere between pretty good and fantastic. And they think those shield vents really help with keeping the shield fog-free too.
The standard clear shield that comes with the Airmada is optically-correct and has Icon’s own fog-free coating on it. That’s a surprisingly good anti-fog system that most owners say works really well.
The Airmada will actually work with Icon’s Tracshield tear off shield system if you’re serious about your racing and planning to take your Airmada to the track.
Back to the standard shield: it works on a ratchet; there’s a nice big opening tab to the left and it also has a simple/cheap locking mechanism by means of a metal pin. Push it down to lock, push up a bit harder to release the lock and open the shield. Not sophisticated, but it works.
It’s also a quick-change shield. Like many Icons, you need to pull off those side pods (you don’t have to do this first, but when you put on a new shield, you’ll have to pull off the pods to attach to the new one, so it’s easier to do it while it’s on the helmet) then open the shield to reveal a couple of release levers. Push one back each side and the shield will pop off its hinge. Icon’s system is similar to a few other makers’ and works OK once you get the hang of it.
One thing that’s great with the Airmada is the width of the field of vision, which Icon has made extra wide. Great for safety and for improved peripheral vision that.
Comfort and Sizing
The main thing to note about the Icon Airmada is that it’s designed to fit riders with longer, narrower heads.
Word is that it’ll probably suit many medium oval heads too, but for you folks with longer heads out there, the Airmada’s worth a look.
Fitment size is about right, so measure your head (how? check our fitting guide) and order the correct size from one of our recommended retailers who’ll all do no-quibble returns just in case it doesn’t fit quite right.
Because the Airmada is produced in four shells sizes – and because they also sell replacement larger/smaller cheek pads – there’s lots of room for getting the fitting exactly right for your head. Having said that, it’s got what Icon call their race fitment, designed to keep the helmet tight fitting at speed. Which means its got a pretty tight neck roll so might feel a bit/a lot tight getting it on in the first place.
Inside the Icon Airmada is the usual (decent) lining that you’ll find in most Icon helmets. Namely, it’s got removable cheek pads and a head liner made from a breathable and moisture-wicking ‘hydradry’ material. And of course it’s fully machine washable.
And if all those features pass muster, then owners reckon the Airmada’s a comfy helmet with no problems noted.
Looks & Graphics
Of course, lots of people buy Icons because of their crazy graphics. Yup, you can buy a plain old gloss white, black or silver version – and there’s a matt black rubatone version too (we like the rubbery feel of rubatone versions!). And why not at this price because the plain versions are way cheaper than the graphics?
But most folks are pulled towards one of those bonkers graphic versions if they’ve got the nads to pull it off in public (so to speak!).
Icon are releasing new graphics all the time, so click the links below to quickly jump onto the Icon Helmets pages at some of our quality/service recommended stores. But we’ve put a smattering of some of the ones that caught our eye up and down the page.
Best places to buy an Icon helmet?
We've chosen one of the best places to buy from - whether it's an Icon or any other helmet/gear.
Both are recommended retailers for quality of service and if you buy from either, we get a small sum from the sale at no extra cost to you - a massive THANKS! (it's how we finance the site).
Icon Airmada Video
Ok, here’s a short 3.30m video from the guys at Revzilla showing the Icon Airmada in Mechanica graphics – starting immediately after the intro title sequence (is it just me that gets sick of stupid titles on videos!?!).
Other stuff – fasteners, audio, weight, glasses, build quality, chin curtain, warranty
The Airmada comes with a double-d ring fastener.
If you’re looking to add a bluetooth kit to your Airmada, there is space to fit the comms unit on the outside, but there’s no speaker cut outs in the lining so they might well dig in your head a bit.
As for weight, well it’s a tiny bit heavier than the average polycarbonate full face weighing around 3.6lbs (1.62Kg). That weight shouldn’t really be a problem when you’re riding though – in fact most of the owners that we came across who commented about weight said it feels light when you’re wearing it.
If you wear glasses inside your lid (or sunglasses) you’ll not really find any glasses grooves inside the Airmada to make things easy. A couple of riders said they don’t find it a problem; though if your glasses are anything out of the ordinary (like they’re really big or the arms stick out more than normal) you might struggle.
Build quality seems to be pretty good – not quite up there with the most premium makers, but good, especially at this price point. Which makes you wonder why Icon only backs their helmets with a paltry 1 year warranty. No reports of Icons being returned more often than other helmets though.
The Icon Airframe is a well liked helmet and seems to work well for riders on lots of types of bikes. It’s fairly noisy – but then we know riding a bike’s noisy, so stick in some ear plugs and you should be fine.
That shield system is well liked and gives good all-round vision. And it’s a comfortable helmet as long as you’ve a longer, narrower head shape as that’s who Icon’s designed it for. It’s DOT and ECE certified; but the only slight fly in the ointment is that SHARP 2 star safety rating. Other than that it’s a funky looking helmet with the typical massive range of even funkier icon graphics that most owners seem to really like, and it works well on the road. It’s available at a competitive price too.
Crash Helmet Buying GuidesFor (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.
Good Alternatives to the Icon Airmada?
If you’re after a great performing full face helmet on a tight budget, then look no further.
Finally, here’s another 4 star safety rated lid – the MT Thunder 3. Sun shield, lighter than the Icon and yours for about $100.
Looking to buy an Icon?
Other full face helmetsThere are lots of alternative full face crash helmets. You can check out our Top 10 full-face crash helmets list to see our best rated helmets. But we also recommend you take a look at all our full face crash helmet previews and reviews as well as our safest motorcycle helmets page where you'll only find helmets that are SHARP four or five star rated - so you'll know you're wearing the best protection out there.