Steelbird’s Ares range uses interiors made from Outlast technology material that was originally developed for NASA astronauts. It’s great for absorbing, storing and releasing heat. In daily use, it feels as good or bad as any good helmet interior we have used but to be fair, Mumbai’s cooled off quite a bit thanks to the recent rains. Maybe we need to wait for the October heat-humidity vortex to see Outlast really at work.
The rest of the helmet is the usual. This is a half-face design with a hard shell and expanded polystyrene inners. The fit is pretty good but the Ares has issues. First, the tinted bug-eyed visor is distortion free and does deflect a fair amount of wind away from your eyes. But it doesn’t come down low enough so when it feels right, you see mostly the opaque nosepiece and you have to tilt it down to see through the visor. Second, the visor is tinted so riding after dark is a hassle. Third, the retention strap and the visor don’t work together very well. When tilted down so you can see through the visor, the retention strap digs into my neck which isn’t comfortable. The unique thing, of course is the denim covering on the shell. Which would ordinarily be great but it’s the monsoon and as I write this review the Denim is drying off in my balcony while I’m back to my regular helmet and in the end, the advanced safety features of the helmet are let down to an extent by the ergonomics and practicality of the design.