Gear and Product Reviews

Review: Scorpion’s Shape-Shifting Covert 3-in-1 Helmet By: Gary Ilminen

Written by  December 1, 2018

There are a lot more helmets out there for nearly every riding style, preference and weather condition than there is cash in most people’s pockets to acquire them. The answer is to get a helmet that can offer options to suit a variety of riding conditions, tastes in style and rider preferences.

 

Enter the Covert 3-in-1 Helmet from Scorpion Sports at:

https://scorpionusa.com  

   The first thing the Covert does is answer the cash problem; with an MSRP of only $209.95 (USD), it keeps you out of the stratosphere of helmet prices that is becoming more common these days.

Moreover, that price buys quite a bit, including DOT (FMVSS 218) compliance with its polycarbonate exterior and dual-density EPS impact absorbing liner, a five-year materials and workmanship warranty, two internal drop-down polycarbonate face shields that exceed VESC-8 standards (one smoke-tint the other clear with fog and scratch-resistant coatings) a cloth carrying bag, and a removable, washable KwikWick II® Anti-Microbial, hypoallergenic comfort liner. And, for that same price, you can select the look you want—in tactical-looking matte black, competition-look gloss white or the Ratnik version which is available in the Phantom graphic design (but slightly more expensive at $229.95).

A lot of riders prefer a half helmet, particularly if they ride in parts of the country that tend to get a lot of hot weather. Problem is, half-helmets often don’t have any ventilation to the crown of the helmet, so wearing a half helmet may not necessarily be all that advantageous in the heat, after all. The Covert has an answer to that problem as well with twin air vents at the front of the helmet that slide open and close with a single button that is easy to work, even with gloves on.

To allow the air to reach the back of the helmet, there are channels in the impact absorbing material in the crown of the helmet and the padded comfort liner has two holes up front and two at the rear to allow air to reach the interior. In addition, mesh material is used on each side of the crown to allow airflow down the sides as well.

There may be times when a half helmet isn’t what you’re after, when the weather gets colder or you want to use the helmet on a snowmobile, ATV or trail bike where trail-side brush, sticks or flying gravel can reach your face and you want more coverage and wind protection, for example. It sure would be nice to be able to just change up the helmet you have instead of having to buy an entirely different helmet.

In fact, during our review of the Covert, we got some snow here in the upper Midwest.   My winter fun machine is something of a rare find: it is a 1979 Chrysler Sno-Runner, an early forerunner of today’s snow bikes. Being that I live only about 100 yards off one of the major snowmobile trails hereabouts, even with only a couple inches of snow, the little Sno-Runner is a great way to get out in the fresh air.

So, I slipped on a balaclava and put the Covert to use out on the snow. With temps hovering at about 20° F., the Covert worked out well and even with non-closable vents in the mask, with the balaclava, it was a fine set-up. And, the silver mirror reflective shield didn’t fog up at all.

So, the Covert can be a shape-shifter to meet a variety of needs. By adding the lower portion of the helmet referred to as the “comfort sleeve,” the helmet offers more coverage as well as the look of a ¾ open-face helmet. Or, it may be that you want facial coverage, as well or the look of a full-face helmet. By removing the caps at the bottom front edges of the comfort sleeve and snapping in the pliable “mask” portion of the helmet, you get that look, as well as protection from wind, rain, sticks, flying debris and bugs. You can even opt for a more radical appearance by adding the new optional “Skull” mask (image). Fully assembled, the Covert weighs only about three and a half pounds.

It’s important to note that Scorpion doesn’t claim the Covert to be an approved full-face helmet with the comfort sleeve and mask installed. Its approval is based on the half helmet configuration and a tag that comes with the helmet states, “This helmet is only a half helmet and does not provide appropriate impact protection against the face, below the ears and the neck.” Checking out the comfort sleeve and mask confirms that there is no impact absorbing dual-density EPS (expanded polystyrene) in either of them like there is in the half helmet shell.

The comfort sleeve attaches by means of metal stays at the front corners and a latch at the back. The latch is robust and takes some pressure to release it, indicating it’s not likely it will come apart until you want it to. The padding in the comfort sleeve is held in with hook-and-loop material and is easily removed and reinstalled.

The mask slides into two slots that are covered by end caps in the comfort sleeve.   A “neodymium” magnet on each tab on the end of the mask helps the push-button locking tabs to engage. The mask engages with a positive “click” and the top edge of the mask has a groove that the integral polycarbonate face shield engages when it is dropped down. The mask includes non-closable vents.

The integral polycarbonate shields work smoothly and easily with a protruding tab on each side of the eye port. There are no detent positions to hold the shield partially open, but the shield stays in the open or closed position reliably, even at highway speed.

A clear and smoke tinted shield are each included and changing shields is easy without tools by simply pulling each end out with the mask removed. Slick silver mirror or gold mirror reflective coated optional shields are also available (Silver mirror shown on the Gloss White model). Installing the shield requires that you assure the pivot sockets inside the helmet are aligned properly to allow the shield to slide in and lock into place because they can move around when the shield is removed, but it’s not difficult once you know you need to do it.

To see more on how the Covert helmet works, go to:

https://scorpionusa.com/collections/covert-collection/covert-solid.html

Sizes range from XS (53-54 cm) to XXXL (65-66 cm); check the Scorpion website for additional sizing information.

The retention system is a typical inch-wide nylon strap and double D-ring buckle with a snap retainer for the loose strap end. The parts of the strap that come into contact with the rider are nicely padded.

Wind noise tends to be a problem with riding a motorcycle, whether you wear a helmet or not and the Covert is no exception. The air vents don’t cause a whistling noise as such vents sometimes can and wind noise is a bit more noticeable in the half helmet configuration than when used with comfort sleeve and mask in place. There also tends to be more lift force on the helmet in half helmet mode than when fully assembled.

The whole unit comes with a textile carrying bag, a matching textile bag for the extra face shield, a genuinely useful owner’s manual and that five-year warranty I mentioned. Taken together, having three configuration options, some useful features not always found on a basic half helmet, and a retail price of only $209.95 USD, the Scorpion Covert 3-in-1 helmet may be one of the better buys out there.