Reviewed by: Steve Rose for 3000miles RRP: £369.99

Shoei’s replacement for its much loved Raid has been around a couple of years now. The Raid was one of my all time favourite helmets; comfy, quiet, efficient and very affordable. The Qwest does all the above but includes some of the developments trickling down from other Shoei helmets such as the wider visor for better peripheral vision.


Built using Shoei’s AIM+ construction, which is six layers of organic fibres and glass fibre to give additional elasticity as well as strength and available in sizes from XXS to XXL. Removable cheek pads allow you to customise the fit and there are five vents – one in the chin, with four on top to keep you cool and a Pinlock visor insert in the box to eliminate misting.

On the road that adds up to a helmet that’s as comfy to wear as anything I’ve used, with a lining that cossets your bonce and wicks away sweat efficiently too. The comfort thing is probably the most important because it stays all day. I’ve done 10 hour days in this helmet in extreme heat and cold without any problems – arriving home feeling fresh and ready for more. It feels like a quality helmet – the vents click open and shut with a solid, reassuring feel, the visor ratchet feels properly engineered and although Shoei’s latest visor is slightly more fiddly to remove than before, it is still the most straightforward and least likely to break of all of them.

So why would you bother with the more expensive XR1100 then? The answer is in the vents. Opening the XR’s vents while riding through Death Valley (48oC) last summer somehow created a blast of cool air over my fast-frazzling forehead. Trying the same trick in the Qwest last week in the middle of a Lincolnshire heat wave (28oC) didn’t. I’m not sure of the technology involved and appreciate that the comparison is deeply unscientific (although both were on the same bike), but both experiences were memorable for different reasons. In day to day use, the Qwest’s vents are fine, but when the going gets seriously hot, the XR100 shines brighter.


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Tony Carter

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