Road Gear

Reviewed: Specialized Airnet helmet

Specialized's Airnet helmet offers a subdued aesthetic but a lot of the performance found in higher-end helmets at a reasonable price.

We like: Subtle good looks, reasonable price.
We don’t like:
Non-adjustable Y straps limit adjustability.
Weight: 270 grams

Mid-level helmets are often designed to mimic the aesthetic of their more expensive brethren, but not the Specialized Airnet.

This $150 lid has a very different look from the $200 Prevail, and we like it. The Airnet has a subdued, low-profile design with five smooth lines wrapping over the top of the head, reminiscent of old leather hairnet “helmets” — likely the genesis of this modern interpretation’s name.

With 23 vents, the Airnet is sufficiently airy, although it’s not as light on the head as a Prevail, which comes as no surprise. It does share the same Mindset fit system, with an easily adjustable dial at the back, as well as five positions for the system’s vertical position on the back of the head. As is the case with other Specialized helmets, you can’t tune the Y junction of straps below your ears. For some, this is fine — simpler, and lighter — but for others, including one of our testers, it led to a sub-par fit.

This helmet’s low-profile design reminds us a little of the Giro Synthe. Evidently, the Airnet is also pretty good when it comes to aerodynamics. Sean Estes of Specialized told us that, while the Airnet isn’t as slippery as an Evade aero road helmet, it does produce less drag than a Prevail.

Beyond fit and performance, the Airnet has Merino wool pads and a removable visor that can be either flipped down or up.

If you don’t feel like having a modern art installation on your head, the Airnet is a great option in terms of both aesthetics and performance.