Finding a good looking and comfortable half helmet is challenging enough, but LS2 delivers just that and it comes loaded with useful features. The DOT-approved Rebellion stands out from the competition thanks to a high-tech Kinetic Polymer Alloy material in the shell construction, plus a large ram air style intake and drop-down sun visor.
The Rebellion in an XL size weighs only 2.1 lbs (945 g)
Meets or exceeds DOT FMVSS 218
Has a built-in pull-down sun visor
Introducing the LS2 Rebellion Helmet
Many are familiar with the LS2 brand since it has been growing nicely since 2007. They produce helmets and riding gear for every style of riding and have a focus on safety and innovation that delivers quality above what is typically found for a given price level.
LS2 utilizes proprietary materials for the shell construction of the Rebellion helmet, matching that with quality engineering and they are able to meet the latest DOT certification levels.
I have tested a few LS2 products, and I have come to expect something better than the price may warrant. That was exactly what I found when I slid the Rebellion out of the protective bag.
The Rebellion feels substantial, while not being very heavy. I like the matte finish, and the version I chose does not have any graphics beyond the rather large LS2 logo on the forehead. Holding it and looking at the vent slider, I could not help but notice how plush the liner was feeling under my fingers. This is a sub $150 helmet, I am surprised at how nice it feels.
I generally prefer to ride with either a full-face or modular helmet, and in the past when I have tried half helmets they have left me feeling very vulnerable.
Dropping the Rebellion onto my head, I did not have any of those sorts of feelings. Part of that I think comes from the fact that LS2 designed the rear of the helmet to offer a bit more coverage, and the straps and pads down over my ears have great padding.
A half helmet doesn’t really offer many options when it comes to obvious design elements, but LS2 adds many subtle touches that elevate this design.
Working front to back, the first item is the sun peak. This peak can be removed, but I personally quite like it. The shape aids in preventing lift at higher speeds, it also seems formed to help direct air to the vent inlet. It does give that small added coverage that protects from the sun intruding behind my sunglasses from the top side. Similar to a ball cap with sunglasses on.
The back of the shell is shaped to cover more of the back of the head. This increases the protection and is a key part of the roll-off resistant shell design. It also has an upward roll to it that again assists with resisting helmet lift at higher speeds.
It is very rare to find a half helmet that includes any sort of ventilation, many would ask if it even matters. Yes, yes it does! Most half helmets naturally create airflow around your head, but it is mostly around the sides of your melon. At higher speeds most half helmets begin to lift off your head and then sure you have loads of ventilation.
Where I appreciated this most was at the city cruising speeds. Opening the slider fully flows enough air through the EPS channels to keep the top of my head from getting sweaty on those days when the temps are warmer. The same effect occurred when I rode behind the large fairing of my Goldwing at highway speeds. The top of the helmet is nicely in a space to pick up faster-moving air and keep things comfortable.
The lining is a moisture-wicking fabric with a slight neoprene feel to it. It is quite comfortable, and LS2 uses snaps around the brim for a very secure fit while still allowing easy removal for washing.
The strap system hides a few secrets. First, I like that it is a substantial amount of synthetic leather, with a soft material on the skin side. This makes it all feel very secure and comfortable while still keeping the ears exposed. The Rebellion helmet also has an excellent micro ratcheting clasp rather than a D-Ring closure. Again, something of a surprise at this price level.
The next secret of that strap system is that the LS2 Rebellion designed it for easy and seamless installation of their LinkIn Bluetooth® communication system. I was able to mount my UClear system with no problems.
LS2 Rebellion Helmet Fit
If you spend any time at all doing a Google search of the Rebellion it seems no one can reach a consensus on the sizing accuracy of the Rebellion. In my experience, using the sizing guide puts me right on the crossover of Large and X-large (60cm head size). I normally wear an XL from most manufacturers, and that was my choice for the Rebellion, and it has been my choice with the 2 other LS2 helmets I have worn. Measure your head and trust the size guide. The Rebellion helmet does fit as an intermediate oval, and that will be noticeable if you lean more toward a round shape. The size range is from XS – XXL
Here is how LS2 describes the Kinetic Polymer Alloy that makes up the outer shell of the Rebellion helmet.
“A proprietary material specifically formulated by LS2, KPA utilizes nanoparticle technology to blend space age thermoplastics along with microscopic levels of aramid fibres for a material that is strong, lightweight, and offers the latest in high performance energy management for a safer ride.”
Basically, LS2 has blended the typical plastics/polymers that are used in more affordable helmets, with aramid fiber particles normally found in higher-level helmets. The result is a material that is both stronger and offers better protection at a price level that is amazing. This material meets both DOT and ECE 22.06 requirements. It is a key factor helping the Rebellion achieve the most current DOT certification.
The Dual-Density EPS Liner System is robust and brings the coverage quite low at the back of the helmet. The channeling works effectively with the top mount ventilation inlet.
LS2 thoughtfully includes the short peak and Twin Shield System drop-down sunscreen. The sun shield itself features two-stage adjustability: lock it half-way for a minimal amount of shade, or full down for complete sun protection.
Having the sunvisor is indeed very nice, but it cannot be glossed over, the optics aren’t great. Finally, it seems I find the Achilles heel of what LS2 is able to include at this price point. I preferred riding with clear safety glasses or sunglasses. I can say that I found it to be a non-issue lowering the sun visor down fully over my clear safety glasses, the space was fine for me.
If you ride a bike without any windscreen you may not be bothered by the optical quality. But having somewhat blurred vision through the Rebellion sun visor and then combining that with a large windscreen, well it was not my favorite combo.
As you may expect, a half helmet will always feel like a lightweight if you typically wear a Full-face or modular helmet.
On my scale, right out of the box, the LS2 rebellion in the XL sizing weighed in at just only 2.1 lbs (945 g)
The LS2 Rebellion meets or exceeds DOT FMVSS 218. Although LS2 mentions that the KPA shell material does meet ECE 2206 standards, I cannot find this helmet being available in Europe, and therefore does not carry any ECE certifications.
Riding with the LS2 Rebellion Helmet
The LS2 Rebellion seemed like a perfect match for my Harley Davidson 883 Sportster, and I was absolutely correct. I enjoyed every minute of how it felt to be a lot more open to the surroundings, and feeling much more connected to the sounds from the bike.
Thanks to the design of the Rebellion I never felt unsafe, or vulnerable. I tried different eyewear and found at typical city street speeds I was happy in sunglasses, and at higher speeds, the tighter fit of safety glasses helped keep the wind from making my eyes water.
Switching bikes and riding out through the mountains on my Goldwing, again the Rebellion was a great helmet to wear. With just sunglasses on, and the big fairing blocking all the wind, the ride was very comfortable. I would almost always wear my Earpeace earplugs, as that provided the best combination of feeling the open air feel I enjoyed while not becoming fatigued from the wind noise.
The drop-down sun visor proved both useful and frustrating. It is always nice to be able to quickly protect from the bright sun, but I constantly was distracted by the blurred view, and poor optics through the sun visor.
I would happily pay a bit more for this helmet if the optical quality was more in line with the tinted full-face visors.
Final Verdict on the LS2 Rebellion Helmet
I was pleasantly surprised by how much I like riding with the Rebellion helmet on my head. In the city, it was the primary helmet choice if I was on the Sportster or the Gold Wing. The micrometric clasp makes taking the lid on and off, quick and easy.
Feeling and hearing so much more around town changes the riding experience in a positive way. I still choose to return to a Full-Face helmet for out-of-town riding. I find the added protection comforting, and the quieter under helmet experience more enjoyable.
Finding a DOT-approved, fully loaded half helmet that looks this good and is less than $150 is a challenge. LS2 continues to deliver more per dollar. I recommend giving the Rebellion a try.
Room for Improvement
Improve the sun visor optics
There used to be a few more colorways, some added choices would be nice.
Fit and finish are excellent
Love the plush feel and micrometric clasp
Adding the vent actually does help more than I expected