The Enigmatic Touratech Aventuro Traveller Carbon
Jay Leno has a magnificent chin on him. I’ve often wondered if it puts any strain on his neck muscles or affects his posture. Just for the record, I’m a big fan of Jay and don’t mean anything derogatory with this observation.
I only mention it because after wearing the Touratech Aventuro Traveller Carbon helmet for the better part of 600 miles of testing, I believe I may have gained some insight into Jay Leno’s lot in life.
I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me back up and tell you a bit about Nexx Helmets so I can then tell you about this Touratech helmet that I appreciate in so many ways, but can’t see myself wearing much beyond the time I spent doing this review.
It’s a shame, really… such a shame.
In June 2019, Cam published a review of the Nexx X-Vilitur modular helmet. He has sung its praises to me whenever we have spoken about modular helmets ever since. I haven’t yet had the opportunity to demo that helmet myself, but I believe it’s as good as Cam says it isEd note – it is..
Nexx Now Builds Touratech Helmets
Nexx is a Portuguese helmet manufacturer and a darn good one. They build their lids right in Portugal as opposed to China where most other companies do. That may be a positive in your mind or a moot point. In any case it’s FYI.
It used to be Touratech helmets were rebranded SCHUBERTH helmets that were built in Germany. So for example, the Aventuro Mod is a SCHUBERTH E1 “farkled” or jazzed up to Touratech’s more luxurious specifications. It’s similar to the relationship between Honda and Acura, or Toyota and Lexus..
The Aventuro Mod is the modular helmet predecessor to this new Aventuro Traveller Carbon I’m reviewing in this piece. Still, it’s quite different because it’s built by Nexx as opposed to SCHUBERTH. Why did Touratech switch to Nexx instead of sticking with SCHUBERTH for this update to their Aventuro Mod?
That I don’t know.
Finally Some Closure
wBW was contacted by Touratech USA over a year ago and offered an Aventuro Traveller for review, but for whatever reason it never showed up despite my enthusiastic email responses begging to get this classy looking helmet in my hot little hands for a review.
In the end, I acquired this carbon fiber specimen by complete happenstance from an owner who posted one for sale on a Facebook group that I frequent. He said that the helmet cheek pad design irritated some screws that were implanted in his face during an operation he’d had.
I jumped at the opportunity to buy it from him at a discounted price, thinking it might end up being my new favourite modular adventure style helmet.
It’s An Enhanced X-Vilitur
That’s the long way of saying this Touratech Aventuro Traveller is a fancified Nexx X-Vilitur. I’m afraid brevity has never been my strong suit.
Design, Fit, & Shape
In speaking with the original owner about the helmet’s size I discovered we have exactly the same size of head (23” or 58.42cm) and he assured me this size Large helmet would fit me correctly. Looking at the size chart from the Touratech site I can see as usual that I land right in No Man’s Land between two defined sizes (L and XL).
Did I Get The Wrong Size?
When the helmet arrived I tried it on and found the fit to be suitable around my cheeks, temple areas, sides of my face, and head, though there was some slight extra pressure on my upper cheekbones. As the miles have piled up, I’ve noticed the padding has relaxed to the point the helmet now feels a little too much on the loose side for my liking. It’s borderline too big and with a few other helmets I’ve reviewed, this has also happened to me.
If I could do it over again I would instead buy a Medium. I’ve grown used to the idea that brand new helmets should feel a bit too tight at first so that they settle over time and end up feeling just right later.
I’m categorizing this helmet as Intermediate Oval with a slightly round bias to it because it works quite well with my Round Oval shaped noggin.
Cam calls it I.O with a “neutral bias” in his X-Vilitur review which also is an apt description. I find it overall very comfortable to wear when it comes to the evenly spread out interior padding contact patch that rests against my head.
From time to time I do experience a painful pressure point right on the top of my head for reasons I can’t explain. I’ve removed the crown liner more than once looking for the source, finding nothing but soft foam covered in a posh microsuede that is smooth and pleasant to fondle absent-mindedly whenever you’re bored. The sewn seams in the liner could be the culprit, but I can’t pin anything down for certain.
This isn’t the first time I’ve come across this phenomenon. The SCHUBERTH C4 also did this to me! All I can guess is that the crown liner padding must somehow shift around, then get folded or bunched up on top. That shifting liner ends up creating a high spot and pressure point after I wear the helmet for an extended period of time.
The Balance Seems Off
The next thing I noticed is what I’m calling “The Jay Leno Effect”. It’s omnipresent whether the chin bar is fully raised or lowered but is more pronounced with it raised. It amounts to an irritating degree of rear neck muscle strain happening because a larger percentage of the helmet’s 3.9lbs (1770g) of weight sits in front of the wearer’s ears.
This is a carbon fiber helmet, yet it weighs nearly the same as both the SCHUBERTH C4 (4.1lbs) and the Shoei Neotec II (4.2lbs) both of which have hybrid fiberglass shells. Granted, neither of them has a sun peak to add bulk as the Touratech ATC does.
The Touratech ATC sits nowhere close to the lightest carbon fiber modular helmet on the market which is my favorite to wear: the AGV Sportmodular Carbon. The AGV comes in at the 3lb mark in a Medium size and dips into the 2s in a Small.
3 Shell Sizes
The Touratech ATC has 3 shell sizes which helps keep it from feeling bulbous and bulky. I notice the rear portion of the helmet tapers up high on the back of my head and because of the heavy front, the rear feels even smaller than it is while wearing it. When I wear this helmet it almost feels like I’m wearing a baseball catcher’s mask with the wire cage built out of lead.
Donning and Doffing
Unlike the AGV S.M.C, I can don this Touratech modular helmet without needing to raise the chinbar and that’s a nice plus! In fact, this is one of the easiest helmets to get on for me. It doesn’t harass my ears or anything else during the process either. Perhaps because it’s a bit too big?
The interior padding on the Aventuro Traveller Carbon is luxurious as I already alluded to.
I wouldn’t expect any less than perfection from a $749 USD helmet and Touratech/Nexx deliver on that. The stitching is precise and the materials chosen all display thoughtful, careful attention to detail from the designers.
The only exception to this would be the yellow information tag at the rear of the liner which has taken on a dark stain for some reason. I think sweat from my head has smeared the lettering on the tag. A small gripe of no real consequence I admit, but noted.
The neckroll on the bottom opening is functional in a non slip way, but also fetching to the eye in a Hugo Boss sort of way. The rubber, synthetic leather, nylon mesh, and bright yellow stitching create a fetching pattern that stands out in the crowd and is much sharper looking than most other helmets I’ve reviewed. These small touches of workmanship all boldly announce the premium nature of this helmet.
On the majority of helmets, you’ll find round, plastic snaps to hold the interior padding to the EPS layer, but this Touratech has clips with a different kind of shape to them. It’s like a letter T with a split down the center and makes it easier to remove and install the comfort padding in my opinion. It clicks into place with more surety than the usual variety of snaps and I suspect it will stand up better over time as well.
I’m a fan of micrometric or ratcheting chinstrap closures like the one on this helmet. Other people may moan about it, but the convenience is top shelf for myself and I have no worries of it failing to hold.
The one on this Touratech helmet is made of metal, both on the receiver and tang side. There’s also a wide strip of soft material in place to avoid chafing or other irritation to the wearer.
It works as intended and I didn’t notice it being a problem whatsoever during my testing time.
Styling: I Think It’s A Beauty
Primo in a word is the look of this helmet. I enjoy the subtle inclusion of glittering silver paint outlining the brand lettering, though I wish it was reflective material to aid with visibility.
It’s also got a Sci-Fi slant to it.
When I posted a photo of it to our Facebook group, a comment was quickly made to me being the “Master Chief” in reference to the main character from an uber popular video game called Halo. I immediately understood and agreed with the comparison thanks to the very pronounced sun peak and generally aggressive almost military look of the Aventuro Traveller Carbon. It just needs an amber-tinted visor and a couple of LED lights on the side to complete the look.
Carbon Fiber Goodness
I recently reviewed the Klim Krios Pro which is also a carbon fiber shell helmet. The pattern of wide and flat fiber strands found in the Klim’s interlocking weave are unorthodoxly wavy and disjointedly embedded in the outermost layer of resin. It looks sloppy but that is one of the few complaints I have about that awesome safety hat.
This Touratech helmet’s carbon fiber weave, on the other hand, is of the much smaller rounded strand design type and is nearly digital in nature thanks to how uniform it is. There are a couple of small areas on top that fall ever so slightly out of order, but nothing overtly noticeable.
Visor and Field of View
Touratech/Nexx did such a great job on the visor and eyeport opening on this helmet.
Firstly, they include a Pinlock 70 anti-fog lens with the helmet which went in easy and has worked perfectly for me to this point. I can’t fog the visor up one iota no matter what I do.
Secondly, the field of view is so wide and deep that I feel very much at ease out on the road when it comes to spotting problems on the road ahead. The clarity even with the Pinlock installed is on par with any other top shelf plexi-lens I’ve had the occasion to look through.
Drop Down Sun Lens/Visor
That goes for the internal dropdown sun lens as well. The tint on it is right where I want it to be without being too dark or too light, although riders from abnormally bright areas (desert sand for example) likely will want it darker.
I sometimes dislike sun lenses that have the nose cutout on the bottom edge because they let in unwanted sunlight. This one doesn’t bother me at all to my surprise. Maybe I’m just getting used to them?
The slider to operate the sun lens isn’t nearly as smooth as the one on the SCHUBERTH C4 but is better than several other helmets I’ve tested. It’s a tiny bit grabby at points along the track it rides in and is located up high behind the left ear area. That makes it a little challenging to locate at times with gloves on, but I’ve been managing it without excessive effort thus far.
I have zero complaints about what they’ve done here, only praise. Bravo!
Visor Mechanism Action
They really did this right too. I can’t tolerate a noisy visor mechanism for long on a helmet. Loud “CLUNKING”, whenever the visor is raised or lowered, will draw my ire quickly. This helmet is acceptably quiet and smooth when it comes to movement and, more importantly, the positioning.
There are 5 positions available to the wearer running from fully closed to fully open. All hold fast even in the oncoming wind stream. Helmets that feature a “barely cracked open” position always please me and this one does it well. I can just pop it open about ⅛ inch to allow greater airflow inside if I want or need it.
The visor just barely opened for extra airflow.
I wish every helmet maker made this possible, but it’s often overlooked.
But…there’s a problem with this visor that is completely inexcusable. It’s not quick detachable.
Sun Peak and Visor Assembly Issues.
This oversight astounds me on the part of Touratech/Nexx. You need a flat headed screwdriver to remove and install the visor and sun peak. Every other adventure style helmet I’ve tested has catered to the real needs of riders when it comes to cleaning bugs, dirt, and grime off the visor while this helmet fails miserably at that.
The worst part is that the visor can’t be removed independently. In order to free the visor you have to remove two screws which also attach the sun peak AND the chin bar to the helmet shell! Egad! What were they thinking here?
Putting it all back together afterwards is laborious (due to lining up three layers of components), time consuming, and tiresome if you’re consistently riding in dirty conditions as adventure riders are apt to do.
Touratech/Nexx, PLEASE overhaul this feature on the next generation of Aventuro Traveller helmets.
GoPro Mounting Bracket
There’s a mounting bracket that comes with this helmet you can install on top in behind the upper vent slider.
I didn’t try it out because I just can’t stomach using a GoPro camera anymore. I’ll attempt not to go off on an angry rant about the brutal sound quality, battery life and a host of other things that keep me from using my Hero 6 device. I’m so very content using my Sena 10C Evo instead which can mount to this helmet without needing any sort of extra bracket on the side of the chinbar.
Let me say this. If you adore using a GoPro on your helmet, this feature will be more convenient for you but you’ll still need one of those actual GoPro, two sided tape mounts to lock your camera in place. The Touratech GoPro mounting bracket is merely a centered flat spot to install what you’ve already been using on every other helmet. This flat base will click in perfectly up on top of the Aventuro Traveller Carbon in just the correct location to beautifully record all the videos your heart desires.
Having said that it won’t necessarily make anyone want to watch your YouTube channel… unless your name is Itchy Boots, of course. She’s terrific.
Visor Water Leakage?
I haven’t yet managed to ride in the rain with the ATC, but will report on that as soon as I can.
The rubber seal around the eyeport is supple, rounded, and looks well built.
On the Touratech site they describe it:
“An innovative double seal keeps rain and dust out while reducing sound levels for a comfortable ride. The double seal is crafted from soft rubber which lines the shield closure surface as well as the chin-bar closure area. This gives you better protection from the elements and also reduces wind noise for a more peaceful and enjoyable ride.”
We shall see once I get the chance to confirm or deny that claim. I’ll also discuss noise later on in this review.
I never imagined I would encounter a helmet to seriously challenge the Klim Krios Pro when it comes to ventilation, but this Touratech helmet is right there to my amazement.
The Klim helmet uses Koroyd instead of EPS foam in the crown area which vents heat and allows for massive cooling airflow through it. Touratech and Nexx have managed to accomplish close to the same degree of cooling without the Koroyd advantage in this Aventuro Traveller Carbon. It’s really shockingly good.
What makes the Klim Krios Pro helmet so unusually great is the cooling air I feel around the sides of my head while wearing it. I figured no other helmet could manage that realistically since Klim is currently the only helmet with Koroyd in it. Incredibly, in the Touratech helmet I do feel cooling air there to a lesser extent than in the Klim.
I’m willing to score the ventilation on this helmet just below the Klim which would be a 9.9/10. Wow!
This helmet strains my neck but also keeps it cool.
I mentioned earlier how the rear portion of the helmet tapers upwards and as a result leaves much of my neck open to air. If I turn my head to one side or the other the front of the helmet seems to direct cooling air right at my exposed neck skin. It feels wonderful and I’ve not noticed this with any other helmet before.
Vents and Exhaust Ports
It’s not just the volume of air this helmet flows that impresses me, it’s the quality of sliding parts that have been built for this helmet.
When I move the slider on the chinbar or top of the helmet, the response is smooth and satisfactory. There’s a solid feel to them that promises long and trouble free life out on the road where you want to avoid having them seize up due to dirt and dust intrusion.
Getting a hold of them while wearing gloves is no problem. Both are large enough to grip well and located where they make sense to be. Even with the sun peak in front of the upper vent I have no issue finding it.
Vent Slider Positioning
The chinbar vent appears to have a halfway open position in addition to the fully open one, but honestly out on the road I’ve only had it in open or closed. Ditto for the top vent which is three position. These openings still flow some air inside even with the vents closed in order to help keep the visor fog free.
There are only two permanently open exhaust ports on the back of the helmet. Despite that fact I haven’t felt hot while wearing the Touratech ATC even in warmer weather around the 30 degree Celsius (86 F) mark.
Out On The Road
I’ve put on hundreds of miles now testing this helmet mainly in summer temperatures. It impressed me and disappointed me during that time.
Lift and Pull
The front heavy weight bias of this helmet is somewhat negated once you get out in the wind to my relief. It actually ends up creating a neutral buoyancy force if your head is out in the windstream without crosswinds getting involved.
The sun peak is a marvel on this helmet in that regard. It really cuts through headwinds beautifully and doesn’t create any drag or painful pressure points. The sun peak on every other adventure helmet I’ve tried to this point hasn’t lasted more than one day during my testing before being discarded due to discomfort caused by pull and lift. Including my favourite adventure helmet at this writing: the Klim Krios Pro.
Crosswinds, however, are brutal on this Touratech ATC. They grab that peak and crank on my neck uncomfortably. I won’t even pretend to mince my words on this. The peak needs to be removed in order to avoid pull and lift with this helmet.
You Want A Longer Sun Peak?
Rather hilarious to me is the inclusion of a sun peak extension piece that can clip onto the front of the existing sun peak just in case your goal is a cleaner death via internal decapitation. Adding more length to the peak assembly that already grabs plenty of crosswind sounds ludicrous to me. Needless to say, I didn’t bother installing the peak extension for this review.
The sun peak extension and GoPro mounting bracket
Don’t even think about riding around with the chinbar locked in the raised position, unless you have a 30” neck and compete in the World’s Strongest Man competition regularly.
The bad news is that the Touratech Aventuro Traveller Carbon can’t be worn without the sun peak unlike every other adventure helmet I’ve tested to date, due to the sub-standard mounting design it uses I mentioned earlier.
Most competitor helmets all seem to be multi configuration now, where you can remove visors and peaks in order to better suit wearing goggles off road or if you’re riding a sport bike and want less drag.
Flexibility is key nowadays in adventure riding to suit different tastes.
Touratech claims this is a quiet helmet thanks to aerodynamic testing, a good quality visor seal and purposeful designing effort. I would agree this is a quiet helmet by carbon fiber modular standards.
The AGV Sportmodular Carbon is brutally loud in comparison to this Touratech one, but that AGV helmet is made entirely out of carbon fiber, whereas the chinbar isn’t on this Touratech. That makes quite a difference in weight and wind noise.
The pointed pyramid-shaped wedge that protrudes from the bottom of the Touratech chinbar slices through wind well at any speed and I would agree the design works as intended, but only if you hold your head level with the horizon.
Standard Positioning Is Best
Deviate from the “standard” riding position and you get to endure pronounced wind roar while wearing this Touratech helmet. It’s just as quiet as the SCHUBERTH C4 is in the bolt upright position, but can’t compete if you turn or tilt your head more than a few degrees.
Sport bike riders need not bother considering this helmet, but that’s not the intended user audience anyway, so it’s no loss.
Bluetooth Communicator Integration
Additionally there are appropriately sized speaker pockets built into the EPS liner and plenty of room for routing wiring for the comms. It should be no problem for anyone to install just about any brand name unit in this helmet.
As with any modular helmet, you’re obligated to use the boom style microphone instead of the wire and velcro variety. I’m personally not a fan of boom mics. They always end up being a nuisance because of where they sit near my face and nose. And since you are always moving them around when donning or doffing the helmet, I find it difficult to achieve consistency in spoken audio quality as a result.
I really hope Sena or Cardo come up with a better microphone for clamp-on systems for modular helmets soon.
There’s a grand total of zero reflective decals, piping, or stitching to be found anywhere on this helmet I have which is something I would hope Touratech would consider rectifying in the next generation design. No, it wouldn’t be asking much of me to apply some reflective stickers on the helmet I admit, but this seems like something the manufacturer could better manage.
The helmet is available with a bright yellow or blue color scheme on the lower portion or in white if you’d like to go that route instead.
On paper, everything about this helmet points to me loving it, but wearing it on the road is a different story. I find myself puzzled at the end of this review while trying to summarize my findings in an intelligent sounding way that doesn’t sound like I’m bi-polar.
I’ve gushed about several things they’ve done right with the Aventuro Traveller Carbon, but the good points are overshadowed by the bad for me on this one.
This helmet reminds me very much of my love/hate relationship with the SCHUBERTH C4 and C4 Pro when I consider the spec sheet vs life inside of them on the road. Such lovely quality materials have been chosen for the build and the attention to small details cry out “Love me, Jim!”… Yet I cannot. It’s all there except in the execution of the plan. It just doesn’t work for me.
I don’t even think it’s my personal bias or taste causing this dysfunctional relationship. I can’t imagine anyone not complaining about the same things I am.
Having said that I know those C4/C4 Pro SCHUBERTHs have many loyal fans who swear by them. I must suppose that if you like those helmets this Touratech one might conceivably float your boat too.
There’s Too Much For Me To Ignore
Personally, it’s a hugely disappointing scenario wherein a couple of large flies that I can’t ignore have spoiled this delicious carbon fiber helmet soup. That’s not a pretty picture to draw, but I think you know what I’m saying.
The weight balance issue irritates me a lot. When I wear this helmet all I can really focus on is the sure knowledge there are other ones in my collection that are tons better balanced/more comfortable and I wish I was wearing one of them instead.
The Sun Peak
If I could just ride with the sun peak removed I think that would help me score it much higher, but I can’t get past the failure of Touratech and Nexx to address an obvious issue like this. It needs to be reworked on this helmet in a big way as I already mentioned.
You must have a quick detach visor that needs no tooling to separate from the shell. It’s a no-brainer.
I admit it’s possible a size Medium helmet might have behaved differently for me out on the road and negated the mysterious pressure points I’m having to endure on top of my head.
I get no pleasure being so critical of this product, but I have to be honest. I take some small comfort in pointing out that I’m the second owner of this helmet because the first owner couldn’t make peace with it either.
Perhaps it’s not just me imagining these things?
- Premium appearance, materials, workmanship
- Quieter than most carbon fiber modular helmets
- Unbeaten ventilation
- Micrometric chinstrap
- Pinlock visor included
- Sun peak cuts through headwind well
- Clear field of view and great visor clarity
- Accommodates Bluetooth units really well
- Strong carbon fiber shell
- Fit is good… sometimes
- Smooth mechanics
- GoPro camera mounting bracket included
- Sun peak grabs by cross winds
- Unbalanced weight distribution
- Heavier than other carbon fiber modular helmets
- Visor can’t be quick released for cleaning
- Single configuration
- Can’t be worn without sun peak
- Randomly uncomfortable pressure points
- Manufacturer: Touratech/Nexx Helmets
- Price when tested: USD$ 749.99
- Made in: Portugal
- Sizes: XS, SM, MD, LG, XL, 2XL, 3XL
- Colors: 5 different combinations
- Safety Designations: DOT FMVSS No. 218
- Review Date: June 20, 2020