To us Southwestern desert folk, “cold” doesn’t represent the same thing as it does to someone, say, in Winnipeg, Canada. That’s where FXR Racing is headquartered, so it is a safe bet to assume they know a thing or two about making cold-weather gear. From FXR’s 2022 catalog, we would like to showcase a few standout items that we have tested over this past few months: the Helium Carbon Helmet, Pilot MX Goggle, and CX Jacket.FXR HELIUM CARBON HELMET
The FXR Helium Carbon helmet tipped our scales at a measly 2.6 lbs with Bluetooth coms installed- a full pound lighter than the other unnamed high-end helmet we benchmarked it against. As it ships to you, the Helium is closer to 2.3 pounds, which is one of the lightest helmets we have ever tested. The Helium carries a DOT rating in Canada and the US. Multiple small features make this helmet a standout – glove-friendly visor screws, removable vent plugs and covers for cold-weather use, and our favorite, titanium D-rings. FXR got creative with weight savings, and the sheer beauty of the 100% hand-laid carbon fiber shell makes it an easy piece to stare at.
Our XXL Helium Carbon tester fit incredibly well the very first time we slid it on. The view out of the goggle port is wide, with minimal intrusion from the chin guard and visor. The visor is fairly long, but is very easily adjustable. This helmet works well for cold or warm climates, and the light weight provided by the carbon fiber shell reduces neck fatigue during long riding sessions.
We put FXR’s gear to the test during expeditions to Glamis Dunes, the Mojave Desert, King of the Hammers, 10,000 feet climbs in Colorado, and more. The Helium Carbon helmet has been a favorite among testers for its incredibly light weight and comfortable fit. It also looks the business – the matte-finish hand-laid carbon shell is a thing of beauty, and FXR did well with the matte black details that keep the overall focus on the carbon weave. We installed a prototype Rugged Radios Bluetooth helmet connect kit and have been enjoying riding with this helmet across multiple recreational vehicles, including time spent on a mountain bike. The helmet is light enough for bike use, making it a very versatile lid.
The attachment mechanism for the padding is easy to use, and the helmet is fairly easy to clean as well. Another bonus is that FXR also sells replacement padding, visors, screws, mouth pieces, and vent covers for their lids, making long-term ownership of this fairly substantially-priced helmet more enticing. Two colorways are available: Black (shown) and Hi-Vis/Charcoal. Multiple cheek pad sizes are available for a perfect fit. This fits on the tight side for an XXL, so check FXR’s sizing chart here before buying.
FXR PILOT MX GOGGLE
COLORS: 7 OPTIONS
FXR’s Pilot MX goggles is one of the best-fitting goggles we have ever had the pleasure of wearing. Available in seven colorways, this outrigger-style goggle has some unique features that make them so desirable. FXR’s Pilot features a fat 50mm strap with copious amounts of silicone grippy graphics, which means that even with the goggles worn fairly loosely, it stayed securely stuck to the helmet shell during our testing. The frame of the Pilot goggle is made from a softer material than the outriggers that the strap attaches to, allowing it to flex and fit a variety of face shapes well.
Pilot MX goggles ship with two lenses, one tinted and one clear. They resist fog well even when working up a sweat in cold weather, which is a great plus. They also filter out light sand and dust fairly well, although they are not a dedicated desert-style goggle. The nose guard is removable, and the attachment mechanism is strong. FXR’s triple-layer foam is comfortable and doesn’t chafe your cheeks. This is a fantastic set of goggles, and as is the FXR way, replacement and accessory parts like roll-offs, tear-offs, single and dual pane lenses are available. FXR has a shocking amount of lens colors available, so check out their website at www.fxrracing.com.
During our time spent with FXR’s Pilot MX goggles, we had the chance to try out single and dual-pane lenses. The dual-pane lens resists fogging very well, even when working up a sweat hiking off-trail. The goggle’s foam provides a great seal against your face, but also wicks sweat well. Changing lenses is also extremely simple due to the pliable nature of the goggle frame, which we appreciate greatly. With so many color options available, the customization options are almost endless as well.
FXR MEN’S CX JACKET
SIZES: XS-5XL (SOME COLORS ONLY)
COLORS: 9 OPTIONS
Being cold sucks, so having a high-quality jacket is a must for any UTV owner in chillier weather. While sitting behind the wheel, you are rarely doing enough work to reach a sweat, so this CX jacket will treat you to a nice, warm embrace even in sub-freezing temps. It also features FXR’s F.A.S.T. liner, which is a floatation aid designed to keep you afloat if your expeditions happen to include you entering a body of water fully clothed (and not belted into a UTV).
The CX has an adjustable waist windskirt with silicone grippers running the length of it, so it stays put well even when belted in. The warm inner fleece lining terminates at the wrists with lycra cuff extensions, complete with thumb loop so absolutely no cold air can get up the sleeve when worn with gloves. Velcro wrist cuffs and zippered mesh vents allow for easy ventilation if things warm up. Inside the left breast is a massive zippered pocket, large enough to hold four cans of soda for trailside recreation breaks. FXR also includes a zippered pocket on top of the left forearm large enough to hold cards or cash.
FXR’s CX jacket features YKK-brand zippers, which have a very high quality feel and have proven durable, even in dusty conditions. This jacket is available in 9 colorways, although at the time of writing, not all colors are in stock. Multiple size options are available from XS to 5XL in some colors, while most go up to 3XL on FXR’s web catalog.
While the Helium Carbon helmet and Pilot MX goggles were both standout performers, our favorite item in this group is hands-down the FXR CX Jacket. Insulated jackets are worth their weight in gold (seemingly), but this CX jacket stands out above standard snow or cold-weather general use gear for a few reasons. The jacket is tailored fairly long- two of our testers (6’1” and 6’2”) wearing an XL were able to fasten the adjustable windskirt well below the belt line, which helped the jacket stay put without getting tangled up in your belt.
The way the sleeves on the CX jacket are tailored makes them very comfortable to wear with gloves on, even those with longer cuffs. The outer sleeves on the CX jacket can wrap around a large winter glove with ease, keeping things tight and warm around your wrists. The lycra cuffs with thumb loops are slim, so they slip into tight gloves with ease. FXR’s F.A.S.T. floatation tech is an added benefit if you ride in areas where off-trail hikes near water are frequent, and doesn’t make the jacket overly bulky. Lastly, this thing is downright warm- it insulates well, warms up quickly when donned, and keeps wind out very effectively.
For more information on FXR’s extensive line of awesome riding gear, including their lightweight warm-weather gear, visit www.FXRRacing.com!