While arranging a review sample of the Shark EvoOne, I was advised to take a look at the new Skwal model as well. Glad I did. Although this helmet is of the full-face variety it’s got one especially tantalising safety facet that any gadget fan will jump at: LED lighting! When riding at night you want to be as visible as possible. Obviously high-visibility clothing is a priority in this respect but you’d do well to ramp up the safety by also sticking this gorgeous helmet on your bonce. Why no other manufacturer has thought of equipping their helmets with LED lighting is a complete mystery.
The Skwal comes with four lime green LED strips, two on the front (one on top the other at nose height) and two side-by-side strips on the top rear. To activate static lights simply press once on the button beneath the neck of the helmet and to make the LEDs blink, press the button twice. You might think these LEDs aren’t especially bright when looked at in daylight but they really do shine brightly when darkness descends. They’re certainly very noticeable by other road users. The battery that powers these LEDs is tucked away in the neck area and is rechargeable via micro USB. Expect around 15 hours of light up time on a single charge.
Fit wise, this helmet is exactly the same as the EvoOne – perfect, in other words. The cheek pads press a little less firmly than the EvoOne but you will need to pull the neck straps outwards to get your head into the small opening. Once on, it’s comfort all the way. The exterior visor cuts out all wind and, again, a Pinlock anti-mist insert is provided free of charge. The integral sun visor, meanwhile, slides down to cover the entire area above the nose.
The Skwal is available in 27 different colour schemes. We chose the imposing mat black version partly to illustrate the LEDs for our forthcoming video review. The helmet market is saturated with full-face models but for our money this stylish, well-specced model offers excellent value. It’s exceedingly comfy, very well made and meets all European safety standards. But those LEDs are the real clincher. Highly recommended.