Product reviews/11/25/2023

ISPO Award Winner 2023: Oakley MODBC backcountry helmet

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Designed for those who forge their own path, MODBC is Oakley's first backcountry-focused helmet. It was specifically engineered to equip riders for the toughest adventure on the mountain and caters to backcountry riders in terms of weight, technology, ventilation, and triple certifications.

The Oakley MODBC helmet is engineered for the backcountry and its riders in terms of weight, protection, and ventilation but also in style. Featuring an in-mold polycarbonate shell, the MODBC weighs under a competitive 450 grams, making it Oakley’s lightest helmet to date. Protective systems like Mips, Twiceme, and RECCO come standard as additional safety technologies in the helmet. It also has lower shell coverage for enhanced protection.

Oakley MODBC helmet: Under a competitive 450 g but with backcountry protection as a priority
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Catering to the Needs of Backcountry Consumers

“After extensive UX research, we discovered the Backcountry consumer needed a tool that could save them from life or death situations when exploring out of bounds. By listening to the consumer’s needs, we were able to create a product that gives them the confidence to explore the BC with safety as the #1 priority. We’re confident the features and benefits of MODBC will give riders the strength to push further and to explore what mother nature has to offer”, says Brad Parker, Oakley Product Manager.

In creating this helmet, Oakley seriously thought about the needs and experiences of backcountry athletes. “By putting myself in the backcountry mindset, engaging in our countless interviews with athletes, and envisioning the environment from every angle, I was able to approach MODBC with a minimalistic yet functional design”, explains Dirk Wan, Oakley’s Lead Designer for the MODBC.


Oakley MODBC helmet: Minimalistic yet functional
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Light Padding and Beanie for Individual Coverage

Whether you’re climbing the summit before sunrise or getting in an afterwork lap, two ports toward the front of the helmet include options for eyewear stowage and headlamp integration. 

Instead of bulky, traditional ear pads and a heavy liner that people often rip out, MODBC comes with a slimmer, lightweight beanie. The beanie is machine washable and features a ventilated visor for optimal airflow, flat-lock seams to reduce friction as well as ear flaps for extra coverage. “Making MODBC an adaptable helmet was essential when addressing the problems consumers were facing, so designing the beanie concept was one of the biggest advancements that supported our overall mission. The parting line, ventilation, and smaller details such as the rear Oakley Iridium badge all signal the future of MODBC and what Oakley stands for in helmets”, said Dirk Wan about the design process of the Oakley MODBC.

In addition to the beanie, MODBC comes with Ionic+ padding that is one piece for easy packing. The Ionic+ padding material is anti-microbial, odor-fighting, and is also machine washable.


The Oakley MODBC backcountry helmet includes Mips, Twiceme and RECCO safety technologies
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Adjustable Ventilation and Better Air Flow

An extra bonus can be found for riders who like wearing their own favorite hat under their helmet. Inside is a hat button compartment for pain-free hat compatibility. 

The front fixed goggle vents optimize goggle performance and help reduce the chances of fogging. The adjustable ventilation across the top of the helmet is partnered with interior channeled foam to help direct the flow of air over your head and out through the exhaust ports at the back of the helmet.


Ventilation for better airflow
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Here’s what the jury had to say about the Oakley MODBC backcountry helmet:

"This is a helmet with true backcountry DNA. With protective technologies and elaborate features combined, Oakley shows that it understands the riders and their needs. Small details like the additional beanie, the hat button compartment, or the eyewear stowage are proof, alongside performance in terms of safety and ventilation."
ISPO Award Jury

5 reasons why the Oakley MODBC backcountry helmet convinced the ISPO Award jury:

  • Lightweight and under 450 grams
  • Options for eyewear storage and headlamp integration
  • Integrated safety technologies like Mips, Twiceme, and Recco
  • Adjustable ventilation and anti-microbial padding
  • Additional beanie instead of bulky ear pads

Product specs:

  • Size: S, M, L
  • Color: matte black, matte white, matte fern/dark brush, matte crystal blue/retina burn, matte desert tan
  • RRP: €260.00 / $270.00
  • Release: October 2024
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