LIVALL’s EVO21 ‘smart helmet’ packs 360° visibility, a patented SOS system and improved impact protection into a helmet that weighs in at just 350g.
LIVALL has been around for nearly 8 years now, which surprised me because I remember when they first launched. In that time, LIVALL has accrued more than 170 patents and 40 internationally recognized awards, and delivered 200,000 helmets a year all over the world. So how the company’s latest offering perform?
Before we get to all the tech stuff, how’s the LIVALL EVO21 perform as a helmet? Because all the tech in the world won’t get you to wear it if it’s not comfortable.
The LIVALL has a pretty standard shape, I found it most similar fitting to my Smith Network, which I love. It’s snug all and doesn’t wobble around after dialing in thanks to the adjustment wheel on the back of the helmet. The helmet also sports some very nice straps with a cozy wrapped portion which sits under the chin. There are two sizes, large (58-62cm) and medium (54-58cm).
When I first saw the helmet, I was concerned about the ventilation (it doesn’t look like it has much), but it actually works quite well. The channels built into the helmet effectively funnel air over your head and the closed nature of the top of the helmet helped protect my balding head. Despite riding in some warm weather, I didn’t have any issues with my head getting warm or sweat pouring down into my eyes.
For a helmet with a $129 price tag, I think it feels pretty darn good and functions great. And that’s without getting into the tech that’s built in.
The most noticeable feature distinguishing the EVO21 from any other helmet on the market is the 270° rear light. The lights are bright and eye-catching, and via the LIVALL app you can choose between three different lighting patterns.
On the front of the helmet is another light which can mirror the strobing pattern of the rear light or function as a headlight. The former it does quite well, the later not so much. Even in the darkest conditions the front light doesn’t pull off illuminating your way.
Through acceleration sensors, the EVO21 detects when you slow down or come to a stop — then the brake warning lights on the back of the helmet are automatically activated. The included handlebar remote control can also be used to activate the turning lights, meaning you can signal a turn without taking your hands off the handlebar. When a turn is signaled, the rear LEDs give off a chase pattern around the side of the helmet on the corresponding side, just like a high-end motor vehicle’s turn signal.
For additional visibility, the front light of the helmet not only covers a lot of width, but also offers an angle of 45° vertically — this ensures that you are still visible when head down.
I found that, in combination with my Garmin Varia rear light, that the helmet gave another point of visibility which is much closer to being at eye level with the large vehicles that dominate the roads here in Colorado.
The EVO21 is equipped with a fall detection system which will activate an SOS alert. This detects falls from a height of more than 1.5 meters and triggers an SMS to an emergency contact within 90 seconds after a fall. That message contains the riders exact GPS position. If you’re conscious and uninjured after a fall, the SOS system gives you a 90-second window to turn off the alarm.
Thankfully, I didn’t crash while wearing the helmet. So instead, I gave it a few drops in the backyard. I’m happy to report it worked every-time. It also never threw a false alarm despite taking it out on a rough gravel ride.
Smart tech means a built in battery. The helmet is charged at the rear via a magnetic USB cable. It works well, charges relatively quickly, and gives around 10 hours of battery life. It does use a proprietary cable though, so if you’re traveling bring it along and if you lose it you’ll be SOL.
Waterproofing is rated at IPX5, which means the helmet can resist a sustained, low-pressure water. Rain and sweat shouldn’t bother it and didn’t in my testing. The charging port is at the rear, facing down and tucked behind a rubber cover, so it’s well protected too.
Thanks to the intelligent on/off function, the helmet automatically turns on within four seconds when you put it on your head — and turns off quickly when you take it off too. Thanks to an ambient light sensor, the EVO21 can turn on automatically in the dark. In bright ambient light, it dims the lights, but the turn signals and brake lights can still be activated.
LIVALL’s app shows the battery level in percentage so you can see when you need to plug it in.
Value wise, LIVALL’s EVO21 really delivers. Tech features aside, it’s a high quality, comfortable and well built helmet in its own right. The tech is unobtrusive, functional, and well thought out. It adds rider visibility and clear signaling to motorists of rider intentions while slowing, stopping and turning. If you ride on busy road and in mixed lighting conditions, it’s a great option.
More info at LIVALL –>