Monday 18 January 2021

Charles Owen MS1 Pro Review

 I’m not sure if “review” is the right title for this. Helmet fit is such an individual thing, so I expect that you’re really going to have to look and try things on for yourself!

That being said, a few of you were interested in my new helmet, and I can tell you how it's working for me! I took a few extra pictures of it this weekend and will do my best to describe my initial impressions of it.

First thing you need to know: the black version doesn't come with a cover. You need to order that separately if you don't have one. They do come in some pretty neat colors for a bit more $ though, and those options come with a black cover included. 

Leather harness that's pretty secure feeling and comfortable despite how substantial it looks.

Underside shows you the construction - outer shell, foam, MIPS liner (yellow), and removable washable liner.

As you can see from the underside, while this is a nice enough helmet, it's not super fancy. I'm 99.9% sure this is the JS1 helmet with MIPS added. And maybe I'm just too cheap, but there's ~$125 difference for that flimsy yellow piece of plastic. I'll pay it, because the research makes sense to me and I assume that's what I'm paying for. You might want to do your own search on helmet testing and technology though and make your own choices. Sadly, there's not as much impartial info out there as maybe there should be. 

This particular model has SEI certification to ASTM F1163-15, Kitemarks to VG1 01-040 2014-12 and PAS015:2011, and a CE mark to VG1 01-040 2014-12. The JS1 Pro is ASTM F1163-15, PAS015:2011, VG1 01-040 2014-12 according to the Charles Owen website.

Overall, I really like the fit and feel of this helmet. I ended up with a 58 round fit, and while I don't really have trouble finding helmets that fit well, this is probably the first that is comfortable enough I actually forget it's on. It's not summer yet, but we've had a very mild January (12 degrees Celsius yesterday) and I've had some good rides in it where I've been down to a t-shirt and still found it light and comfortable feeling. It feels like a nice compromise between the bigger, more expensive xc helmets and a lighter, ventilated schooling helmet.

Helmet in action.

Helmet modeling is not my calling ;)



  1. I am glad it is working for you. I am intrigued by the MIPS.

    1. I think the idea makes sense, but I didn't have luck finding a bunch of hard numbers for this post...some studies said 10% more effective, others said more, depending on the type of impact. I guess there is an issue with liability if they promote it as "x% safer!" and someone gets hurt anyway.

  2. it looks like a much more streamlined fit for you compared to the skull cap i currently have for myself. i haven't tried on a charles owen in like, erm, a decade?? but maybe next time i go for a new skull cap i'll give one a try.

    1. I have a smaller face and some helmets totally overwhelm me and give me a mushroom head. I agree this one seems a lot less bulky than most!