Charlie King tries Supair’s new lightweight paragliding helmet with inbuilt visor.
Supair have recently brought out the Supairvisor, an open-face helmet with an integrated full-face visor. It is EN966 and UE/89/686/CEE certified and Supair say the visor offers 100% protection against UVA and UVB rays, and is rated S3 – the same as my Altitude sunglasses.
Visor helmets are popular among cross-country pilots because they protect your face from being sun and wind blasted, which not only means less chance of sunburn, but it can reduce fatigue too. For cloudy conditions the visor is more versatile than sunglasses, because you can lift it up and down as often as you like during the flight – much easier than taking sunglasses on and off. Spectacle-wearers can keep their usual glasses on underneath the visor too which makes life easier.
The Supairvisor’s visor is long, extending almost down to the chin, so it protects your whole face and there is no visor-edge to get in the way of your field of vision. There is a flipside to this: the helmet also reduces what you can hear, and you lose the information the wind in your face tells you, so it can make you feel a bit detached, like flying in a bubble. I also noticed some wind noise inside the helmet with the visor down that I’ve never had with an open helmet.
Fit-wise, the Supairvisor is available in two sizes, 56-58cm or 58-61cm. It has an adjustable chin strap and a size-adjustment wheel at the base of the skull so you can really get the perfect fit for your head. It weighs around 710g with the visor, and it did feel slightly heavier to wear than my non-visor Icaro Nerv helmet. For comparison, the latest Nerv with (smaller) visor weighs 620g, according to Icaro2000’s website.
The Supairvisor is a nice-looking helmet, a matt finish in either Petrol Green or Black Grey, with suede-feel fabric trims around the ear flaps (which are not removable) and around the back where the adjustment wheel is. It has lots of vents that can be opened or closed to adjust for temperature.
The visor is bright and clear with a full field of vision. It’s scratch-resistant, and the helmet comes with a protective bag and a visor protector. If it does get damaged, the visor can be easily replaced. RRP €190 including taxes.
Published in issue 223 (September 2021)