Nolan N85 full face helmet review

Summary: A good quality, medium priced full faced helmet that features an integral sun visor and Pinlock anti-fog visor. It’s also SHARP 4 star safety rated (which is very good!)

Note: this helmet is now discontinued. Visit our main Nolan Helmets review page for current Nolan helmets.

  • SHARP 4 Star safety rated (out of 5)
  • In-built sun visor
  • Polycarbonate shell
  • Pinlock-ready visor
  • 1.5Kg
  • Prices typically range from £110-£130

Looking to buy a Nolan?

We recommend Motoin (Ger) for quality service and decent prices (even with the current £-€ exchange rate). Or you can click through to the Nolan helmets pages at Amazon UK if you prefer to buy from them. Please see here for more info on these stores or click the links to go straight to their Nolan helmet pages where you'll find the latest designs and deals.

The Nolan N85 is in a competitive sector in the crash helmets market. It’s a full face helmet with integral sun visor that scores well in the crash helmet safety tests – but it’s the price point that’s particularly exciting. It’s not the cheapest by any stretch but it is well featured for this price point- which is undoubtedly where many of us live.

The N85 has a polycarbonate shell which will put off quite a few people I reckon. Polycarbonate shells offer perfectly good protection but they are a little less durable than fibreglass or composite helmets and prone to weaken if you don’t look after them. This helmet, like all crash helmets for sale in the EU, has passed the EC 22.05 regulation 22 test but it’s also scored highly on the SHARP test (like many 4 star helmets showing only a slight weakness on the side-impact tests).

nolan n85 crash helmet 2
In silver with the N-Com flap visible.

One of the key selling points of the N85 is the integral sun visor. It’s operated by a little lever on the left hand side of the helmet. There are a couple of reports that it’s a bit fiddly and that the smoked visor can catch on the lining so it’s worth checking out on the one you buy to make sure it operates correctly. The sun visor is anti scratch too.

The main visor is pinlock-enabled and there’s a Pinlock included in the package. We reckon pinlocks are the dbs as far as anti-fog goes so this is a fantastic inclusion. The visor is another that can be removed without tools (it has a button to press to remove the visor) and users report it has a nice solid movement and feel to it. It’s also labelled as giving UV 400 protection.

Onto ventilation. The N85 has a couple of vents on the forehead which are closeable individually and are fiddly with gloved hands. It also has a single central chin vent. It has a large rear exhaust vent along the rear of the helmet. The idea of this is that the helmet produces a little vacuum behind it on the move which actively pulls air from the helmet, drawing it in towards the front. It works effectively, even in hot weather, and there’s a couple of vents that exit directly onto the scalp inside the helmet to keep the head cool.

It’s widely reported that the N85 is pretty comfortable. The lining is anti-bac/fungal treated and fully removable and washable, including the cheek pads. The chin strap is the usual Microlock system, which is good. A couple of buyers said the helmet was a little noisy compared to other helmets they’d used – the overall opinion seems to be that it’s about average.

There’s also a little flap on the side of the helmet which can be removed so you can slot in the Nolan N-Com communicator which is sold separately. That’s pretty cool, if you want to go with the N-com basic version but it can be tricky to fit in any non-N-Com kit (or even retro-fit the N-Com bluetooth) so best to check it’ll fit before you buy.

The Nolan N85 is a medium-priced helmet but for the price you get a reasonable specification and some good features – including the integral sun screen which riders found very useful. It’s a sound buy for the money – especially as it’s being pretty well discounted around the place. It’s a good buy compared to other similarly specced crash helmets for sale. Recommended.

If you want to check out more helmets, check out our Crash Helmets Reviews section or click the brand name in the main menu.

If you’ve used a Nolan 85 – we’d love to hear what you thought of it by using the comments box below. Thanks!

Best place to buy this Nolan crash helmet?

Motoin (Germany) get great feedback (4.9 and 4.5 out of 5 on Idealo and eTrustedshops at the time of writing) though note, there's a delivery charge to ship outside of Germany, so factor that in (see here for details).

Or you can jump through to the Nolan helmets pages at Amazon UK if you prefer to buy from there - but make sure you only buy from the most reputable sellers.

Please click any picture below to visit their Nolan helmets pages. And if you buy from any, we get a small sum from the sale at no extra cost to you - a massive THANKS! (it's how we finance the site). Click here for more info on our recommended retailers.

Click above to drop onto their Nolan helmets pages or *quick view retailer T&Cs here.

Definitely want a Nolan?

Here you'll find all our Nolan crash helmet reviews and previews including full face, flip-up and open face helmets.


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