Budget Buster crash helmet? Review of the MDS M13 full-face by AGV
MDS is AGV’s budget range of crash helmets, and the thermoplastic-shelled MDS M13 can be had for under £60, so is bound to be a popular offering from the Italian manufacturer. Produced using HIR-TH (that’s thermoplastic to you and me) it’s aimed at riders on a budget who want a quality product with a low price tag.
So that’s pretty much all of us then!
- MDS full face helmet (made by AGV)
- Thermoplastic Shell
- Quick Release Visor
- 4 Star SHARP rated
- 1 year warranty
- Sizes XS-XL
- Weight – 1.5Kg (about average)
- Available for under £60
Obviously, safety is paramount for both manufacturer and rider. So with SHARP awarding the MDS M13 a four star rating, it’s great to see AGV showing no sign of lowering their standards, even in their lower-priced range of helmets.
In the wider scheme of things, gaining a four star rating places the M13 up there with some £500 helmets; so in safety terms, you get a massive bang for your buck with the M13.
Of course, it’s no good having a high safety rating if it doesn’t stay put in an accident. The strap on the M13 is fastened with a micrometric fastner which are nice and easy to use and should be safe as houses as long as you keep it adjusted correctly.
Looking to buy an MDS helmet?
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A pretty standard ventilation system is fitted to the M13. That’s not massively surprising given the price, but as with most MDS’ or AGV’s, standard should do the job just fine for most of us.
The system consists of a lower triple inlet located under the visor and two horn-shaped upper vents on the forehead. The rear exhaust outlets consist of two sets of four vents which are set on the contour lines of the shell.
Air enters the triple chin bar inlet to ventilate the face and rear of the visor while the upper vents allow air to enter the helmet to (hopefully) keep your head cool. This is assisted by the rear exhaust vents being placed within the low pressure area at the back of the helmet, designed to draw out the warm stale air when you’re riding along.
But does it vent well? Well, from the noise we’ve heard out there, very few people mention how well the M13 vents – which is probably a good thing as most of us get pretty vocal when something’s not right. Having said that, we did find a couple of owners say that the ventilation’s good, so as long as you’re not riding in extreme temperatures, I’d guess it’ll probably work adequately for most of us.
The M13 comes with a clear visor as standard with an opening tab to the left (left or centre are probably the most convenient).
It operates on a ratchet and the visor has AGV’s XQRS or Xtra Quick Visor Removal System – that’s AGVs take on a toolless quick release visor. That’s a feature that’s always worth having and not always available on a budget helmet – get back after a ride in the winter rain or through the flies in summer and you’ll need to whip off your visor to give it a good clean in the sink. So a quick release visor is more or less essential these days.
One drawback is that the M13 doesn’t come with a Pinlock-ready visor – so if you’re after a helmet that won’t fog up in the rain or cold, we recommend you buy one of these helmets that either come with a Pinlock in the box or are Pinlock-ready.
Comfort & Sizing
The M13 is made in two helmet sizes and is available to fit head sizes XS to XL.
Two helmet sizes is pretty good for a budget helmet, meaning it’ll look more in proportion to your body size and, arguably, offer better protection than a helmet manufactured in only one shell size.
The interior lining is also fully removable and washable – again something we don’t always see in a budget helmet and well worth it, especially if you use your helmet on a commute or ride in heat where you’ll sweat a lot.
According to the AGV blurb, the M13 has a dry comfort lining with sanitized treatment. There’s no further details but that implies it’s moisture wicking and comes pre-treated with antibac – again, that’s good and up there with many mid-priced helmets.
Comfort is one thing that the MDS does well with heaps of owners reckoning that the lining’s comfortable and the helmet’s good for long days in the saddle without a problem – as always, so long as you get the fitment right in the first place.
Looks & Graphics
Standing out from the crowd is never easy but the MDS has five different designs/colours to help you give it a whirl.
From simple plain matt/gloss black and plain white versions to three different colours of the ‘Brush’ design; available in white/black, white/red and white/blue that you’ll see up and down the page.
Most owners love the look of their M13 and are particularly amazed at the build quality – especially at this low price point.
Check our recommended retailer links below to see the latest designs and prices.
Best place to buy an MDS Helmet?
If you found this helmet review useful and you’re interested in buying or checking out prices on an MDS helmet (or any other bike gear), please click the link to the page at SportsBikeShop. They're one of our recommended retailers with a 9.8/10 score on Trustpilot, 365 day refunds and free delivery in the UK. And if you buy from there, we get a small sum from the sale at no extra cost to you – THANKS! (It's how we pay for the site).
MDS M13 Videos
The only video we could find shows how the M13s quick release visor system works (it’s called a Street 12 visor) on what looks like a gloss black version of the M13.
The MDS M13 is a budget, no frills kind of crash helmet. But it’s true to say that, on paper at least, it looks like it’ll pack quite a punch. We know that AGV know how to make a great helmet and from what we can see so far, with the M13 you get decent quality, SHARP-tested levels of safety and a modern design, packaged into a value for money product.
At this price, and with this little-known brand attached to it, it’ll particularly attract scooter riders, commuters and riders who are new to biking. But with its SHARP four star rating, modern looks and great build quality and finishing (for the price) no doubt thanks to that AGV pedigree, it’s undoubtedly well worth the rest of us considering too.
So if you’re after a great value from your next helmet, then the MDS M13 has to be added to your ‘must check out’ list!
Alternatives to the MDS M13?
It’s amazing what you can get for a few quid these days. There’s some really great helmets to be had for well under £100 so we’ve chosen a few of the best for you to check out if you’re hunting for a new, budget, full face crash helmet.
There’s also a couple of helmets from Spanish maker MT, the MT Thunder is also 4 star safety rated and comes with a double-d ring fastener – again for around the same price as the M13. But there’s also a SHARP five star helmet available in the form of the MT Revenge – that’s another polycarbonate helmet but this one’s slightly pricier with prices starting at around £70 (though you can even get a carbon fibre version for £150!).
If you’re after a helmet from one of the better-known brands, Shark’s entry-level S600 starts at about £90. That’s SHARP four star rated too and comes with a Pinlock anti-fog insert in the box (which is worth about £30 alone) and comes with Shark’s 5 year warranty as opposed to the MDS M13’s one year. That makes it a really competitive package compared with the rest.
Finally, if you’re on a tight budget but want to try a flip-up helmet, then MDS’ MD200 is well worth looking over. Prices start at £70 but for that you get a SHARP 4 star rated polycarbonate flip-up with drop down sun visor.
You can check out the latest prices for all these helmets by clicking on the links within each review found above.