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Lazer have been making crash helmets for a long time. Since 1919 to be precise. So they ought to know a thing or two about making skid lids. We’ve not reviewed many Lazers (though their Monaco flip-up is excellent) so we thought we’d take a look at this cheaper, polycarb version and see if it can compete in what’s a hotly contested segment of the helmet market full of great alternatives.
- SHARP 4 star safety rated (out of 5)
- 1.8kg (quite heavy)
- Ventilation & comfort both good
- Integral sun visor
- Pinlock anti-fog insert in the box
- Sizes XS-XL (53/54 – 61/62)
- Price range: £120-£190 depending on model
Safety & shell
Let’s start off by looking at safety – after all that’s why you buy a helmet. While the Paname is ECE 22/05 approved (like all motorcycle crash helmets on sale in the EU) it has also been independently tested by SHARP and scored a creditable four stars out of five. That’s a solid rating. And because it’s a flip-up helmet, SHARP also note the number of times the chin guard opened during these tests. In the Paname’s case it opened 10% of the time; which is actually pretty reasonable among modular lids. We’ll leave it to you to decide whether that’s a good enough rate for you; obviously it’s not ideal for your chin guard to open in an accident!
According to the Lazer website, the Paname has an ‘injected’ shell which we take to mean an injected polycarbonate thermoplastic shell. Which is fine; polycarb helmets perform very well, but tend to be used on cheaper helmets because they’re cheaper to fabricate and the raw material is cheaper in the first place. It also has a tri-composite EPS lining, meaning the polystyrene inside the helmet is triple-density, with the less dense polystyrene there to absorb smaller knocks and shakes while the heavier density is there to absorb the bigger impacts. Which should all mean it’s better at absorbing an impact and will pass less of the impact through to your head. And from the SHARP rating, it seems to do the trick.
It’s secured with a micrometric fastener which is nice and easy to use and to adjust and, for those of you who like your helmet to be seen, it has a scotch reflective zone on the rear of the neck for night time visibility. The Paname is available in sizes Sizes XS-XL (53/54 – 61/62).
Like many modular helmets, the Lazer Paname isn’t the quietest helmet (look here if a quiet helmet is what you’re after). Modulars need to cater for extra hardware to allow the chin guard to rotate and that tends to mean they have less space for noise-reducing padding. However some owners have remarked that it’s quieter than most modulars (and even some full face lids) and is broadly OK up to motorway speeds where you’ll need to be wearing ear plugs to keep things nice and quiet. Most of us tend to wear plugs anyhow. If you do, the noise levels should be fine.
Overall, owners rate ventilation pretty highly. It’s got a couple of closable chin vents and three effective vents on the forehead which do a decent job of pulling in air, taking it round the scalp and exiting through the couple of exhausts at the rear (below). The chin vent switch is a bit fiddly, especially for gloved hands, but it’s OK once you get the hang of it. The chin vents also do a reasonable job of bringing air over the visor to keep it fog-free, however you’ll probably need to keep the visor cracked in cold weather – or fit the Pinlock.
Looking to buy a Lazer?
We recommend SportsBikeShop (UK) for outstanding service, great prices (including price match) and free delivery. Or if you prefer to buy in Euros, you could try FC-Moto (Ger) who carry a really wide range of helmets with competitive prices. Please see here for more info on these retailers or click the links to go straight to their Lazer helmets pages where you'll find the latest helmet designs and deals.
The Paname comes with a main clear visor and an internal, UV light protecting sun visor. The sun visor is lowered by using the slider on the left hand side of the helmet. It’s easy to use and, because it’s a slider, means you can lower the visor to any degree you like which owners really like, commenting it’s particularly important when the sun’s low in the sky and you need small degrees of adjustment. It’s also really easy to change – just lower the visor, jerk it down and out it comes.
The main visor has a nice wide aperture; great for good peripheral vision and when you’re doing life savers before turning. It opens on a ratchet and seats well with no owners reporting leakage from the seal. It comes with a Pinlock anti-fog in the box – Pinlock’s are clear anti-fog inserts that stop your visor fogging up, even when cold, raining and with no ventilation. So that’s good. What’s not so good – is that one or two owners have said the Pinlock sits too low on the visor and the top of it can get in your eye line when riding. I think that’s probably slightly dependent on the bike you ride too – sportier positions where your head’s down will be more prone to this that more upright touring positions.
Removal of the main visor isn’t the easiest – when compared to some of the competition anyhow – but it’s not tricky either. It needs a quarter turn of the pivot screw to pull it free, and that’s about it. It does need a tool though, so compared to the best in class which usually need either a tab-flicking or a lug-pulling and they pop out, it’s not the best. But in the scheme of things, it’s still pretty simple.
The chin guard opens by pressing a button on the inside of the guard. This works well and means you can easily open the guard with one hand. As mentioned earlier, when in its down and locked position, the guard stayed locked and closed in 90% of impacts – which is actually quite a good rate for a modular helmet. But it’s your call whether that’s good enough for you!
No problems reported here. The Lazer Paname comes with the usual anti-bacterial and sweat-wicking interior liner (removable and washable) and, as long as you get the right fitting in the first place, owners say it’s very comfortable. It also has their (ludicrously named) Morpho System which means you can buy different cheek and head pads to get the fitting just right. Ludicrously named but very useful if you find the helmet’s not quite right after purchase.
Other stuff – glasses, bluetooth, guards
Like most flip-up helmets, the Paname is great for glasses wearers – open up the front, pop your glasses on and away you go; much less fiddling than with a full face helmet. What you might find a bit weird if you’re not used to a flip up, is the weight. Like many flip ups, the Lazser Paname is heavier than the equivalent full face (all that mechanical gubbins to fit in all adds weight). Plus the weight can feel a bit oddly distributed at times, especially when the chin guard is up. Of course it’s relative, 400g here or there isn’t going to be a deal breaker for most of us, but it’s worth being aware of; if you’re wanting a light weight lid, then the Paname’s probably not for you.
The Paname also comes with a breath guard and chin curtain in the box, which can help with visor demisting and reducing noise, and there’s the usual helmet bag. If you’re buying through our affiliate link, at the time of reviewing, there’s a free bluetooth kit included in the deal, which is nice. Though people are moaning that, while the microphone fits, there’s not really anywhere to fix it. Ooops!
Helmet buying guides
If you need any help on buying a helmet, you might want to check out our Guides page where there’s some useful information on things like fitting or safety tests.
The Lazer Paname is a good solid helmet. It’s well built, has some useful features and owners think it performs well – especially at the price. Ventilation and comfort are both good and it’s reasonably quiet too (at least, for a modular). If you’re on a budget and looking for a flip-up helmet with sun visor, that offers good levels of protection, then you can’t go wrong with the Lazer Paname.
It’s a bit more expensive than the Paname, but the Caberg Duke is an excellent, 5 star rated modular polycarbonate helmet. It’s lighter and quieter than the Lazer too, and looks pretty cool to boot (sorry Lazer!) We like the Caberg Tourmax too, though it hasn’t been SHARP rated yet. Click this link to check out all our flip-up/modular helmet reviews.
Best places to buy a Lazer crash helmet?
We've chosen a couple of great places to buy from - whether it's a Lazer or any other helmet/gear.
If you want piece of mind when you buy, SportsBikeShop are based in the UK and offer outstanding service (9.8/10 on Trustpilot) including free UK delivery and 365 day refunds. They're competitively priced too (with price match) and are our recommended retailer for quality of service.
FC-Moto widely offers some of the best € prices, has a really wide range of helmets and is based in Germany. Note if you buy from FCMoto you'll have to add shipping charges on top if you're outside Germany. Note: please read FC Moto's entry here before ordering.
Please click any picture/link to visit their Lazer helmets pages where you can see all the latest graphics and deals. And if you buy from any store, we get a small sum from the sale at no extra cost to you - a massive THANKS (it's how we finance the site)!
Definitely want a Lazer?
Here you'll find all our Lazer crash helmet reviews and previews including full face, flip-up and open face helmets.