AGV Compact ST: one of the safest modular helmets around?

AGV-Compact-ST-featured

Review of the AGV Compact ST modular helmet

AGV is a name that’s synonimous with safety. If you don’t have time to shop around but want a safe helmet for your motorcycle, then you can pretty well always trust an AGV.

We’ll bang on a bit more about protection in the Safety section below. But for the meantime, the AGV Compact ST (also known as the AGV Numo Evo ST in the US) is AGV’s latest flip-up helmet.

It’s a thermoplastic helmet, and is a slight update on their old AGV Compact helmet. That means it’s at the budget end of the market, designed for general urban/touring riding but with a slightly improved interior and a few tweaks here and there over the old helmet.

But because it’s a lower priced all-rounder, that’s not to say it won’t perform. It’s got an excellent SHARP safety rating along with drop down sun visor and comes with a Pinlock antifog insert included in the box.

Meaning it could well be worth considering if you’re looking for a new modular helmet that’s not going to put a massive dent in your monthly beer money.

So read on dear friend to find out more about the AGV Compact ST.

AGV Numo Evo solid white helmet side view
Gloss white Compact ST with chin bar fully raised and sun visor fully dropped
  • Modular Helmet
  • SHARP 4 Star safety rated
  • Dual Homologated (ECE)
  • Thermoplastic shell
  • Drop down sun visor
  • Pinlock antifog visor included
  • Micrometric fastener
  • 1.8Kg (3.9lbs) heavy for a modular
  • Sizes XS-XXL
  • Expect to pay £175-£240

Best places to buy an AGV Compact ST?

Please click below to visit the AGV Compact ST helmets pages at our recommended stores. And if you buy from one, we get a small sum from the sale at no extra cost to you – a massive THANKS! (it’s how we finance the site).

Buy from SportsBikeShop

Safety

 (more about helmet safety)

OK, straight to it. The AGV Compact ST has the full range of safety ratings you’ll be looking for on a helmet.

That means it’s ECE approved (and DOT if you buy one in the US) – and it’s both P/J homologated, meaning it’s legal to ride with the chin bar up or down in Europe (not all flip-front helmets are).

The ECE version has also been safety tested by SHARP and – just like the old AGV Compact – it scored a hefty 4/5 stars, with the chin bar staying locked and closed 100% of the times throughout testing.

AGV Numo Evo ST Portland helmet front view
Classy Compact ST Portland.

That last score is pretty rare for a flip-front helmet and just what you’ll be looking for when you buy any modular helmet. You need to trust that chin bar’s gonna stay put if you hit the tarmac and SHARP’s test means you can be confident it will on the Compact ST.

OK, given it’s scored so well in various safety tests, there’s probably not much more point in mentioning it’s only produced in one shell size (not a great feature) because the bottom line is it’s been shown repeatedly in the lab that it’s up there with the best of em.

But there are also some features that you should be looking for in your helmet to keep you out of trouble in the first place. And in the case of the Compact ST it’s got:

AGV compact ST 8ms SHARP test results
Image/test copyright sharp.dft.gov.uk – AGV Compact ST @ 8.5m/s
  • Visor system – this one’s Pinlock ready with a Pinlock anti fog insert in the box to keep your vision fog-free.
  • Fastener – a micrometric fastener that’s safe and mega easy to use (but see D-ring below).
  • Dual homologated – if you want to ride legally in Europe with the chin bar up, you need a dual homologated modular.
  • Sun visor – great for stopping dazzling when the sun’s in your eyes.

Safety features you might want that’re missing on the Compact ST.

  • EQRS – or emergency quick release system. That’s a way for medics to more easily remove your helmet after an accident.
  • 5 Star safety rating – these are few and far between but buying a helmet with a max rating kinda makes sense (though the Compact ST is still very good in this respect).
  • Double D ring fastener – the good thing about D rings is that you have to adjust them every time. That’s great if you’re the kind of person who tightens it up diligently every time. Not so great if you’re not.

As you can see by SHARPs 8.5m/s test result graphic above, the ST was slightly less effective absorbing shocks on either side. But still, overall it’s an excellent score.

Helmet Noise

(more about helmet noise)

I think most of us would like a really quiet helmet, right? Well, if that’s you, then you probably want to go for a full face helmet because flip-front helmets are, in general, pretty loud lids. And more specifically you should probably go for one of these quietest helmets.

But if you’re looking at the Compact ST and hoping it’s a quiet helmet, well here’s the score.

AGV Compact ST Seattle red whte blue helmet front view
Front view of the Compact ST In Seattle graphics showing front air vents

There are always lots of different opinions about how noisy every single helmet is (for all the reasons discussed here!) – and there are some folks who call the Compact ST quiet. But they’re far outweighed by the number of people who says it’s either a loud helmet – or even go as far as saying it’s deafeningly loud.

Cutting through the noise in search of an average, it seems the Compact ST is somewhere around ‘loudish’ if you’re comparing it to other modulars – to ‘loud’ in comparison to most other helmets including full face lids.

Like lots of folks commented though – you should always shove in some decent ear plugs anyway, and if you do, you should find the Compact ST just fine.

Ventilation

(more about helmet ventilation)

Like the old Compact, the Compact ST uses what AGV calls its Integrated Ventilation System or IVS.

In the case of the Compact ST, that’s a dual chin vent operated by a single slider and two separate forehead vents which are independently controlled by separate sliders.

These feed air through the helmet shell, into channels inside the helmet EPS shock absorbing liner and through to your scalp.

The word from owners is that the system works OK but not amazing – with cooling airflow noticeable but not as good as some of the best venting helmets.

That shouldn’t be too much of a problem in temperate places but if you live somewhere hot where venting is a deal breaker, you might want to look elsewhere.

In the UK and other countries where the Compact ST comes with a Pinlock antifog in the box, your visor should be nice and clear in most circumstances anyway so fit that and average venting might well be enough.

Visor

(more about visors)

The visor on the AGV Compact ST is a quick release visor that’s fitted with pins to take a Pinlock anti-fog insert; and it’s got a visor opening tab conveniently placed bottom left.

AGV Compact ST Mono matt grey helmet side view
Plain matt grey AGV Compact ST Mono

It’s a nice and wide visor too to maximise peripheral vision, which is just what you need when riding in town. Plus the quick change visor is really convenient so you can quickly whip it off to clean it in the sink after a ride.

Unless you ride somewhere that’s perma-hot or you’re strictly a summer-only rider, you’re going to want to fit a Pinlock anti-fog insert onto the back of your visor. That’s one of the most effective ways of keeping your visor from fogging up because it adds a moisture absorbing layer to the inside of the visor to stop condensation forming.

Thankfully the AGV Compact ST comes out of the box with Pinlock pins fitted onto the main visor as well as £30s worth of Pinlock antifog insert. Well worth having.

Sun Visor

(more about sun visors)

The sun visor on the AGV Compact ST is pretty much the same as on the old Compact.

AGV-Compact-Vermont-helmet-rear-view-chin-bar-up
AGV Compact vermont in white/black/red

That means it’s operated by a lever on the left hand side of the helmet, drops down nice and low and cuts out quite a bit of direct sunlight.

Integrated sun visors legally can’t be too dark so as to obscure vision but they’re good for keeping you safe and comfortable in all but the most dazzling sun.

Chin Guard

(more about chin guards)

The chin guard on the AGV Compact ST gives pretty well all the functionality you need from a flip-up helmet except for maybe the ability to flip the chin guard right over to the back of the helmet like the Shark Evo-One 2, Roof Desmo or LS2 Valiant.

The Compact ST is pretty conventional in that respect, with the chin bar raising up to form a peak at the front of the helmet. But it is single-button operated for ease of use, and the locking mechanism includes metal clasp for extra strength to help keep it closed during an impact.

AGV Numo Evo ST gloss black modular helmt rear viewIt’s also got a chin bar lock so you can lock it open when raised and there’s no possibility of it dropping down when you really don’t want it to – like when you emergency stop.

In fact, it’s seemingly so safe that during every one of SHARPs 32 impact tests on the ECE version of the Compact ST, the chin guard stayed locked and closed.

That’s something only a handful of modular helmets can boast – and should give you a good level of confidence that it’ll stay closed and protecting your face if you ever need it to.

Overall, the chin bar system on the Compact ST is fuss-free and works fine.

Comfort and Sizing

(more about comfort and sizing)

There’s a washable/removable lining inside the Compact ST – using a material called Shalimar for most of it but with Ritmo fabric for the cheek pads – see our guide to helmet materials for more info.

The inside of the Compact ST is one of the major changes over the old helmet. Owners found the old helmet comfortable – and the vast majority find the Compact ST really comfy too.

The fabrics inside are moisture wicking and treated with antibac so should keep things reasonably box-fresh for a while. But when things need a bit of a refresh, you can pull it all out and machine or hand wash it to freshen it up again.

AGV Numo Evo vermont helmet side view
Another Vermont – this time in black and hi viz

The Compact ST is designed to suit medium oval head shapes (that’s most of us). And the word from owners is that the sizing’s spot on… so simply follow our helmet fitting guide to find your correct measurements and order the right size.

Get the correct size and you should find the Compact ST a really comfortable helmet because owners say the materials are great and it’s all day comfy.

Looks & Graphics

The Compact ST looks similar to most of AGVs current range of sportsbike helmets. With that pointy ‘hawks bill’ chin bar, they’re designed to cut through the air and give stability at speed – as well as look pretty cool.

But the ST isn’t a sportsbike helmet so you’ll find the graphics are a bit more conservative than your typical race-rep. There’s the Mono range which are the solid black/white versions – along with an unusual Mono mid grey version.

The Vermont graphics come in hi vis yellow, black or white; the Boston in Blue/white and  black/grey; and the Seattle in Black/grey with red or yellow highlights or a blue white.

Actually, there’s so many variants, we can only give you a taster on this page. So feel free to click your way through to our recommended retailers below where you’ll find a much wider selection of designs.

Best places to buy an AGV Compact ST helmet?

Please click below to visit the AGV Compact ST helmets pages at our recommended stores. And if you buy from one, we get a small sum from the sale at no extra cost to you – a massive THANKS! (it’s how we finance the site).

Buy from SportsBikeShop

AGV Compact ST Video

Here’s a decent 4m look around the US version of the Compact ST – it’s called the Numo Evo ST over there.

Other stuff – fasteners, headsets, weight, glasses, aero, quality, warranty

Modular helmets tend to be heavier than full face helmets – I guess because there’s a load of extra mechanism needed in there to articulate that chin guard. But the AGV Compact ST is heavier than most because it’s got all that mechanism plus it’s made from thermoplastic, which tends to be a bit heavier than most other helmet materials.

agv numo evo st in matt black side view chin bar up
Matt black’s always a popular option

If you’re looking to fit a bluetooth headset into your Compact ST, then a few owners say it’s just fine – with a couple of Sena owners (including one with a Sena 10S) saying it fitted without any problems.

It weighs around 1.8Kg or 3.9lbs – so it’s no lightweight helmet, on paper at least. But according to owners and riders, it doesn’t feel very heavy at all when you’re wearing it – and when you’re on the road, that weight evaporates. So, all should be good there.

Same goes for glasses wearers. You can push on your glasses then close the chin bar (a couple of folks say it’s fiddly at first but fine once you get the hang of it) and we only found Compact ST owners who said it works fine with their glasses or sunglasses.

Aero and buffeting usually isn’t a problem with the latest AGV designs and it turns out the Compact ST is no different. Owners reckon it’s got great aero qualities with little to no buffeting and great stability, even at speed.

Lots of owners also say it’s a very well built helmet too. Great overall quality, good materials and excellent finish are common comments about the Compact ST.

AGV helmets come with a 2 year warranty.

Overall/Summary

The AGV Compact range is a tried-and-tested range of modular helmets and this new ST version has an updated interior lining along with a range of other features that might well put it at the top of your list if you’re looking for a cheaper flip-up helmet.

That includes a very good SHARP 4 star safety rating along with a 100% rating on the chin bar locking mechanism. It’s also got a useful drop down sun visor and Pinlock ready visor with Pinlock antifog included in the box. Which at this price is a real bonus.

And it’s got that all-important AGV badge and helmet design that means it’s a well-built helmet that really looks the part because it shares its DNA with the top of the range sportsbike lids used by Valentino Rossi on the MotoGP grid.

The old helmet was highly rated, only dropping big points for being noisy. And the same’s pretty much true for the updated AGV Compact ST.

Ok, the ventilation is about average and it’s not the lightest helmet on the block. But for the money, it’s a great performing flip-front helmet that the vast majority of owners say was a great investment.

So, if you’re looking for a great value modular helmet that’s as good for all day touring as it is for commuting, then the AGV Compact ST is a great buy.

If you buy one, just make sure you shove some ear plugs in the basket too!

Crash Helmet Buying Guides

For (hopefully!) other useful information to help you when buying your next helmet, check our various guides - or have a look at our top helmet lists where we've got the top 10 rated helmets overall and best budget/safest/full face/flip-up helmets.

Good Alternatives to the AGV Compact ST?

There’s some great modular helmets out there. Here’s a bunch which are all highly rated for safety as well as being great helmets.

hjc-is-max-2-crash-helmet-fluorescent-green-side-view
HJC IS-Max II in fluorescent green

HJCs IS-Max II is a favourite. It’s cheaper than the Compact, it’s slightly lighter, scored 4 SHARP stars for safety and has a sun visor too.

shark-evo-one-2-slasher-anthracite-motorcycle-helmet-side-view
Evo-One 2 Slasher with chin guard fully rotated

In fact, both the IS-Max II and the Shark Evo-One 2 are 4 star safety rated and scored 100% for chin guard too. The Shark has a sun visor and Pinlock in the box too – and it’s the type of modular where the chin bar rotates to the back of the helmet, if that’s the sort you’re looking for.

agv-sport-modular-hi-viz-motorbike-helmet
Hi vis Sport Modular

AGVs Sport Modular is a cracker too. It has a sun visor, Pinlock in the box, it’s 4 star safety rated too and is designed to work best on sportsbikes – hence the name. It’s light too (as light as many full face helmets) plus has an optically correct visor – though that all comes at a much higher price.

Other Modular Helmets

If you're after a new modular/flip-up helmet, they've never been more popular and there's a ton of choice out there. You can find our latest top 10 modular helmets list here or check out all our modular helmet reviews here. You can also visit our smart filters page where you can click the flip-up/modular check box then choose a few other features to find the best flip-up helmet for you.

Best places to buy an AGV Compact ST?

Please click below to visit the AGV Compact ST helmets pages at our recommended stores. And if you buy from one, we get a small sum from the sale at no extra cost to you – a massive THANKS! (it’s how we finance the site).

Buy from SportsBikeShop

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