Shark Skwal 2 review: a mid-priced polycarbonate street helmet with LEDs
The original Skwal helmet has only been with us a couple of years but Shark has decided it’s time for a revamp.
Which is a bit surprising, since the first Skwal is both highly rated by owners and scored well in the SHARP helmet safety test, so should offer great accident protection too.
In our original Skwal 1 helmet review, it scored 3.9 out of 5 stars overall, with the only thing that really let the helmet down being the fact that it was a bit noisy; though of course that’s not a deal breaker for most of us who wear ear plugs.
However, that was one of the goals Shark had for the Skwal 2 – to improve soundproofing along with tweaking the aerodynamics to improve stability. They also say they’ve brightened up the LEDs that you’ll find front and rear on the Skwal 2.
So let’s have a look over what the new Shark Skwal 2 has to offer for its slightly heftier price point.
- Thermoplastic full face helmet
- Integrated LEDs front and rear
- Drop down sun visor
- Pinlock Max Vision antifog insert included
- Micrometric fastener
- Internal groove for glasses
- 5 year warranty
- Sizes XS-XL
- Weighs around 1.5Kg
- Expect to pay £190-£220 (depending on graphics)
Looking to buy a Shark?
We recommend Sportsbikeshop (UK), GetGeared (UK) and Motoin (Ger) all for great service and competitive prices. Please click any link to see their full range and latest prices, or see here for more info on these retailers.
The old Skwal did very well in the SHARP safety test, scoring a very creditable 4/5 stars.
In the last Skwal helmet review, we commented that every polycarbonate Shark helmet has scored at least four stars in the SHARP test (at least, for the last few years they have).
Well, since that first Skwal was tested back in 2015, there’s been a couple of other polycarbonate Shark helmets tested – including the D-Skwal (that’s a Skwal without any LEDs) and the flip-front Evo-One modular.
And guess what? Yep, both scored four stars for safety as well!
The Shark Skwal 2 shares a similar, if tweaked, helmet shell shape and similar internals. So if we were betting folks, we’d have to say we’d expect the Skwal 2 will probably score four stars for safety in the SHARP test too. Meaning you can probably rely on it to do its job well if the worst happens and you hit the deck.
Of course, the main helmet test in Europe that every helmet has to pass is the ECE 22-05 test and the Skwal has passed that too.
Other than these lab tests, there’s a bunch of other features that the Skwal 2 has that help with safety.
The most obvious of these with the Skwal 2 is the continued use of LED lights front and rear that we saw with the Skwal 1.
The Skwal 2 has new brighter LEDs than the old helmet and of course they’re powered by a similar integrated battery pack that’s charged by an (included) USB charger.
If you’re looking for the lights on the photos, you can see them in green: one pair above the visor and another pair below at the front of the helmet. There’s another pair to the rear too, just below the rear spoiler.
Other safety features include a quick-release micrometric fastener on the strap and a Pinlock Max Vision insert to keep your vision fog-free (included in the box).
Owners of the first gen Skwal rated it at somewhere between average to noisy when it comes to helmet noise, depending on who you asked.
Well, Shark reckon they’ve improved the ‘autoseal’ visor system and revised the aerodynamics on the new helmet: all with a view to make the Skwal 2 both more stable and quieter.
Don’t expect to ride in a Skwal 2 without ear plugs (same goes for any helmet if you’re doing anything more than a handful of urban, low speed miles), but hopefully that means it’s an improvement over the old Skwal.
The Skwal 2 has a single chin vent and a single forehead vent operated by a small slider.
As we saw with the last Skwal, the system was basic but worked reasonably well. And since Shark hasn’t made any noises about improving the ventilation, we’d expect the vents in the Skwal 2 to be adequate as well.
One thing that’s really welcome is the addition of a Pinlock Max Vision anti-fog insert (‘free’ in the box) to help out the ventilation around the visor and keep things from misting up in all but the most intense situations.
The visor works on a ratchet with the opening tab on the left hand side only.
Shark reckon they’ve improved the visor system to make for a tighter fit and to improve aerodynamics.
And the inclusion of a Pinlock Max Vision (the anti-fog insert that covers almost the entire internal surface of the visor) is really welcome as they’re one of the best ways to keep your visor fog-free.
There’s a drop-down sun visor on the Shark Skwal 2 which is operated by rotating the pointy dial you can see on the left hand side of the visor pivot.
There’s not a massive amount to say about the sun visor – other than the mechanism on the Skwal 1 was reckoned to work well by owners, and this one looks more or less identical.
If you’ve not tried a helmet with a sun visor, we recommend them as they’re mighty convenient.
The sun visor on the Shark Skwal 2 offers UV 380 protection. That’s the current European standard level and should cut out all potentially damaging UV rays.
Having said that, your standard clear polycarbonate visor will cut out anywhere between 90-99% of UV light. But the addition of a sun visor should cut out the rest and, of course, make it easier to ride in bright sunhlight!
Comfort and Sizing
Inside the Skwal 2, there’s a fully removable/washable comfort lining that contains glasses grooves to comfortably accommodate glasses stems.
Shark use a bamboo-based material inside too. That’s a nice soft lining that’s both antibacterial/hypoallergenic and helps with moisture (sweat) wicking.
The last Skwal was universally liked for being a comfortable helmet so we’ve no reason to suspect any less from the Skwal 2.
Just make sure you follow our fitting guide to make sure you measure your head correctly and know what to look for when you receive your new helmet.
Looks & Graphics
Shark launched the Skwal 2 with a cracking range of graphics – including a Lorenzo rep and the usual range of plain black and white versions.
You’ll find examples of some of these up and down the page but for the latest graphics and Shark Skwal deals, please click the links to our recommended motorcycle gear and helmet retailers below.
Best places to buy a Shark crash helmet?We've chosen three of the best places to buy from - whether it's a Shark or any other helmet/gear. If you want piece of mind when you buy, SportsBikeShop is based in the UK and offers outstanding service (9.8/10 on Trustpilot) including 365 day refunds. They usually have competitive prices too and are our recommended retailer for excellent quality of service. Or try Motoin (Germany). They get great feedback (4.9 and 4.86 out of 5 on Idealo and eTrustedshops at the time of writing) though note, there's a small delivery charge so factor that in (see here for details). GetGeared is another recommended UK retailer, also with a no-quibble 365 day returns policy, free delivery and score of 9/10 for customer service on Trustpilot. Please click any picture below to visit their Shark helmets page where you can see all the latest colour schemes and prices. 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.
Shark Skwal 2 Video
Until there’s a better video online, we’ll have to make do with this quick 30s video showing you around the Skwal 2.
Other stuff – fasteners, audio, weight, glasses, warranty
The Skwal 2 comes with a micrometric fastener (they’re safe and really easy to use).
It’s designed to be Sharktooth bluetooth communicator ready. Or at least – as Shark put it – there’s a ‘planned location for Sharktooth bluetooth’.
The Skwal 2 weighs around 1.5kg – that’s about the average weight for a full face helmet so you shouldn’t have any problems there.
If you wear glasses – or like to wear sunglasses – then there’s a glasses groove inside the Skwal 2 so it should accommodate your glasses without a problem.
Evey Shark helmet comes with a five year warranty.
The Shark Skwal range has established itself as a great all-rounder.
It’s not just ‘the helmet with the LEDs on it’ but it works well as a helmet.
The old Skwal was a bit noisy and it can be a pain having another thing to remember to charge up before you go out for a ride (which I guess is why they came out with the ‘no lights’ D-Skwal) but other than that, it was a well liked lid.
And now, Shark has improved it and launched the Skwal 2. Brighter lights, improved aero to reduce buffeting and noise, a slightly redesigned visor system – and we expect it’ll be just as safe as the old Skwal’s 4 star safety rating.
All in all – if you’re after a decent all rounder crash helmet and like the idea of children pointing and staring at your LED-festooned noggin as you ride by, then the Skwal 2 might well be the one for you.
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 Shark Skwal 2?
There’s a stack of great alternatives to the Shark Skwal 2 – unless of course you’re after a helmet with built in LEDs in which case the only alternative is the old Shark Skwal 1!
If you’d rather keep your dosh in your back pocket, then take a look at the more budget MT Thunder 3. It’s half the price of the Skwal yet scores 4 stars for safety.
Or, if you can stretch your budget a bit further than the Shark and want something a bit sportier, then the Bell Star entry level helmet might be spot on. SHARP 5 star safety rated, good ventilation, pretty quiet (for a sportsbike helmet!), light and owners love em.
For other alternatives – check out our Smart Filters page to quickly zoom in on your ideal helmet.