Simpson Outlaw Bandit: comfortable, safe… and mean as ****!


Simpson Outlaw motorcycle helmet review.

It seems like Texas based Simpson has been making helmets forever – but they only started off making auto helmets at the end of the 70’s before later moving on to motorcycle helmets. And yup, they all look very similar, with that hyper aggressive Predator-style in your face look that’s ideal for nakeds, muscle bikes and cruisers alike.

The Outlaw is the same helmet as the Outlaw Bandit you’ll find for sale around the place. It’s just Simpson doesn’t have the rights to the Bandit name in Europe. It’s not ECE rated in Europe either. You can buy one – using our links below. But if you’re caught riding it without an ECE sticker, you’ll be in trouble. So we recommend you check out the ECE rated – and better all-round helmet – Simpson Venom.

The Bandit isn’t visually that much different from most other Simpsons. But Simpson say they’ve slightly tweaked things on the Bandit to give it wider vision and better aero together with more generous chin vents to keep things cool.

A spot of practicality is always welcome. But let’s face it, you’re looking at a Simpson because it looks soo damn cool and aggressive. You buy one because you just have to have one.

The Simpson Outlaw has been out there, in one form or another, for a few years now. So here’s the lowdown on what owners reckon it’s like to live with…

Best places to buy a Simpson Outlaw?

The Outlaw has now been more or less discontinued, but you can still find the occasional helmet on Amazon. Please click below to visit the Simpson Outlaw helmets search page there, and if you buy from them, we get a small sum from the sale at no extra cost to you – a massive THANKS! (it’s how we finance the site).


(more about helmet safety)

Simpson’s been making helmets for a long time and is a name that’s trusted by lots of folks to keep them protected.

Gunmetal Outlaw

And in the case of the Simpson Outlaw, that’s backed up by its US DOT rating and the fact it’s been Snell 2015 certified.

Which all means it’s going to give you excellent protection on the road.

So it’s surprising that the internal shock-absorbing lining inside the Outlaw is only single density polystyrene. I guess that means that the helmet shell is really doing a good job, because most high-performing lids use multi-density EPS liners.

Safety’s also helped by the fact it’s made in 3 different shell sizes which is great for safety (giving a more optimal fit and less weight than an over/under sized shell).

Simpson have also made that eye port wider than before to give great peripheral vision – and that’s always gonna be a good thing for safety on the road. The same goes for the fact that the visor is optically correct too, meaning distortion free forward vision – and it’s coated with a Supercoat antifog treatment.

Even though Supercoat is a recognised quality antifog treatment (that’s washable), word is it’s not as effective as a dedicated Pinlock insert. But it should at least slow the rate of fogging on cold mornings.

But it’s that Snell M2015 rating that shows the Simpson Outlaw isn’t just a mean and moody face, but a serious piece of protection too.

Outlaw in shy & retiring solid gloss red

Helmet Noise

(more about helmet noise)

If you’re used to riding in an open face helmet, then you’ll probably find the Outlaw Bandit the last word in silent riding.

Pretty much everyone else who’s used to a full face helmet seems to think it’s properly noisy.

Even though there aren’t any vents in the main helmet – which are usually one of the main culprits when it comes letting noise into a helmet – most Outlaw owners seem to think it’s a really noisy helmet.

But stick to urban cruising and stay away from the motorways and you should be fine. Oh, and always wear ear plugs to keep your hearing in good shape.


(more about helmet ventilation)

Simpson added some chin vents into the Outlaw to try and keep things cool and help with demisting the visor.

And those six chin vents you can see are always-open too… but that’s your lot. No crown or head vents here and no fancy routing the air through internal air channels. What you see is what you get.

And according to owners, you can feel air getting in. A bit. In fact, that’s a common complaint among some owners. They reckon ventilation could definitely be improved and is moderate at best.

So if you’re after a great venting helmet, you should probably move away from the Outlaw and check out our best venting helmets pages.

A couple of useful links…

– Click to see all our Simpson Helmet Reviews –
– After a cool-looking helmet? No problem – here’s our coolest helmets pages –


(more about visors)

OK, that visor might be nice and wide to give great peripheral vision, but it’s a Simpson, right? So expect it to be a bit basic compared to the competition.

The one most of us will go for – Outlaw in gloss black (matt available too)

That means it’s not quick-release, you’ll need a flathead screwdriver to swap it over when you’re fitting your iridium replacement (it comes with a clear visor in the box).

It’s not Pinlock anti-fog either. And while it does lock down, it’s and old-style peg lock, meaning it’ll lock in place when you close the visor, but you’ll need to snap it out to open it.

A couple of owners said it’s a bit of a pain to use and one reckoned his visor won’t stay open at anything other than cruising speeds.

It’s a basic ratchet visor, and you’ll not find any fancy spring-loading or anything else you’ll find on other premium helmets.

Having said that, it’s a wide visor and gives great peripheral vision – something Simpsons have been criticised for in the past. And it’s optically very clear too. Plus it’s an unusually thick 3mm visor, so that will give improved penetration protection.

I guess the bottom line for many buyers tho – it’ll stay in place and give protection against wind/dirt/rain like most other full face helmets. So if that’s where you set the bar, you’re good to go.

Comfort and Sizing

(more about comfort and sizing)

Inside the Outlaw Bandit, you’ll find a removable and washable moisture-wicking and antimicrobial liner.

It’s easy to pull out too because Simpson uses velcro tabs in there to save fiddling around with poppers and studs like most makers.

It’s a decent quality interior and by far the vast majority of riders/owners say it’s a massively comfortable helmet to ride in.

Of course, you’ve gotta get the right shape helmet for your head in the first place. The Outlaw Bandit is a medium oval fitment so should suit most of us (but look here if you’ve a longer head shape, you might wanna look here).

Note all Outlaw come with clear visor only

And the sizing of the Outlaw seems to be true, so check our fitting guide and order the correct size. If you get one and it’s a bit tight, Simpson include a set of replacement cheekpads that are 5mm thinner in the box. So if it’s a bit tight, shove in the replacements and it should be spot on.

But don’t forget, if you’re wanting a helmet to go cross-continent in and where you’ll spend long hot days in the saddle, there’s no head vents in the Outlaw so you might want to look elsewhere.

Looks & Graphics

It’s the mean and aggressive looks that you’re buying into with the Outlaw. So the only question is… which moody colour to go for.

Most of us will go for the black – and there’s a choice of solid matt or gloss. But you might want to consider the gunmetal too, plus the shiny red version’s kinda cool too in an old-school custom candy red sort of way. And of course there’s a classic white.

And that’s your lot – apart from the visors. That includes lots of smokes and tints, an iridium and an amber.

Best places to buy a Simpson Outlaw?

The Outlaw has now been more or less discontinued, but you can still find the occasional helmet on Amazon. Please click below to visit the Simpson Outlaw helmets search page there, and if you buy from them, we get a small sum from the sale at no extra cost to you – a massive THANKS! (it’s how we finance the site).

Simpson Outlaw Video

Here’s a 2m video showing the matt black Outlaw from Get Lowered Cycles…

Other stuff – weight, glasses, aero, warranty

The Outlaw weighs around 1.55Kg (3.4lbs) which is OK, but far from what we’d consider one of the lightest helmets around. Having said that, we didn’t find any owners complaining about weight and a few said it feels nice and light when you’re wearing it.

A couple of riders also said there’s enough space inside for their glasses too.

There weren’t any complaints about aero. Simpson reckon that the grooves on the Outlaw are there to reduce helmet lift and certainly no one complained about lift. I still reckon they’re there to look cool though!

If you buy an Outlaw Bandit, it’ll come with Simpson’s poor 1 year warranty.


The Simpson Outlaw Bandit, like most Simpsons, is one cool looking lid. And that’s probably why you want to buy one, right?

Solid Matt Black Outlaw Bandit

But it’s more than that. OK, it’s basic compared to much of the competition – but that back-to-basics is as much appealing as it is a drawback. Plus, it’s got that Snell rating that tells you it’ll do the business if things get out of shape.

Great features are that wide visor and it’s a really comfortable helmet too. Less great are the basic nature of the visor plus it’s noisy and the vents could do with improvement.

But the bottom line is it’s an awesome helmet if you want to look cool, ride safe and scare every kid in the neighborhood while out cruising.

Though if you’re outside the US DOT zone, then we recommend you buy the Simpson Venom. It’s a better performing helmet and legal for the road in Europe, unlike the Outlaw.

Best places to buy a Simpson Outlaw?

The Bandit has now been more or less discontinued, but you can still find the occasional helmet on Amazon. Please click below to visit the Simpson Outlaw helmets search page there, and if you buy from them, we get a small sum from the sale at no extra cost to you – a massive THANKS! (it’s how we finance the site).

Good Alternatives to the Simpson Outlaw?

OK, cool and kinda retro helmets. What’s out there?

Well, the first helmet you should definitely check out is the Simpson Venom (called the Ghost Bandit in the US). While the Outlaw’s not legal for road use in Europe, the ECE certified Venom is. It looks really similar to the Outlaw too, but it’s got a few head vents plus it’s got a drop down sun visor. It’s been SHARP 4 star safety rated in Europe so it’s well worth a look.

How about something a bit left-field; the Nexx X.G100 or the Nexx X.G100R. They’re more or less the same helmet: that means they’re both composite fibre, really light weight & DOT. You’ll need a pair of goggles to go with the 100 whereas the 100R has a regular visor.

If you want to go bang up to date with a super cool helmet that’s modern styled, how about the French Shark Spartan. It’s light weight – esp if you buy the carbon version – comes with a Pinlock anti fog and has all the bells and whistles you’d expect from a modern helmet.

Want to check out the best looking helmets?

You'll find the coolest, meanest and most retro helmets available on our Coolest helmets pages.

Star Ratings

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simpson-outlaw-bandit-motorcycle-helmet-reviewIf you're looking for a helmet to match your muscle bike or streetfighter, then the Simpson Outlaw is probably the ideal helmet for you. OK, ventilation ain't that great, plus it's a bit basic overall. If you're in Europe, it's not legal because it's note ECE certified (so buy a Simpson Venom instead. But it's Snell rated in the US, meaning you can trust its protection and owners say its really comfortable. So you can cruise in comfort while scaring the local kids. What's not to like?!


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