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First impression: Bell Sanction 2 and Sanction 2 DLX MIPS

Two DH-ready full-face helmets at a solid price and in a wider range of sizing

Photo by: Alexa Christensen

Just months after Bell rolled out its new high-end Full-10 helmet, the company is adding two new, and far more affordable options. The Sanction 2 and Sanction 2 DLX MIPS aim for a much wider audience than the World Cup-level Full-10, both in price and sizing. Starting at just US$120, the Sanction 2 is less than one fifth the price tag of the Full-10 and, with XXS sizing, works for everyone from groms to grandmas.

Bell Sanction 2 DLX MIPS. Photo: Alexa Christensen

Bell Sanction 2 DLX MIPS and Sanction 2

The Sanction 2 DLX MIPS carries some of Bell’s top-end tech, like a MIPS Essential liner, Fidlock buckle on the chin strap, and removable Ionic+ padding and puts it in a simpler package. There’s still an adjustable Flying Bridge visor and solid venting, but in a more straightforward package. All this starts at US$180.

“The Sanction 2 was designed to be just as at home on the BMX track as it is on the jump line of your local mountain,” said Daniel Powell , marketing manager at Bell. “We set out to build a helmet that offered all-around performance, protection, and value for any type of riding. The idea was to redefine what you can expect from an affordable full-face helmet.”

Bell Sanction 2 is simple in design and function

The Sanction 2 slims down the features further, and cuts the price tag further to USD120.00. There’s still the same ABS shell, EPS liner and removable cheek pads, but without the MIPS rotational impact mitigation liner.

Bell adds an XXS size for the Sanction 2 to make sure riders of all ages have a safe option no matter what they’re riding.

The Sanction 2 DLX MIPS weighs 1080 grams (size medium). The Sanction 2 is a hair lighter without the MIPS, at 1040g for a medium. Both versions are ASTM DH and ASTM BMX certified.

Trail test: Bell Sanction 2 DLX MIPS

With the new Sanction 2 DLX, Bell brings quite a bit of performance from the Full-10 to a much more reasonable price point. We’ve only had a few weeks on the Sanction 2. But so far it is comfortable, though fit is less adjustable, it has a MIPS liner for protection against rotational impact and it hits close to the weight of Bell’s pricer option. It is a full-on DH (or BMX) helmet that is well-built and at a reasonable price.

Like the Full-10, the new Sanction 2 DLX MIPS is immediately comfortable to wear. The Ionic+ padding doesn’t rub or chafe, while still holding the helmet firmly in place on your head. The cheek pads are still removable but they are held in place by a simple Velcro system instead of the fancy magnetic clasps on the Full-10. They also only come in one size.

Unlike the wide, stout look of the Full-10, the Sanction 2 has a more classic look. There’s still plenty of room to comfortably fit goggles, even Smith’s sizable Squad XL frames. Bell offers a wide range of stock colour options, from the simple and straightforward to some bright and wild designs. The Alpine matte dark gray and tan helmet I tested looks interesting without being loud.

Bell Sanction 2 DLX
Bell offers a few bold colour options on the DLX. Photo: Alexa Christensen

Bell claims a large weighs 1,100 grams. My test helmet was close to that at 1,109. Either way, it is not far off of the 1,023 grams of the Full-10 for a fraction of the price. Venting is solid, but the Full-10 definitely has the advantage when it comes to cooling. Compared to any similarly priced helmet, though, and the Sanction 2 is totally fine.

The flying bridge visor is easily adjustable and stays securely where you want it to. On the DLX, the upgrade to a Fidlok buckle makes putting on and removing the helmet even simpler.

The Sanction 2 DLX MIPS comes in in seven colours, with more on the horizon, and four sizes (XS/S, M, L, XL). The Sanction 2 adds an XXS option for a fifth, and more youth-friendly size and comes in five solid colour options.

Bell Sanction 2 DLX Mips and the Bell Sanction 2 are available now from Bell and at dealers.