In need of a durable and reliable full face mountain bike helmet that is comfortable to wear? As someone engaged in the sport, this crucial accessory should protect you from the environment while you ride and keep you safe during a fall.
We've searched for the best full face mountain bike helmets and came up with a 10 best list. Bell's Super 3R takes first place for its versatility. There are nine other options for you to consider and a buying guide to assist you in picking the right helmet for your riding style and needs.
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Choosing a helmet takes careful consideration, especially the full face version, where it needs to provide optimal protection for off-road riding while retaining comfort for the user. The buying guide below will expound on some of the features you can look for when picking a full face MTB helmet.
One of the first considerations to choosing a bike helmet is safety, as this is its intended purpose. All bicycle helmets are required to pass the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) minimum safety standard. You can check with a manufacturer if their product meets this requirement.
Other certifications you can look for include CE (European Conformity) and ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials). These certifications are often listed as "CPSC 1203, CE EN 1078, and ASTM 1952."
While these certifications won’t guarantee prevention of injury upon impact, meeting said standards gives you extra assurance over the materials used and whether or not proper quality checking was conducted.
When you're shopping for a bike helmet, you will often come across MIPS (Multi-directional Impact Protection System). This refers to a slip-plane technology added to the helmet's shell to offer an extra layer of protection by allowing the helmet to rotate slightly and redirect energy during certain crashes.
The concept behind the MIPS design is to reduce the chances of the rider suffering from a concussion or other brain injuries. However, MIPS is not a government safety standard, but an additional system to complement the required ones.
Furthermore, well-known bike helmet manufacturers often trademark their own safety technologies that function similarly to MIPS. This added layer of protection may not be necessary, but it doesn't have any drawbacks that should affect your choice of a helmet.
The inner material of the helmet should be made of soft padding for comfortable wear, plus lined with a high-density or thick EPS (expanded polystyrene) foam for shock absorption. While the shape and outer shell on helmets can vary, you cannot compromise on EPS, as this will slow down the impact of a crash on your head.
How the EPS is connected to the outer plastic shell also matters. Entry-level helmets often glue the liner to the shell while higher-end ones are molded together during production.
In-molding allows you to quickly detect dents and areas where your EPS may be compromised, plus it requires a stronger outer shell to withstand the process, thus ensuring better protection in the long run.
With all of those aspects in mind, you can then consider the weight of the helmet. Lightweight options are around 600 grams, while heavier ones can reach over 1,000 grams. The overall design of the helmet, whether it's streamlined and made to reduce neck strain on long rides, also matters when checking the weight.
Your decision to pick a particular full-face helmet may also be affected by the type of mountain biking you’ll be doing. There are four main types of MTB activities: cross-country (XC), trail, all-mountain or enduro, and downhill.
In line with choosing a bicycle design for your riding style, your helmet should also match the type of terrain and activity. Cross-country and trail biking often entail endurance, with occasional climbing and descending, so your helmet should offer optimal ventilation for comfort.
On the other hand, enduro and downhill are all about speed, rough terrain, big drops, and climbing. With the intended use in mind, you can then check the helmet’s visor clearance, chin guard, and outer shell protection design.
Given the increased risk of danger for these riding styles, the full-face helmet’s description should specifically state that it can withstand enduro or downhill riding. You can also look at reviews from MTB riders who have used the helmet on real trails, and recommended which ones are best for a particular riding style.
A well-designed helmet with excellent ventilation makes wearing even a heavier one more comfortable. You can check the two main areas where ventilation is crucial: the chin guard, which allows the rider to breathe, and the upper head area, which ensures air circulates around the sides of the head.
Most full-face helmets have at least 12 vents, while others can include more than 20 vents. The ventilation location also matters, wherein they are not limited to the head area but also located on brow ports and chin bars.
We recommend checking feedback on the helmet to see if users found the ventilation design of a particular helmet met their standards and kept them cool and comfortable during a ride.
Adjustability is another feature that offers convenience. Check if the visor is adjustable, so you can set it up accordingly with your goggles without getting in the way. The installation process is worth looking at to determine quality because lower-end helmets have visors that snap into place, while better ones need to be screwed in.
Visors are meant to break or crack during a crash because they cushion the impact. You can also check if the visor comes with a camera mount if you prefer to capture your ride.
Meanwhile, a removable chin guard or bar makes your helmet versatile because you can use the helmet according to preference or need. A removable chin guard means you can use the helmet as a half helmet for less intense riding styles.
The fit of the helmet is another crucial consideration. It might feature the best materials and construction, but if it doesn't fit your head shape properly, all of those features will be for naught. With that said, if you're unable to give the helmet a test, ensure a return policy for replacement or refund.
Although most helmets are offered in three sizes, small, medium, and large, some can go smaller or larger. Go through the manufacturer's sizing chart to get the best fit. You can also opt for adjustable features.
High-end helmets often have two or three height adjustments for the rear stabilizer, an adjustable strap that allows you to tighten or loosen the helmet for a snug fit. Additional or removable cheek pads and head liners are other ways you can tweak the helmet's fit according to your needs.
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All-Around Helmet With Removable Chin Bar
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A Multi-Sized Carbon Helmet
This is the improved version of the pioneering full-face MTB helmet. The chin attaches with a quick three-step process and provides optimal ventilation, including at the brow ports and chin bar. A standout feature of this helmet is the adjustable visor, which can even accommodate goggles, and a camera mount.
A few users noted that the rear stabilizing strap of the helmet was too flimsy and did not tighten correctly. On a positive note, many said this was the helmet to get for all types of riding. They say it provided head protection in crashes where other body parts didn't come out unscathed.
This helmet is equipped with dual-density EPS (expanded polystyrene) and EPP (expanded polypropylene) for both high- and low-speed impacts. This ensures more wide-range protection for the user. It also comes with a drawstring bag and additional liners and pads for fine-tuning the helmet's fit.
A few reviewers complained about the helmet's fit, some noting that the additional pads were missing or the sizing too small. Still, many others use this for high-impact riding with no complaints. They said it's comfortable to wear and had excellent ventilation. Users also shared that the helmet provided great visibility while riding.
This is one of the predecessors in full-face helmets and provides optimal yet lightweight shock-absorption with its trademarked Koroyd system. The helmet also integrates with Smith goggles. Thanks to the three cheek pads, two crown liners, and two neck rolls included, you can customize the helmet's fit.
Many said this was an incredibly comfortable and lightweight helmet. They said it provided excellent visibility and ventilation during rides. The extra padding options also helped achieve a good fit for many users.
This helmet does not skimp on padding and layers of protection, with an alloy resin polycarbonate shell and EPS foam liner. The foam also conforms to the face for a customized fit. This helmet’s visor is screwed in for better security. After a day of riding and sweat, you can easily remove the helmet liner and wash it for the next use.
A few reviewers recommend going one or two sizes up when choosing this helmet because it runs small. On the other hand, many said this was a lightweight but solidly-built helmet. They liked that it was breathable even in hot desert weather. Those who got into a crash said this held up well.
Despite being labeled as an adult helmet, this one is popular among young riders or those with smaller head profiles. The sizing goes as small as 19 inches. It might lack extra attachments but has all the essentials such as proper ventilation, a visor, and a chin guard without being too heavy.
The main complaint about the product was the sizing, as many adults found it to be too small. They advise going up in size if to be used by adult riders. Meanwhile, many others who got the right size said the helmet had a snug fit. Parents also confirmed that it’s an excellent helmet for their children doing BMX or trail rides.
Ventilation is a priority in this helmet, with a design for comfortable airflow all day long. It has ear chambers to avoid hindering the rider’s hearing, plus silicone padding for safety and comfort. The helmet also comes with removable cheek pads so that you can customize the setup depending on your riding style.
A few reviewers noted that the helmet could get hot to wear and was too heavy or bulky for some. Meanwhile, many others loved the fit and said it was comfortable, especially around the ears. Some say it makes a great kids' helmet, too.
The Fox Racing brand is known to provide top-notch athletic goods for motocross and MTB, this helmet included. It has a fiberglass shell that looks cool without compromising protection.
It has a fully adjustable visor, so you can use it with most goggles. This helmet's inner liner is moisture-wicking to absorb sweat for a comfortable ride and removable for easy washing.
This helmet features ease of use with its emergency release cheek pads for quick removal and an integrated compartment accommodating inflatable emergency release functions. The visor is screwed on for security and is adjustable. The helmet case also comes with a built-in goggle pocket.
The helmet’s shell is made of a carbon and Kevlar composite for extra durability and shock absorption without compromising weight. Meanwhile, the 24 ventilation ports are strategically located to maximize airflow. Lastly, you can pick between two shell sizes, three EPS sizes, and four cheek pad options for a fine-tuned fit.
This helmet is equipped with moisture-absorbing pads that can retain up to 10 times their weight, giving you vision unobstructed by sweat drops. It also has an antimicrobial lining that reduces odor and keeps your helmet smelling fresh for longer. The helmet’s chin bar can be removed, transforming it to a half helmet, if needed.
A few reviewers complained that the helmet was too big and heavy for their liking. Some also said that the chin guard attachment needs to be more solidly attached. On a positive note, many others recommend the helmet for its versatility. Users said it’s comfortable, with good ventilation.
Not only does the carbon outer shell of this helmet ensure reliable protection, but it is also light enough to limit neck strain. It comes in multiple sizes, from the shell to the crown size, for a better fit. The cheek pads and inner head liner are removable for fine-tuning the fit, and the liner is washable.
Users felt the priority placed on safety with this helmet. They said it offers good ventilation and is very light to wear, and that it also lets you hear better than other helmets do. Those who own the predecessors of this helmet confirmed the design was a significant upgrade that’s meant to last.
Are you looking for more options to make your riding experience more comfortable? Check out these suggestions that have been approved and are highly recommended by cyclists.
The descriptions of each product are referenced from content available on manufacturer, brand, and e-commerce sites.
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