If you ever ride a mountain bike or any bike for that matter, it matters that you also take a closer look at your safety. Without the right protection, riding a mountain bike isn’t going to be fun once you encountered an accident.
Protecting your head from concussions and fatal injuries should be your number one priority. Nowadays, you have the freedom to choose from the best mountain bikes helmets. With advances in technology, top-rated mountain bike helmets vary from full-face helmets to half-shell or open face versions. Here are some of the best options that you might want to check out.
Table of Contents
- 1 Best Mountain Bikes Helmets Review
- 1.1 Giro Fixture MIPS Adult Dirt Cycling Helmet
- 1.2 Leatt 3.0 All Mountain Helmet Lime
- 1.3 Troy Lee Designs Adult A2 Jet Helmet
- 1.4 POC Tectal
- 1.5 Smith Optics Forefront 2 MIPS
- 1.6 Giro Montaro MIPS Adult Dirt Cycling Helmet
- 1.7 Bell Sixer MIPS Adult
- 1.8 Giro Chronicle MIPS
- 1.9 Oakley DRT5 MIPS Men’s
- 1.10 Troy Lee Designs Adult | Trail | Enduro | Half Shell A1 Classic
- 1.11 Giro Hex
- 1.12 Bell Super 3R MIPS Adult
- 2 How to buy good mountain bikes helmets
Best Mountain Bikes Helmets Review
Stylish, lightweight, and high-performance, these are some of the things that can describe the Giro Fixture MIPS Adult Dirt Cycling Helmet. Giro Fixture MIPS Adult Dirt Cycling Helmet is a top choice for those who are looking for comfort and protection. It is one of the best MIPS mountain bike helmet options that can help reduce the rotational impact on the user if he or she gets in an accident. The top shell is also made of polycarbonate material.
Designed for optimum protection of the head, it has the rugged in-mold construction. It has the EPS molded together with the plastic shell. It also made use of the Roc Loc Sport fit system that is known for giving different users a perfect fit that can give you peace of mind as you ride.
This is also breathable thanks to the 18 wind tunnel vents keeping users stay comfortable especially when dealing with tough terrains. If you will notice, there are fewer vents on top of this helmet. However, what makes it one of the cool mountain bike helmets is the fact that the top vents are larger than the ones on the side. Though it isn’t the best when it comes to offering a breezy helmet, this is one of those options that stand out.
But if you think that this is a perfect helmet, there are still a few things that could be improved. For instance, you have the lock system that feels a bit difficult whenever you are adjusting it. Also, you have the adjustable straps found around the ear that can tend to be hard to adjust. The good news is that you don’t need to adjust the straps every now and then once you have the right fit.
But as it weighs only around 343 grams, not to mention it has a one-size-fits-all design, it’s one of those helmets that can be used by both men and women.
- In-mold construction
- With MIPS to reduce rotational force
- Straps are hard to adjust
The Leatt 3.0 All Mountain Helmet Line may cost more than double of some models in the market today, but then again, quality has a price. Some even consider it the best all-mountain bike helmet for good reasons. The Leatt 3.0 All Mountain Helmet Line is made of polycarbonate material on its shell and was in-molded with the impact foam.
This helmet is also available in different colors giving you something that would match your personality. But more than just aesthetics, the company made use of a unique technology to address rotational force being transferred to your head.
The company didn’t use MIPS for this one. Instead, this helmet made use of the 360 Turbine Technology that helps in dispersing the rotational forces using the tiny turbine-like circles that were made of Armourgel. These tiny circles were placed in different ideal spots of the helmet. These are soft materials that harden up once there’s impact. These rotate and lessen the rotational force that transfers to the cranium.
Compared to other helmets, Leatt claims that their technology can reduce the rotational force impact by as much as 30 percent. With the polycarbonate shell, plus coverage at the back of your head, this helmet offers optimum protection to its user.
This helmet is EN1078 and CPSC 1203 certified giving you peace of mind that it meets standards set by different organizations. An apart from safety, you also have comfort. It has 18 vents that can keep you cool whenever you are riding challenging hills.
The only complaint by users is the short strap. You get the connection right on the ear and not under the ear which can be a bit frustrating.
- Can reduce the rotational force impact by 30 percent
- In-mold construction
- Made use of shell made of polycarbonate
- Available in different colors
- Poor adjustment feature
Troy Lee Designs Adult A2 Jet Helmet
If you are looking for the best xc mountain bike helmet, then you might want to consider the Troy Lee Designs Adult A2 Jet Helmet. This helmet comes in different designs. Though pricy, it offers great protection, plus offers a design that stands out from the rest of the other mountain bike helmet brands.
It is a combination of protection, comfort, and aesthetics. It offers a decent coverage plus you get to have the dual-density EPS and EPP foams that were co-molded to ensure the best level of protection to its user. You also have the MIPS that helps in reducing the rotational force.
This helmet is comfortable even when you are riding on difficult terrains. You get to enjoy large vents that promote great airflow. And though you only have 13 vents, it still does an exceptional job in keeping you feel comfortable when you are riding.
This helmet has a relatively deep fit. And unlike other half-shell helmets, you get good coverage on your side and at the back of your head. Compared to other helmets in the market, the Troy Lee Designs A2 Jet Helmet is has a thick polycarbonate shell. On top of that, you have two foams molded together with the outer shell that offers superb protection on your cranium. The EPS foam found on the outside is the one that’s harder while the EPP foam that is placed closer to the head is the softer one. This particular design was meant to manage impact energy for both high and low speeds.
The only thing that you might complain about the Troy Lee Designs A2 Jet Helmet is the visor can’t easily get adjusted. But despite the small flaw in its design, it is easily in the top 10 MTB helmets for different websites. With good coverage, a lightweight design, and superior protection thanks to the co-molded foams, and MIPS you have something that can help you ride without worrying if your head is protected or not.
- With two foams co-molded to the shell
- Shell is made of thick polycarbonate material
- Good coverage
- The visor isn’t adjustable
The POC Tectal Helmet is a high-end helmet that has gained popularity among serious riders. Compared to Trabec, which was POC’s past design, this is a better-ventilated option. The POC Tectal is well ventilated similar to the Octal model that they released in the past. You get the proper ventilation on both the back and the top of the helmet.
This helmet also feels lightweight compared to other top MTB helmets. Weighing at 340 grams, that’s a lightweight helmet that will feel comfortable especially when you tend to ride for long periods. Another thing that has been resolved by POC from previous designs is the adjustable visor. You can get to have the right adjustment depending on your preference. Unfortunately, it still needs some work since the screw tends to fall out easily.
In terms of protection coverage, the POC Tectal covers the top of the head, the temples, and even the base of the skull. But despite great coverage, there are also are no weird pressure points in your head making the helmet comfortable to wear.
This helmet is made of polycarbonate shell plus you also have the EPS liner. Its unibody construction adds protection to its user. On top of that, you can also get the right fit for you as you have the size adjustment to make sure that it fits different users.
So does it offer the best level of protection? Though it has a decent shell and foam, as a top MTB helmet, you expect it to have MIPS technology. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case.
- Unibody construction
- Thick polycarbonate shell
- Good ventilation
- No MIPS technology
- The screw on the visor falls off easily
If you loved the Smith Optics Forefront, then you will love its updated version. The Smith Optics Forefront 2 MIPS helmet offers a lot of upgrades but the same futuristic design of the original Forefront.
It has a similar look to the Forefront but with noticeable changes in its design. It comes with a slimmer and a lower profile and it is coupled with improved ventilation from the previous Forefront design. You get to enjoy the larger vent that can get the air to your head. You get two versions for the Forefront 2. It is available either with the MIPS or not.
The visor is still adjustable but has been improved with the 3-position adjustable visor that can accommodate your goggles to help keep the glare from your sight. You also have the Vaporfit adjustment system that makes it easier to tighten or loosen the helmet.
The Forefront 2 comes with MIPS technology that can help lessen the rotational force impact that can be transferred to your head. One of the things that make the Forefront 2 MIPS helmet unique is the use of Koroyd material. This is a proprietary material that looks similar to a honeycomb. This makes the helmet lightweight and resistant to impact. This structure works well when it comes to absorbing impact. What makes it unique is that it promotes safety plus it also provides you with the ventilation that you need.
The downside to this helmet is that compared to helmets like the POC Tectal, it doesn’t have the same level of coverage especially at the back of the head.
You even have an integrated light and camera mount found at the top of the helmet. This makes it easier to become visible on the road or if you want to record your ride.
- Uses MIPS technology
- Uses Koroyd Material
- Improved ventilation
- Vaporfit adjustment
- Doesn’t offer the best coverage at the back of the head
The Giro Montaro MIPS Adult Dirt Cycling Helmet is a lightweight and rugged helmet designed to offer maximum protection and comfort for the rider. It was carefully engineered by Giro to meet and even surpass standards. It made use of different technologies that aren’t present in other helmets.
The Giro Montaro MIPS Adult Dirt Cycling Helmet has the proprietary technology called Roll Cage Reinforcement which is a web that has been molded inside the helmet’s EPS foam liner. The goal of this tough web is to hold the helmet together especially when you encounter a strong impact.
The outer shell is made of polycarbonate material and has been in-molded together with an EPS liner. And also, it is equipped with MIPS technology that can help in lessening the rotational force that your helmet has to withstand.
Comfort is also something that stands out with the Giro Montaro MIPS Adult Dirt Cycling Helmet. It makes use of a Roc Loc 5 Air Fit System that allows the users to have the perfect fit in their heads. You also get to enjoy the 16 vents that promote airflow.
There are mixed reviews when it comes to the ability of the helmet to cover crucial parts of the head. If you are going to compare the Giro Montaro MIPS Adult Dirt Cycling Helmet to some of the best trail helmets in the market, you will notice that the Montaro doesn’t exactly have the best coverage at the back of the head considering that an injury to the atlas can result in a life-threatening injury.
- With MIPS
- In-molded Polycarbonate shell with EPS
- With 16 vents
- Great fit
- Not enough coverage at the back of the head
The Bell MTB helmets are some of the best in the market today. One of the best options out there is the Bell Sixer MIPS Adult helmet. Before its release, Bell has the improved features to the Bell Super 3 and this trend continued to the Bell Sixer Helmet. Bell mountain bike helmets are known for their coverage, and the Bell Sixer MIPS Adult Helmet isn’t an exception. It has great coverage from your temple to your forehead and even the back of the head.
This helmet is made of polycarbonate shell plus a polycarbonate roll cage. The EPS was bonded to the outer layer to make the helmet sturdier and safer for the user. It is also equipped with MIPS technology that can significantly reduce the rotational force upon impact.
This is one of the coolest mountain bike helmets out there. Bell Sixer MIPS Adult helmet features 26 vents. You get enough ventilation from the brow and other parts of the head. However, this design also has some issues. For instance, the vent found over the brow can cause some fogging on your sunglasses or your goggles making visibility an issue.
This helmet weighs 368grams. It isn’t as impressive as other MIPS mountain bike helmets, but this could mean that the material is thick.
Adjustments can be made according to how you prefer the helmet. You get four positional adjustments for the visor plus quick to adjust fasteners that can keep the helmet on top of your head.
- With multiple vents
- Has MIPS
- Adjustable visor
- Polycarbonate material bonded with EPS
If you loved the Giro Montaro and the discontinued Sequence, then perhaps, you are going to love the Giro Chronicle MIPS helmet. It offers the best of both worlds.
It offers almost the same coverage as the Montaro. The same issue with the Montaro though is that it doesn’t exactly offer the best coverage at the back of the head. But one of the things that made the Giro Chronicle a bit more affordable is the fact that the helmet isn’t fully wrapped by the outer polycarbonate shell.
However, the good news is that it has an in-mold construction of the polycarbonate together with its EPS giving you the safety that you need. Plus, it is also equipped with MIPS to reduce the rotational force that could get transferred to your head in case you had an accident.
A common complaint that we have for the Giro Chronicle is that it tends to be a bit hot especially when you are going to use it in difficult trails. With 14 vents, it is simply not enough to keep your head cool.
Fit is superb with the Chronicle thanks to the strap and the Roc Loc 5. It hugs the head firmly but it isn’t comfortable in any way.
- With MIPS
- Polycarbonate in-molded with the EPS
- Good fit
- A bit hot to wear
- Doesn’t have good coverage on the back of the head
The Oakley DRT5 MIPS helmet is a high-quality mountain bike trail helmet that combines a unique design that promotes comfort and protection at the same time. The outer shell is made of the polycarbonate shell.
The best asset of this helmet is offering protection to its users. This bike helmet offers extended coverage plus MIPS technology that adds a layer of protection to its user by reducing the rotational force.
You also get an integrated eyewear dock that gives you easy access to your shades when you need it. The fit can be considered above average when compared with other good MTB helmets thanks to its BOA FS1-1 System. It made use of an adjustable 360-degree design that gives users that preferred fit every time. You even have an adjustable visor.
The problem with this helmet is that it isn’t well ventilated compared to other top MTB helmets in the market. You will have to deal with the fact that it is also heavy. However, it offers a sweat guide system. It means that your sweat will not get in the way in front of the helmet. Instead, it’s going to drip on the side which leaves you focused on the road ahead.
- Integrated with MIPS
- Offers decent coverage
- Adjustable visor
- Sweat guide system to keep the sweat from dripping in front
- Sweat guide system
The Troy Lee Designs Adult A1 Classic Helmet is a favorite pick among serious riders. It has earned the praises of different MTN bike helmet reviews for many good reasons. It is one of those cool MTB helmets that offer enough vents to maintain airflow as your ride difficult terrains.
The Troy Lee Designs A1 Classic is a comfortable helmet, cupping the entire head with testers often describing the helmet’s fit as “secure”. It fits like a glove as opposed to the old models that simply sits in your head. The reason for this is the deep profile and the padding placed in the right places.
However, if you are going to wear shades whenever you are going to ride, this helmet tends to be a bit frustrating. You have to deal with the fact that the helmet does get in the way. However, this helmet is easy to adjust. It features an easy to find click wheel and clicks loudly for every adjustment stopping you from loosening or tightening it up too much
The outer shell is made of polycarbonate just like top-rated mountain bike helmets. It has been in-molded along with its EPS to provide better protection to its user. This helmet is heavier than most of the top MTB helmets that we’ve tested. However, despite the slightly heavy design, you have something that is still comfortable given its fit and coverage. The closest feel to the Troy Lee Designs A1 Classic is the Bell Super.
This also comes with MIPS technology that can help in reducing the rotational impact that can cause serious damage to your head.
- Polycarbonate shell in-molded with EPS
- Uses MIPS technology
- Decent ventilation
- Comfortable fit
- Hard to use shades when wearing the helmet
Giro Hex is the type of MTB helmet that offers versatility to its users. Compared to other options in the market, the Giro Hex Helmet is cheaper. But does it mean that you don’t get to enjoy the same level of protection as the more expensive options?
With in-mold construction and lightweight design, you get something that offers you a decent amount of protection. It has decent coverage for its price tag. It is also comfortable to wear this helmet thanks to the Roc Loc 5 retention system by Giro. Plus, you also get to enjoy adjustable visor that prevents you from getting distracted by the sun.
But is it the best value mountain bike helmet that you could buy? Unfortunately, it doesn’t have MIPS. MIPS is present in many helmets for good reasons. The main goal of MIPS technology is to reduce the rotational energy that could get transferred to your cranium.
- Great fit
- With vents to promote comfort
- Adjustable visor
- In-molded design
- No MIPS
The Bell Super 3R MIPS Adult Helmet allows you to have an additional level of protection on your face. It offers a removable chin bar that transforms this as a full coverage bike helmet. If you used the older Super version, you will notice that the Bell Super 3R was improved by removing parts that put pressure on some parts of your head while keeping 23 vents to keep the user stay cool.
It also has the MIPS technology that adds peace of mind if you ever get into an accident. The downside is that this helmet is quite heavy especially with the chin guard on.
- With removable chin guard
- Well ventilated
- With MIPS technology
How to buy good mountain bikes helmets
What makes the best MTB helmet? Does it have to be a full-face helmet or a half shell design will already get the job done? Do you buy an entry-level helmet where the plastic shell and the EPS are glued together? Or are you willing to go for the more expensive options instead of molded as one piece?
Helmets should meet certain standards. In the US, you have the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) that is in charge of regulating the MTB helmet industry. You have the CPSC that gives its seal of approval to helmets after tested in the laboratory.
Other certifying organizations used other baselines for their seal of approval. However, you have to note that 400 G-Force can cause permanent brain damage, while 300 Gs will most likely give you a concussion. The goal of certifying organizations such as Snell, ASTM, CE, and CPSC is to make sure that users don’t get permanently injured.
The best mountain biking helmets don’t just meet the bare minimum requirements of these organizations. Rather, the safest mountain bike helmet should surpass the standards and offer minimal damage to your head in case you encounter an accident.
However, the downside is that mountain biking accidents can be tricky. In most cases, you just can’t quantify the severity of an accident and mimic everything based on numbers that you get from a lab.
When it comes to choosing from the different MTB helmet brands that produce top-rated MTB helmets, you want to check the foam liner found between your head and the outer shell of the helmet. This is usually made of expanded polystyrene or EPS.
The role of EPS on best helmets for mountain biking is to spread the energy once there’s impact. Upon impact, the foam is going to be deformed. This slows down the energy making it possible to lessen the damage on its user. The EPS density can be different depending on the application. It is softer for slow speed impacts and harder for high-speed impacts. However, these days, there are top mountain bike helmets that utilize both to give you the best of both worlds.
The outer shell is equally important when it comes to selecting your mountain bike helmet. The outer layer protects the EPS plus its smooth surface is helps in your aerodynamics. If you are going to look at the cheap MTB helmets, you will notice that the EPS is glued to the outer shell. However, for the more expensive version, you have the shell bonded with the liner during the molding process.
The in-molding option is better in terms of performance because these mountain bike helmets provide better protection to the EPS liner. It is also easier to spot dents and cracks which means that it is easier to know if your helmet isn’t offering optimum protection to your head anymore.
Do I go for full-face or do I go with half face helmets? The likes of an enduro full-face helmet such as the giro full-face helmets are now popular offering greater coverage of protection to its users. However, you also have the open-shell design that is known for being lightweight.
Of course, different people have different needs. The design of your MTB trail helmet will depend on your lifestyle. Are you a serious rider or are you a casual rider? If you’re a casual rider, it’s better if you go for the lightest MTB helmet which is most likely a half-face or half-shell MTB helmet rather than an enduro MTB helmet.
Now, if you plan on doing rugged terrains and doing full speed biking, then you might want to find the best full face MTB helmet instead of the low profile mountain bike helmets.
There’s a growing demand for a MIPS MTB helmet. And it is for good reasons. MIPS stands for multi-directional impact protection system. The ultimate goal of this technology is to reduce the rotational forces when you get into an accident. It uses a slip-plane system that moves within the helmet. This rotates within the helmet to slow down the energy that transfers to your head.
With a technology that was developed by brain surgeons, a MIPS mountain bike helmet looks different on the inside. You will notice that there is a thin liner underneath.
Another important factor that you need to consider when shopping for the best MTB helmets is the fit. Wear something that is too loose and you might not have the helmet upon impact. On the other hand, wear it too tight and you also don’t get the comfort that you need while riding.
What’s the general rule of thumb for a mountain bike helmet’s fit? The best-rated mountain bike helmets are usually adjustable but you need to make sure that the helmet remains in contact with your head at all times. There should also be no obstruction in your view. And also, if you have straps on your trail helmet, it shouldn’t let the helmet to move more than 1 inch from that level.
If you’re using an enduro bike helmet, the foam by the side shouldn’t feel too snug. But in most scenarios, it is going to fit according to your head.
One of the usual complaints of riders is that their all-mountain bike helmet tends to get hot especially when you use it for long hours. Regardless if you are going to buy a budget MTB helmet or something more expensive, you want something that is also comfortable. Some of the most comfortable mountain bike helmet options have vents to get the air to go in and out.
However, it is always important to find a balance between comfort and safety. Having more vents means that you are compromising the ability of the helmet to nullify g-force.
Over the years, riders use different accessories when they ride their mountain bike. For instance, a lot of riders now install a GoPro on top of their helmet. Some mountain biking helmets are mount ready while others will require a few modifications. Some downhill trail helmets also offer compatibility with goggles. This way, you are protected from dirty that might hurt your eyes and distract you from the road.
And lastly, you have the helmets that have vents where you can place the lights. This way, you remain visible if you are going to be riding at night.
Riding your mountain bike can be dangerous without the necessary protective equipment. Helmets improved over the years to promote safety reducing not only injuries but even fatalities. There are a lot of great mountain bike helmets to choose from. But if you are looking for the best mountain bike helmet, you want to consider comfort, coverage, and the technology used by the brand. Also, you want to make sure that you are going to compare different helmets before you even buy one. This way, you will know the pros and cons and weigh in properly which option works best for you.