20 different ventilation ports for a good airflow
Easy to remove, detachable visor
Sleek matte black design
Removable padding (easy to clean)
Deep EPS shell for even greater rear coverage
Detox ratchet retention system at the rear
Mountain biking is the most perfect activity for adrenaline seekers; it’s unpredictable, it’s intense, and most importantly, it’s different. There really is no other activity which is quite like mountain biking, and that is why it is such a popular sport which is loved by many all over the globe. However, it doesn’t matter whether you’re a professional or a beginner – mountain biking is still dangerous. It’s certainly not a sport for the faint-hearted and it’s vital to carry out a series of safety measures from the moment you hop on the bike.
One of the most important pieces of safety equipment which you will need when mountain biking is a mountain bike helmet. In the unfortunate event that you fall off the bike, your head will need to be protected so that you avoid concussion. With the help from this guide full of the best mountain bike helmets available right now, you can finally spend less time worrying about injuries and more time focusing on having fun!
The Best Mountain Bike Helmet
It’s important for us to take our selection of bike helmets seriously because, at the end of the day, they could save a life. Today’s best choice product comes from no other than Fox Racing; the experts in designing attractive mountain bike helmets with all of the right safety measures. The Fox Flux MTB Helmet is not just attractive to look at with its matte black exterior, but it also has vast amounts of protection on the interior so that your head is kept safe at all times. With twenty ventilation ports for airflow and a slightly deeper EPS shell than you’d usually find on traditional helmets, it’s safe to say that you’ll be out of harm’s way when this helmet is around. Be sure to combine this with a cool mountain bike from our list.
20 ventilation ports
Large EPS shell at the rear of the helmet
- BrandFox Racing
- Weight12.6 ounces
This helmet is very lightweight and therefore perfect for long-term use
Removable padding eliminates any odour problems
Easy to use cinch system
The visor is detachable and may come off too easily
The stickers may wear off
As we mentioned before, mountain biking is a dangerous sport. The more protection you have, the better. This is why many mountain bike helmets are designed with the whole of your face in mind, and a personal full-face favourite of ours is the Demon United Podium Full Face Mountain Bike Helmet. This helmet is available in a variety of different matte colours and features an EPS foam liner which hugs your face, keeping it protected at all costs. We recommend purchasing this helmet if you’re particularly worried about any jaw-related injuries which are very probable when it comes to mountain biking. This also makes a perfect gift for mountain bikers in your life.
EPS foam liner
13 airflow ports
Comes with a helmet bag
- BrandDemon United
The foam liner moulds to the shape of your face for the perfect fit
CPSC certified (guaranteed safety)
The jaw padding may make this helmet run small
Chin strap has a plastic clip which might be flimsy
We understand that sometimes, you just want to find a helmet which does the trick, without overwhelming you with too many fancy features. Although still an incredibly thought-through bike helmet, the Giro GH22170 Mens Phase Dirt Bike Helmet can provide you with just that. Just like many other types of enduro MTB helmet on the market, you’ll find this design to be extremely comfortable on your head. It is lightweight enough to keep you cool on any climb imaginable, yet still durable enough to last in even the most extreme of conditions. Make sure you also check our guide to the best bicycle chain lubes.
Snap-fit 2 visor
27 vents for ventilation
- Weight2.4 pounds
Easy to fit and adjust
Made out of extremely lightweight material which may not last when handled aggressively
Replacement pads may be tricky to get hold of
We have another contender from Giro, the experts in all things bicycle helmets; the Giro Montaro MIPS Helmet. This time around, the Montaro design is made with the long-distance cyclists in mind. Featuring a unique shell surrounding which helps to protect your control centre, you can expect to find yourself on a care-free ride when this is securely strapped to your head. This helmet even features anti-microbial padding which will absorb your sweat, leaving you feeling as fresh as can be. Our handy guide to the best bike lights features more great products like this.
16 vents for airflow
Roc Loc Air adjustment for a secure fit
- Weight 1.85 pounds
Unique padding absorbs sweat
Available in a huge array of colours!
Lacks some inner cushioning
Camera mount might be a bit flimsy
There are no rules whatsoever which state that a mtb helmet has to be boring. If you’re looking to stand out from the crowd, then say hello to the Smith Optics Forefront All Mountain Bike Helmet; a helmet which was designed to tackle conventions. Not only does this helmet come in several different striking designs, but it also features an award-winning Koroyd tube structure, which provides you with an effective ventilation system like no other. We could praise the several unique features that this bike helmet has all day, but we’re sure it’s already grabbed your attention enough. Love this product? Check out our review of the best bike speedometers for our top picks.
VaporFit adjustment system
Koroyd tube structure for ventilation
AirEvac system to prevent glasses fogging up
- BrandSmith Optics
- Weight1.95 pounds
Available in several personality-filled designs
Helmet is extremely lightweight, weighing just 285g
May not fit head shapes which aren’t oval
If you were liking where we were headed when talking about bike helmets with lots of personalities, then you’re in luck. Next up, we have the Kask Rex MTB Helmet – a mountain bike helmet with a playful appearance yet one which still gets down to business. Weighing just 270 grams, this helmet will fit perfectly on your head with help from the Kask octofit adjustment system, without causing any strain on your muscles. Find more great products like this by checking out our guide to the best bike repair stands.
Kask octofit adjustment system
Go Pro mount
- Weight2 pounds
Extremely lightweight (weighs just 270g)
Logos are not laminated and may wear easily
Top mount clip is quite stiff
That’s right – we have yet another helmet from the incredible brand Giro; we just can’t get enough of their designs! If you’re passionate about hardcore descents when mountain biking, then the Giro Switchblade MIPS Helmet will be perfect for you. The downhill mtb helmet consists of a certified full-face helmet which can also be easily removed for when you aren’t biking to such an extreme extent. The removable chin bar makes climbing just as simple, as it allows you to benefit from the cheek pad ventilation on offer. This helmet is one of the most incredible multi-functioning ones we’ve come across. Don’t forget to also check our guide to the best bike phone mounts.
20 ventilation ports
Removable chin bar
Roc Loc Air SH system
- Weight2.4 pounds
Perfect for all forms of mountain biking thanks to the removable chin bar
Chin bar may snap if detached aggressively
Not suitable for use in hot weather
If you’re just starting out in the world of mountain biking and need a helmet which will protect you yet not distract you, then let us lead you in the direction of the Bell Adult Event XC. This helmet has all you need for a safe ride, including a fusion in-mould polycarbonate shell which helps to form a more solid exterior. With a combination of this durable outer and CoolMax padding for cool comfort, you really can’t go wrong here. You may also like to check our guide to the best bike pumps.
22 huge ventilation ports
- Weight1.4 pounds
CoolMax padding keeps your head cool and comfy
Perfect for beginners
Very minimal protection
Not available in many designs
Circulating back round to the sturdy full face mountain bike helmets, we’d like to introduce you to the Fox Proframe Full Face MTB Bike Helmet. Although a full face helmet, you’ll be surprised to see just how lightweight this helmet still is, allowing you to enjoy intense mountain biking without getting too hot and stuffy. Fox Racing really do understand just how intense mountain biking can get, so with the help from this odour-fighting helmet, your scalp will be able to stay as fresh as possible. Our guide to the best bike locks offers more great products like this so check it out.
24 large vent ports
Made with breathable linear
- BrandFox Racing
- Weight3.65 pounds
Breathable linear helps to fight odour
Large vent ports help to maintain a good airflow
The chin strap cannot be removed
Almost three times heavier than half-shell helmets
We won’t bore you with countless details for our last feature in this buying guide, but trust us when we say that the 661 SixSixOne Comp Full Face Gravity MTB DH Helmet provides literally everything you could possibly want from a full face mtb helmet. This helmet didn’t receive a five-star rating by chance; with a mixture of striking design and unbeatable features, it certainly lives up to expectations. Made for entry-level riders in mind, this helmet will give you the protection you need to get things started.
Multiple large vents
Large eye-port for perfect vision
- Weight 4 pounds
Linear is not detachable (hard to clean)
Only one design available
Mountain Bike Helmet Buying Guide & FAQ
Need a bit of extra reassurance before you purchase a mountain bike helmet? No problem. Take a look at the next few sections of this buying guide in order to understand why you should trust our selections and what you need to look out for in order to get the best product imaginable.
How We Chose Our Selection Of Mountain Bike Helmets
We can’t afford to get our buying guides wrong. We are far too passionate and care far too much about you to let your money go to waste. This is why every single product we encounter has to go through a thorough selection process, consisting of the following three areas:
Reviews - There will be no one-star reviews in sight on our buying guides. If a product hasn’t lived up to its expectations and a lot of angry customers have had awful experiences, then we can gladly say that it’ll never be associated with us. Customer reviews consist of the truth and nothing but the truth, meaning more times than not, you can rely on them in order to get a full understanding of the product you are about to buy.
We carefully sifted through thousands of reviews for every single product on this buying guide, ensuring that only the mountain bike helmets with the most positive reception would get featured. The mountain bike community is a very supportive one, so here is a huge thanks to everyone for writing their honest reviews!
Brand - There is a lot that goes into making a high-quality bike helmet, meaning purchasing from a brand which doesn’t have experience in the biking field probably isn’t the best way to go. You’re going to want a product that you can trust; a product which won’t break after the first use. The best way to ensure maximum efficiency in this area is by buying from brands who are the experts in the mountain bike field.
These brands don’t necessarily have to be the biggest names on the market, but we’ve made sure that the brands we’ve featured have had tonnes of experience working with these types of products. So, we’ve looked at the background of the brand, similar products made by them, reviews on multiple sites, and much more. All of these factors contribute towards finding a brand which won’t let you down.
Price - Last but by no means least, we assess products based on their price. Now, if you’re looking for a high-quality helmet, then you need to be prepared to pay a price tag to match. With this in mind, however, we understand that everyone has some sort of a budget and no one wants to break the bank when purchasing. All of the helmets which have made it on to our buying guide match a whole range of budgets, from those looking to save wherever possible to those who are okay with investing a bit more.
Although some helmets may be cheaper than others, we can assure you that the quality is kept at the same level throughout. As, of course, the products still had to pass our other two pieces of criteria before getting to the price assessment stage.
Features To Look For In Mountain Bike Helmets
Mountain bike helmets have very specific features; features that will guarantee safety in risky situations. If you’re on the hunt for a high-quality mountain bike helmet, then make sure that it carries the following features. When a product plays a role as serious as saving your life, it’s essential to think about the following categories:
Safety Standards - Every single bicycle helmet needs to pass safety standards before it can be sold to the public. When it comes to mountain bike helmets, they must meet the minimum safety standards of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). It’s likely that you’ll start to get very familiar with seeing CPSC mentioned when looking at bike products, as a helmet without this regulation is not guaranteed to be safe or legal.
There’s loads of safety tests which are carried out in order to establish whether a helmet passes the CPSC regulations. The most important test consists of attaching the helmet to headforms and measuring the impact when dropped onto an anvil. This is an important test, as it will quickly tell whether the biker would experience head injuries when in a collision.
Size - If your helmet is too big then it could risk falling off, but if it’s too small, then it may impact your vision and ability to move. This is why it’s vital to get a helmet which is perfectly sized to the shape of your head.
Mountain bike helmets are typically sized in centimetres, meaning it’s pretty easy to get the right size. Simply measure the circumference of your head and then use the brands sizing guide to find a helmet to match.
Fit - Once you’ve figured out what size helmet you need, you can then establish whether the design of it is a good fit for you. Mountain bike helmets need to be snug, sitting level just above the eyebrows and not getting in the way of your vision. When you give the helmet a tug, it shouldn’t slip around any further than an inch. If you find that the helmet slips around and impacts your vision, then it’s probably wise to opt for a helmet with a different fit.
Ventilation - The last thing you want when mountain biking is a sweaty head. It’s no surprise that you’re going to be working up a sweat, but if your head gets too hot, then you’ll start to feel weak pretty quickly. With this in mind, the best mountain bike helmets will have plenty of ventilation ports to prevent the issue. Although too many ventilation ports may reduce the level of safety a helmet has, it’s still necessary to have just the right amount so that there’s a good airflow at all times. You need to keep your head cool in order to be able to perform to the best of your ability, so look for the helmets with an average of twenty ventilation ports.
Fastening - In most cases, a mountain bike helmet will fasten with a chin strap. This is usually in the form of Velcro or plastic cap. Either way, it’s always nice to have the option of a fastening strap so that you can adjust the fit of the helmet with ease.
Weight - Just like most biking products, the lighter a helmet is, the better. If you have a heavy helmet, then it’s likely to weigh you down and cause some serious shoulder and back pain. The majority of mountain bike helmets are made from lightweight materials, but it’s worth checking the weight of a helmet before purchasing so that you don’t end up with the struggle of a heavy weight on your head.
Detachable Chin - Different types of mountain biking will require different amounts of protection, meaning if you like a bit of variation when riding, a detachable chin might be a viable feature to look out for.
A detachable chin does exactly what it says on the tin. When you’re in need of thorough protection, simply attach the chin and enjoy the benefits of a full-face helmet. And, when you’re in need of more ventilation and vision, detach the chin and reap the benefits of a half shell helmet.
Visor - Lastly on our list of important features to look out for, we have visors. As mountain biking is an outdoor activity, visors help to protect your eyes from the sun, ensuring that you have perfect vision at all times. If you prefer to wear goggles when riding, then make sure that you get a detachable visor.
Types Of Mountain Bike Helmet
As you may already be aware, there are two main types of mountain bike helmets to choose from; full face and half shell. Below, we will highlight the main differences between the two.
Full Face - Full face helmets will give you the most protection, as they cover the whole head and chin, too. This type of helmet is perfect for those who like to test their luck on challenging mountains, as of course, these routes come with an increasing amount of risk. Although they offer the most protection, full face helmets will have smaller amounts of ventilation, so it’s worth getting one with a detachable chin so that you have the option to remove it if you get uncomfortable.
Half-Shell - If you hadn’t guessed it already, half-shell helmets cover your head, just like a normal cycling helmet would. Half-shell helmets are perfect for less-aggressive forms of mountain biking and can be used on a daily basis. Although you might think you’d be able to get away with a normal cycling helmet when it comes to mountain biking, remember that half-shell helmets are designed with mountain biking in mind, meaning they’ll have far more protection.
Mountain Bike Helmet FAQ
Your safety is a top priority, meaning it’s perfectly normal to have a few more niggling questions at the back of your mind. Read on to discover some of the most popular questions that mountain bike enthusiasts have. To accompany the questions, we’ve provided you with simple answers which will contain all you need to know.
Q: Can I use a road helmet for mountain biking?
A: It is not recommended to use a traditional road helmet for mountain biking. Road helmets don’t provide as much protection as a mountain bike helmet would, so your head and eyes won’t be protected as much as they should be.
Q: When should I replace my bike helmet?
A: As a general rule of thumb, it’s wise to replace your bike helmet after three years of use (if you use it frequently). If you don’t want to judge the replacement period by time, then replace the helmet once the foam starts wearing off, as this is a sign that the helmet is not as protective as it used to be.
Q: How safe are MTB helmets?
A: If a mountain bike helmet has passed the safety regulations of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), then we guarantee that it will be as safe as can be. Please remember though, that mountain bike helmets aim to soften the impact of an accident - they don’t prevent an accident from happening in the first place.