Best Mountain Bike Helmets (Jan. 2018) – Buyer’s Guide and Reviews
While being one of the most loved, commonest and fun ways to spend luxury time, mountain bike riding is also an effective work out exercise. Furthermore, it’s a global sport and an effective way of commuting. Despite its colorful benefits, however, mountain biking has its indelible risks too, head injuries being the chief one. Regardless, it’s a worthy experience you shouldn’t bypass provided you have the best mountain bike helmet.
Over the years, mountain bike helmets have morphed substantially with extensive technological and anesthetic innovations to improve comfort when worn, promote ventilation to cool your head, boost durability and improve portability to allow for safe long-distance mountain biking.
Giro Feature Mountain Bike Helmet
Designed with an eye on the constantly evolving dynamics of trail bike riding, this helmet is a special addition to the best mountain bike helmets list. Its design integrates internally molded polycarbonate shell with EPS high density foam lining for improved comfort and protection from head damages in case of an accident and a retractable motorbike-style visor for shielding the eyes against glaring sunlight and foreign objects like bugs, splinters and soils particles as well as storm/rain water.
Its 12-vent airflow system with internal channeling promotes ventilation while the in-form fit mechanism allows the rider to harmonize stability and helmet-fit using a single hand. The Giro Feature Mountain Bike Helmet’s design is morphed with performance and coverage improvements for long-distance trail riding.
- Improved aerodynamics to reduce air resistance and streamline movement during bike riding
- Unparalleled comfort during bike riding owing to the integration of one-hand in-form mechanism control which also enables you to stay focused and balanced on the road as you adjust the helmet to fit comfortably while pedaling
- Fits perfectly in a variety of head sizes (51-63 cm)
- Improved protection against eye damage with its adjustable motor-style visor
- It’s an exceptionally light and compact helmet, weighing about 1.4 pounds and measuring approximately 15 by 10 by 8 inches, making it conducive for long-trail biking.
- High-level ventilation to keep the biker’s head dry from sweat even in high humidity.
- The side straps are fixed- not adjustable so the helmet doesn’t fasten properly on some heads
- Not suitable for big heads as it’s painful to put on
- Its shape and color schemes are not as appealing as other mountain bike helmets so riders who find aesthetics a big sell-off for helmets may not find this one appealing.
Long-distance trail and off-road mountain bike ride enthusiasts will find the Giro Feature Mountain Bike Helmet one of the best mtb helmets in comfort, durability, portability and durability. The helmet will also offer you lovable one-handed control so you can safely and effectively adjust it to fit tightly and comfortably in all terrains.
Gonex Adult Cycling Road Mountain Bike Helmet
Designed for safety, comfort and durability, Gonex Adult Mountain Bike Helmet has a tunable internal rotary regulator at the back for adjustment to fit into your head perfectly. Its design integrates 24 air vents to aid in streamlining against air resistance and improving ventilation to keep your head cool, dry and comfortable as you ride.
For security, the helmet contains a durable inbuilt 3-mode rear red LED light to keep you visible to oncoming traffic even at night, high-sided velvet cushion lining and an inner EPS high-density foam casing to absorb shock and shield the rider from head injury during impacts. Its design integrates a breathable and odor-free inner lining with an insect net to offer you unparalleled comfort from moisture, sweat, bad odor and disturbing insects during your ride.
- Lightweight (1.3 pounds) thus ideal for long mountain bike rides
- Compact design- 12.1 x 9.1 x 6.6 inches
- Its inner velvet cushion lining and adjustable size regulator provide for the helmet’s firm and comfortable fitting in almost all, even women’s heads
- The helmet’s stylish design befits any classy mountain bike. Riders who prefer plain-colored helmets will find the Gonex Adult bike helmet a worthy purchase.
- The helmet is too light most mountain bike riders find them instinctively questioning its reliability in shielding the head against injury in case of a crush
- Several buyers complain about failure of the cautious rear LED light to function, necessitating repair or battery replacement.
Apart from its negligible downs, the Gonex Adult mountain bike helmet is a fitting head safety lid for any-terrain mountain bike riding. Moreover, its comfortable interior cushioning, porous insect net and efficient internal size regulator qualify it as one of the best mtb helmets.
The Smith Optics Forefront All Mountain Bike Helmet
Measuring 12.4 x 10 x 7.7 inches, this mountain bike head lid is constructed using hollow micro, extruded, co-polymer tubules with air cushioning in place of the EPS foam used in conventional helmets. Its breathable koroyd-tube design permits free air flow, allowing hot air to escape from the back and cool fresh air to enter in front to keep your head cool and aerated throughout your ride.
The Smith Optics Forefront All Mountain helmet also features an efficient AirEvac system that pushes hot air away from your goggles/glasses to keep them fog-free so you can enjoy clear visibility even in high humidity.
- Efficient shock absorption, surpassing traditional EPS helmets by more than 30%
- Top-notch ventilation which keeps your head cool, fresh and clear as you pedal away
- Has a compact, streamlined design which ensures the head is effectively covered and protected and reduces air drag to allow you glide smoothly on your bike
- Features fitting bays for hooking probe lights and cameras.
- Though the head band fits comfortably in a majority of head sizes and shapes, the Smith Optics helmet only fits perfectly in round small heads (51-55 cm)
- It’s a bit bulky compared to other items in the best mtb helmets list.
Although it’s a bit on the higher end in price compared to other mountain bike helmets in its class, the Smith Optics mountain bike helmet easily beats its competition in quality, durability and portability. Besides, it comes in a host of colors (17 in total) so it’ll complement your mountain bike’s anesthetics quite substantially.
#4. Fox Metah Mountain Bike Helmet
Designed for all-level, all-style mountain trail bike riding, the Fox Metah Mountain Bike Helmet features 14 lightweight Big Bore vents in its structure for ventilation and weight reduction as well as a fixed-style Y-strap anchor system for fastening. For safety, it’s designed with a multi-density Fox Varizorb mechanism and EPS liner for reducing of shock impact to the head and lower back-head coverage for protection against back-head concussions in case of an impact. And to keep the rider’s head comfortable, it contains a premium quality seal-edged liner for moisture absorption.
- Its massive air vents provide for excellent ventilation to keep your head cool even in hot weather
- It’s lightweight so you can wear it comfortably over long-distance and all-terrain mountain bike rides
- The Fox Metah helmet offers unique comfort with its Y-strap single-grip anchor control
- Contains convenient mounting bays for goggles, flashlights and probes.
- The helmet is a bit bulky-looking due to the massive air vents and lower back coverage
- Too large for people with small heads. However, its size-adjusting feature and straps offer firm grip when properly fastened.
If you don’t fall in the small-head category, or if you don’t mind the over-size air vents, the Fox Metah helmet is a durable and reliable helmet for your freeway or off-road trail mountain biking. Available in a myriad of colors (14) and featuring a fixed MX-inspired visor for directing air into the front air vents to boost ventilation, the Fox Metah is definitely one of the best mountain bike helmets in the market.
#5. Crazy Mars Ultra light Stable Men’s/Women’s Bike Helmet
This hot multi- sport mountain bike helmet is characterized by top grade PVC and PC components as well as an EPS foam shock protection mechanism that instantly assure riders of high-end head protection during bike rides. It contains a flexible rotary internal size regulator to allow flexible and comfortable use by a wide range of head sizes. It also features a detachable visor for improved protection against the sun’s glare and foreign objects like flies and splinters.
The Crazy Mars Mountain Bike Helmet also spots removable and washable sweat chin and inner padding for increase shock-protection and comfort and intricately streamlined tail design to reduce air drag..
- This helmet features a very compact design (10 x 8.1 x 5.4 inches) that makes it a conveniently small mountain bike head lid
- It’s a lightweight helmet, thus easily portable and convenient for rough and long-distance mountain bike rides.
- Its efficient adjustable internal rotary regulator allows for fitting of almost all sizes of heads (about 95%), even those with exceptionally large noggins
- It’s an exceptionally comfortable helmet, thanks to the visor which protects the eyes from bugs, eye-inbound objects and glaring sunshine; removable padding and conveniently-positioned straps.
- Several riders report problems with the head-binding feature- it doesn’t adhere to the sides of the head as it does to the front and back, making it unstable during rough off-trail mountain bike rides
- Its plastic chin strap breaks off easily if the rider is not careful. In case of this unfortunate occurrence, the helmet can’t be fastened to the head, making it rather useless.
With its piqued safety and comfort features, the Crazy Mars Mountain Bike Helmet is a fitting choice for bike riders on a low-cost budget. It’s strengthened PVC outer casing and efficient EPS sock-absorbent integrations grant the rider increased protection from head concussions while its elastic internal regulator, washable pads and visor increase its comfort. With its uniquely streamlined design, the Crazy Mars can correctly be declared the best mountain bike helmet in today’s market.
#6. Gonex Wind Cross Road Adult Mountain Bike Helmet
Measuring 11 x 8 x 6 inches, the Gonex Wind Cross Road Adult Mountain Bike Helmet features2 8 big airflow vents to boost ventilation during bike rides and efficient aerodynamic (anti-wind resistance) design to minimize air resistance and increase comfort and speed during mountain biking. Additionally, it’s designed with sure-grip nylon strap for fastening, an insect-arrest nest for eye protection and removable and washable internal padding to increase comfort even in rough-trail biking.
The helmet spots a top grade shell composed of matt printing and 0.8 mm PC and 85 EPS high density foaming and integrally molded internal casing for piqued protection against head damages in case of a crash.
- Very light helmet, weighing approximately 8.8 ounces
- Piqued comfort due to inner padding and its tight-fitting nylon straps
- It’s also a compact protective headgear that’s appropriate for all-terrain mountain biking
- Its heat-engraved back outer liner offers the helmet lovable aerodynamics and gives it a sleek look to complement your mountain bike’s aesthetics
- The helmet isn’t ideal for bike riders with exceptionally big heads (above 63 cm)
- Its straps are reported to break off easily so you may want to ensure they’re ship-shape upon arrival
Whether you are taking your mountain bike riding experience to the trails, freeways or off-road pathways, the Gonex Wind Cross Road Adult Mountain Bike Helmet will offer your head lionized comfort and protection as you pedal away. Besides, it’s affordable when contrasted with its counterparts. With its unchangeable 28-big-airflow vents and aerodynamic design, it’s in arguably one of the best mtb helmets you can lay your hands on.
#7. GoMax Aero Safety Adjustable Road Cycling Mountain Bike Helmet
This intricately designed helmet identifies among the best mountain bike helmets with CE- certified in-mold shell made of strengthened polycarbonates with American EPS lining and PC for improved protection against head concussions in case you experience a hit and a removable visor for eye protection against rainfall, direct sunlight and stay objects, making it a reliable bike helmet in any weather.
The GoMax Aero Safety Adjustable Road Cycling Mountain Bike Helmet’s dual adjustment fit mechanism, composed of elastic side straps and a reflective adjustable rear dial, allows the bike rider to fit and fasten the helmet for a safe and comfortable mountain bike ride. It also features 22 air vents that optimize ventilation and reduced air-flow resistance to allow mountain bike riders to enjoy cool pedaling even in hot humid weather.
- Lightweight and compact helmet (9.6 ounces and measuring 10.6 x 8.1 x 5.9) that will integrate beautifully with long-distance trail and road mountain biking
- The inner padding and double-level fitment adjustments ensure its users have unequaled comfort during biking
- It’s a fitting helmet for all sizes of heads, even those with long fluffy hair! Children and adults alike can enjoy the convenience offered by the adjustable side straps and rear fitment-adjustment dial
- It offers top-notch protection against head bums, thanks to its chin protector, inner padding, EPS layering and high grade poly-carbonate outer shell.
- Though it adjusts perfectly for almost all sizes of heads, it’s a little bulky for small heads which appear mushroom blooms. However, it’ll still serve you well if you aren’t perturbed by the appearance
- The ratchet strap is reported to rest after a long session of using the helmet, necessitating further adjustment but this isn’t really a setback but a maintenance issue.
Compounded with its colorful safety and comfort promotion features, it’s easy to establish why the GoMax Aero Safety Adjustable Road Cycling Mountain Bike Helmet is one of the best mtb helmets and a commonly preferred choice for short and long-distance road and trail mountain bike riding. If you are looking for reliable mountain bike accessories to infuse some adrenaline rush in your trail mountain biking, this helmet is a definite go-go for you.
#8. Giro Hex Mountain Bike Helmet
Designed with aggressive trail mountain bike riders in mind, the Giro Hex Mountain Bike Helmet spots a strong in-mould full-wrap polycarbonate shell for piqued head protection in case of an impact and a top grade patented 15º adjustable P.O.V. visor to deflect glaring sun’s rays and fend off obscuring rain drops, stray foreign particles and insects as well as brush, thus ensure the mountain bike rider’s head and eyes are sufficiently protected throughout the ride.
The helmet also contains 17 air tunnel vents compounded with internal channels for air flow to improve ventilation in the head region during adrenaline-packed trail riding and a premium-grade EPS lining to cushion the bike rider’s head from a direct head shock in case of an impact. Moreover, it’s designed with a lovable Roc Loc 5 fitment mechanism.
- The helmet fits comfortably in almost all head sizes. Besides, its efficient Roc Loc 5 mechanism allows for perfect single-handed fastening for a majority of mountain bike riders
- Its ventilation system is top-notch, thanks to the massive 17 wind-vents and internal air channeling. For this, the Giro Hex Mountain Bike Helmet is love-some helmet for aggressive mountain biking
- This helmet offers unequaled visibility even in harsh weather conditions, thanks to its retractable visor and real fitment-adjustment knob
- Its external aesthetics are pleasing and sharp, ensuring the rider is easily visible by oncoming traffic.
- Its noticeably smaller than most mountain bike helmets so you may want to confirm its integration with your head if you loathe helmets that ride high on your head
- The helmet’s design excludes a back aperture so those with long hair or ponytails may find it a wanting head lid. Also, some new bike riders report operational complications with its straps.
With its hiked head- protection and comfort incorporation, this Giro helmet is definitely a worthy piece of equipment to watch for if you want to take trail, rough road, and freeway mountain bike riding to a higher, safer level.
#9. Crazy Mars Baseca Elastic Ultra light Stable Road/Mountain Bike Cycling Helmet
Measuring 11.5 x 8.5 x 6 inches, this mountain bike helmet is designed for convenient use by both male and female riders. A worthy candidate on the best mountain bike helmets, the Crazy Mars Baseca Elastic Ultra light Stable Road/Mountain Bike Cycling Helmet spots a commendable wind tunnel piping for ventilation, removable internal pad lining and sweat chin pad for sweat absorption during bike riding and an efficient silk-light grade EPS foaming layer for improved security against the shock of an impact. Further, it has a streamlined tail design to reduced air drag and improved ease as you pedal against the wind.
- This helmet binds tightly with the rider’s head, ensuring it stays protected from fatal crashes
- Its size adjustment set works wonders, making it a comfortable and tight fit for several head sizes (52-61 cm)
- Its inner and chin pad linings are detachable thus easy to clean
- This helmet is very light (8 ounces), thus suitable for long-trail and off-road aggressive bike riding.
- This helmet rocks and rolls on a small rider’s head even when fastened, making it unsuitable for road cycling if your head is small
- Several buyers report strap and adjustment knob complications within the first few times of use.
Although it doesn’t fit perfectly in riders with small head girth, the Crazy Mars Baseca Ultra light mountain bike helmet is a worthy choice for trail bikers on a stringent budget. Going for about $20-$30 on Amazon, it’s an affordable purchase for entry-level bikers who value their heads more than the equivalent sum in cash.
#10. Basecamp Specialized Bike Helmet for Road and Mountain Biking
Designed with a head circumference adjust regulator (between 22.05” and 24.41”) and additional two ports on the inside for adjusting the head circumference fit from medium (M) to large (L) and a 28-hole air-flow ventilation system, the Basecamp Specialized Mountain Bike Helmet also contains a porous inner cushioning for efficient moisture and sweat absorption.
The helmet additionally spots a strengthened in-mold polycarbonate and EPS foam lining to provide head shielding in case of an impact as well as a removable visor block which allows for comfortable riding even in dusty surroundings as well as stark weather conditions like in bright sunshine or during hailstorms.
- Streamlined design to reduce air drag during bike riding
- Composed of strengthened constituent material like polycarbonate shell, this helmet is uniquely durable
- Efficient anti-shock properties owing to its integrally molded EPS liner
- It’s a very comfortable helmet, thanks to the size regulator and in-lay pad lining
- Conducive for all-weather mountain bike riding due to the removable visor block.
- The straps are a bit cumbersome to set properly
- Its back isn’t brightly colored so you may want to add some highly visible duct tape or caution light if you want to use this helmet for road biking.
Overall, this helmet is a beautiful head lid in both safety and comfort feature incorporations. It also fits well in most sizes and shapes of rider heads. Although it offers hiked head security and comfort, its aesthetics aren’t very appealing. Regardless it’s a fitting all-weather, all-terrain mountain bike helmet and one of the best mtb helmets in today’s market.
Key Features to look for in a Best Mountain Bike Helmets
Every mountain bike helmet manufacturer includes unique features in their design to differentiate their products from others. However, there are some basic features in all reliable mountain bike head lids. They include:
This is the transparent eye shielding that takes the place of a car’s windshield in a mountain bike helmet. Designed to protect the bike rider’s eyes from damage by stray objects including flying birds, bugs, dust particles and rain water as well as the sun ray’s glare, the visor is usually mounted on the helmet using fixed screws or ratchets. Additionally, the most reliable visors are designed with up-down tilting allowance so that the rider can easily pull them down or up for optimal visibility and eye protection.
Moreover, some mountain bike helmets’ visors are tinted so that they can reflect away the sun’s rays to allow the rider clear visibility even in sharp contrast landscape and bright sunshine or when riding in the direction of the sun.
Helmet retention harness
Retention devices allow you to fasten the helmet on your head so it doesn’t fall off as you pedal your mountain bike or during impact. Moreover, they allow for adjustment of helmet size and fit to ensure it fits tightly and comfortably on the rider’s head. The best mountain bike helmets feature either or both of these two types of harnessing- dual-pinch type (Y- shape side strapping) and rotating dial type.
The dual-pinch side straps require both hands for fastening while the rotating dial type can be conveniently controlled single-handedly. Combined, these two types of retention devices offer piqued helmet-head grip.
Laid in the helmet’s interior where it comes into contact with the rider’s head, inner bike helmet padding is included to improve the rider head’s safety and comfort. Designed for sweat absorption, the padding material’s porosity, thickness and density influence the padding’s efficiency. Thick padding absorbs sweat admirably but causes the helmet’s interior to heat up quickly. On the other side, thin strip padding offers increased protection against excessive heat buildup but has minimal sweat absorbing qualities.
Conducive air flow is among the most important features to watch out for before investing your money in any mountain bike helmet. Bike helmets feature front vents to allow entry of fresh cool air; internal air-vent channeling and rear exhaust air holes. Designed with the physics of conventional currents principle, this air-vent piping allows cold into the helmets superstructure to cool the rider’s head and evaporate sweat while hot air escapes from the rear exhaust vents
Different mountain bike helmet manufacturers feature varied air-vent designs, incorporating different sizes, shapes and number of air tubules to ensure riders enjoy unhindered ventilation during mountain biking.
Goggle, camera and light parking
Some bike helmets are designed uniquely with a retractable visor to allow for fitment of goggles beneath. Also, look for flash or probe light mounting bays on a mountain bike helmet if you are a night rider. Furthermore, the best mtb helmets feature parking bays for camera attachment so you can take photos or videos of your trail and surroundings as you pedal away.
Shock absorbent EPS and MIPS
Definitely the most important feature, shock-absorption is a major determinant of the quality and price tag of mountain bike helmets. Designed to function like the crumple zone or air bags in cars, expanded polystyrene (EPS) compresses and spreads out upon impact to level out and absorb the shock of impact, thereby shielding the rider’s entire head from concussions. However, some ultramodern helmet designs feature co-polymer tubes with efficient air cushioning in place of the EPS foaming.
Multidirectional Impact Protection (MIPS) features an internal plastic lining which slides by limited measure over the helmet’s inner shell during impact to absorb pressure and shield the rider’s brain from glancing and rotational impact. However, MIPS takes up extra internal helmet size and limits air flow thus lowers the helmet’s ventilation.
This is the external helmet casing that houses other bike helmet inclusions including inner padding, MIPS, EPS and harnessing straps. Mostly composed of thin plastic, the helmet’s shell is lightweight and can be molded into a variety of colors to improve the helmet’s visibility to oncoming traffic and promote its aesthetics.
Helmet’s weight and size
A helmet’s weight and size are vital considerations to pay attention to before going all-in to purchase your mountain bike helmet. While a lightweight helmet is a comfortable head lid to put on especially on a long trail bike ride, a heavier one will doubtlessly tire your head and neck more quickly.
Similarly, snugly-fitting large-size bike helmets are uncomfortable as they tend to rock and roll as you pedal away unlike smaller well-fitting ones.
These are only the most striking features that mountain bike riders commonly leverage to determine which head lid befits their mountain bike riding. Here, we feature 10 of the best mountain bike helmets to help you pedal your mountain bike riding experience to the next level without fear of head concussions.
Mountain bike riding, whether on busy or isolated roads or trails, requires proper head protection. Since a myriad of accidents including being run over by a car, skidding on slippery road surfaces, running into another biker, motorist or pedestrian and entry of stray objects like insects, splinters or dust particles into the eyes, it’s recommended that you always put on your helmet whenever you ride. This post has expounded on some proven options to help you select the best mountain bike helmet for your specific needs.
Whether you ride your mountain bike for sheer fun, use it as a means of commuting or ride for the sole purpose of exercising your body, this guide will point you in the right direction as you seek a reliable helmet to ensure you stay comfortable and safe throughout your mountain bike ride.