Riding a mountain bike can be as dangerous as it is fun. You need to have the best mountain bike helmet possible to protect your head and neck from potential injury. With so many on the market, which is the best option for you?
There are certainly a bunch of options available that will give you exceptional protection. Some even go beyond this and provide comfort, convenience, and durability for added value. In this article, we round up some great helmets for mountain biking and break them down.
- 1 The Best Mountain Bike Helmets
- 1.1 1. Bell Super 3R MIPS Adult MTB Bike Helmet – Best Full Face Mountain Bike Helmet
- 1.2 2. POC Tectal Mountain Bike Helmet
- 1.3 3. Giro Fixture MIPS Adult Dirt Cycling Helmet – Best Half Shell Mountain Bike Helmet
- 1.4 4. Troy Lee Designs Adult All Mountain XC Mountain Bike A2 Jet Helmet
- 1.5 5. DEMON UNITED Podium Full Face Mountain Bike Helmet
- 1.6 6. Fox Head Flux MTB Bike Helmet
- 1.7 7. Shinmax Bike Helmet – Best Budget Mountain Bike Helmet
- 2 Buying a Helmet for MTB
- 3 Final Thoughts on Mountain Biking Helmets
Bike Helmet Comparison
Here’s a breakdown of the types of mountain bike helmets we reviewed and whether they offer MIPS (Multi-directional Impact Protection System). This specialist type of protection is designed to reduce rotational forces during impact.
|Bell Super 3R MIPS Adult MTB Bike Helmet||Full face||Yes|
|POC POC Tectal, Helmet for Mountain Biking||Open face||No|
|Giro Giro Fixture MIPS Adult Dirt Cycling Helmet||Half shell||Yes|
|Troy Lee Designs Adult All Mountain XC Mountain Bike A2 Jet Helmet||Open face||Yes|
|DEMON UNITED DEMON UNITED Podium Mountain Bike Helmet||Full face||Yes|
|Fox Racing Fox Head Flux MTB Bike Helmet||Open face||No|
|Shinmax Shinmax Bike Helmet||Half shell||No|
The Best Mountain Bike Helmets
We’ve reviewed some of the most highly recommended models to give you all you need to know. Each is highly-rated but there are some differences in features and appearance to help you find the perfect mountain bike helmet to satisfy your requirements.
Here is a list of the 7 best mountain bike helmets around.
1. Bell Super 3R MIPS Adult MTB Bike Helmet – Best Full Face Mountain Bike Helmet
The Bell Super 3R MIPS Adult MTB Bike Helmet offers excellent protection from impacts with a unique trademarked design. The polycarbonate shell of the helmet is fused to the lining of the interior of the helmet to make it stronger.
The X-Static Padding provides protection from jolts and it’s made of materials that dry fast. Genuine silver fibers are interwoven to slow the growth of fungi and bacteria that can cause odor. Both X-Static and XT2 padding are featured. There are 23 helmet vents placed in strategic places to maintain good airflow. This prevents sweating and discomfort. This is an overbrow ventilation with intake ports at the brow of the helmet to move cool air through and drive it through the network of air channels to fully ventilate the head area.
A Multi-directional Impact Protection System is in place. This gives you extra protection from rotational forces that can happen during certain kinds of impacts. The adaptable chin bar is removable and attaches without the need for tools.The visor system is adjustable for glasses and goggles and functions with or without the visor attached. There is also a camera mount with a breakaway feature reducing possible injury.
This helmet is available in a range of sizes, including small, medium, and large, and it also comes in several color choices. With a range of high-end characteristics to keep you protected and comfortable, we feel this is the best full-face mountain bike helmet in our list.
Key Features of the Bell Super 3R MIPS Adult MTB Bike Helmet:
- Shell: Polycarbonate Fusion In-Mold trademark
- Impact Foam: X-Statis padding with silver fibers woven in
- Ventilation: 23 helmet vents
- MIPS: Yes
- Other: Adjustable chin bar, visor system, and breakaway camera mount.
2. POC Tectal Mountain Bike Helmet
The POC Tectal helmet for mountain biking is one of the more basic models. The shell is made in one piece and the Aramid fiber grid not only provides good protection but it also strengthens the helmet to withstand greater impacts.
This is a full head coverage bike helmet that comes with additional protection at the back of the head and at the temples. It also comes with extra pads for adjusting the fit more precisely. The EPS liner provides padding for comfort. You can adjust the size along with the visor.
The ventilation system is apparent with 14 large air vents that promote a good flow of air through the entire helmet. It weighs approximately 2 pounds. We recommend this helmet for cyclists who are more inclined to stick on established and stable trails and prefer less bulk. The POC Tectal, Helmet for Mountain Biking does not offer the MIPS feature, but it is a durable and sturdy helmet that offers protection from common biking mishaps. It’s an excellent basic helmet that offers sound protection at a moderate cost.
Key Features of the POC Tectal Mountain Bike Helmet:
- Shell: Aramid fiber grid in an outer PC unibody construction
- Impact Foam: EPS Liner with extra pads
- Ventilation:14 vents
- MIPS: No
- Other: Adjustable visor
3. Giro Fixture MIPS Adult Dirt Cycling Helmet – Best Half Shell Mountain Bike Helmet
The Giro Fixed MIPS Adult Dirt Cycling Helmet is made for use on dirt trails. The shell is made with an In-Mold design and polycarbonate material. This makes the shell strong and durable.
The padding is extra plush for comfort and protection. The fit is guaranteed to be universal thanks to the Roc Loc Sport integrated MIPS fit sizing. The Integrated MIPS feature also provides impact protection to all areas of the head because it distributes the energy from a crash in multiple directions.
This is also a very well ventilated bike helmet. The 18 vents are made with a wind tunnel design that helps to channel airflow through the helmet and over the head. This is a comforting feature that helps prevent perspiration and overheating. On the whole, this is a very good mountain biking helmet and we’d recommend this to anyone looking for a great half-shell helmet.
Key features of the Giro Fixture MIPS Adult Dirt Cycling Helmet:
- Shell: Polycarbonate In-Mold Shell with EPS liner
- Impact Foam: EPS liner with extra-plush padding
- Ventilation: 18 vents
- MIPS: Yes, integrated MIPS
- Other: Removable visor
4. Troy Lee Designs Adult All Mountain XC Mountain Bike A2 Jet Helmet
The Troy Lee Designs Adult All Mountain XC mountain Bike A2 Jet Helmet is made of polycarbonate material featuring reinforcement of aerospace filaments for exceptional durability and protection. The MIPS Brain Protection System that is unique to this helmet is integrated and protects from angled impacts by reducing rotational energy transfers.
The padding is a combination of EPP and EPS that have been co-molded for protection and comfort. The liner is made of X-Static that is washable. The material wicks moisture away from the head and is designed to reduce odor development.
The 12 vents are large in size to channel the air through the helmet and around the head to prevent sweating and overheating discomfort. This helmet comes with a visor with breakaway screws as an additional safety feature. There is also a rear stabilizer system for adjusting the fit. It weighs one pound for lightweight comfort. Although there are no camera mounts provided, the sticky mount type cameras are compatible. This is a moderately priced helmet that is packed with safety and comfort features.
Key features of the Troy Lee Designs Adult All Mountain XC Mountain Bike A2 Jet Helmet:
- Shell: Aerospace filament-reinforced polycarbonate
- Impact Foam: EPP and EPS co-molded
- Ventilation: 12 vents
- MIPS: Yes
- Other: Rear stabilizer fit system
5. DEMON UNITED Podium Full Face Mountain Bike Helmet
The Demon United Podium Full Face Mountain Bike Helmet offers excellent head protection for BMX and trail biking excursions. The polycarbonate outer shell of the helmet is strong and durable, but the construction is lightweight coming in at just 2 lbs 2 ounces.
Your head is fully protected through the integrated MIPS Brain Protection System that distributes any impacts to prevent concentrated energy transfers. The EPS foam liner is crafted to conform to the natural shape of your head for the best possible fit. The liner is also removable so you can wash it and prevent the buildup of odors.
The ventilation system moves air through the helmet and over the head to pull cool air in through the 13 large vents and channel it through to move warm air out.
This is a helmet that riders who prefer full-face coverage can appreciate. It’s a stylish helmet that is made of strong materials with padding in the right places to keep you both comfortable and protected from injury.
Key features of the DEMON UNITED Podium Full Face Mountain Bike Helmet:
- Shell: Polycarbonate outer shell
- Impact Foam: EPS foam liner
- Ventilation: 13 large airflow vents
- MIPS: Yes
- Other: Full face styling
6. Fox Head Flux MTB Bike Helmet
The Fox Head Flux MTB Bike Helmet is constructed with a durable polycarbonate shell that features an inner cage for additional strength. Although this version does not come with a MIPS system, it offers head protection through its unique construction and the addition of the Varizorb EPS foam.
The padding is a multi-density foam that enhances its ability to absorb impacts. The design provides a 300-degree retention system that improves the fit with a full wrap.
The Flux helmet is an attractive yet protective gear accessory that is well ventilated with 14 big bore vents. They allow ample airflow around the head to prevent excessive heat and moisture buildup. The visor is adjustable and you can adjust the fit via the dial system and the Y strap. This is a helmet that is highly recommended for enduro, trail, and cross country cycling. It weighs just 1.85 pounds for lightweight comfort.
Key features of the Fox Head Flux MTB Bike Helmet:
- Shell: Polycarbonate
- Impact Foam: Varizorb EPS foam
- Ventilation: 14 vents
- MIPS: No but it is available
- Other: Adjustable visor and Dial Y-strap fit adjustment
7. Shinmax Bike Helmet – Best Budget Mountain Bike Helmet
The Shinmax Bike Helmet Bicycle Helmet comes loaded with useful features. While it does not offer a MIPS system, the polycarbonate case is made of high-density material to improve safety. It works in conjunction with the detachable inner pad for absorbing pressure and impacts.
The foam pad lining is removable so you can wash it when needed. It offers protection and comfort in all directions.
The helmet is adjustable through a dual fit design that includes an adjusting knob that is placed at the back of the helmet. This is used to adjust the head circumference of the helmet for the ideal fit.
The sun visor is detachable. It is designed to reduce air resistance for improved aerodynamics when in use. An LED safety rear light is also included for enhanced safety when cycling at night. It features 3 lighting modes, including fast flashing, slow flashing and steady light to let others know you’re there.
The ventilation is excellent thanks to 22 vents that help to pull cool air in and push warm air out of the helmet. This cuts down on heat and perspiration buildups. Although this is not the most advanced helmet, it definitely fits the cheap and cheerful category. For this reason, we’ve decided it’s the best budget mountain bike helmet in our round-up.
Key features of the Shinmax Bike Helmet:
- Shell: Polycarbonate in-molded
- Impact Foam: EPS foam padding
- Ventilation: 22 vents
- MIPS: No
- Other: Portable backpack and LED Safety Real Light
Buying a Helmet for MTB
Although they’re more expensive than other equipment such as mountain biking gloves, helmets can save you a lot of damage. Before you make your decision about which mountain biking helmet to get, there are a few things to think about. Along with our reviews of the best mountain bike helmets on the market today, we offer suggestions about what to look for as you’re making your choice.
Mountain bike helmets come in two main styles. Those with a full face shield and those without. This is a matter of preference for most cyclists. While the full face versions are usually heavier and cause more heat, in some instances they are recommended or even required. They provide a broader scope of protection for gnarly trails and more dangerous cycling ventures. Under some circumstances, the full-face helmets are too heavy and too hot, so this is something you should consider. Your riding style may indicate which type is the right choice.
You should only consider a helmet that meets and preferably exceeds the minimum safety standards as set by law. The Consumer Product Safety Commission has established these standards since 1999. Approved helmets have a US certification through the CPSC.
Some cyclists prefer to go with the maximum protection level, which means that the helmet has a MIPS system. The acronym stands for a multi-directional Protection System. This is a design that distributes the energy from an impact across different parts of the helmet so the full force doesn’t direct itself to one part of your head. It also reduces the energy from rotational energy generated impacts. While some argue that it does no more than the CPSC approved helmets and the price tends to rise a little, there are others who prefer these systems that include a slip plane for allowing the helmet to rotate on the head slightly. This is a matter of personal preference.
Adjustable Fit System
It’s vital to buy a helmet that fits your head snugly but not too tight. For the best protection, you need a perfect fitting helmet. That’s why it’s important to make sure that the helmet you choose is adjustable. Most of the better quality mountain biking helmets come with a dial adjustment, extra padding, or foam that conforms to the natural shape of the head. Chin straps should also be adjustable.
Make sure that the visor meets with your requirements. Some cyclists wear glasses and others wear goggles. An adjustable visor can help you to compensate for different eyewear. Some visors come with a detachable feature for removal when they’re not needed. Others come with a breakaway feature that serves as an extra safety precaution to clear the accessory in case of a crash.
Another important feature to look for in the helmet you buy is the ventilation system. Not all helmets are created equally. A poorly ventilated helmet will cause you to perspire and overheat when you’re putting in hard miles. It’s best to have a well-ventilated helmet. Some offer fewer vents that are larger in size, while others are made with up to 22 smaller vents.
Purchasing a mountain bike helmet is making an investment in your comfort and safety. The goal is to find the best one the first time around. This includes finding the helmet that offers the features that are the most important to you.
Other considerations that you might want to consider include the shape of the helmet so it fits your head right, as well as the weight. Thanks to polycarbonate material, exceptional protection is available in a lightweight form. Helmets range in weight from under a pound to well over 2 pounds. Some come with camera mounts while others offer simple basic features. This is a matter of personal preference, but it’s worth thinking about before you commit.
Final Thoughts on Mountain Biking Helmets
Our round-up of the best mountain bike helmets boats some of the most popular models available to date. Although there are hundreds out there, we’ve narrowed our selection to those that offer the highest levels of protection for your head, along with enhanced comfort, features that make them convenient to use, and we’ve included a range of different styles and features.
The best mountain bike helmet for you is the one that gives you the desired level of protection, the greatest comfort, the most useful and convenient features, and best suits your individual tastes and preferences. For those of you reading that don’t wear helmets mountain biking, you should certainly consider changing your ways as you could do yourself serious damage in the event of a crash.