Whenever you’re biking you need a good helmet – this is especially true for mountain biking.
In order to get one of the best mountain bike helmets you’ll have to consider a few things before making a purchase – I’ll show you what’s most important and my top picks for the year.
How To Choose The Right Helmet
You should look for the following when selecting your new head gear:
- Decide between a half shell helmet or full face one
- Pick the right size
- Look at smaller features (venting, comfort, etc)
First off, you need to think about which type of helmet you want and this will depend on the type of rider you are. The first type, half shell, looks like a traditional helmet and is very versatile. It has a visor to protect your eyes from the sun and can be used when off trail biking. You can typically remove the visor too.
The next option is a full face helmet and this is the more expensive of the two. This product is designed for aggressive riders and offers more protection than a half shell. They have a chin guard to protect your face as well as other features to prevent injuries to your head. The type of rider who absolutely needs this helmet would know so.
After you decide the style you want you’ll have to get your size right, which is important. If you go to big it’ll slip over your eyes and block your view; also it may shift as you fall and leave your head vulnerable. On the flip side, if you go too small it’ll be uncomfortable to wear and give you unnecessary pains.
Here’s a good video to help you size your helmet:
Not too bad right?
Once you have the right size you can focus on smaller features. You want a bike with good ventilation so your head doesn’t overheat, is very comfortable to wear and meets all safety standards. All the products on this list excel in each three of these departments. You’ll notice a lot of these helmets are MIPS helmets too – this is just added protection against rotational force impacts.
Now that you know what to look for, let’s take a look at my top picks now.
Smith Optics Forefront MIPS
The Smith Optics Forefront helmet is one of my favorite products on this list for many reason. First off, and most importantly, this helmet offers top of the line of the protection. You can ride with complete confidence that the Forefront will guard your head from serious injuries.
One of the reasons for this is the MIPS technology integrated into this helmet. MIPS technology adds another layer of protection and guards against impacts from different angles.
Some other top features include:
- Aerocore In-Mold Construction with Koroyd materials does a good job preventing injuries while being breathable – your won’t feel overheated because of this.
- VaporFit adjustable fit system means you’ll get the perfect fit and is good for all shapes and sizes.
- 21 strategically placed air vents is another reason your head stays cool.
- You have the ability to mount a camera or a light on the top of this helmet.
- X-Static pads adds a bit of comfort and prevents heat build up even further.
- You have a visor that prevents the sun from getting into you eyes and you adjust the visor too.
This is one of the highest quality products on the market and because of that it’s going to cost a little extra. Do I think it’s worth the high cost? Definitely! If you decide on the Forefront I’m sure you’ll come to the same conclusion.
Giro Chronicle MIPS
Giro is a brand that’s well known in the biking world and they make some of the best helmets available (they make really great road bike helmets too!). Their Chronicle is a nice choice and more affordable than the one you just saw.
One thing that stands out here is the low profile and lightweight design. This product isn’t going to feel bulky or uncomfortable to wear and it’ll make sure you’re safe – that’s an excellent combination!
If that’s not enough you’ll like that this helmet comes with:
- MIPS technology so you’re protected from every single angle and against rotational forces.
- Full wrap EPS liner adds another layer of protection and you’ll appreciate this if you take a crash.
- Roc Loc 5 fit system ensures you get a perfect fit – this helmet won’t be too tight or too loose on your head.
- P.O.V. visor lets you adjust it to 3 different positions – you can keep the visor up and out of your eyes too.
- 14 different vents around the helmet keeps your head cool and prevents you from overheating/sweating.
- Coolmax padding makes this product very comfortable to wear all day long and wicks away sweat.
The Giro Chronicle is very affordable. This product gets great reviews too and you can read what others have to say about it by clicking below:
Fox Proframe Moth
The Fox Proframe Moth is a helmet that offers a high level of protection and should be considered by all serious riders. All you have to do is look at the design of this helmet to see this. Every single part of your head and face will be safe if you decide on the Proframe Moth.
You might think this helmet might be uncomfortable to wear because it’s so big but that’s actually not the case. Even though it has full face protection, it’s still pretty lightweight and doesn’t feel bulky.
Some other aspects you’ll appreciate includes:
- 24 vents ensure you won’t overheat and you’ll be able to stay cool even if it’s hot out.
- Dual Density Varizorb EPS distributes impacts across the helmet and this provides even more safety.
- MIPS technology gives you more peace of mind that your head is protected against all impacts.
- Fidlock SNAP buckle lets you make adjustments even if you’re wearing gloves.
- In Mold polycarbonate shell is just another reason your head is nice and safe in the event of an accident.
This is another helmet that’s going to cost a little extra but is definitely worth it. Especially if you plan on riding on rough terrain. This product is universally loved and comes with a 1 year warranty if you’re still skeptical.
Kask is a phenomenal brand and they make some of my favorite helmets – they’re always extremely sharp looking and ultra protective. This applies to their Rex too and this is a helmet that everyone should consider and would be lucky to ride around with.
One thing I know you’re going to love about the Rex is how comfortable it is to wear and that’s because of the 3D Dry Padding. These paddings make this product very enjoyable to wear and wicks away moisture. You can even remove them to clean – this reduces the likelihood of bad smells forming.
Some other features that you’ll appreciate include:
- Aero control design reduces drag and ensures you aren’t slowed down in any way, shape or form.
- In molding technology makes use of a strong inner and outer shell to absorb impacts to your head.
- Octo-Fit means you get full control of the fit with a dial. If you want to loosen it up a bit or tighten it up it’ll be very easy to do so.
- Mount on the top of the helmet lets you put a camera or light on it.
- Certified by major safety organizations so you know it’ll protect you if you take a spill at a fast speed.
- 8 different colors so you can get the exact look you desire.
The Kask Rex is a higher end product and comes with a higher end price. Should you pay the extra to own this helmet? You’ll have to look at your own needs and budget to decide this but you definitely won’t regret owning this helmet. You’ll feel very safe wearing the Rex.
Giro Montaro MIPS
Here we have another affordable Giro helmet and the Montaro is on the same level as the first one from this company you saw earlier – it’s lightweight, low profile and it offers a good amount of protection.
Like all the helmets you’ve seen the Montaro comes with MIPS technology. MIPS technology ensures the helmet isn’t rigid and slides if you happen to take a spill. Because of this you’ll be safe against impacts from all angles.
Some other top features include:
- Roc Loc Air fit system means you get a custom fit. This means you’ll always be riding in perfect comfort and without being in pain.
- 18 different vents and internal channels keep you from getting overheated and you won’t oversweat.
- Hydrophilic and antimicrobial pads soak up sweat at a high rate and this is another reason you stay cool when riding.
- Goggle integration lets you easily bike with your goggles on – it won’t be awkward to wear them.
- You can place a camera or light on top because of the mount.
Luckily for you and I you won’t have to break the bank to purchase the Montaro either. Plus, you get 16 different colors to choose from so you get the exact look you desire. To see them all, click below:
Smith Optics Rover MIPS
Company: Smith Optics
Here we have another Smith Optics product and it makes sense that there would be multiple helmets on this list from them – they’re a giant in the helmet world (you can even buy ski helmets and kids ski helmets from this brand).
Their Rover isn’t quite on the same level as the Forefront but still is a piece of equipment that can work for a lot of riders. Unless you’re a professional, or really like to push things to the limit, the Rover is a product you’ll love.
Some top benefits include:
- MIPS technology that adds the most protection possible and keeps your head completely safe.
- Aerocore Construction with Koroyd materials soak up impacts and distributes them across the helmet.
- VaporFit lets you adjust the fit so it’s not too tight and painful or too loose.
- 20 different optimal vents keeps air moving and your head will remain cool.
- Approved by all the major safety organizations so you know this helmet will prevent against head injuries.
The good news is the Rover is fairly affordable and it’s not a helmet that costs too much. It’s right in that sweet spot of not too cheap or too expensive. If you decide on this product I know you’re going to love it and appreciate it if you have crash when riding.
Bell Super 3R MIPS
Let’s say you’re someone that loves to mountain bike and you’re constantly pushing things to the limit. You like to go fast and there’s not many trails you won’t try. If this describes you you’ll need optimal protection for your entire head and face. Where should you turn? The Bell Super 3R is definitely a good place to start.
The Super 3R is another product that comes with a chin bar and you’ll find this helmet on the head of some of the best riders. That’s because it delivers in every way possible.
Don’t believe me? Check out some of the top features, which includes:
- Chin bar is removable and easy to take off – it doesn’t require tools to do so. This makes this helmet extremely versatile and you’ll be able to ride with it in a ton of different situations.
- Float Fit Technology lets you get a custom fit both horizontally and vertically. You won’t have to worry about being distracted by this helmet because of this.
- MIPS technology that you’ve seen a bunch of times already and you’ll feel extra safe with this product on your head.
- In mold carbonate is ultra protecting.
- X-Static padding wicks away moisture while providing a ton of comfort.
- The visor is adjustable so you can easily wear with sunglasses or goggles.
- You have a mount that you can take on and off to integrate a helmet with.
Because the Super 3R is one of the most quality helmets available it’s going to cost extra and is one of the pricier helmets on this entire list. If you just bike causally you may not need a product like this one but any serious biker should consider.
POC is a company I trust and I actually own a pair of their goggles. When you purchase from them you know you’re getting a well made product and one that’s going to excel in basically all departments – this is true of their Tectal too.
One thing POC did well is they made the Tectal extra protective for the vulnerable parts of your head like temple and the sides. An injury to these parts of your head could be potentially fatal and the Tectal will prevent this.
You’ll also like that this helmet comes with:
- Fit system is extremely easy to use and you can make adjustments with one hand.
- A good amount of venting across this product ensures that your head stays cool.
- Certificates from all the major safety organizations shows how protective this helmet is.
- Unibody shell makes the Tectal very sturdy and structurally sound.
This helmet is one that I would consider not overly expensive but not cheap either, which is good for many bikers. You may not want to pay several hundred dollars but you shouldn’t cheap out either.
Bell Event XC MIPS
The Bell Event XC is another helmet that shouldn’t be worn on super aggressive bikers and people that like to push the limits – this product is best suited for cross country treks and terrain that’s fairly flat and manageable.
This is mainly because it has a low profile and lightweight design. It won’t give you the protection of some of the higher end helmets on this list like the Overtake, Super 3R and Proframe.
If you’re ok with that you’ll like that the Event XC features:
- 22 different vents so your head is pretty much guaranteed not to overheat or get too hot.
- Approved by many top safety organizations which should give you peace of mind.
- MIPS technology so you know you’re covered from impacts from all angles.
- TAG fit system lets you get a customized fit for your exact head.
This is one of the cheaper products listed here too This is about as low as you’ll want to pay for a helmet – anything lower than that and you might get a low quality piece of equipment.
You know what makes this price ever better? You get a full year warranty with it too. Not bad for such a low price.
The Fox Metah is another low profile helmet that’ll work for a lot of different people. One feature that’s really nice here is the Metah goes further down the back of your head than any other Fox helmet – this gives you a little more protection to this vulnerable part of your head.
Another aspect that you’ll like includes the premium liner that is both comfortable and wicks away sweat. The last thing you want is sweat to pure down your head and get into your eyes. This liner will prevent that from happening.
You’ll also appreciate that this helmet comes with:
- 10 very large vents also helps out with sweat management. These vents also keep air moving to cool your head down.
- Y-Strap system makes adjusting and getting the right fit for this product ultra easy.
- Fox Varizorb impact system gives you full coverage and ensures your head is completely safe. Hopefully you never have a big crash but if you do you’ll be happy to have the Metah protecting you.
- 13 different colors to choose from and you should easily be able to find one that you like.
The price is very fair for this product too – it’s not too high or too low. I personally think it’s priced perfectly and I think you’ll come to the same conclusion if you decide on the Metah.
The Giro Hex is a product that’s budget friendly and is perfect for the more casual mountain biker. If you’re someone that lives and breathes biking, you may want to look elsewhere. I’m not saying this because the Hex is low quality – it’s just not made for the ultra serious.
The color and design of this product is really eye catching too, which is something Giro always does well. The Hex comes in 10 different vibrant colors and is visually pleasing. The colors range from purple, blue, orange, white and more.
Some other awesome features include:
- ROC Loc 5 retention system means you’ll get the perfect fit. You won’t have to worry about this helmet sliding over your eyes because it’s too loose or squeezing your head too tightly.
- Impact absorbing liner that makes this product very strong and lightweight.
- 12 different vents keep air moving and helps prevent your head from overheating.
- You can adjust the visor to keep the sun out of your eyes. I personally like this feature because you’ll always be able to find a way to keep yourself from being blinded.
This is another helmet that you can purchase for a cheap price too. It has over 300 reviews also and almost all are positive. To see what all these customers are saying about the Hex, click below:
POC Trabec MIPS
The POC Trabec is a helmet that everyone can wear and feel confident they’re being protected – this means causal riders all the way to the more serious (even racers can consider). The Trabec is one of the better products on the market and one I highly recommended.
That’s because this helmet has a two piece outer and inner shell that really absorbs impacts. Head injuries can be serious and you want a product like this that does well preventing them.
Some other top features include:
- The design goes farther down than most helmets – this means parts that usually aren’t covered get covered.
- MIPS technology is another reason this piece of equipment provides so much safety.
- 16 different vents ensure your head is very cool, even if the temperature is hot.
- Removable visor means you can shed some weight when it’s not too sunny out.
- Adjustable straps and harnesses means you’ll easily be able to get a fit that works for you.
- Very comfortable foam padding makes wearing this helmet enjoyable all day long.
This is another helmet that’s a little on the pricey side but it’s more than worth its cost. If you want a helmet that does a great job mixing protection and comfort, you should think about purchasing Trabec.
Giro Swtichblade MIPS
Just looking at the Giro Switchblade you can probably tell this is a high quality product and one that’ll protect the most serious of bikers. Many people will like the chin bar on this helmet but some people won’t – these riders will appreciate the fact they can remove the chin bar.
Like many of the helmets on this list, the Switchblade is one that comes with MIPS technology. This is just another reason why this piece of equipment is so safe and it’ll guard against impacts from all directions and angles.
Some other benefits that make this helmet worth it includes:
- Approved by many different safety organizations so you know it’s a high quality product.
- Wind Tunnel cheek pads do a great job keeping your face cool and preventing yourself from getting overheated.
- ROC Loc fit system is ultra convenient and easy to use. You’ll be able to get the perfect fit because of this system.
- 27 different vents is another reason you won’t sweat too much. These vents keep air moving and this prevents oversweating.
- 11 different colors to choose from so you’ll easily be able to find one that you like.
You’ll always have to pay extra for the best and that’s the case with the Switchblade. This helmet is on the pricey side but completely worth it. You’re going to have a hard time finding a product that does a better job protecting your head, that’s for sure.
Protect Your Head With One Of These Helmets!
A brain injury can be very serious – even life threatening. Biking puts you in risk of banging your head and in order to be properly protected you need a quality helmet. No matter your needs or type of rider you are there’s a helmet on this list that’ll work well for you.
If you have any questions you can comment below and I’ll respond as fast as possible. You can go to the biking section up top for more biking tips too, like how to stay safe when mountain biking.
You’ll also enjoy my post on the best mountain bikes of the year.
Are you ready to hit some trails this year?