A successful journalist and news reporter in the past, George is now focused on freelance work to be able to dedicate more time to the most important things in his life: family, friends, his dogs, and fishing.
John is an avid traveler, hiker, and RVer. Moreover, it seems like he knows everything when it comes to fishing and hunting: his father started sharing all the tips and tricks he knew when John was a kid. No wonder we trust his opinion every time a new article is being created.
Last updated: February 04, 2021
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No matter what sport you are into, you should always keep yourself protected. This is especially true when you are riding a bicycle. Whether you are in the city or the mountains, a good helmet should be your priority. You only have one head, after all, so making sure you have the best mountain bike helmet is essential to ensure you don’t do permanent damage if you fall.
While you might think that all helmets are the same, this is not the case. You need to keep a multitude of factors in mind when you are looking for a good mountain bike helmet, which is precisely what we did when we were putting together this listing. The first thing we looked for was the right mix of materials, as they play a significant role in how strong the helmet is. Next, we checked out the different closure systems to find the ones that were the safest. Finally, we checked into the colors available and the sizes the helmets came in.
To find the best mountain bike helmets, we spent tens of hours reading through hundreds of user reviews. We used this first-hand knowledge to put together a comprehensive list of the best available helmets. We also took the time to review each of these excellent options so that you can find the right one for your needs. Of course, if you aren’t sure what to look for in a bike helmet quite yet, then be sure to check out our buyer’s guide, so you can learn exactly what you need to look for to find the best helmet for your needs.
When it comes to mountain bike helmets, it can be really difficult to find the best model. There are so many options out there, but none of them are quite as well made as this option from KINGBIKE. The first thing that helps to set this helmet apart from its competitors is its design. It is a very stylish model, which is designed to be used by both men and women. This helmet also comes in a wide array of colors, so that it is quite easy to find one that will fit your needs.
Of course, when it comes to a helmet, you need to be safety conscious as well. Thankfully, no matter what color you select, this helmet will help you stand out. This will make it much easier for others to see you on the trail so that you don’t get too tangled up while you ride.
Another nice feature for this model is the built-in rear light. This light can function in three different modes, including a slow flash, fast flash, and continuous beam. This is another good way to keep you safe while you are riding, mainly if you are doing it at night.
The helmet is made from a combination of materials, such as EPS, PC, PP, and nylon. This makes it extremely versatile, as well as very durable. Since this helmet uses such a wide variety of materials, it is also very lightweight. This lightweight design and the large number of ventilation slots will help to keep you fresh while you are riding.
If you are someone who likes to ride in all types of weather, then this is a good helmet for you. It doesn’t have a ton of ventilation holes, which will help to keep you warmer in the colder months. While you might think that this would make it a poor choice for warmer weather that actually isn’t the case.
Along with the standard padding that all helmets have built-in, this one also has a unique set of pads. The company calls these pads Sweatsavers, and that is just what they are. They help to keep you nice and fresh by pulling the sweat away from your skin. This is helpful in the warmer weather, especially because there are not a lot of ventilation slots.
This helmet also has a very nice adjustment system. To use it, all you have to do is turn the dial until you get it to the right fit for your head. This helps to make sure that it is nice and secure so that it won’t move on you in the event of a crash. The adjustment system is also one of the widest on the market, so you shouldn’t have any issue finding the right fit with this helmet.
Although this helmet does not have a built-in visor, this is a design choice. Since there is no visor in the way, it makes it much easier to attach a helmet camera or light.
Obviously, the most common time of year for anyone to ride their bike is during the warmer months. As such, you want to make sure that you get a helmet that isn’t going to cause you to overheat while you are riding. If you are someone who likes to ride in warmer weather than this is the helmet for you. It has a multitude of vents built-in to its design that allows it to have a superior amount of breathability in comparison to other helmets.
Of course, all of this ventilation isn’t going to do you any good if the helmet isn’t comfortable. This is especially essential in warmer weather. Thankfully, the lining of this helmet is especially comfortable. It is extra thick at all points of contact, which makes it much more comfortable for any long rides in hot weather. This lining can also be removed when you are finished riding so that you can wash it. Though this might not seem like that big of a deal, it certainly helps to increase the comfort level, as a soak stained helmet isn’t fun to deal with in warm weather.
This helmet is also extremely lightweight, which is surprising, considering its larger exterior. You can also make it even lighter by removing the visor if you don’t want to utilize it. You also have the option to adjust the visor to fit your viewing needs as well. The only real issue with this helmet is that the adjustment strap is occasionally tricky to get into the right position. Thankfully, this is a rare occurrence.
What we liked:
Large size range
What could be better:
Adjustment strap can be difficult to keep in place
One of the coolest things that cyclists can do nowadays is to create amazing videos of their rides to share with friends. The tricky part of these videos is not using the camera; however, as GoPro’s are relatively straightforward and simple to utilize correctly. The biggest issue is that many mountain bike helmets are not designed to be used with a camera. Thankfully, this helmet from Smith Optics is not one of those.
It has an integrated camera mount, which makes it quick and easy to attach your video camera. This will allow you to create amazing videos of your rides to share with friends and family, or for you to go back and review it for your own viewing pleasure. The fact that this helmet makes it so easy to get this job done is incredible, especially when you consider that the designers didn’t give up any safety features to make this all come together.
This helmet comes in a ton of colors, which will make it much easier to match up with your color preferences. It is also very lightweight, which is a big help, considering that you will probably want to use it with a camera on top as well.
While the camera mount certainly steals the show for this helmet, the adjustable and removable visor is also a nice tough. It also comes with a goggle retention strap, which is used to keep your goggles in place on especially bumpy rides.
If you are into extreme cycling, then this just might be the best helmet for you. It offers more protection than a standard one, while also being extremely breathable. Though it is common for this type of helmet to limit how much you can see, this model actually allows for excellent peripheral vision. This is because even though the sides are covered entirely for protection, they don’t come all the way next to your eyes. This gives you plenty of room to see what is ahead of you, as well as on your sides while you ride.
For a helmet of this quality and size, it is also relatively lightweight. Though it is definitely heavier than standard style helmets, it is not enough to make it a bother to wear, even if you choose to wear it for a longer duration ride.
Something that you have to be careful of when it comes to full coverage helmets is that they don’t allow you to wear goggles comfortably. There are lots of helmets out there that don’t have the proper amount of room on the sides to accommodate goggles. Thankfully, that is not the case with this particular helmet. The wide-open design will not only let you wear your goggles, but it helps to keep them in place.
If you do end up buying this helmet, make sure you measure your head carefully. It can be somewhat tricky to find the right fit. When in doubt, go a little bit bigger than you think you might need. Otherwise, the chin strap is going to end up rubbing your throat, which will make it very uncomfortable to wear the helmet at all.
If you are going to be doing any long distance bike rides, then a lightweight helmet is going to be essential. This offering from Zacro is a great option in this instance, as it is extremely lightweight. Surprisingly, it is also built to withstand all sorts of punishment, which is why it a CPSC certified product. This helmet was designed to offer riders a right balance between weight and sturdiness, and, while the exterior might be a bit flimsy looking, the interior workings are more than up to the task of keeping your head safe should you have an accident.
As you would expect with such a lightweight helmet, this model is also designed to provide plenty of ventilation. Not only does this serve to make the helmet even lighter in the long run, but it will also help to keep you cool while you are riding.
This helmet comes with a visor that can be kept on or removed, based on your needs and preferences. The biggest bonus to removing the visor is that it makes the helmet all that much lighter. Of course, it also makes it tougher to see if the sun is high in the sky, which is a big concern with this model since you cannot use it with goggle comfortably.
Though the straps are easy to adjust and very comfortable, the path that they follow on your head will directly interfere and inhibit the use of goggles. If you do end up getting this helmet, then it would probably be a good idea to invest in a pair of cycling sunglasses to take the place of a pair of goggles.
Giro is one of the leaders in downhill helmets, and it shows with this quality entry. Though the purchase price might seem a bit staggering, when you take the overall design, comfort, and performance of this fantastic MIPS helmet, it really is worth it. This is especially true if you are going to be doing extreme cycling with your mountain bike, as you simply cannot put a price tag on safety and performance.
One of the biggest innovations with this particular helmet is that it features a removable chin bar. This helps to make it very comfortable and much easier to get on and off, since the front of the helmet won’t be in your way. Of course, for safety reasons, it is a better idea to ride with the chin bar in place, as it provides a lot more protection in the event of an accident.
Something else that helps to make this such a comfortable helmet is the extra-thick internal pads. They provide a ton of cushioning between your head and the helmet itself, which makes it much easier to wear for a long time. They also muffle sound a bit, though not so much that you can’t hear at all. This helmet also has a removable and washable liner, which increases the comfort level and overall durability of the inner workings a ton.
A big issue with riding bikes is that the sun will often be in your eyes. Of course, you can purchase sunglasses or goggles to combat this issue, but they don’t always stay in place and can get quite expensive in their own right. This helmet, thankfully, seeks to solve this issue.
It has a magnetically attached set of glasses that stay on the helmet itself, rather than setting on your face. This makes it so you don’t need to adjust them at all, which is a big plus when compared to standard glasses or goggles. One thing to keep in mind with these glasses, however, is that they only come in a tinted shade. This might make it difficult to ride safely in some, lower light situations, so make sure you take that into account before you make your final decision.
The helmet itself is very comfortable, making it good for both long and short rides. It is very lightweight and exceptionally compact. This might make it difficult to find the right fit, however, as the adjustment range for this helmet is pretty limited. It is also not very well-ventilated, which means that it is more than likely not going to be a good option for hot weather.
Thankfully, the interior padding can be removed with relative ease. This is a necessity since the helmet will make you sweat more often. The last thing you want to do is bike around with a sweaty and smelly helmet sitting on top of your head after all.
What we liked:
Removable and washable inner pads
Magnetically attached face shield for built-in eye protection
No matter what type of riding you are going to participate in, you need to make sure that your helmet fits you well. If it is too tight, it will end up giving you a headache. If the helmet is too loose, it won’t protect you should you be so unfortunate as to have an accident. Whatever helmet you select, you need to be able to adjust it quickly and easily, which is exactly what you can do with this model.
While lots of other helmets out there have adjustment dials, none of them are quite as easy to use as this one. It is truly a one-handed operation to adjust the size of it. The dial is extremely sensitive, making it very easy to get it to the right size right away.
Not only is this helmet very easy to adjust, but it also has one of the largest adjustment ranges on the market today. This wide range for adjustments makes it easy to get the right fit, so you know you will be safe while you are on your bike.
One small issue with this helmet is the straps. While they are very easy to adjust, the straps are not very well made. They are not made to withstand tons of punishment, which is yet another reason that the easy to use adjustment dial is so essential.
Many of the mountain bike helmets available today are designed for men. They usually are overly large, which makes finding one for a woman somewhat difficult. This helmet, on the other hand, is made specifically with women in mind. It is smaller overall, with a much narrower layout than helmets that are designed for men. This makes it a better fit for females, though it does tend to run a bit small, that is why take measurements carefully before you purchase so you can be sure it will fit your head size.
This is also one of the cheaper helmets you could buy to wear while you ride your mountain bike, which is both good and bad. Apparently, saving money is ideal, but you don’t want it to come at the expense of your safety. The exterior for this helmet is a bit flimsy. Thankfully, this helmet is quite sturdy internally, which is what really counts in the event of an accident.
This model also has some other fine features that make it a good option at a great price. First off, the strap is completely self-adjusting. All you need to do is put the helmet on, and it will do the rest. It also has built-in reflectors that will help to keep you safe should you decide to ride your bike in a busy neighborhood at night as well as on trails.
What we liked:
What could be better:
Things to Consider
In this section, we will go through everything that you need to know to find the best mountain bike helmet for your needs. We have also taken the time to answer some FAQ that you might have, so be sure to read through those as well.
Why it’s essential to wear a helmet as a part of your gear
No matter how confident you are in your cycling ability, you should always be sure to wear a helmet while you are riding. There are several different reasons why you need to be sure to have the best mountain bike helmet on while you go for a ride. The first reason is also the most obvious. Nothing going to cut your ride short faster than a nasty fall without a helmet. If you are going at a good enough clip, you could cause some serious, and long-lasting, damage to your skull.
It is especially dangerous to ride on a bumpy, and rocky, trail through the woods without a helmet, since the odds that you are going to fall and hit your head on a rock are incredibly high. Falling and hitting your head on a rock going at a high rate of speed could easily lead to brain damage or even death, so wearing a helmet should be a no-brainer.
Of course, even if you don’t fall at all, a helmet is still a necessity when you are riding. There are plenty of low lying branches along the trails that you are going to ride. The problem with these branches is that they are nearly impossible to see until it is too late. Thankfully, a good bike helmet will keep them from doing any real harm, should you be unlucky enough to run into them.
The final reason that a mountain bike helmet is something you want to make sure you are wearing while you are riding is that it might be the law. In many states, you are required to wear a helmet while you ride. Not only will wearing one keep you safe from any trauma to your head, but it will also keep you from getting fined, which is ideal.
Features to consider while choosing a mountain bike helmet
While you might think that pretty much any helmet will do the trick, there is actually a lot that you need to take into account before you pick the best mountain bike helmet for your needs. In this section, we will go through all of the key details to look for before you find the right helmet for your needs.
The materials used in the construction of your helmet should be extremely light while still being strong. This is obviously true for both the interior and exterior of the helmet. For the interior, the most common material that manufacturers like to use is called EPS foam. This is a closed cell style of foam that is great at absorbing impacts. It comes in several different thicknesses, with thicker foams offering more protection, but being much warmer. The Smith Optics Forefront All Mountain Bike Helmet offers an alternative to EPS, called Aerocore technology, which is much more breathable since it isn’t quite so rigid.
The exterior of any helmet should also be strong and durable. Impact resistance is the name of the game for the outside of any helmet, so you want to be sure to avoid anything that is too rigid, as rigid helmets tend to shatter. Thicker materials will also offer much better protection, but they tend to be much warmer to wear, so you might want to avoid them on especially hot days.
Helmets that are specifically designed for mountain biking are quite different than road biking models in a couple of different ways. First off, mountain bike helmets are usually going to have a visor. A large visor is great for keeping the sun out of your eyes. It will also offer you more protection against the elements and low-hanging branches. Of course, you can get a wide or narrow visor. You can also choose from long or short versions.
Something else to keep in mind when you are looking for a helmet with a visor is whether or not you can adjust it. Adjustable visors are a great option, like the one on the Lixada Mountain Bike Helmet, since they allow you to move the visor out of the way if you don’t need it. Adjustable visors are also a great option if you are going to be using goggles when you are riding the trails.
While most bikers are going to be good with just wearing glasses, it might not be a bad idea to get a helmet that can handle goggles as well. This is especially true if you are going to be riding through wet weather or terrain. Goggles will also help if you are going to be riding in enduro or downhill style races. The Demon Podium Full Face Mountain Bike Helmet is a good option for these types of races.
There are a couple of helmet features, however, that can make it much easier to fit your goggles. A highly adjustable visor makes it much easier to get your goggles into the right position without interfering with your helmet and making it uncomfortable while you are riding. An adjustable visor will also make it simpler to place your goggles on your forehead when you are not using them.
Something else that you want to keep an eye out for when you are looking for a mtb helmet to wear are vents. Since you are exercising when you are riding, after all, you will want to be sure that your helmet has the ability to let enough air to flow through onto your head, so you don’t get overheated.
Nothing is going to make your ride more miserable than being overheated. The KINGBIKE Ultralight Specialized Bike Helmet is a great option in this regard. Not only does it have plenty of vents to let lots of air though, but it is also nice and light. This makes it an excellent choice for warmer weather or anyone who gets warm quickly.
Just like bike riders themselves, helmets come in all shapes and sizes. Not every helmet is going to fit every head, however. It is essential that you take the time to measure your head carefully so that you know the exact size you need to get. If a helmet fits poorly, you are less likely to wear it, and it cannot keep you safe if it is not on your head. Secondly, a helmet that has a poor fit will not stay on your head properly, which would also limit the amount of protection it can give you.
Most helmets are not one size, however. They usually have an adjustable range that will allow you to get the right fit, as long as your head is in the range that the helmet is designed to fit. The adjustment of the fit of a helmet should be quick and easy. Lots of helmets offer a dial type adjustment system, which is quite simple to use. The Lixada Mountain Bike Helmet, for example, has a dial that is so easy to use that you can adjust it with only one hand.
While the most important factors when it comes picking a bicycle helmet are going to be how safe it is and whether or not it fits properly, it also makes sense to make sure you like the way that it looks. In order to do that, you will probably want to look for a helmet that comes in a color that you like.
There are a variety of special features that, while not essential, will make your life a whole lot easier when it comes to using your mountain bike helmet. The first feature that you should be on the lookout for is whether or not the visor is detachable. The KINGBIKE Ultralight Specialized Bike Helmet has a fully detachable visor, which makes it perfect for use with goggles. By removing the visor, you are also able to make the helmet even lighter than it already is, which can, in turn, help to make it even more comfortable to wear.
Something else to keep in the back of your mind is a removable liner, like the one the Lixada Mountain Bike Helmet has. One of the most difficult aspects of owning a bicycle helmet is keeping it clean and odor free. After several long and grueling rides, the inner lining and straps can become quite dirty, which means you’ll need to clean them. This can be a bit of a pain if you can’t take the liner out. Once it has been removed, it is much easier to clean, dry, and then put back into the helmet.
Another feature you might want to look into based on the type of riding you intend to do would be a helmet that offers full-face protection. These helmets are essential for downhill or endure racers, as they provide added protection from injury in case of an accident. The Demon Podium Full Face Mountain Bike Helmet and Giro Switchblade MIPS MTB Helmet are both excellent options in this regard.
Most bike helmets come in small, medium, large, or extended sizes. To find the proper size helmet for your head, you need to measure your head. All you need to do is take a flexible tape measure around your head. You need to make sure you do this about one inch above your eyebrows since this is where your helmet will rest. Then, just look for a helmet that matches your measurement. Most sellers provide a comprehensive size table so check it before you make a purchase.
The acronym MIPS stands for Multi-Directional Impact Protection System. This is an important safety system that is installed in bike helmets to help reduce the forces from specific impacts. Simply put, it is designed to keep you safe from a variety of impacts, which is why it is so crucial for helmets to have in place.
If you are looking to share your adventures with your friends and family, then getting a bike helmet with a built-in camera mount is a good idea. That way, you’ll be able to attach your GoPro with ease. The Smith Optics Forefront All Mountain Bike Helmet is a great choice in this regard, as its integrated mount makes it quick and simple to attach your camera.
Of all the different helmets that we looked through, the very best has got to be the KINGBIKE Ultralight Specialized Bike Helmet. It has everything you would expect the best mountain bike helmet to have. It is easy to adjust, comfortable, and extremely safe. We highly recommend you check it out.
Riding a bike in cold weather can be a big problem, especially since most helmets are designed for warmer weather and have tons of ventilation to keep you cool, which is the last thing you want in cold weather. The Triple Eight Compass Helmet is an awesome option for all weather types, thanks to its lack of ventilation for cold days and Sweatsaver padding for warmer weather.
Of course, if you are looking for a helmet to keep you cool in extreme heat, the Base Camp NEW Mountain Bike Helmet is going to be your best bet. It has tons of ventilation and is extremely lightweight, which is perfect for scorching summer days.