Best Mountain Bike Helmet – Reviews and Guide 2019
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Mountain biking is one of the most exciting activities you can do. Whether it is going downhill in fast tracks, uphill in steep hills, or just practicing riding skills in difficult roads – MTB is undoubtedly among the most fun things you can do with a bike.
Yet, it can also be pretty dangerous!
That’s why wearing the best mountain bike helmet possible will be critical for your safety. Along with some knee and elbow pads, you can protect yourself from damage if you get to fall when riding.
But nothing compares to the importance of the helmet. Protecting your head in this situation can even be life-saving.
For that, here we explain all about the best MTB helmets as well as a review of each so you can learn more about all the highest-quality options out there.
If you’re in search for one of these, then you’ll be happy to scroll down and find out more about them!
Is A Mountain Bike Helmet Different From Road Bike Helmet?
The most common type of bike head protection is the road helmet. It is small and rounded, and it doesn’t cover the head completely. In fact, it leaves certain places open for air to pass through and the face totally uncovered. This type of helmet protects really well and provides excellent versatility that road bikers enjoy.
But mountain bike helmets are not too different really. The only significant change you may spot while looking at a road helmet and an MTB one is that the latter comes with a visor. Yes, that’s the main difference because in the mountains you usually find more dirt, sand, mud, vegetation and even sun rays than in roads.
Apart from the additional protection a visor offers, MTB helmets may also come with an extended front or visor. This front may have a cap-like shape that adds an extra layer of protection from falls. In case you fall forward, your face won’t meet the floor directly thanks to the visor.
So you could say both road, and mountain helmets are almost the same. Unless you are looking to enjoy from the extra protection an MTB helmet offers, there won’t really be much of a difference.
Our Best Mountain Bike Helmet Reviews
So now that you are familiar with them, it is time to learn more by looking to a few reviews. By learning more about the different options out there, you’ll eventually find the product for your needs. Come and take a look to learn!
1. GoMax Aero
Among the most popular brands in the biking industry you’ll find GoMax. It delivers products of the highest quality, and its helmets are no exception.
With the AERO you get exceptional results and performance, not only because it comes with an aerodynamic design but also because it offers top-notch protection. It feels incredibly comfortable as well, thanks to a cutting-edge design that stands out for its soft PC+ American Gray EPS liner interior.
But it still manages to promote a hard & reliable exterior following the molded polycarbonate shell. The design also lets a lot of air to pass through with 22 air vents on top, making it breathable and refreshing to use. And with the detachable visor, this helmet becomes an option not to dismiss.
You can add the comfortable strap that not comes with a dual-fit adjustment system for wearing more easily but also a fantastic reflective rear dial that gives you visibility at night as a biker. This light offers up to three modes for different effects and visibility options, making the helmet functional at night.
You get all of this while only weighing as little as 250 grams or 8.8 ounces, which is impressive for mountain bikers no matter the situation or place. And due to the high-quality materials including the outside shell and inside liner, you get excellent protection from weather conditions too.
In short, this helmet does it all. So if you are looking for a functional and completely protective helmet, this is the one to go for.
2. Giro Hex
When we talk about Giro, we talk about one of the most prestigious and quality-oriented brands in the biking market. So you can expect exceptional helmets from it, especially when we talk about the Hex for mountain biking.
This is probably the best MTB helmet, and it all comes down to its Roc Loc 5 fit system. It’s a unique proprietary fitting system that helps to achieve more comfort and stability when riding. You won’t have to adjust the position or fit, just ride freely enjoying its outstanding protection at all times.
The adjustable strap also comes with a dial that helps to choose either tension or vertical position mode. This helps to achieve the desired comfort & fit depending on whether you are going on uphill in a steep road or downhill in a fast track. The dial emits a sound that lets you know when you’ve changed modes.
Along with the micro-dial you get three-position adjustability. This way you can choose three different settings with 15 millimeters of difference up or down. And when you add the ergonomic design, you get a product that feels not only protective but also improves overall comfort, even when wearing visors.
The design is also outstanding for its dual-pod style. You’ll get to feel comfortable on the back of your head and in your occipital lobe, getting all the protection this helmet offers. This design also comes with 21 vents that allow wind to enter the helmet and provide a fresh experience.
The interior boasts synthetic lining for softness & moisture resistance. And the in-molded hard plastic in the exterior will keep your head protected even in the hardest of impacts. To make this helmet unique, you can enjoy more than 10 different colors and visors so you can pick the one you prefer accordingly.
3. Demon United Podium
Offering 7 different size options and 9 styles, the Demon United Podium is a helmet for those full-face enthusiasts who want complete protection when biking in the mountains.
This is more of a BMX helmet than an MTB one, yet it still works like a gem for anyone really. The injection molded polycarbonate shell will protect your head at all times, providing enough pressure to keep it in place while riding.
What’s even better, the thick interior foam comes with EPS lining that absorbs any kind of impact, which adds to the effectiveness of the polycarbonate to make the helmet even more supportive. And still, this helmet manages to be light and easy to wear, despite its full-face design and excellent build.
The design also provides decent ventilation with 13 vents so you can ride freshly with it. Also, you won’t have to bring a towel to get rid of dripping sweat. Instead, you just enjoy the refreshing design it offers with the removable liner so you can take it out and clean whenever it’s too moist or dirty.
The helmet also comes with an additional helmet bag so you can keep it protected from scratches and bumps whenever you’re not using it. And what stands out, even more, you can add any visor, glasses, or even earphones when using as its interior is comfortable and well-designed for more convenience.
4. Base Camp NEO
Good-looking and incredibly comfortable, the NEO helmet from Base Camp is an option you don’t want to overlook. It comes with everything you could need in an MTB helmet, including a top shell, specific-area protection, excellent fit system, and unique design for more comfort and versatility.
This open-face helmet comes with one of the most protective shells out there, including a uni-body design that offers more safety & strength against impacts. The shell is made of polycarbonate, which works exceptionally well with the comfortable & impact-absorbing EPS foam in the inside.
To its protection level, you can add the safe SH-18 fit system that makes it easy to fit most adult sizes without issues. It interlocks quickly no matter who uses it, making overall adjustability straightforward and pretty convenient.
The design also boasts 18 large vents, ideal for dry summer places where getting warm can be fatal inside a helmet. This way you can ride more freely and cozily enjoying a fresher style entirely. Add this to the 310 grams of weight, and you get one of the most comfortable options out there.
You can also add visors if needed, as it leaves enough space inside and outside so you can pass visor straps easily around. And to make this helmet even better, it comes with an internal insect net that prevents bugs from entering and damaging your experience.
If any bug dies inside, you can always remove the EPS lining and wash it. All this makes this helmet a perfect choice for trail riding in the mountains.
5. Fox Metah Solids
If there’s a brand everyone knows for the quality it provides and prestigious popularity that resides in how good its products look, that brand is Fox. Just for that, you could say that the Metah Solids helmet will probably surprise you.
The design is pretty useful, especially for its lower coverage in the back alongside the Varizorb multi-density build for exceptional impact absorption and protection. Its open-face style leaves a lot of space for getting ventilation, but also compatibility with visors and goggles.
Then you get 10 Big Bore vents, big enough to let enough fresh air to go in and increase the overall breathability of the product. You won’t feel hot with this helmet, and what’s more important, these holes make the entire helmet way lighter for a highly aerodynamic experience.
You also get a Fixed Anchor Y-Strap that offers excellent comfort and adjustability so you can use it at all times without drawbacks. This comes with a premium-quality liner that offers sealed edges not only for even better comfort but also for resistance against moisture.
The retention system of the strap makes it easier to adjust depending on your needs. You won’t have to spend minutes doing it, as it is a single-handle design you can adapt on-the-go without any issue. And this all comes with an additional visor that keeps glare, debris, rain, and dirt away from your eyes.
6. POC Tectal
The Tectal MTB helmet from POC is a top-notch choice for any user who expects the most reliable & protective product without leaving behind looks.
Yes, this helmet design offers one of the most enticing styles you can expect. It covers the temples, back of the head, and comes with an extended top that protects your face if you fall forward. The whole design also offers great ventilation, including 7 vents for superb results when riding out there.
When it comes to protection, you can enjoy a uni-body shell construction that absorbs all kinds of impact. This polycarbonate shell comes with an internal lining made of EPS, ideal for absorbing impacts even more effectively but also provide enough comfort inside.
You may also enjoy the Aramid fiber grid that offers even more protection in its build, as well as incredible durability that will keep the helmet useful for years. The inside liner is also moisture-wrecking, so you don’t have to be continually cleaning, even after a long biking day on moist conditions.
All this comes at a really light-weight build that will make your trading easier. Along with the superb adjusting system, you can expect a highly comfortable experience that also stays put on your head to prevent any unwanted movement under challenging roads.
Finally, you can enjoy its versatile design compatible with visors, and an additional Recco reflector that makes the helmet more functional. So you get a product that doesn’t disappoint in any way.
7. Exclusky BMO
Exclusky is one of those brands everyone overlooks because it is not as popular or prestigious as others, yet it still manages to offer more-than-decent helmets that can impress anyone.
That’s precisely what the BMO helmet offers, a magnificent option for those mountain bikers who want something durable, protective and reliable. It will cover all your cranial area really well, including the occipital bone and your front with a visor.
What stands out a lot from this helmet is the 24-vent design that offers superb breathability and a fresh experience even in the hottest mountains. You won’t have to be dripping sweat while biking. Instead, you can feel as fresh as you want no matter the place.
The whole design is completely comfortable thanks to its lightness and excellent EPS interior. And it will protect you from impacts using its PC shells in the exterior. So you get a completely reliable product that won’t let you down in any way.
Even the adjustability system offers superb results. You will be able to adjust it to most heads without problems, using the Fit System from Exclusky that comes with a simple dial adjustment to fit accordingly.
The visor it offers is detachable, which adds to the convenience of the product. You may also add the soft lining inside that not only helps with comfort but also handiness, as it is removable so you can wash it when needed. And to make it even better, it comes with an insect-proof net to get rid of issues while riding.
8. MONATA Mountain Bike Helmet
With the lowest price in the whole list, the Monata Mountain Bike Helmet is an option you don’t want to dismiss.
It comes with the standard polycarbonate and EPS build, but this time with a very light design that you won’t feel on your head. Still, it manages to be highly protective and promote exceptional shock absorption in case you fall or hit your head when riding.
The helmet comes with a visor, protecting your eyes against sun rays and other environmental factors like rain and dirt. But the visor doesn’t stand a chance against the functionality of the ventilation system it offers, including the 15 vents it comes with so you never get home while riding on the hills.
The design also offers excellent aerodynamics, this way you don’t get any head burden while riding at fast speeds. Along with the ventilation and the aerodynamics, you get detachable padding that helps to clean & get rid of moisture after suing, making it very handy.
The adjusting system is straightforward to use as well, including a strap system that you can tune depending on your needs. You may also pick between Green and Black so you can make it fit with your clothing items.
You’ll get all this at a fantastic cost that doesn’t harm your wallet at all. And still, it manages to be perfect for cross-country and mountain biking.
9. Troy Lee Designs All Mountain Bike A1 Classic
For many, the A1 Classic is the best MTB helmet ever created. And surely, this Troy Lee helmet is not far from being precisely that.
Coming with a matte-like smooth surface that adds incredible looks, alongside an encapsulated design, you can expect it to not only look fantastic but also to provide outstanding protection. It starts with the polycarbonate shell with an in-molded design that alongside the EPS liner works like a gem to prevent impact damage.
But it doesn’t leave any comfort behind either, as it fits tightly on the head while increasing overall protection, making it easy to move around when riding. This happens due to the three-retention system that offers superb adjustability.
You won’t have any air resistance with it either, as it comes with 8 pressurized vacuum passages for superb ventilation and aerodynamics. The additional 8 vortex outlets in the back also help to ventilate the helmet, so you feel even fresher when using it.
The interior EPS liner is totally removable as well, offering an ultra-plush experience for unbeatable comfort but also outstanding detachable design for convenience. Its construction is completely anti-microbial and moisture-wicking so you can expect it to last for years without setbacks.
The best about this helmet is that it looks amazing in every way. From the 16 passages and holes to the matte surface, adjustable visor with bolts for detaching, and all else – this helmet becomes one of the best choices available for you.
10. Fox Proframe
All Fox helmets are exceptional choices, especially the full-face ones. And surely, the Proframe is not an exception to that rule. But what’s the interesting about this helmet? Well, it’s made specifically for women.
This is one of the lightest and comfortable options you’ll find, still managing to cover all your face with a full-face design that leaves no opportunity to accidents. Apart from that, you get wide vents that help to achieve more ventilation and never feel hot inside, even with its all-covered design.
One exciting part of this helmet is the Varizorb EPS foam that protects like no other, making it work even better with a MIPS technology that will improve overall impact absorption. You won’t ever feel impacts on your head, which prevents overall damage exponentially.
The shell is still one of the strongest out there, with polycarbonate that stands even the hardest of impacts. But when you add the fixed visor, you can enjoy not only its protectiveness but also the fantastic convenience it offers, so your eyes don’t get damaged by environmental conditions.
In the shell, you can also find 24 large Big Bore vents, ideal for keeping ventilation going at all times. Even when the sun is very hot, the excellent airflow system will keep your head cool and comfortable. You owe this to the EPS that’s not only protective but breathable entirely coming with a cotton mix.
What To Look For Before Buying?
Reading some mountain bike helmet reviews is useful so you can eventually pick the ideal option. However, that won’t be enough if you want to choose the best one. For that, here we bring an explanation of all the factors to consider before buying an MTB helmet.
Fit & Comfort
There’s probably nothing that you’ll care the most about a good MTB helmet than the comfort it offers. You will want something that fits perfectly on your head, that leaves no space for fragility, and that eventually makes it easy to ride around without issues. For that, you’ll need to consider several things.
First, make sure the inside of the helmet touches your head ultimately. As long as it doesn’t block your vision and provides excellent comfort, the helmet will be a great choice. Otherwise, if it feels hard or too tight, then you need to pick another option or try to adjust it.
Some options come with a one-size-fits-all design which can be pretty useful so you won’t have to pick among many possibilities. However, it’s always better to go for the right size according to your needs.
We recommend going for those options with at least three different sizes to pick, and additional internal adjustments, so it becomes even more versatile when fitting. And most of them come with the dial adjustment system which makes overall adjustment very straightforward, making them a great choice.
Apart from that, you should make sure the straps are comfortable but also tight enough to prevent the helmet from moving. If the helmet moves an inch or more when riding, it means you’ll need to adjust it or pick another size.
One of them most important things to consider is the type of design. Some options come with a full-face build while others come with an open-face or half-shell. You will have to pick the one that fits your needs accordingly.
We recommend full-face options for users who want more protection on the face and the half-shell for those who want more flexibility & ventilation.
In whatever model you pick, the helmet should stick tightly to your scalp. So when you move the helmet, the scalp moves with it. This will ensure that you have a protective helmet on your head, as long as you place it in the right place.
Materials & Build
You’ll find that most MTB helmets are made of two important materials, EPS and polycarbonate. This happens because of no matter the design, shape, ventilation or adjustability, all helmets need to be protective and light to use.
The first material, EPS, means expanded polystyrene, which is the perfect option for the interior of the helmets. This material tends to be really impact-absorbing which adds to the protective layer of every helmet. However, the great purpose is to feel comfortable in the head. That’s why EPS is mostly known as the liner.
The second material is PC or polycarbonate. This material is hard and works as the shell of every helmet. Its purpose would be to prevent impacts from damaging the interior by absorbing most of the impact force.
This durable material also offers the chance to slide, as it is too smooth in the surface, so you don’t get stuck or snagged while going in mountain trails. And in case you fall or bump into something, then the hard shell will let you know with a crack or dent.
This way you get both the EPS material for the interior that keeps your head comfortable & protected, alongside PC for the outer shell that protects directly from impacts. Other materials for either interior or exterior won’t be as useful as these two.
Ventilation & Aerodynamics
All mountain bike helmets need to come with ventilation holes so air can pass through and deliver a refreshing air to the biker. Most helmets offer several of these holes so the user can enjoy a fresh experience accordingly. However, some offer more vents than others.
The one with more vents can go over 20 holes per shell, this means they can provide a really fresh experience when using. Some may offer only 7, 10 or 12 holes but larger which means they are also breathable enough to feel fresh but not that much.
It is essential to consider that this also changes the overall aerodynamics of the helmet. The products with more air vents tend to be cooling but lack a little speed create. This is not very noticeable when using, but air entering the helmet may slow down or push back the head of the user.
The more holes available, the more air that enters and the more push-back effect you’ll receive. But with the ability to refresh and keep sweat on the line is something you won’t get with all helmets. It’s important to note that full-face helmets rarely come with a ventilation system, so they tend to be hot.
Finally, remember you can find other features in MTB helmets such as chin bars made of plastic for protection. Lens compatibility is perfect so you can add goggles to protect your eyes. Visors are also useful for both eye and front protection.
Then you have lights or rear red reflectors that add visibility at night. An additional option you can find is mounting options for cameras, especially GoPro. These can be pretty useful if you are a vlogger or just want to record your trips.
Best Mountain Bike Brands
To find the best MTB helmets you’ll need to know about the best brands. Here we will explain five of the most recommend options you’ll find.
If there’s a brand that focuses on mountain biking & motocross, it is FOX. That’s why helmet with the Fox logo won’t disappoint either in protection or comfort. This brand has been in the market for almost fifty years, so you are surely getting helmets with tons of features to enjoy. It stands out for the high-end styles.
All Giro products tend to be of medium quality, which means you get excellent results without having to spend a fortune. It is also an old brand, so it is undoubtedly among the most reliable. You can also expect Giro helmets to be comfortable, easy to use, and pretty good-looking.
This is the smallest Brand in the list but among the most reliable. While GoMax helmets are not the most popular, you can expect them to hold well in all kinds of conditions and still offer superb protection.
It mostly focuses on products for winter sports such as goggles, gloves, and similar protective gear. However, POC later started to go into the biking market to create superb helmets for mountain biking. The quality in the first products they created traveled to the helmets as well so you can expect great results.
Despite being in the market for more than 30 years, Troy Lee is still a small company that produces high-quality products for extreme sports. But it’s the helmets that stand out the most, especially for its amazing A1 helmet that you’ll find outstanding well-made for comfort, reliability & protection.
Frequently Asked Questions
Getting to know more about the best mountain bike helmets also means reading what most people have questions about before buying. With the following questions, you may leave some doubts behind.
Q: I see MIPS often, what does it mean?
A: MIPS stands for Multi-Directional Impact Protection System. It gives the helmet an additional layer that touches your scalp. This layer has the purpose of moving precisely in the moment of an impact to reduce damage on the head of the user.
Q: Should I clean my helmet consistently?
A: Yes, we recommend both cleaning the exterior and interior of the helmets once a month.
Q: How do I know what the right size is for me?
A: Normally, you’ll have to measure your head circumference to know precisely what size works for you.
Q: Will a mountain bike helmet protect me better than a road helmet?
A: Not precisely. Yet, MTB helmets come with a visor that protects the front & face of the user while road helmets do not.
Q: Is a half-shell more comfortable than a full face model?
A: It all comes down to your needs. Full-face options tend to be hotter and less comfortable in dry & warm places. But in cold areas, a full face will work wonders, especially for the extra protection.
Whether you prefer full-face or half-shell designs, it all comes down to what fits your needs the most. There are so many possibilities available that finding the best mountain bike helmet can be an impossible endeavor. However, you can always pick a product that matches your requirements.
That’s why we recommend choosing something by considering all the factors we listed here. Remember our reviews & advice, and you’ll probably pick the perfect MTB helmet without any problem.