A bike rider searching for the best mountain bike helmet can easily get overwhelmed by the available options. But shopping for this essential accessory doesn’t have to be a nerve-wracking experience.
This article has you covered if you’re looking for the best mountain bike helmets. We bring you the best of the best to help you make an informed decision. So let’s dive right in.
- Best Mountain Bike Helmets: Reviews
- Buyer’s Guide
- Better Protection for a Better Ride
Best Mountain Bike Helmets: Reviews
Demon United Podium Full Face Mountain Bike Helmet
If style, safety, and function are your top priorities in the best mountain bike helmet, this product is worth your attention. Perfect for mountain bike and BMX riders, this helmet won’t break the bank, but it will protect your entire face and look great in the process.
Choosing a Demon United helmet has plenty of benefits, especially a model that covers the full face. In addition, the overall design and construction are lightweight and durable, easy to put on, and it doesn’t cost a fortune.
The helmet liner can be removed and washed for easy maintenance, while the visor is adjustable to fit anyone’s preferences. The construction is fully ventilated and has 13 flow vents while offering a superior fit. This makes the helmet highly comfortable to use in the hot months without compromising safety.
This Demon United Podium Full Face helmet is available in multiple colors (black, blue, white, red, and a combination of two colors), weighing 2.2 pounds.
Everything about this helmet is great – the design, colors, fit, ventilation, and price. If you’re after great value for money and want to invest in a helmet that will last for years, this is certainly a product to consider.
The manufacturer did a great job at creating 13 monster flow vents for uninterrupted ventilation, regardless of where you are or the temperature outside. Note that this is a feature many competitors on the market lack.
In addition, they installed an adjustable visor and added aluminum screws, unlike the cheap plastic screws found in most helmets. Also, the foam EPS liner is made according to the highest industry standards.
Unfortunately, the sizing chart for this helmet can be confusing for some users, so it’s better to pay special attention to avoid purchasing the wrong size. Plus, some riders may find this helmet too heavy, regardless of its lightweight design.
- Affordable price
- Perfect fit
- Exceptional ventilation
- Plenty of color options
- Durable with premium contents
- May be too heavy for some
- Confusing sizing chart
Exclusky BMO Mountain Bike Helmet
The Exclusky BMO Mountain Bike Helmet is the best option for all-around protection for female, male, and child riders. Whenever safety is involved, you know an Exclusky product can deliver.
The overall design and construction of Exclusky helmets are nothing short of impressive. They feel comfortable and durable the moment riders put them on. In addition, these MTB helmets have lightweight components and a breathable inner pad for comfortable daily wear.
The construction’s strong and long-lasting PVC, PC, and EPS foam materials allow excellent impact resistance, especially for the adult rider. This unisex hamlet is perfect for mountain biking, skateboarding, and recreational biking.
This helmet doesn’t lag behind the competition when it comes to ventilation. Specialized aerodynamic adaptation ensures that the air can pass through the helmet uninterruptedly so the rider can stay cool even under hot weather conditions.
Another area where this manufacturer excels is the visor and adjustment system. The single-hand dial retention allows for easy adjustments and makes this product a perfect fit. The large sun visor perfectly matches the rest of the design and is super straightforward to move upward for a better and broader view.
There is very little this helmet lacks compared to the competition. However, one of the things it misses is a standby rear light. For this reason, signaling to riders or drivers behind you isn’t always the most straightforward experience.
Some users also report issues with the clasp where it’s difficult to snap and undo, but this is more of a personal matter rather than a general disadvantage.
- All-around helmet
- 18 air vents for air passage
- Unisex product
- Durable protection
- Clasp could be simpler
- May not be suitable for riders with bigger heads
JBM Bike Helmets Adult Bike Helmet
JBM is a well-known manufacturer when it comes to outdoor sports protective gear. So when you purchase a JBM bike helmet, you know you’re getting a stylish and safety-oriented product made from premium materials.
This mountain bike helmet for adults is one of the bestselling products from this manufacturer, and for a good reason. This helmet is suitable for male and female mountain bike enthusiasts; it’s super fun to customize, provides a great fit, and offers unquestioned protection.
One of the highlights of this product is that you get excellent value for money. Firstly, this product has a super adjustable dial system, so it’s simple to secure and customize. In addition, the side straps are easily adjustable according to the rider’s needs and come with adjustable buckles, so you know they won’t slip off.
The size of this helmet is small to medium (from 20.5 inches to 22 inches).
This helmet’s durable PVC and PC construction can resist strong impacts and shocks without breaking. Rest assured. The manufacturer refused to compromise on safety here. The EPS foam makes the product capable of absorbing shocks more efficiently and protecting your head following falls, crashes, or collisions.
The air ventilation design keeps the rider’s head cool and helps them ride faster due to an excellent aerodynamics system.
Much like the rest of the products on the list, this helmet is super lightweight and breathable despite being a heavy-duty item.
Finally, this is also one of the most diverse helmets in design. Mountain bike riders can choose from up to 17 designs and two-color combinations for a super stylish experience.
The manufacturer has made sure to make a product that will last. However, there are a few aspects where they could have done better. For example, the straps are a bit loose and could break if the rider doesn’t treat them with care.
- Can resist breaking and impact
- Outstanding ventilation system
- Easily adjustable straps
- Lightweight construction
- Plenty of colors and designs
- The straps may slip off
- Not suitable for riders with larger heads
Shinmax Bike Helmet, CPSC/CE Certified
Shinmax is the leader in manufacturing CPSC/CE-approved helmets for adult bike riders. This Shinmax Bike Helmet for male and female mountain bike riders features an LED backlight; it’s heavy-duty, has a detachable sun visor, and offers excellent value.
If you appreciate safety and want a helmet with the certifications to prove it, you’ll want to consider this product. It comes with a CPSC CPC approval (American National Standard) and a CE (European Standard) approval.
Constructed from a polycarbonate PC shell and a heavy-duty EPS foam, it offers excellent shock absorption and resistance to drops.
Another standout feature of this helmet is the LED rear backlight. The light has three modes – steady, slow with a flash, and fast flashing light mode. You can use these beneficial lighting elements to signal riders or cars behind you and make night cycling safer. In addition, the manufacturer included a complimentary replacement battery, so you won’t have to worry about shopping for a new battery for a while.
This helmet doesn’t stop at being safety-tested and suitable for night rides. In addition, the manufacturer has taken special care in constructing a detachable sun visor that you can use to keep the sun and rain out while on the road.
The wrap-around padding boosts comfort and is super easy to clean since you can remove it anytime.
As far as aerodynamics are concerned, this helmet features a standard 22 vents for easy airflow and is also suitable for skiing, scooter riding, and most other outdoor activities.
Some riders may find this helmet to be looser compared to some competitors. However, tightening it to the maximum may still not be enough to make the product feel secure enough.
In addition, some users report the straps loosening while riding. However, this issue can be prevented after learning how to properly adjust the straps on this helmet.
- Detachable sun visor
- CPSC and CE approved
- Has LED rear backlight
- Adjustable size
- Aerodynamic design
- Straps can be an issue
- May be too big for some users
Base Camp NEO Mountain Bike Helmet
This lightweight and protective polycarbonate Base Camp NEO helmet will meet and exceed all mountain bikers’ needs regardless of their skill levels or backgrounds. Suitable for both women and men, this cycling helmet has a uniquely large vizor, plenty of vents, and a super easy adjustable system. This makes it the perfect match for avid mountain bikers. Best of all – it won’t break the bank.
This helmet is the definition of a protective and lightweight mountain bike helmet. Made from a heavy-duty polycarbonate shell that covers the EPS liner, this helmet can absorb impacts and offer sharp object protection like no other product. In particular, riders can rely on additional protection in the area around the base of the skull and the top of the neck areas.
The helmet also comes with removable padding and has excellent wicking properties. In addition, it can retain moisture to keep the sweat from stinging your eyes, providing all-day comfort while riding.
Like the rest of the competition, this helmet has plenty of optimized vents (18) in its robust aerodynamics system. All of which keep the rider’s head ventilated and cool in all climates. The vents feature internal exhaust channels that distribute cool air over the rider’s head and force hot air out.
The large visor effectively keeps the sun and dirt out of the rider’s eyes on the trail.
Finally, the helmet is easily adjusted thanks to the rear fit system. In terms of sizing, this helmet will fit all sizes from 20.4 inches to 23.2 inches.
There’s only one crucial feature this heavy-duty helmet misses – a backlight. Also, this model comes in just two colors, which may make it a less interesting choice than competitor models with 10+ available designs. Finally, this helmet may not be the perfect fit for users with smaller head sizes.
- Better cranial protection than the competition
- Great ventilation
- Robust construction
- Large visor
- May not fit users with smaller heads
- Lack of backlight
- Only comes in two colors
Buying a mountain bike helmet doesn’t have to be an overwhelming experience. However, searching for the best model is much simpler when you know what you’re looking for and what characteristics work best for your specific needs.
We made this buyer’s guide to help you see if the mountain bike helmet you’ve set your eye on is worth considering and how to find quality products in general.
All helmets sold in the U.S. must meet the CPSC downhill safety standard. This means it has been tested on the front of a downhill helmet to 41 mm above the reference plane. In addition, you can find a CPSC label on the inside of the helmet’s liner, next to the chinstrap, or on the product’s exterior.
There’s also a European Standard (CE) that reliable helmets will feature. This is the sole mandatory standard from Europe that covers all bicycle helmets.
Fit is one of the most critical elements in choosing a mountain bike helmet. If a helmet doesn’t fit you properly, it may reduce the amount of protection during an impact.
In addition, different manufacturers use different sizing and styles. Consequently, the best way to ensure the perfect fit is to try out other models directly at the store. Don’t purchase helmets online unless you’re replacing your old helmet with the same model or previously tried the product in a store.
You should be able to adjust the helmet, so it fits perfectly on your head when you fasten the straps. If this isn’t the case, then you should try another model.
If you’re shopping for a child, get them a helmet that fits them at the moment of purchase. Many parents mistake getting bigger helmets for their little ones thinking they will grow into them.
Here’s a short overview of how to make sure a helmet fits well:
- First, the head should partially compress the soft foam pads before the rider tightens the straps.
- You should go for a size that fits as well as possible without being too tight. The sizing pads can be used to fine-tune the model.
- The straps should form a letter “V” under and a little forward of the earlobes. Again, you can check this in a mirror.
- The front edge shouldn’t be more than 1 inch above the eyebrows.
- The action should wrinkle the skin over your temples when you push the helmet from front to back or side to side.
- If you have long hair, always test the helmet wearing the same hairstyle you would for riding.
Here are helmet sizing parameters used by most manufacturers:
- XS – under 20 inches
- S – 20-21.75 inches
- M – 21.75-23.25 inches
- L – 23.25-24.75 inches
- XL – above 24.75 inches
- Universal size – adjustable fit system
If you are between the sizes, it’s best to go for a smaller model.
Materials and Construction
Mountain bike helmets are made using special technology to provide maximum shock absorption and protection from impact. This helps prevent head injuries like skull fractures.
Most mountain bike helmet manufacturers construct the products using a multi-directional Impact Protection System (MIPS) or WaveCel. The former consists of a low-friction liner inside the helmet that lets the outer shell slide across the skull during impact. This, in turn, reduces the rotational force and impact on the head.
WaveCel helmets have a malleable plastic inner layer that works as a three-dimensional mesh made from honeycomb material. Its construction can flex, crumple, or glide sideways during impact. In short, this technology works as a suspension system that absorbs the rotational force generated by the impact.
Helmets are also made using SPIN (Shearing Pads Inside) technology with silicone-injected pads. The pads are inside the shell and redirect the impact-induced rotational force away from the head.
Small to medium size helmets usually weigh from 0.55 pounds to 0.61 pounds. The larger models can weigh more than 0.66 pounds.
A helmet shouldn’t feel too heavy when you first put it on. However, if you feel like the product prevents you from moving your head comfortably, you should probably look for a more lightweight option.
All ventilation ports in helmets channel the air to designed exit points. The strategy is to cool the rider’s head by convection.
Helmers with larger font vents do a better job at cooling. However, since the foam liner is often thick and dense to provide head protection, it’s always better to invest in a helmet that has a robust ventilation system.
However, a denser foam or liner reinforcement is necessary if the ventilation increases too much. This can lead to more g-force transmission and a larger head impact. Therefore, you should be careful when choosing helmets with large ventilation holes.
Luckily, most manufacturers explain helmets’ cooling abilities despite limited and rather difficult testing. A single head angle change can significantly affect how the air gets channeled. Although this doesn’t include the fit, sweat, or hair.
How Long Do Bike Helmets Last?
Many people aren’t aware that helmets come with an expiration date. Exposure to the sun, heat and other elements degrade the product’s construction and make it unsafe for use. Most bike helmet manufacturers recommend replacing a helmet every five years.
How Often Should You Replace Your Bike Helmet?
If you use your helmet regularly and didn’t suffer any impact absorption accidents, you can use the same model for the previous five years. The UV light, pollution, and weather elements weaken the structure over time.
But if the helmet absorbs a strong impact, it’s best to replace it immediately.
How to Choose an MTB Helmet?
An MTB helmet should fit comfortably and feel secure, but not to the point where it hurts or feels super uncomfortable. The head should slightly compress the foam pads inside the helmet before the rider tightens the straps. Also, if you wear long hair, try a helmet on using the same hairstyle you ride with.
When it comes to helmet characteristics, always go for the models with a CE or CPSC safety standard label, are properly ventilated, and are made from reliable materials.
Better Protection for a Better Ride
Despite the incredibly tight competition, our best mountain bike helmet winner is the Base Camp NEO Mountain Bike Helmet. The premium construction, perfect ventilation system, and affordable price make it a great choice.
But if you find this helmet too small or too large, you can try the CE and CPSC regulated, highly adjustable Shinmax Bike Helmet. It’s another impressive model, especially when considering its LED backlight.
Hopefully, this review has helped you to choose the best mountain bike helmet for your particular needs. You should now be able to shop for helmets like a pro by looking for the essential features mentioned in our buyer’s guide.