You obviously don’t need convincing about wearing a lid for noggin protection, or else you won’t be reading a review on the best bike helmets for women.
Since we’ve established that fact, let’s skip the lengthy (and usually unnecessary) intro and get straight to why you’re here.
We won’t claim to have tested all the women-specific helmets on the market. But we’ve used quite a lot of them. Also, we’ve researched some of the most widely used models among women cyclists.
Why did we go through all the trouble?
To bring you only tested and trusted bike helmets for women.
That’s why we are confident that you’ll likely find a suitable model on this list whether you have long hair, extremely thick hair, or prefer a ponytail compatible helmet.
Looking for the best street bike helmets for women, a mountain bike helmet, or a cute bike helmet? Whatever your preference, we’ve got you covered.
Of course, you can choose just about any bike helmet on the market. But we are sure you don’t want to waste your money and time on guesswork.
So, go ahead and read through our down-to-earth review and choose the model that fits you best.
Best Bike Helmets For Women – Reviews & Buying guide for 2021
Best Overall: Giro Syntax Bike Helmet
Syntax is Giro’s mid-tier helmet with nearly all the features you’ll find on high-end models.
It is lightweight, aerodynamic, and comes with the Roc Loc 5 fit system for improved comfort and adjustability.
Consider this option if you want a moderately priced helmet that’s suitable for long hair.
The Giro Syntax is proof that good-quality in-mold helmets aren’t necessarily expensive. It comes at a good price yet offers many of the features of high-end helmets.
With Syntax, you’ll get extra safety from the MIPS technology. Unlike many other models, the MIPS is integral to the helmet and not merely tacked onto it after the fact.
You will hardly notice this helmet on your head, thanks to its lightweight construction.
We think Syntax is one of the best bike helmets for women with long hair for one major reason. The manufacturer did an excellent job of designing the ratcheting dial.
Compared to many other models, the dial offers a bit more coverage at the rear.
But there’s more.
The ratcheting dial also allows you to easily adjust the helmet in three different positions.
That means you can pull your ponytail through and tighten it nicely without the helmet sitting awkwardly on your head or ponytail
Taking all of these into consideration plus its moderate price, it’s difficult not to recommend the Giro Syntax. It is, indeed, one of the best bike helmets for women with thick hair.
- Size: Small, Medium, Large, Extra-Large
- Color: Black with Yellow Highlight
- Material: Polycarbonate (outer)
- Lightweight, comfortable, and functional design
- Increased ventilation
- Ratcheting dial is easy to adjust
- Great at redirecting energy during crashes
- Vents might not accommodate sunglasses
Runner-Up: Nutcase Street Helmet
This model can easily pass as one of the best street bike helmets for women, and it comes in a wide range of colors!
The Street Helmet from Nutcase also works for skateboarding, so you’re getting the value of two for the price of one.
And did we mention it is very affordable?
You’re sure to get the most bang for your buck with this model.
Nutcase offers some cute bike helmets for women. That means this brand should be on your watchlist if looking like a professional female cyclist isn’t really your thing.
Sometimes, a woman just wants to look feminine and chic in a simple, skate-style helmet designed for her everyday commute.
That’s where the Street Helmet comes into play.
It is an excellent pick for the regular rider who wants something uncomplicated yet very functional.
The helmet comes in a wide variety of colors and lovable designs. With 27 different adorable options to choose from, you’ll most likely find a design that fits your personality and style.
But Nutcase isn’t just about eye-catching colors and decals.
If you go cycling without sunglasses, the visor will protect your eyes from sunrays. And if you have no need for the visor or you simply don’t like it, simply remove it. It’s your call.
And while this Nutcase offering might look a bit old-school, it doesn’t have a traditional buckle to grapple with.
Instead, you get a magnetic buckle that’s easy-peasy to operate.
All you have to do is hold both ends close together and the buckle snaps into place. To unbuckle, simply slide the ends apart.
This model comes with a rear fit dial and Velcro pads, meaning it will work for most head shapes and sizes. It will also work great for ponytails.
- Size: Small, Medium, Large
- Color: Bahaus with Reflective Prints
- Material: Expanded Polystyrene (inner), Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (outer)
- Available in a wide range of colors
- Highly reflective shell increases user visibility in low-light condition
- Comes with a removable visor for increased comfort
- Low price point
- Not very breathable
Alternative: SCOTT ARX Plus Helmet
The ARX Plus model enjoys many of the features in Scott’s pro-level helmets, yet it is reasonably priced.
Expertly designed to make every ride comfortable, this sleek helmet works great for use on roads and gravel.
The versatile helmet features trickle-down technology from the brand’s high-end options, so you can expect a highly functional design.
If you are in the market for the best dirt bike helmets for women, you may as well get Scott’s ARX Plus.
Here’s the thing, though.
The ARX Plus helmet is not limited to dirt trials. It works great for both MBT and road use, making it a fantastic pick for both performance riders and enthusiasts.
The model is one of those rare options you find with plenty of high-end features yet is offered at a modest price.
It is equipped with MIPS technology and offers incredible ventilation. Your hair and head won’t be all sweaty even if you wear the helmet for extended periods.
Scott designed it to have a well-vented brow. That means you won’t have to bother about cleaning sweat that trickles down your forehead since they won’t be any, to begin with.
In addition to protecting your noggin from impact, you won’t have sunlight impairing your vision with this helmet on. That’s because the visor will shade your eyes.
Don’t like the visor? No biggie.
You can take it off since it is removable. Plus, it looks great with or without the visor.
With this model, you will likely find a size that fits nicely, no matter the size of your head. And to make things a lot easier, ARX Plus has a micro-adjustable fit system.
This feature allows the helmet to fit easily on most heads. Plus, it feels very secure and comfortable on the head.
We like this model a lot, but the only real downside is the strap design. It might be a tad too short for some people. Plus, the helmet might not secure sunglasses.
- Size: Small, Medium, Large
- Color: White and Black
- Material: Expanded Polystyrene (inner), Polycarbonate (outer)
- Extremely comfortable and easy to adjust
- Highly rated for impact protection
- Optimized for excellent ventilation
- Sleek design and attractive colors
- Chin strap tends to be short
Alternative: Retrospec Dakota Helmet
The Dakota Helmet is Retrospec’s multi-purpose noggin protector. It is suitable for biking, skating, longboarding, and more.
Retrospec offers this option at an incredibly low price point, making it the cheapest model on this list.
This is the helmet to go for if you are on a shoestring budget or simply don’t want to spend a lot of money.
Let’s get something straight.
This is not the nicest-looking helmet out there. Although it might look cool online, it can be a tad too big for many people’s liking.
But that’s not a deal-breaker for many women.
Dakota is arguably one of the best bike helmets for women when it comes to impact protection. What it lacks in aesthetics, it makes up for in excellent protection.
And isn’t that the primary reason we wear helmets, to begin with?
This model works great for both adults and teenagers. So, if you have a teen who’s looking to go riding on a roller skate, scooter, or regular bicycle, this model should work just fine.
It comes in small, medium, and large sizing, so you’ll find something that fits.
It might not be the cutest helmet out there, but it comes in 17 different colors. What’s your favorite color again? Dakota sure has something that matches!
- Size: Small, Medium, Large
- Color: Matte Eggshell
- Material: Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (outer)
- Highly affordable
- Suitable for teenagers and adults
- Works for several purposes
- Comes with two sets of interchangeable pads
- It tends to be bulky
Alternative: Bell Stratus MIPS Bike Helmet
Bell is no doubt a leading name in the cycling gear industry, and the Stratus helmet is a premium choice.
It’s a road bike helmet available in three different sizes. Like any high-end option, it offers excellent noggin protection and extra features.
Plus, you’ll get adequate ventilation with this model.
The Stratus is a great pick whether or not you have long or thick hair. This is one of the best quality helmets for women you can find out there.
Thanks to its lightweight construction, you can comfortably wear Bell’s Stratus for long periods without noticing it’s even there.
But don’t be fooled by its featherweight design.
Stratus is a sturdy helmet. That means while it is very light it is far from being flimsy. This is all possible because Bell uses a fusion in-mold construction process to bind the outer shell to the foam liner.
And there’s more.
No one wants to get in a crash but even when you do, the MIPS slip-plane technology will minimize the effect of the impact.
Now to the main reason we choose this as one of the best bike helmets for women.
It is easy to get a dialed-in fit with Stratus. It has a highly adjustable Float Fit system, so making it fit snugly around your head is pretty straightforward.
But that’s not all.
You won’t experience any pesky chafing from the straps. They lay flat on your face, even when you ride in windy conditions.
In addition, the helmet is well-ventilated and highly breathable to keep you cool on warm days. Plus, the Sweat Guide and Overbrow Ventilation features will direct sweat and moisture away from your eyebrow.
- Size: Small, Medium, Large
- Color: Matte Black
- Material: Expanded Polystyrene (inner), Polycarbonate (outer)
- Plenty of colors to choose from
- Straps lay flat on the face
- Designed to pull sweat away from the forehead
- Offers incredible ventilation
- Does not come with replacement pads
Bike Helmet for Women FAQ
Are womens bike helmets different?
Women’s bike helmets are often slightly smaller than men’s.
The size difference is not unconnected to the fact that women generally tend to have comparatively slender and smaller features, including heads.
That being said, all helmets must meet the same standard for impact protection, regardless of whether they are marketed as men’s or women’s helmets.
In other words, there is essentially no difference between men’s and women’s bike helmets when it comes to core safety features.
Like many other outdoor gear, most bike helmets are marketed as unisex. That means there are only a few models specifically designed for women.
In most cases, helmets sold as “women’s helmets” are merely smaller-sized options. The major difference you’ll notice with models targeted at female cyclists is the floral decals.
Plus, many women’s helmets come in lots of colors, too!
Many female cyclists prefer to wear more feminine helmets built to be stylish and lighter. Women with ponytails or long hair will also like more compatible helmets.
Thankfully, American brands like Bell are already making these types of women-specific helmets.
The Joy Ride Collection offers one of the most comprehensive women’s mountain bike helmets.
So, if you’re a woman with a passion for cycling on the dirt path, you might want to consider one of these models.
How do I choose a bike helmet?
In addition to meeting impact protection standards, here are a few other considerations when choosing a bike helmet:
- Choose a helmet that fits properly: Buying a helmet that doesn’t fit properly negates the purpose of using a helmet, to begin with. Know your head measurement and find a size that fits you snuggly.
- Look for a helmet that works for your riding style: Just about any helmet will protect you, but a model that matches your riding style will make your ride more enjoyable. You will find helmets in three basic categories, including road, recreational, and mountain bike helmets for women.
- Pick one with the specific features you want: You can choose to buy options with newer technology and more features. These may allow you to use action cameras, and some might even come with magnetic buckles so you can easily buckle them even if you’re wearing gloves.
Or you may simply stick with basic models that still offer adequate protection against crashes. The choice is purely personal.
Just keep in mind that the more features a helmet has, the more money you will likely pay to get it.
Do bike helmets expire?
Bike helmets do not have a strict expiration date. So, you won’t find the typical “Best Before” or “Use-by” date stamped somewhere on the headgear.
But that’s not to say that a helmet will remain usable forever!
As with every other item, helmets will deteriorate over time. An expired helmet doesn’t necessarily mean it is bad or broken.
Instead, it means the helmet is no longer the best version of itself.
While there is usually no expiry date on helmets, it is important to know when these safety items are no longer capable of performing what they are originally designed to do.
Manufacturers recommend replacement at least after five years of use or seven years from the production date.
Look inside your helmet (or somewhere on the body) to find the date stamp indicating when the helmet was manufactured. The date is usually in the YY/MM/DD format.
It doesn’t matter whether your helmet still looks great and you’ve maintained it well enough.
You should get a new one after seven years from the year it was manufactured or five years of use (whichever comes first).
The Consumer Product Safety Commission suggests replacing bike helmets every 5 to 10 years in the absence of manufacturer’s guidance.
However, helmets are constructed with a few different materials that naturally begin to degrade after about 5 years.
Continuous contact with sweat, hair oils, sunscreen, and other cosmetic products over this period can lead to wear and tear.
Besides, you won’t want to show up on the road looking all old-fashioned with a helmet you’ve had for nearly a decade!
In addition to more attractive and fashionable designs, helmet technology is constantly evolving, and 5 years long enough to come up with newer and better safety features.
How do I know if my helmet is too small?
There are a few different ways to tell if your helmet is too small. Some of these include:
- The Helmet Doesn’t Fit Snuggly: A small helmet won’t fit snugly on your head. Instead, it will be too tight. Plus, when you loosen the straps and hold the helmet in one position, you’ll find it difficult to move your head up and down or sideways.
- You Get a Red Forehead: Getting a red forehead isn’t merely a result of wearing a new bike helmet. It also doesn’t necessarily mean you have a skin condition. If you have a red forehead after wearing a helmet, it is either too small or not the right fit for the shape of your head.
- You Experience Discomfort and Painful Pressure Points: One of the obvious indications that a helmet is too small for you is that you will experience painful pressure points on the sides or back of your head. To avoid discomfort, it is best to try on a new bike helmet indoors for about 15 to 30 minutes to get an overall feel of the headgear before taking it for a ride.
Here’s how to know that you have the best bike helmet fit:
- The lid must be level on your noggin
- The helmet strap has to fit closely under your chin
- The straps should form a V under your earlobes and should meet under your jaw
- The gap from above your eyebrows to the front edge of the helmet shouldn’t be more than an inch or thereabout
Finding the best bike helmets for women goes beyond stylish designs, attractive colors, and floral decals.
Of course, all of these are great. But you want to take the primary function of into consideration, too. Safety comes first before any other thing.
Thankfully, all of the bike models in this review meet the standards for safety and impact protection.
These are some of the best quality bike helmets for women, so you don’t have to worry about their ability to keep your noggin safe if you ever find yourself in a crash.
Last Updated on February 18, 2022 by Matthew Carpenter