Mountain biking is a popular sport that both beginner and expert cyclists enjoy.
Before you jump on any trails, though, you will need to invest in a good helmet to keep you safe.
The main job of helmets is to protect your head from severe injuries; it is important to wear one while mountain biking due to the high speeds and steep trails you will encounter.
However, it may be hard to choose one since there are so many options out there.
There are a few factors to keep in mind when choosing a bike helmet: comfort, safety, size, weight, and functionality. Cyclists of different levels will need different helmets. This guide will cover the best mountain bike helmets for every skill level.
We will explain the pros, cons, and features of each helmet. This guide will also offer a bit of buying advice for each helmet to help you make the best purchase.
If you are ready to find the perfect helmet, let’s get started.
Best Mountain Bike Helmet – Reviews for 2021
Best Overall: Giro Chronicle MIPS Adult Dirt Cycling Helmet
- Size: 16 x 11 x 9 inches
- Color: Matte true spruce, matte citron, matte iceberg
- Inner Material: EPS liner
- Engineered in a leading helmet test lab
- Multi-directional impact protection
- Easy to adjust
- Not a lot of padding on the inside
- Sweat tends to build-up
The Chronicle MIPS Adult Dirt Cycling Helmet is the best mountain bike helmet under 100.
This helmet was designed in one of the leading helmet test labs. It has a multi-directional impact protection system to prevent serious head and neck injuries while riding.
Since you can easily adjust the vertical position of the helmet and tension, it will be a very comfortable fit. You will also be able to wear goggles with the helmet. Furthermore, this helmet has internal channeling and 14 wind tunnel vents.
Another great feature is the in-mold polycarbonate shell. The shell will reduce the impact of falls, while the EPS liner will cushion your head.
The helmet is also comfortable to wear in many different climates. The lining will provide warmth in the winter or on cool fall mornings. Even if you ride on a hot summer day, the extra-plush Coolmax padding will increase airflow.
The best mountain bike helmet lights, the Chronicle MIPS Cycling helmet will last for years.
If you want both safety and comfort, the Giro Chronicle helmet will be a good choice. This product meets very high safety standards but is also energy efficient.
Not only is the helmet safe, but you can also customize it to fit your head perfectly. The patented design also allows for a lot of airflow over your head, so you won’t find yourself overheating during the ride.
Overall, this helmet is the best budget mountain bike helmet. It is safe and comfortable, and the product will last a long time.
Runner-Up: Smith Optics Convoy MIPS Men’s MTB Cycling Helmet
- Size: 13 x 9.75 x 8 inches
- Color: Black, hornet, pool, sage, and white
- Inner Material: EPS lining
- Adjustable knob at the back
- Sleek design
- Fits low on the head
- Helmet may discolor after a few months
Any Extra Features?
The Smith Optics Convoy MIPS Men’s MTB Cycling Helmet is the best women’s mountain bike helmet.
This product is very lightweight; it will not feel heavy on your head and will lessen the strain on your neck. The polycarbonate shell will prevent severe head injuries if you wipe out.
Furthermore, the helmet has an EPS liner. This material is thermal resistant, insulating, and bacterial resistant. You will be comfortable whether it is hot or cold. The lining also has excellent stability and impact strength.
The bike helmet has an adjustable knob and strap, so you will be able to play with it to get the perfect fit. Another helpful feature is the removable visor. You can choose to have protection from the rain or sun, or you can take it off to expand your field of view.
The best cheap mountain bike helmet, the Smith Optics is very safe and will last for years.
Why Should I Buy This?
This helmet is both stylish and comfortable. It will fit your head just right and keep you safe on the road. The helmet has about 20 vents which will increase airflow.
You will also be able to wear goggles with this product. The visor on the helmet sits high enough to accommodate extra face protection. Finally, this helmet is very lightweight which will be easy to travel with.
Alternative: BELL 4Forty MIPS Adult Mountain Bike Helmet
- Size: 14 x 11 x 8 inches
- Color: Matte black, white, gray, camo, blue, sand brown, maroon
- Inner Material: EPS foam lining
- Comes in over eight colors
- EPS lining
- Lightweight fit
- Multi-directional impact protection system
- The visor may constrict your field of view
- Not a lot of airflow
The Bell 4Forty MIPS Adult Mountain Bike Helmet is the best downhill mountain bike helmet.
One of the best features is its polycarbonate shell. The company uses a special bonding process to bond this shell to the liner, which will increase durability. Even if the helmet experiences a strong impact, the shell will stay attached to the liner.
This helmet is also one of the safest products you will find. It has a multi-directional impact protection system (MIPS). This system reduces the amount of rotational force that cyclists feel during a strong impact, which will protect both your head and neck.
Even though the MIP system is durable, it is also lightweight. The helmet will feel light on your head and won’t cause neck strain. There is also a rubber dial that is integrated with the MIP system on the helmet for adjustments.
Another great feature of the Bell 4Forty helmet is the quick-adjust straps. You won’t have to twist the straps to adjust them; just glide them up and down. The straps will also stay in a comfortable position and will not twist or turn throughout the ride.
You won’t have to worry about sweat dripping into your eyes while wearing this helmet. The product has a sweat pad near your eyebrows to collect moisture.
Another reason why this is the best mountain bike helmet is that the visor is adaptable. You can take it on or off. The visor also works well with goggles or glasses; you will be able to adjust it according to what you are wearing.
Why You Should Buy This Helmet
This product is the best mountain bike helmet for the money. It has all of the features you will need and more.
If you want a helmet that will work well with extra face gear, this will be the product to buy. With the adjustable visor system, you will be able to fit just about any pair of goggles you own underneath the helmet.
You can also quickly adjust the helmet’s fit on the go. The straps are easy to use and will not get caught in anything.
This helmet is very durable and will last thousands of miles with its MPS lining and polycarbonate shell.
Alternative: Fox Racing Bike-Helmets SPEEDFRAME PRO Helmet
- Size: 12 x 6.8 x 1.8 inches
- Color: black, black/red, green camo, navy, pewter, white
- Inner Material: EPS lining
- EPS lining
- Adjustable visor
- Good for commuting, endurance, and cross-country biking
- Magnetic closing straps
- Includes replaceable cushion pads
- The red helmet has a pink/orange hue to it
Any Extra Features?
The Fox Racing Bike-Helmet is the best bike helmet for a few reasons. First of all, it has a dual-density EPS liner. This liner will protect your head by decreasing the damage of impacts. It will also resist bacteria and will insulate your head well in cold weather.
However, you will also be comfortable wearing the helmet in hot weather. The product has a fully optimized ventilation system. There are multiple holes in the shell to allow for plenty of airflow.
It also has a 360 fit system. You will be able to adjust the helmet to get a comfortable fit. The straps have a Fidlock SNAP system, which will be quick and easy to use.
Furthermore, this helmet comes with a visor that is 3-position adjustable. You can also wear goggles with the helmet for riding on trails.
One of the main reasons this is a good helmet is that you can use it for different kinds of biking including commuting, trail, enduro, and cross-country.
Should I Buy This?
If you want a helmet that looks as good as it is safe, this will be the best mountain bike helmet.
You can get the helmet in over five colors and three sizes. This helmet is great for all sorts of weather since the EPS liner will insulate your head during the cool months while the ventilation system will keep your head cool in the summer.
No matter what kind of goggles you have, you can wear them with the helmet. With the visor’s three-position adjustability, it will be easy to accommodate any face gear.
You can also use the Fidlock SNAP strap system to adjust the helmet, making it the best kids mountain bike helmet.
Alternative: Bell Sanction Adult Full Face Bike Helmet
- Size: 14.5 x 11.5 x 11 inches
- Color: Matte blue, blue/white/red, matte black, matte crimson
- Inner Material: X-static padding
- ABS hard plastic shell
- Adjustable visor
- Full-face protection
- Suitable for BMX riding
- Fits small
The Bell Sanction Adult Full Face Bike Helmet is the best full face mountain bike helmet.
The ABS outer shell will protect your head from injuries if you wipe out at high speeds. Even though the helmet has a full face fit, it is lightweight for its size. You won’t experience a lot of drag or neck strain while riding.
This helmet is designed for BMX riding. The full-face structure will not only keep you safe, but will also protect you from dirt, mud, and rain.
The visor on this helmet is adjustable, so you can play around with it till you get the perfect angle. You will be able to wear goggles and a face mask comfortably.
Even though the helmet covers your entire head, it is still breathable. You will feel a good amount of airflow while riding with it, so you won’t have to worry about overheating in the hot summer months.
Finally, this product will also protect your mouth, teeth, and chin.
If you have a small head, you should get this helmet. Many people with small profiles find it hard to find a helmet that fits well, but manufacturers designed this product for smaller heads.
With that being said, if you have a normal head size, make sure to order a size up if you purchase this product.
This helmet is also good for those who don’t want to wear a heavy, bulky full-face helmet. Even though it protects against everything that a heavier helmet would, it weighs less and feels a lot lighter.
If you are looking for the best mountain bike full-face helmet, this will be the one to choose.
Bike Trailer FAQ
How Much Should I Spend on a Mountain Bike Helmet?
Now that you have a few great helmet options to choose from, you may be wondering what kind of price range you should have. How much should you spend on a mountain bike helmet?
Let’s take a look at the main price brackets of mountain bike helmets. We will cover what kind of helmets you can get in each range and what kind of cyclists will best suit the price.
If you are looking to spend under $50 for a mountain bike helmet, you probably won’t have a lot of luck. It will be difficult to find a quality mountain bike helmet at this price.
You will mostly come across simple commuting helmets in this price range or kid’s helmets. While these helmets will work fine, they will not be very comfortable. The helmet will not fit your head perfectly. You also won’t experience a lot of airflow.
This price range will be most suitable for beginner cyclists or people who only ride bikes for commuting purposes. You will not find the best mountain bike helmet for under $50.
$50 to $200
This price range is much more realistic when it comes to mountain bike helmets.
You will be able to find high-quality mountain bike helmets for $50 to $200. These helmets will fit much better since they typically have secondary retention systems that allow the shells to mold better to the shape of your head.
Helmets that are $50 to $200 will also have good airflow and will be comfortable to wear for hours. Many mountain bike helmets in this range will come with a visor.
If you are a more serious cyclist and want to try advanced trails, you should buy a helmet in this price range. You will easily find a stylish, comfortable, and safe helmet for over $50.
$200 and Over
You will be able to find any type of helmet you want in this price range, including full-face and triathlon helmets.
You will find helmets with MIPS, comfortable and easy-to-use straps, a secondary retention system, and removable helmet padding when it comes to mountain bike helmets.
Many of these helmets will also have adjustable visors and even camera mounts so you can bring along your GoPro.
You may want to shop in this price range if you consider yourself a hardcore BMX cyclist. Helmets in this range will have a lot of features that beginner cyclists don’t necessarily need.
When you buy a helmet for $200 and over, it will be very comfortable, safe, and have a lot of functionality.
What Price Range Should I Choose?
At the end of the day, it comes down to what kind of trails you are riding and what kind of cycling you will be doing.
If you are going to try out some intermediate trails in the mountains, spending over $50 is a good idea. Furthermore, if you want to hit some high speeds on your bike, you won’t want to buy a cheap helmet.
On the other hand, if you are a beginner cyclist and are planning to enjoy flat and leisurely trails, you can probably get away with spending under $50.
Should I Get a Full-Face Helmet for Mountain Biking?
Full-face bike helmets tend to be heavier, hotter, and bulkier than open-face helmets. For this reason, you should only wear a full-face helmet if you really have to. Otherwise, you will be uncomfortable for no reason.
The majority of cyclists who buy full-face helmets like to ride a lot of downhill trails at high speeds. If you are in the mountains or back-country while riding your mountain bike, you will probably want to buy a full-face helmet.
Even so, you don’t have to do hard-core mountain biking to enjoy a full face mask. If you are simply nervous about getting a bad facial injury, you will feel safe and secure in a full-face helmet.
Furthermore, these helmets protect your mouth and teeth. Those with dental problems should invest in these products as well.
Overall, it’s up to you whether you want a full-face helmet or not. These helmets will provide extra protection for your brain, face, and teeth. However, they will be hotter, less comfortable, and heavier than open-face helmets.
Are Mountain Bike Helmets Different?
Perhaps you already have a nice road bike helmet. Are mountain bike helmets different, or can you keep your road bike helmet?
Mountain bike helmets are often a bit bulkier than road helmets. They have a thicker shell that is more robust. The main job of mountain bike helmets is to stay on your head while enduring the many bumps and turns of trail riding.
These helmets will also have visors for the sun and bugs and protect your eyes from tree branches.
Mountain bike helmets are also less aerodynamic than others. The focus of these helmets is not to help you go faster but to help protect your head on brutal trails.
To conclude, mountain bike helmets are different. They are built sturdier, thicker, and more durable than others due to the demand of mountain biking environments.
Can I Use a Mountain Bike Helmet for Road Biking?
If you have a mountain bike helmet but want to do some road biking, you may be wondering if you can use the helmet on the road.
You can use a mountain bike helmet for road biking. However, it will not be the best choice. While the mountain helmet will keep you perfectly safe, it will be bulkier, heavier, and less comfortable than a road helmet.
Mountain bike helmets are also not aerodynamic. You will experience some drag while wearing yours on the road.
If your intention is a leisurely bike along the road for sight-seeing purposes, go ahead and use your mountain bike helmet. However, if you want to pick up some good speed, using a road bike helmet will be a good idea.
We hope that this has been one of the most helpful mountain bike helmet reviews you have read.
The best overall mountain bike helmet is the Giro Chronicle MIPS Adult Dirt Cycling Helmet. This product will be best for those looking for both safety and comfort.
If you want a lightweight and stylish helmet, check out the Smith Optics Convoy MIPS Men’s MTB Cycling Helmet and the BELL 4Forty MIPS Adult Mountain Bike Helmet.
The Fox Racing Bike-Helmets SPEEDFRAME PRO Helmet is a great choice for those who want some room to adjust the helmet. This product has 3-position adjustability and a Fidlock SNAP system.
Finally, if you want to purchase a full-face mountain bike helmet, the Bell Sanction Adult Full Face Bike Helmet will be the way to go. This helmet will provide extra protection to your head and teeth.
Last Updated on July 19, 2021 by Matthew Carpenter