Top Rated Mountain Bike Helmets

Mountain biking is an exhilarating sport — flying down single trails, taking on huge jumps and tackling tricky obstacles. However, with all of that fun comes some risk. It is very easy to fall off your bike in an outdoor environment because there are so many obstacles including large rocks, trees, roots, unstable gravel, mud and wild animals.

To avoid your favorite hobby leading to a painful and debilitating injury, you should always wear the appropriate safety gear. The most important safety item is a solid and well-made mountain bike helmet. After all — your brain is a very fragile part of the body and a small fall can cause irreparable damage.

This guide will help you understand what to look for in a mountain bike helmet, then it will take a look at some of the top rated mountain bike helmets on the market!

  • Bell Super Afterparty Bike Helmet
  • Rating: 5/5
  • Manufacturer: Bell
  • Type: Molded half shell mountain bike helmet ideal for cross country
  • Size: S
  • Price: $
  • Fox Head Rampage Comp Imperial Helmet
  • Rating: 5/5
  • Manufacturer: Fox Sports
  • Type: Molded full face mountain bike helmet
  • Size: Multiple Sizes
  • Price: $$$
  • Bell Sanction BMX/Downhill Helmet
  • Rating: 4.6/5
  • Manufacturer: Bell
  • “Type: Molded full face mountain bike helmet
  • Size: Multiple Sizes
  • Price: $$
  • Giro Feature Mountain Bike Helmet
  • Rating: 4.6/5
  • Manufacturer: Giro
  • “Type: Molded half shell mountain bike helmet
  • Size: Multiple Sizes
  • Price: $$
  • Obsidian Cycling Premium Quality Airflow Bike Helmet
  • Rating: 4.8/5
  • Manufacturer: Obsidian Cycling
  • Type: Molded half shell mountain bike helmet
  • Size: S/M
  • Price: $
Bell Super Afterparty Bike HelmetFox Head Rampage Comp Imperial HelmetBell Sanction BMX/Downhill HelmetGiro Feature Mountain Bike HelmetObsidian Cycling Premium Quality Airflow Bike Helmet
Rating: 5/5Rating: 5/5Rating: 4.6/5Rating: 4.6/5Rating: 4.8/5
Manufacturer: BellManufacturer: Fox SportsManufacturer: BellManufacturer: GiroManufacturer: Obsidian Cycling
Type: Molded half shell mountain bike helmet ideal for cross countryType: Molded full face mountain bike helmet“Type: Molded full face mountain bike helmet
“Type: Molded half shell mountain bike helmet
Type: Molded half shell mountain bike helmet
Size: SSize: Multiple SizesSize: Multiple SizesSize: Multiple SizesSize: S/M
Price: $Price: $$$Price: $$Price: $$Price: $

What to Consider When Buying a Mountain Bike Helmet

Here are a few of the factors you should consider before buying a mountain bike helmet.

Buy a helmet appropriate for your riding style

here are two types of bicycle helmets:

Full Face Mountain Bike Helmets

These helmets cover the entire face and have a durable chin guard. They are primarily designed for downhill riding and dirt jumping.

Half Shell Bike Helmet

These helmets mostly cover the top and back of the head. There are many different half shell designs, built for different kinds of riding. For example, a mountain bike half shell might include a visor and have a little more protection for the back of the head. A half shell designed for road biking will be extremely lightweight and will have more ventilation holes.

For most forms of mountain biking, a half shell bicycle helmet should do the trick. However, if you are doing a lot of downhill riding or jumps, you should consider a full face helmet. It will help preserve your beautiful face if you perform a face-plant while flying down a hill at incredible speeds!

Check the construction of the helmet

Nearly all mountain bike helmets are made from expanded polystyrene foam that is covered with a plastic shell. This foam is designed to collapse when you have a fall, cushioning your head and preventing injury. After a serious fall where the helmet has absorbed the brunt of an impact, it will have to be discarded because the compacted foam becomes ineffective.

Cheaper helmets will have the outer plastic shell taped or glued to the foam. In more expensive helmets the plastic shell is molded together with the foam by the manufacturer. Molded mountain bike helmets may also have a thicker outer plastic layer, to reduce the risk of sharp penetrating objects (like rocks), piercing the shell.

Molded helmets typically have more elaborate designs, are lighter, have more air vents and look cooler! However, both types of helmets provide a high level of protection.

Make sure the helmet you buy is actually a bicycle helmet!

In the United States, bicycle helmets need to meet a number of standards set out by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).  There are some other optional standards that helmets may also comply with, including the Snell Foundation’s B-95 standard for bicycle helmets.

Why is it important to always use a bike helmet when riding?  Because not all helmets are built the same.  Bicycle helmets are made from expanded polystyrene foam which is designed to collapse in the event of an impact.  Bicycle helmets are very lightweight because riders need to maintain their balance on a bike.  They are also very adjustable and are very easy to see out of — which is crucial on a trail.

Don’t use a helmet designed for another purpose.  A mountain bike helmet will say it is a “bicycle helmet” on the side of the box and must have a CSPC sticker inside the helmet.  Also, look for a sticker saying it complies with the Snell Foundation’s standards — that is the sign of a high-quality helmet.  If the mountain bike helmet has been certified to European standards, it will also have a CE EN 1078 sticker.

Consider how it looks

There is no point buying a mountain bike helmet if you feel like a fool while wearing it! Buy something that you like the look of. If this requires that you spend a little more money — do it. You don’t want to have an accident on the trail without a helmet because you left your “ugly” headgear at home.

Think about ventilation

Most mountain bike helmets have holes for ventilation. If you are riding in hot conditions or you often ride on-road, consider buying a helmet with more vents to help you stay cool. You can purchase some road bike style helmets that are packed with vents and come with a visor, handy for mountain biking. They are usually molded helmets, so be prepared to pay a bit more.

Get the fit right

It is crucial that your mountain bike helmet is the right size and fits your head correctly. Measuring your head will give you a good idea of the size you need. Place a measuring tape around your head (slightly above the ears) to get an estimate of your helmet size. Don’t settle for a helmet that doesn’t fit well — it will be uncomfortable on the trail and may be ineffective in a crash.

The helmet should also be highly adjustable and have plenty of internal padding. Ideally, the padding should be removable so you can tweak how the helmet fits your head.

Some of the Top Rated Mountain Bike Helmets

Here are some of the top rated mountain bike helmets on the market. They have been tested by riders on the trails and are comfortable, safe and look great!

Bell Super Afterparty Bike Helmet

Bell-Super-Afterparty-Bike-HelmetPrice: $50
Manufacturer: Bell

Type: Molded half shell mountain bike helmet ideal for cross country
This is a great little helmet for cross country and enduro riders who enjoy filming their adventures — it comes with an integrated, removable GoPro camera mount so you can record all of the fun.

It is a molded helmet with internal reinforcements, an adjustable visor and additional coverage for the rear of the head. The design looks great, with a tattoo-style design on the rear and sides of the helmet. It would be equally at home in urban environments and on the trail.

Pros:

  • GoPro integration is a fantastic innovation
  • Super stylish
  • Great value-for-money!

Cons:

  • Could have more air vents

Fox Head Rampage Comp Imperial Helmet

Fox-Head-Rampage-Comp-Imperial-HelmetPrice: $119 to $204
Manufacturer: Fox

Type: Molded full face mountain bike helmet

Fox have established a reputation for making high-quality full face mountain bike helmets designed for downhill riding. It has a great deal of ventilation for a full face helmet (11 vents in total) and is incredibly comfortable to wear. It is also very light for a full face helmet because of its fiberglass shell. It come in a range of colors.

Pros:

  • Poured PU Chinbar construction for added protection
  • Light for a full face mountain bike helmet
  • Awesome ventilation

Cons:

  • Price is on the high side

Bell Sanction BMX/Downhill Helmet

Price: $64.45 to $221.52
Manufacturer: Fox

Type: Molded full face mountain bike helmet

This is a great value-for-money downhill mountain bike helmet which is well-made and feature-packed. It uses a lightweight, hand-laminated fiberglass shell with an adjustable visor. The design is in the moto-style, resembling a motorbike helmet.

It is fully certified, complying with both CE EN1078 and CPSC. It has 15 large vents which help cool riders and they take on a challenging trail!

Pros:

  • Incredibly cheap for a quality full face mountain bike helmet
  • 15 air vents for ventilation
  • Lightweight and comes with an adjustable visor
  • A range of designs including an impressive snake design

Cons:

  • None!

Giro Feature Mountain Bike Helmet

Giro-Feature-Mountain-Bike-HelmetPrice: $61.95 to $178
Manufacturer: Giro

Type: Molded half shell mountain bike helmet

This is one of the most popular cross country mountain bike helmets on the market. It has a very simple design that emphasizes comfort, durability and safety. This helmet is ideal for long-travel trail and cross country riding.

It has a very lightweight molded polycarbonate shell with an EPS liner. The helmet has 12 large air vents which are very effective for staying cool on the trail. They are directed up, which allows heat to escape from the top of the head while pedaling at slow speeds. The moto-style visor is fully adjustable and works well. Its construction is very rugged and it should last for many years.

Pros:

  • Well constructed
  • A great ventilation system for cross country and trail riding
  • Lightweight and comes with an adjustable visor
  • A range of cool designs including fluorescent green!

Cons:

  • Ventilation would not be as effective for higher speed, road riding

Obsidian Cycling Road & Mountain Biking Helmet

Obsidian-Cycling-Road-&-Mountain-Biking-HelmetPrice: $59.99
Manufacturer: Obsidian Cycling

Type: Molded half shell mountain bike helmet

This helmet is designed to maximize the airflow that you receive while riding. While it looks like a road riding helmet, it also includes a detachable visor, which is useful for off-road riding. The design is very modern, sleek and professional looking — you’ll look like you just finished riding the Tour De France!

Pros:

  • Incredible levels of ventilation
  • Perfect for riders who spend time on both roads and trails
  • Lightweight and comes with an adjustable visor

Cons:

  • None, this is a great option for road and mountain bike riders