Best Motorcycle Helmets for Safe Rides

Last updated: April 23, 2020
BEST OVERALL
Extremely Protective Visor
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BEST BUDGET
Affordable and Aerodynamically Designed
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BEST BLUETOOTH
Versatile, Reliable and User-friendly
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BEST FOR WOMEN
Comfortable, Sleek and Durable
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BEST FOR MEN
Excellent Breathability and Affordable
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Your guide

Many things factor into a smooth motorcycling experience, from having the right tools to perform bike tweaks to finding the best environment-friendly chain lube to maintain your bike’s condition. Nothing is as fundamental, however, as wearing the right helmet which guarantees you both a safe and exhilarating ride. As such we’ve researched the pros and cons of the most popular helmets out there based on budget, functions, and usability.

Motorcycle Helmets: Top 5 Picks

Whether you’re hitting the highway on your Harley-Davidson or simply riding a classic Suzuki to work, you need a helmet that is reliable, safe, well-designed and affordable. So in this article, we’ve got it all covered. We review some of the best helmets the market has to offer and take into consideration the various criteria you might want to look into.

full-face motorcycle helmet

Looking for a great helmet that doesn’t cost a month’s salary? You got it! Perhaps you’re interested in a state-of-the-art Bluetooth helmet that’ll make your ride convenient and enjoyable. Maybe you want the perfect stylish helmet that complements your leather jacket while also offering durability.

Is it truly necessary to buy a motorcycle helmet? The answer is undoubtedly yes! While bikers may wear bike helmets to help with heat management, they are much less safe (It’s unlikely you’ll reach a 60 MPH speed on a bike!) than full-face helmets that are designed specifically for riding a motorcycle. This is the ultimate guide to find the perfect helmet suited just for you, so put on your gloves and turn your handlebar!

1. Best Overall - Bell Qualifier

Specifications:

  • Weight: ∼4.85 lbs
  • Style: Full face
  • Material: Polycarbonate and ABS shell
  • Visors: 1
  • Safety rating: DOT and ECE

Key Features:

  • Anti-reflective, anti-fog (NutraFog II system), UV-protected, scratch-resistant visor
  • Visor integrated with ClickRelease™ system
  • Velocity Flow Ventilation System
  • Contoured cheek pads
  • Integrated speaker pockets
  • Padded wind collar

Bell Qualifier Full-Face Helmet Review

For a high-quality helmet at a pretty great price, the Qualifier is a great competitor. Out of many helmets out there, this one packs the most desirable qualities in one punch. Providing optimum comfort and combined with ultimate protection, the Bell Qualifier comes in many shapes and sizes to match any personal fashion sense.

Our favorite thing about this helmet, and what makes it even more convenient, is its 5-year warranty backed by international certification. Passing both DOT and ECE standards, this helmet is legal to wear in all of Europe and the US.

Strength in The Visor

Bell certainly made up for their lack of a second visor by constructing a one-of-a-kind, grade-A visor, so you won’t even need another one. Although clear by default with an optional tinted alternative, the Qualifier’s one visor is photochromic, changing its shade depending on the amount of light, further preventing you from needing a second visor for different light conditions.

The shield also boasts an abundance of qualities, making it one of the most competitive and safest amongst other helmets. The Bell Qualifier visor packs a Nutrafog II system designed to prevent fog from building up both inside and outside the helmet, as well as being UV-protected and scratch-resistant to offer you the clearest field of view.

It’s important to pick features that grant you the best peripherals out on the road since there’s a whole world to see through your shield, as Bell probably knows. Also, if you ever need to replace it, Bell’s patented ClickRelease™ system allows you an easy, tool-free way to do that.

So we definitely think this helmet’s visor is its strongest quality, but if you’re looking for even more versatility, the Qualifier has a Modular sibling.

Impressive and Convenient Design

The full-face helmet incorporates an ABS shell into its design, enhancing the Qualifier’s durability and guarantees to endure even the highest of impacts in the event of a crash. Not only is it lightweight, but its aerodynamic build also blends well with speedy winds, allowing you a smooth flow on the road.

The helmet’s padded wind collar aids in reducing wind and road noises so that it gives you the freedom to speed up with peace and quiet. The Bell Qualifier’s advanced ventilation system combines with all these features to grant you ultimate efficiency: with 9 ventilation channels, the airflow mechanism used by this helmet is first-class.

Pros
  • Lightweight and sturdy
  • Internationally certified
  • Backed by a 5-year warranty 
  • Excellent ventilation system
  • Removable liner
  • Comes in 7 sizes and many colors
Cons
  • Only available with a clear visor option

2. Best Budget - ILM 313

Specifications:

  • Weight: ∼4.85 lbs
  • Style: Full face
  • Material: ABS
  • Visors: 2
  • Safety rating: DOT and FMVSS-218

Key Features:

  • Dual visors
  • Removable liner
  • Aerodynamic design
  • Quick-release clasp system

Ilm 313 Full-Face Helmet Review

The tech-heavy and extravagant look of this model might fool you and rightly so. The ILM 313 might be the helmet for those on a tight budget, but it still abides by high standards for protection and design. A lightweight, full-face model of good build, this helmet comes in 7 different colors and several sizes to accommodate pretty much everybody.

Ergonomic Design for Smooth Sailing

Despite being a full-face helmet, the ILM 313 is impressively light, and its streamlined aerodynamic design makes it perfect for soaring through high speeds without much movement or wind noise. Its ABS shell maintains a low weight while also ensuring durability.

For optimum protection, the ILM 313 also incorporates a quick-release clasp and strap system to tightly and comfortably secure the helmet on your head. Plus, it even comes with a bonus winter scarf to complete the look and function of the helmet as a good choice for the winter.

Impressive Performance at an Affordable Price

Yes, protection is important, but does it matter if a helmet doesn’t perform well and isn’t comfortable? Luckily, for its low price, the ILM 313 has the advantage of dual clear and smoky visors for versatility during both night and daytime riding.

The visors are scratch-resistant and ensure good vision while protecting your face. Additionally, the shields are anti-fog, although they, unfortunately, do tend to fog up in more humid conditions. While most models in this price range would compromise their airflow mechanism, the ILM 313 boasts a high-grade ventilation system.

This helmet’s ventilation control acts as a really good defense against sweat and hot weather, with the many vents that wrap around it doing wonders of keeping you cool. This comes at a price however, as the noise-canceling aerodynamic design of the helmet is overcome slightly by wind noise leaking through the vents.

Nevertheless, this quality helmet adds value to your motorcycle riding experience, doing its job of protecting you, and scoring even higher by providing you with comfort.

Pros
  • Comes with a winter scarf
  • Aerodynamic design blocks noise 
  • Low price
  • Lightweight and durable
Cons
  • Includes no warranty information
  • Visor does not seal at high speeds

3. Best Bluetooth - FreedConn

Specifications:

  • Weight: ∼4 lbs
  • Style: Full face
  • Material: ABS
  • Visors: Dual
  • Safety rating: ECE and DOT

Key Features:

  • Built-in Bluetooth intercom system working over a distance of up to 500 meters
  • Deodorized and highly absorbent inner liner
  • Advanced ventilation system
  • DSP echo and noise cancellation technology

Freedconn Full-Face Helmet Review

When doing research on which helmet to buy, what you’re probably looking for is the most amount of protection you can get. What’s even better is that this FreedConn Full-Face helmet also boasts built-in Bluetooth, and it’s one of the best Bluetooth helmets in the market.

Increased connectivity means enhanced safety, and although the FreedConn helmet’s main feature is its interconnectivity, you’ll also love it for a lot more.

Excellent Connectivity and Smart Features

Built-in Bluetooth is an appreciated feature when it comes to headgear. Instead of buying your own separate set and worrying where to fit it, you can now enjoy keeping in touch or listening to music from the comfort of your helmet. The system allows you to communicate from a distance of up to 500 meters, which is pretty good.

You’ll love that the Bluetooth feature also allows you connectivity with GPS so you never get lost again. For even more connected to the world outside of your helmet, there’s an FM radio option available. There’s no such thing as too many connective systems with the FreedConn Helmet.

All these ‘smart’ features make this helmet attractive, but we think the smartest thing about it is FreedConn incorporating only one button to control all its features. The user-friendly design brings out the big button, making it noticeable and easy for you to reach while driving. All the elements making this helmet safe is exactly why the FreedConn is DOT certified.

Versatile and Reliable

Out of the plethora of qualities that make this helmet one of the most versatile and reliable on the market, is the material that goes into the construction. ABS exterior shells are made to last and withstand a variety of weather conditions, from humidity to extreme heat.

The durability of the shell, coupled with the fact that it’s both sunproof and waterproof, will protect you from the slightest misadventures like the sun and rain, to efficiently absorbing shock upon impact.

Another amazing quality of the ABS shell is its weight. At just a mere 4 pounds, the FreedConn is light enough to carry around and you’ll barely feel the weight on your shoulders. Unfortunately, the lithium battery packs do add some extra weight on the helmet, and although rechargeable, comes without an adaptor. It does, however, come with a bonus pair of gloves for a warmer ride.

The FreedConn also has the benefit of good ventilation control, breezily conditioning the atmosphere inside your helmet to be cool and airy. Thankfully, this helmet’s liner and pads are also absorbent and removable, making it all the more easy to clean.

Backed with high-density, aseismic EPS cushions that are insulated and noise-canceling to enhance comfort and ventilation, this helmet will be the cherry on top of your motorcycling adventures.

Pros
  • Comes with gloves and USB cable
  • Has removable and washable liner and cheek pads
  • Comes with rechargeable lithium battery
  • User-friendly design with only 1 multifunctional button
Cons
  • Adapter for charging the battery is sold separately 
  • Limited Bluetooth range

4. Best For Women - GDM DUKE DK-140

Specifications:

  • Weight: ∼4 lbs
  • Style: Full face
  • Material: Poly-alloy
  • Visors: 2
  • Safety rating: DOT and FMVSS

Key Features:

  • Hypoallergenic and antimicrobial nylon pads
  • Quick-release D-ring chin strap
  • UV-resistant and scratch-proof visors
  • Aerodynamic design

Gdm Duke DK-140 Full-Face Helmet Review

We know you can’t choose a helmet based on looks, but if you’re looking for high ratings in both elegance and safety, the GDM Duke DK-140 is our pick for the fierce female rider. Its aerodynamic shell shape coupled with its solid construction makes for first-class performance and functionally. Rumour has it, this is the best black matte helmet you can own.

Structure and Style

Straight out of an action movie poster, the DK-140 carries much more than just attractiveness in its modern design. The full-face model is made to gently encompass your head for maximum comfort and protection, and the chic all-black exterior gives it a personality of its own.

The ergonomic sleek look will certainly turn some heads in the daytime, but be careful driving at night if being too inconspicuous is not what you’re looking for. As much as we love the color, it’s, unfortunately, the only one available.

If there’s anything an aerodynamic helmet design needs, it’s a good ventilation system to go with it. In terms of the right balance, the DK-140 doesn’t let down. This helmet boasts 5 different ventilation points distributed around its exterior, keeping both the look and feel fresh with continuous airflow.

Performance

GDM has made sure to pack their Duke DK-140 with a plethora of features to push the helmet’s performance up to a maximum. Two is always better than one, so a dual visor system allows for interchangeability between a UV-protected shield and an optically corrected one whenever you prefer for optimum eyesight protection.

Besides, not only are the inner liner and pads extremely comfortable, but they are also made of antimicrobial fiber that is easily removable and washable.

You’ll probably never want to take this helmet off, but thanks to their versatile designs, GDM has incorporated a double D-ring chin strap that makes it as easy as ever to take the helmet on and off. The strap also removes the hassle of hanging the helmet when it’s not in use.

Ease of helmet wear is also enhanced due to it being lightweight. Don’t let the weight fool you, though – the helmet’s construction is durable, made possible with an advanced composite poly-alloy exterior. The shell is made to provide you with ultimate protection and take all the hits.

Pros
  • Liner and cheek pads and extremely comfortable
  • Very lightweight
  • Sleek, attractive design
  • Durable composite construction
Cons
  • Too inconspicuous to use at night
  • Available in only black color

5. Best for Men- 1Storm

Specifications:

  • Weight: ∼5 lbs
  • Style: Modular
  • Material: Hard thermoplastic alloy
  • Visors: 2
  • Safety rating: DOT

Key Features:

  • Flip-up visor
  • Anti-reflective and UV-protected visors
  • Glossy finish
  • Cushioned plush padding

1storm Modular Helmet Review

If your life, work, or love for motorcycle biking takes you riding on your bike for long hours every day, you’ll probably want a helmet that’s comfortable and durable enough to keep you going. Especially where there’s a hot climate, the summer sun, the heat, and sweating could all begin to be a problem if you don’t pick the right helmet that best suits your riding style.

Luckily, we’ve found everything that makes a helmet perfect for the hot weather in the 1Storm Modular Helmet. This model ranks as one of the highest in terms of breathability, backed by its comfort, versatility, and long-lasting endurance. Wrapped in a glossy look, the flip-up helmet which serves for both quality design and efficient function makes it a steal.

A Storm in The Market

A full-face helmet is a go-to for many safety reasons, but the versatility of a modular model is tough to beat. The flexibility of the flip-up design that grants you the option of exposing your face makes the 1Storm Modular helmet a strong competitor in the market. Not to mention its dual visors allow you to easily change between its clear and smoky shields with the flip of a switch.

The clear shield provides great safety and noise cancellation when locked down, offering good visibility and protection from wind, bugs, debris, or even rain from penetrating the helmet. 1Storm has put a lot of thought into this helmet: the smoky visor is also UV-resistant and is perfect for protection in bright, sunny conditions.

In terms of additional features, we’d have loved for this helmet to have built-in Bluetooth. Luckily enough, if you have your own set the 1Storm Modular helmet incorporates three spots for your speakers and intercom devices, making it easy to stay in touch or enjoy music on the ride.

Considering its extremely affordable price, this helmet follows up its promise of protection while saving you hundreds of dollars, which is pretty great.

Breathable Design

What makes this helmet such a good option for warmer weather is the tons of quality features that make it as breathable as it is. For example, the outer shell is made out of a hard thermoplastic alloy that prevents the heat from penetrating. The plastic shell is long-lasting, although we wouldn’t trust it’s protection at very high speeds.

The 1Storm also additionally features plush interior padding to keep your face and head comfortably.

The cushioned, shock-absorbent pads provide an extra layer of collision-protection, and the removable liner has the advantage of efficiently wicking sweat away so you can keep dry and cool. This helmet’s ultimately breathable and aerodynamic design is made complete with good ventilation control so that airy flow keeps you comfortable for hours on end.

Pros
  • Affordable
  • Modular design allows for excellent breathability
  • Versatile and functional
  • Interior padding is comfortable and handles sweat well to maintain a dry feel
Cons
  • Liners are loose
  • Sizes run small

Motorcycle Helmets: Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Take Proper Care of My Helmet?

With all the dirt, mud, or rain that could potentially get in the way when riding a motorcycle, you definitely need to keep your helmet clean. This is especially the case if you’ve spent good money on a top-of-the-line, quality helmet. As such, proper maintenance is the best way to get your headgear to last longer.

If you’ve made the convenient choice of getting a helmet with removable liner and pads, the best and easiest way to wash them is by using a mild soap. You can hand or machine wash them on a delicate cycle using baby shampoo or mild laundry detergent. Make sure to never tumble dry your liner and pads but to air dry them instead.

A good tip to loosen bug guts is to use a damp, soft, scratch-free microfiber towel so you can wipe them away. It might also be a good idea to invest in automotive polish for the shell if you have a gloss helmet. For an extra layer of protection, you can also use automotive wax to avoid guts and spots from sticking.

Finally, to keep everything in running smoothly, you might find lubricating the moving parts of your helmet using a silicone-based lubricant to be useful.

How Long Does a Motorcycle Helmet Last?

Of course, every rider has a journey. How long your helmet lasts you generally depends on its quality, how often you use it, the type of roads you take, and most importantly, whether it’s been damaged in any accidents. General use should get you about 5 years out of your helmet, or until the inside foam and fabric lining starts deteriorating.

You’ll notice that’s happened once your headgear starts becoming loose or some of the linings starts coming out. Make sure you consider replacing it then, or if you’ve ever been involved in a crash. Besides getting optimum protection out of a new helmet once your old one’s no good, you also get to benefit from the newer helmet technologies that keep cycling into the market.

What Is the Safest Motorcycle Helmet?

At the moment, there aren’t any universal safety standards used to officially certify helmets, but different countries adopt different regulations.

Depending on where you are, the most common safety certification stickers you need to look out for are DOT, ECE, or Snell. In the US, helmets that pass testing procedures are certified by the Department of Transport (DOT). Finding a Snell sticker alongside a DOT one means the helmet has met even more demanding safety standards. Alternatively, Europe and the UK use ECE and SHARP respectively.

Since each safety standard system uses its own safety criteria and testing procedures, individual safety standards are left to different coverage. A smart way to assess helmet safety yourself is through the specs and features that best fit your needs (and your head too!). For the most part, full-face helmets provide the best protection.

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