The 11 Best Mountain Bike Helmets in 2021

Jan Poshenko
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Want to feel safe while riding your mountain bike? Well, rather than try the cotton on for size, you might be safer picking out one of these best mountain bike helmets for your next adventure.

With that in mind, we’ve narrowed down the list of twelve other helmets on the market to zero in on the best-rated helmets with reviews from four mountain sports magazines.

For mountain biker’s comfort, we’ve reviewed the 11 best-seller mountain bike helmets on the market you can buy right now.

Here are the 11 best mountain bike helmets to consider grabbing for your next mountain biking adventure.

NameCategoryProduct
Giro Fixture MIPS Adult Dirt Cycling HelmetBest OverallGiro Fixture MIPS Adult Dirt Cycling Helmet
Bell Super 3R MIPS Adult Mountain Bike HelmetBudget PickBell Super 3R MIPS Adult Mountain Bike Helmet
POC, Octal X SpinUpgrade PickPOC, Octal X Spin

1. Giro Fixture MIPS Adult Dirt Cycling Helmet

Our rating: 10 / 10

Giro Fixture MIPS Adult Dirt Cycling Helmet

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The Giro Fixture MIPS is a great choice for female mountain bikers.

It has many safety features in a lightweight package.

A Roc Loc 5 fit system keeps it securely locked-on your head and keeping your head safe.

2. Smith Venture MIPS Helmet Matte Mauve/Black

Our rating: 9 / 10

Smith Venture MIPS Helmet Matte Mauve/Black

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Pros:

  • Excellent value for money
  • Less expensive than most other helmets in the range
  • The helmet is lightweight
  • Gets lots of compliments
  • Can be used for skiing and climbing as well.

Cons:

  • Some helmets of the same price have better venting and adjustability
  • The adjustment dial is a little bit fiddly

The Venture MIPS is a half helmet with a relatively thin shell and rear dial adjuster. It has 15 large vents and a removable visor. Its P.O.V. Panoramic visor is a big plus because it lets in maximum light with minimal distortion.

The helmet has a generous ear cavity thanks to its 3-way adjustable BOA Loc fit system and I really like the design. The padded liner is removable, washable, has a bug mesh and the BOA release can be operated with one hand. One small problem was that it wasn’t easy to adjust.

The helmet has MIPS (multi-directional protection system), a revolutionary technology which is, in my opinion, the best safety feature available to us so far. MIPS is a layer of energy-absorbing material that is designed to rotate and help the helmet slip on impact. It is relatively heavy but is really comfortable and is a good size.

3. Oakley DRT5 MTB Cycling Helmet

Our rating: 8 / 10

Oakley DRT5 MTB Cycling Helmet

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Pros:

  • Used by pro mountain bikers
  • Maximum safety in its highest level
  • Highly durable
  • Superb comfort and convenience

Cons:

  • Expensive, Pricey
  • Slightly heavy
  • Not entirely adjustable

It is a recent entry into the world of mountain biking helmets, but with a style and performance to match the biggest names.

This is one of the best mountain bike helmets for kids in terms of comfort, performance and style.

The DRT5 MTB is perfect for those who want a sleek, cool and quiet option and take their mountain bikes to the trails. This helmet is approved by the world class Supercross racers.

4. Bell Super 3R MIPS Adult Mountain Bike Helmet

Our rating: 8 / 10

Bell Super 3R MIPS Adult Mountain Bike Helmet

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Pros:

  • Nice value
  • Very comfortable
  • Good build quality

Cons:

  • Does not work with sunglasses
  • Heavier than other helmets

Check out my in-depth review on the Super 3r mountain bike helmet and see why it’s my top pick for mountain biking.

The Bell Super 3R has an updated design for 2019 and uses MIPS and a Roc Loc 5 fit system to create a really secure fit with plenty of comfort. The coverage is good for a helmet in this price range and the number pads are really easy to adjust.

Bell went with an in-molded polycarbonate shell which is nice as it adds durability and lowers the weight. The ventilation is average and we did notice that it gets hotter than the competition. It also does not work with a head-mounted action camera, which is fine as you don’t see many people using those anymore, but it’s something to keep in mind.

5. POC, Octal X Spin

Our rating: 8 / 10

POC, Octal X Spin

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Pros:

  • Super Cool Graphics
  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable
  • I-SPEC Anti-Icing Windproof Venting System

Cons:

  • Will fog up on you in colder temperatures
  • Visor doesn’t adjust

Road Biking and Casual Use.

POC released the Octal to the North American market with a great bang, winning the annual vote for the best helmet as presented by BikeRadar and REI*. It seems like the X-Spin model was the particular favorite among riders, for good reason. This helmet offers one of the most unique designs while still providing protection.

The helmet itself is designed to be aerodynamic while having such a large visor, which gives a sense of safety and a smooth ride. If you’re worried about this weight affecting your ride and cleat to the central mass of the helmet, consider that the POC Octal X Spin weighs in at 285 grams, making it one of the lighter helmets that could handle a bike crash.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Should I get a full face helmet for mountain biking?

Full face helmets are typically intended for dangerous situations and are worn by bikers who want more safety. If you have never had a chance to experience a full face helmet, it will be difficult for you to appreciate the feeling of air rushing past your eyes.

Wearing a full face helmet will sometimes lead to reckless riding. They are also more difficult to move around in, which makes them less useful when riding downhill where you might want to lift your chin to get some fresh air.

Full face helmets are more likely to fog up from your breath, and they won’t have vents. For this reason, full face helmets are not recommended if you ride your mountain bike in a place where is a lot of humidity.

Can you wear a road helmet for mountain biking?

Not only is it illegal in many areas, but it may also put you in harm’s way since many road helmets do not have the components necessary to withstand heavy impact.

Road helmets sit closer to the head, flush with the skull, whereas many mountain bike helmets have deeper and larger coverage that extends out beyond the skull slightly.

Road helmets also do not have the extended coverage over the temples and back of the head that many mountain-bike helmets provide.

The level of impact absorption that occurs with each helmet type is different, and road-bike helmets do not have deep enough coverage to ensure that your head is shielded in the case of a nasty crash.

If you doubt the need for a dedicated mountain bike helmet, just ask any mountain biker about their favorite trail. Youʼll likely find your answer about whether or not to switch helmets while cycling on technical trails, like this one.

How often should you replace a mountain bike helmet?

A helmet is one of the most important items that can keep you safe. It is worn by every person riding a bike or motorcycle, and it is essential if you are a moto rider, a skateboarder, or even a skier!

Purchasing a helmet is a simple task, but here are the main things you need to know before you decide to buy one.

There are different kinds of helmets that fulfill different purposes, according to your sport activities and other factors. Nowadays, you can find helmets designed for racing, for leisure, and for sports such as skateboarding or motocross.

Buy a helmet designed specifically for your sport. Follow the instructions and follow the rules about wearing a helmet that your instructor or professional shows you.

Conclusion

It can be hard to narrow down to which one is the best mountain bike helmet. We've done the hard work for you, check out this article to help you make the right choice for your needs.

Narrowing down the wide variety of available models down to just 11 helmets took a great deal of analysis. If you are a beginner or just getting back into the sport then check out our full product review article for some great specifics to help you make a better buying decision.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
Giro Fixture MIPS Adult Dirt Cycling HelmetBest OverallGiro Fixture MIPS Adult Dirt Cycling Helmet
Bell Super 3R MIPS Adult Mountain Bike HelmetBudget PickBell Super 3R MIPS Adult Mountain Bike Helmet
POC, Octal X SpinUpgrade PickPOC, Octal X Spin