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The Best Helmets to Wear with Your Mountain Bike

a man mountain biking with a helmet and doing a thumbs up
wavebreakmedia/Shutterstock.com

It’s the unofficial law of the land: wear your helmet when mountain biking. Sure, you can afford to be a bit more lax about helmets when you’re cycling down the street or around your neighborhood, but on tough terrain where passersby are sparse, you really shouldn’t leave home without it. Your mountain bike helmet is an essential means of protection from potentially disastrous falls and blistering heat. If you look around the right corners, you can even find a mountain bike helmet with a few exciting incentives. Your bike helmet is one of the biggest assets you can have when riding, so here are some we recommend.

Choosing the Right Bike Helmet for You

Consider these factors when picking out your next helmet:

  • Tough Shell: First and foremost, the main priority your mountain bike helmet should satisfy is protecting your head. Find a helmet constructed from dependable, sturdy material like hard ABS plastic that can take damage when needed. It’s sturdy but doesn’t weigh too much in the long run.
  • Ventilation: Riding your bike should be a breeze, so it’s important that you have a bike helmet that allows you to feel the breeze too. A helmet with breathable ports will catch the wind and cool off the top of your head when the sun’s beating down, which is not only a convenience but a worthwhile safety measure worth having.
  • Additional Features: While most standard bike helmets are content just doing the bare minimum, a few others out there can offer some exciting perks. If you love the muddy road less traveled or filming your adventures, rest assured there’s a helmet for all of that and more.

Best Protection: Basecamp Specialized Bike Helmet

pointed black mountain bike helmet with a visorFrom its impact-resistant construction to over 20 built-in ventilation ports, Basecamp’s Specialized Bike Helmet offers superb protection for when you’re riding along the wooded trail. Backed by CPSC Safety Standards, this helmet uses a high-density PVC & PC silicone and EPS foam to absorb and minimize any impact to a rider’s head during a crash. Its most exciting safety feature is an additional LED taillight with three lighting modes: fast flash, slow flash, and constant. Any one of the three lighting settings will help signal your presence on the road when close to nightfall. If you’re looking for immediate protection before all else, this helmet could easily be your go-to.

Best for Kids: Exclusky Kids Bike Helmet

rounded red mountain bike helmet with a black visor

Let’s not forget, kids want to have some fun on the trail, too, and Exclusky’s CPSC Certified bike helmet is a great choice for anyone between 5 to 14 years of age. Lightweight, but lined with EPS foam for shock-absorbing security, this helmet will ease any parent’s concern if their child takes a tumble on their bike, skateboard, or scooter. It features a detachable sun visor for those hard-to-see afternoon bike rides and a quick-release pinch guard buckle that’s easy to remove at the end of a ride. However, the reason for this helmet’s near decade-long window of use is because of its dial fit retention system: a simple to use knob located at the rear of the device that adjusts to fit a child’s head circumference while they grow, so you don’t have to run back to the store every new year.

Best for Kids

Kids Helmet, Exclusky Kids Bike Helmet Adjustable Safety Lightweight Children Bicycle Helmet for Kids Skating Cycling Scooter Boys and Girls Bicycle Helmets Ages 5-14

As strong as any adult bike helmet, this is a one-stop purchase your child can continue to use even into their teen years.

Note: To ensure the best fit for your child, make sure to measure the circumference of their head before purchasing.

Best for Filming: Mongoose Capture Bike Helmet with Go Pro Camera Mount

rounded black mountain bike helmet with a large visor and orange lettering on the side

For the nature-loving videographer in your life who always wants to relive the sights they may have missed, there’s no better option than the Mongoose Capture Bike Helmet. With its built-in action camera mount, compatible with GoPro Hero’s 2 through 6, riders can strap in their preferred recording device and not have to worry about missing a second of life along the beaten path because they can just hit rewind later in the day. And while this helmet offers great support for filming, it’s a formidable option for keeping your noggin safe too. Its tough ABS Microshell offers great protection without adding too much weight, and its adjustable dial fit allows for as snug or loose a fit as any rider could want.

Best for Filming

Mongoose Capture Adult Bike Helmet with Go Pro Camera Mount, Black

You bring the camera and this helmet brings the safety with its GoPro-compatible mount.

Best for Sporting: Bell Sanction Adult Full Face Bike Helmet

full-head black mountain bike helmet with a lowerable visor and chin protector

If you’re a high-flying mountain biker with a knack for hitting speeds most of us wouldn’t dare dream of, this is likely your choice of slick, sturdy, and mean-looking helmet. The Bell Sanction Full Face Bike Helmet is a lightweight yet durable option that protects the entirety of your head from potential falls. Its ABS hard plastic shell can take on some of the toughest hits and tumbles; after all, Bell is the official helmet of the Nitro Circus stunt crew, and who wouldn’t want to feel like Travis Pastrana when they’re in the air or biting the dirt?

Best for Sporting

BELL Sanction Adult Full Face Bike Helmet - Matte Black (2023), Medium (55-57 cm)

This bike helmet offers 360 degrees of protection for the most extreme mountain bikers out there.

Hollis Mills Hollis Mills
Hollis Mills is a freelance journalist and a content writer for LifeSavvy. He has a bachelor's degree in English literature, and as an undergraduate at Texas A&M University, Hollis wrote and edited for the nationally recognized student newspaper, The Battalion. When he's not writing, you can find him complaining about Boston Celtics basketball or giving plenty of peanut butter biscuits to his always-hungry Catahoula dog, Blue. Read Full Bio »
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