Best full face MTB helmets

Image showing biker wearing full face MTB helmets

If you are serious about mountain biking and serious about your head, you should definitely have a look at our review of the best full face MTB helmets.

There are some people who think wearing a helmet is seriously uncool, but the simple fact is that a good helmet can reduce the chance of serious head injury by up to 60% and let’s face it, save your life.

If you are hardcore,high speed downhill rider, you should be going for a full face helmet.

With so many to choose from it can be difficult to decide what to buy so we have chosen a selection that we feel are the best full face MTB helmets available today.

Troy Lee Designs D3 Fiberlite US Helmet: Mono

Our Top Pick
Troy Lee Designs D3 Fiberlite Mono Black
$249.00

Solid build

Very comfortable

Great protection to the rider

Meets ASTM F1952-15, ASTM F2032-15

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11/18/2021 03:04 pm GMT

This brilliant offering from Troy Lee Designs tops our list of the best full face MTB helmets on the market today. 

The D3 is made from a lightweight fibreglass shell with a really substantial amount of foam padding on the inside. The D3 gives the rider good protection and comfort at a competitive price. Weighing in at 43 ounces or 1225 grammes, the D3 is not the lightest on the market but it does make up for this in terms of the level and protection and comfort to the rider, the 3D pads making for a very snug fit. The D3 boasts 20 entry ventilation ports and 6 exhaust ports to allow air circulation through the lid.

The D3’s visor is just over 6” wide and has an adjustable range of about 2” which we found more than adequate. The visor is a bit on the rigid side and although we were not able to test the visor, it may be prone to cracking on impact.

What we like

  • Solid build
  • Very comfortable
  • Great protection to the rider
  • Exceeds ASTM F1952-15, ASTM F2032-15
  • Competitively priced
  • Good looker

What we don’t like

  • Not the lightest
  • Visor could be prone to cracking

POC Coron Air Spin Helmet for Downhill Mountain Biking

POC, Coron Air Spin, Downhill Mountain Biking Helmet
$274.95

Good aerodynamics

Solid protection

Break off visor

Comfortable SPIN padding

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11/18/2021 03:07 pm GMT

The Coron Air Spin from POC certainly has a smoother appearance than that of the more rugged looking Fiberlite D3. Again the Air Spin is made with an outer fiberglass shell but whereas many lids have an absorbing layer of expanded polypropylene (EPP), the Air Spin has expanded polystyrene (EPS), although the two materials look very similar, EPS does not permanently deform on impact. This means that the Air Spin can theoretically be reused after a number of bashes. Of course you will want to replace the helmet after any severe crashes.

The word “Spin” is short for shearing pads inside, this basically means rather than a MIPS system, the Air Spin has silicone inserts in the padding meaning that in the event of a crash, one pad can still rotate against the other. This aids comfort and also eliminates the “Creaking” often experienced with MIPS systems.

Like all manufacturers, Swedish based POC claim that this helmet can be worn all day due to it’s good ventilation properties. 

One feature worth mentioning is the visor which is designed to detach in the event of a crash.

What we like

  • Good aerodynamics
  • Solid protection
  • Break off visor
  • SPIN padding is comfortable

What we don’t like

  • Ventilation claims a bit ambitious

BELL Super DH MIPS Adult Mountain Bike Helmet

BELL Super DH MIPS Adult Mountain Bike Helmet
$324.95

Excellent ventilation

Comfortable to wear

Wicking materials remove sweat well

Great technology and engineering

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11/18/2021 03:10 pm GMT

The Bell Super DH is the first MIPS helmet to hit our best full face MTB helmet list.

Firstly the abbreviations, DH means Downhill and MIPS is Multi-Directional Impact Protection System. Now to the lid.

The outer shell of the Super DH is made from a polycarbonate material, the inner shell which is an EPS foam is attached to the outer shell by means of elastomers. These elastomers allow slight movement between the outer and inner shells, the inner shell can rotate therefore deflecting impact shocks. 

The Super DH comes with 19 vents in the lid, 4 vents in the chin bar vents and 2 in the brow ports. These vents are very effective at keeping the rider cool, the pads also have been designed to remove sweat from around the eyes. 

The Super DH is a comfortable piece of kit to wear and a highly engineered and sturdy helmet.

What we like

  • Excellent ventilation
  • Comfortable to wear
  • Wicking materials remove sweat well
  • Great technology and engineering

What we don’t like

Fox Racing Powersports Rampage Helmet

FOX RACING MEN'S RAMPAGE HELMET
$199.95

Great price

Design based on Pro Carbon range

Good looker

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11/18/2021 03:12 pm GMT

The Fox Rampage helmet comes with all the certifications you would expect including BMX and Downhill certsThe Rampage comes with the MIPS system which we talked about earlier. It has a lightweight molded ABS shell and is based on the far more expensive Fox Pro Carbon range.

It is a very reasonably priced helmet and returns good value for money.

What we like

  • Very good price
  • Design based on Pro Carbon range
  • Good looker

What we don’t like

  • Low peak limits view slightly
  • A little bit tight on the cheeks

Smith Mainline MIPS Mountain Biking Helmet

Smith Mainline MIPS Mountain Biking Helmet
$262.20
  • Fantastic build quality
  • Great ventilation
  • Brilliant looks
  • Comfortable
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11/18/2021 03:20 pm GMT

The one thing that almost everyone says about the Smith Mainline is that it is quite the looker!

Before actually putting on this lid, you can see and feel that this is a high quality piece of equipment. The finish is excellent and it’s obvious that the highest specification materials have been used along with brilliant manufacturing and quality control in this full face MTB helmet.

The Smith Mainline helmet incorporates the Koroyd® system which is effectively a series of little cylinders or tubes that will collapse evenly and instantly upon impact.This reduces the energy that is transferred to the head in the event of a crash.

The Smith Mainline is very comfortable to wear and fits snugly on the head without giving the rider any claustrophobic feelings. 

Another significant point is the air flow which is brilliant, the Mainline keeps you reasonably cool when pedalling uphill as well as secure when riding down.

The Smith Mainline is certainly a lid that the serious rider should seriously consider.

What we like

  • Fantastic build quality
  • Great ventilation
  • Brilliant looks
  • Comfortable

What we don’t like

  • Expensive
  • Prone to be creak

 Best Budget MTB helmet

Bell Sanction Adult Full Face Bike Helmet

BELL Sanction Adult Mountain Bike Helmet - Nitro Circus Gloss
$94.95
  • Great price
  • Fantastic Looks
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11/18/2021 03:22 pm GMT

The Bell Sanction Full Face Helmet is a really strong contender even if you were to compare it with higher priced lids. The Bell comes in at around $100 and for this you get a good looking, nicely vented, ABS full face helmet.

This is not the full face MTB helmet for the fast paced rugged terrain riders but if you want a helmet for the dunes or the more gentle tracks then this could be for you.

Note that this full face MTB helmet is not certified for BMX or downhill and conforms only to the US CPSC safety standards.

In its price range it is easily the best we have seen.

What we like

  • Really good price
  • Adequate for the easier style rider

What we don’t like

  • Colors are a bit garish
  • Chin straps are very basic

Things to consider when buying an full face MTB helmet

Protection Quality

At the end of the day, the thing that really matters is how well your lid protects you in the event of a crash.The helmets we have discussed here with the exception of the Bell Sanction lid, have been certified to  ASTM F1447, F2032, or F1952 which means that the helmets have been thoroughly tested and meet the standards laid down by the appropriate authority. We strongly recommend buying a lid with these certifications.

Visors

There are a few things to consider when talking about visors. Firstly, do I need a visor?

This depends on the type of riding that you are doing. If you intend to spend all day at the track then you may not need a visor. If you are in the countryside then you probably do, visors can save you from injury from nasty things like hedges and tree branches smacking you in your face.

The second point is does it detach on impact? 

The better helmets do have this capability and we would recommend that they do, on impact you don’t want your head being jarred unnecessarily by a visor that has got itself stuck in some awkward spot!

The third point is obvious and that is regarding visibility.

Most visors can be adjusted in order to give the rider protection and retain a good field of vision, not much use if the visor protects the rider after hitting a tree he couldn’t see.

Padding

The main reason for the padding inside a helmet is for the rider’s comfort, it does offer some protection in a crash but comfort is why it’s there.

Imagine a helmet without it!

The noise would be awful and your head would be rattling around inside. The padding makes the helmet fit snuggly to your head, block out noise and puts a softer material next to your head and face. 

Whatever feels best to you is the one that you should get, also the quality of manufacture should be considered, badly assembled padding can scratch or irritate you when riding.

Ventilation

Ventilation can be a key element when buying a new lid. All manufacturers claim that their baby is the best on the market. A number of the lids we have reviewed have very good ventilation properties but for some riders ventilation is not key. 

If you are going to be pedalling up huge inclines then good ventilation is a key factor, otherwise

It probably doesn’t matter.Ranking highly are BELL Super DH MIPS Adult Mountain Bike Helmet and the, Smith Mainline MIPS Mountain Biking Helmet.

FAQs Best full face MTB helmets 

Q. What is the best full face MTB helmet?

A. There are a number of absolutely great full face MTB helmets out there but we feel that the Troy Lee Designs D3 is the best of the bunch.

Q.Are full face helmets good for mountain biking?

A. As we mentioned earlier, a full face mountain bike helmet is in our opinion, an essential piece of equipment, especially if you are going to be riding rough trails at high downhill speeds. Remember that a good helmet can offer up to 60% reduction in serious head injuries in the event of a crash, these numbers just can’t be ignored. Full face masks are by nature more cumbersome but in a very short space of time, most bikers get used to them.

Q.Is a full face MTB helmet safer?

A. Simple answer is yes. Provided the lid is suitably certified,a full face mask will offer your head greater all round protection.

Q. Who needs a full face MTB helmet?

A. Anyone who falls in the category of a serious downhill or mountain biker should consider a full face helmet, the chances of coming out of a crash with lesser injuries speaks for itself.

Looking for gloves too? Have a look at post on the best 13 cycling gloves.

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