Bike helmets are made to protect your head from injuries, but with manufacturers competing to make the best helmet, there are other factors to consider, such as aerodynamics, comfort, and ventilation. All reputable brands will carry the stamp of approval for safety.
However, you should look at breathability if you live in a warm climate or if you plan on cycling through summer. If you plan on racing or entering competitions, aerodynamics and speed will be important and you won’t want your helmet slowing you down. And, of course, you want a helmet that is comfortable to wear.
We have rounded up 5 of the best bike helmets, giving you more information about each so you can make the best decision possible. We have also looked at the key features and included a buying guide to help you along.
Top 5 Bike Helmet Comparison Chart
Best Bike Helmet Reviews
1. Base Camp Zoom Cycling Bike Helmet
This bike helmet has been designed to exceed safety standards to ensure that you have the safest riding experience possible. Thanks to the comfort and great ventilation, you can have full confidence that your head is protected by this helmet.
This helmet comes with a magnetically fasted visor that offers wraparound protection for your eyes that has brilliant optical clarity to ensure your vision is not obstructed. The visor is easy to remove or flip up using one hand, thanks to the magnet system.
The visor is made from high-quality shatter-resistant PC material which is durable and long lasting, offering you full UV protection no matter how often you use this helmet.
The Base Camp Zoom has been made using a multi-density EPS foam construction and integral molding technology used with the polycarbonate microshell reduces the shock felt on impact, giving your head more protection while still being lightweight and comfortable. This helmet meets CE EN1078 and CPSC safety standards.
There are 7 air vents on this helmet that offer minimal wind resistance and optimal airflow that ensure your head stays cool when cycling. There is also a high-performance, removable pad that increases comfort and offers proper sweat management.
This helmet is suitable for people with a head circumference between 22 and 24 inches. The helmet has an easy-to-use dial and adjustable side straps that allow you to customize this helmet to fit any head size. It can be worn by both men and women.
- The magnetically fastened optical shield provides wraparound eye protection with exceptional optical clarity, and it's easy to flip up or remove with one hand when appropriate.
- Integral Moulding Technology and Multi-Density EPS construction helps to manage impact energy.(Complies with U.S. CPSC Bike and CE.EN1078 safety standards)
- 7-vent configuration offer optimal airflow and minimal wind resistance
- Suitable for most adults head circumference from 21.75 to 23.25 inches(NOT for Large), BASE CAMP ZOOM Helmet goes with a standard size, equipped with the easy-use dial system and side straps make this helmet adjustable to different head size and suitable
- Removable high-performance pad design for increased comfort and sweat management.Please measure your circumference above eye brows with a tape measure or string to get your head size and make the right purchase.
What's to like about the Base Camp Zoom Cycling Bike Helmet
There is enough space between your face and the visor that you can wear sunglasses or prescription eyeglasses if you need to. This helmet is very durable and strong, offering proper support when cycling.
What's not to like about the Base Camp Zoom Cycling Bike Helmet
The buckle is not as strong or durable as it should be and randomly comes undone. Depending on the shape of your head, you may find that the straps fit strangely around your ears.
2. Schwinn Women's Thrasher Helmet
This helmet by Schwinn is a great all-round helmet that offers great ventilation that increases the air flow to keep you cool, while the superior padding and adjustable retention system keep you comfortable.
This helmet has 20 air vents that ensure your head is kept cool, no matter what speed you are cycling at. The adjustable dial means that you can adjust this helmet for small or large heads. The side strap can also be adjusted to ensure you get a proper fit.
The heat-sealed pads are durable and comfortable, no matter how long you wear the helmet. The removable visor is perfect for protecting your eyes from the elements, especially wind and sun.
The lightweight shell construction keeps this helmet aerodynamic and will not slow you down as you ride.
This helmet is very reasonably priced at under $20, but it has not compromised on safety and protection. A more expensive helmet may look aesthetically more pleasing, but will be functionally equal.
- This Schwinn Thrasher lightweight helmet is designed for adults. Suggested age range: 14 years old and up. Suggested head circumference: 22.88-24.5 inches
- Schwinn 360 degrees Comfort pairs a dial-adjustable fit system with full-range padding for the perfect customized, comfortable fit
- Lightweight, three-piece microshell enhances durability without weighing you down
- 20 top air vents provide crucial ventilation on hot summer rides
- Adjustable side straps allow you to fine tune fit and comfort and detachable visor helps reduce glare
What's to like about the Schwinn Women's Thrasher Helmet
The extensive air vents ensure that your head is cool and comfortable, even when you cycle for extended lengths of time. The dial system and adjustable side straps allow you to find the perfect fit for your head.
What's not to like about the Schwinn Women's Thrasher Helmet
This helmet is on the cheaper side, and while it offers great protection, some of the looks had to be sacrificed, this the external color appears a bit cheap.
3. POC Tectal Bike Helmet
POC first began producing gear for snow sports and have carried this distinctive style into their cycling kit. With 15 vents and a one-hand adjustment system, you have a comfortable and easy-to-use helmet that will protect your head no matter whether you are ramping, trail riding, or road racing.
This helmet has 9 vents across the forehead, 3 on the crown, and 5 vents at the back. These air vents allow cool, fresh air to flow through the helmet with ease, making it one of the most well-ventilated helmets on the market.
Thanks to these air vents, the Tectal is a lightweight helmet with a low weight of just 340 grams. It is so light that you may even forget that it is on your head.
The included visor can be adjusted to be out of your line of sight if you don’t want to use it. However, if you do, it is as easy as adjusting the anodized pivots and set screw, which also give the helmet a high-end, sporty look.
This helmet sits low on your head, protecting your temples as well as the base of your skull, offering you reassuring protection. There is no MIPS system with this helmet, but it does have an Aramid fiber grid which gives protection, as well as the Recco reflector system. This system allows first responders to find you if you are injured or lost.
What's to like about the POC Tectal Bike Helmet
This helmet can be purchased in 10 different colors, so you can find one to suit your bike color or your personal choice. The breathability of this helmet is a huge plus.
What's not to like about the POC Tectal Bike Helmet
The POC Tectal unfortunately comes with a high price tag, costing considerably more than some of the other options on this list, making it one of the most expensive helmet options.
4. Troy Lee Designs A1 MIPS Helmet
Although the A2 has replaced the A1, Troy Lee Designs’ A1 helmet is still one of the most popular mountain biking helmets available - and for a good reason too. Thanks to its exceptional fit, you will be hard pressed to find a more comfortable helmet.
The reinforced polycarbonate shell has been molded with the EPS foam liner that extends all the way down the sides and back of the helmet, offering maximum comfort, durability, and protection.
There are 8 intake vents that draw in fresh, cool air for proper ventilation. There are also 9 rear vents to help draw out the heat from the helmet.
This dual system ensures that you will not overheat; however, it does lack somewhat, so this helmet is better suited to cooler climates or for shorter rides.
This helmet has a race-inspired style and design and has the MIPS protection system, which reduces the rotational forces experienced by your brain in the event of a collision.
The adjustable, triple position retention system ensures that you can custom fit the helmet based on your head shape, riding style, and eyewear requirements. The single, removable, plush, washable liner is comfortable and made from moisture-wicking, antimicrobial material to keep your head dry.
The motocross-inspired visor is fully adjustable and is kept in place with anodized aluminum parts that are durable and strong.
- Reinforced polycarbonate shell in-molded with the EPS liner extends down the sides and back of the head
- 8 pressurized intake passages draw in cool air for maximum ventilation
- 8 rear vacuum vortex outlets help exhaust and draw heat from head
- Triple position adjustable retention system allows customized fit for various eyewear, head shape and riding styles
- Single piece, ultra plush, removable and washable comfort liner made of anti-microbial moisture wicking material for a dry, comfortable feel
What's to like about the Troy Lee Designs A1 MIPS Helmet
The A1 helmet is a deep helmet that boasts more protection around the back and sides of your head than most other helmets. The MIPS system that is incorporated in this helmet also ensures more protection, allowing you to feel safe while cycling.
What's not to like about the Troy Lee Designs A1 MIPS Helmet
The ventilation in this helmet is lacking, and with the MIPS liner added in the newer models post 2017, the airflow problem only worsened.
5. Critical Cycles Silas Bike Helmet
No matter whether you are road riding, commuting to work, or performing stunts on ramps, the Critical Cycles Silas helmet will allow you to cycle with confidence knowing that this helmet has been built with safety as the top priority.
The Silas helmet offers you a custom fit thanks to the LED ErgoKnob, the adjustable dial that is designed to give you a comfortable fit while also keeping you visible and safe when riding on the road.
The DewCollector technology used on the interior padding of the helmet stops sweat and eliminates bacteria and odors, ensuring that you stay irritation free and dry while cycling. The 24 air vents provide excellent ventilation to your head no matter what speed you are cycling.
The outer shell is built from polyvinyl chloride for durability and strength, while the liner is made with EPS foam to give you comfortable protection while also being aerodynamic and lightweight.
The Silas model has EN1078:1078 and A1:2012 as well as CPSC safety certifications, meaning that it has passed rigorous testing in both America and Europe and passed with flying colors.
This helmet has been made with exceptional safety features that will allow you to feel confident that you have a helmet that does not compromise on protection. The included LED light has 3 settings: solid, pulse, and strobe, so you can always be seen when riding. The helmet also has a reflective strip, making you even more visible.
- LED Light Ergo knob Dial, lights up for safety on the road, and adjusting from 52-61CM in circumference
- This helmet is designed to be One Size Fits Most - it will not fit XXL size heads (62cm/24.5 and up), lightweight 250 grams, 9oz
- 24 precisely placed vents provide the optimal amount of ventilation to keep the rider cool and comfortable
- True to our cycling roots this helmet uses lightweight materials with an aerodynamic design to cut down on weight, while providing top tier protection
- The silas bike helmet is safety Certified with both CPSC 16 CFR part 1203 (bike helmets USA), and EN1078:1012+a1:2012 (bike helmets Europe)
What's to like about the Critical Cycles Silas Bike Helmet
The ABS is fully formed and offers protection for your head from the outside, while the EPS foam is high quality and absorbent, and will absorb any shocks from an impact, keeping you protected in a collision.
What's not to like about the Critical Cycles Silas Bike Helmet
This helmet is not ideal for riders with large heads who may struggle to get the helmet to fit properly. The foam used for this helmet also makes it bulkier.
There are many bike helmets available on the market, each with its own features, advantages, and price points. This makes it tough to decide which one may be right for you.
However, there are a few key features that you have to take into account when choosing the proper protection for your head when cycling. Let’s take a look at some of these features.
Air vents are the holes in your helmet’s shell. These vents have two functions – to increase the airflow to your head and to reduce how much your helmet weighs. Helmets with few or no air vents are much hotter than those with many air vents.
You may not notice this when you try the helmet on for the first time, but once you begin pedaling for a while, you will see how more air vents are invaluable.
The liner of a bike helmet is the foam layer inside your helmet that absorbs the shock of a crash. Most liners are made of Expanded Polystyrene (EPS), but some more expensive helmets are made from nylon, polypropylene, and metal meshing. The shell of a bike helmet is made from PET plastic, which is what water bottles are made from.
This material is hard and durable, ensuring that your head is well protected. The straps of a bike helmet are made from nylon or polypropylene.
As with most cycling equipment, the price tends to increase as the weight decreases. But there is a good reason for this. A lighter helmet is more comfortable to wear as they do not place strain on your neck.
They also increase your weight to power ratio. While 50 grams doesn’t seem like much of a difference, this marginal decrease can significantly increase your cycling speed.
While color does not impact the performance of your helmet in any way, many riders choose a helmet based on the color of their bike or their personal favorite. Most bike helmets will come with at least two color options, but most will have more than that.
Choosing a color for your helmet is entirely up to you and will not affect your riding.
Purchasing the correct size of helmet is very important. Most helmet models are available in a variety of different sizes so that you can find one to fit the shape and size of your head more accurately. Introduction-level helmets come in a one-size-fits-all model, which normally means it can fit most heads for general use.
These helmets are suitable for people with small to very large heads because the shell is made to be large enough to fit anyone.
However, if you plan to ride regularly or will be cycling in high-risk situations such as busy roads or mountain biking, spend a bit more on a helmet specifically for your head circumference range. These helmets will typically fit better and provide you with better protection.
The main function of a helmet is to protect your head in the event that you fall or crash while you are riding your bike. Of course, a bike helmet does not protect your back or neck, but can dramatically reduce injuries to your head when properly worn.
Bike Helmet FAQs
How to wear a bike helmet?
Wearing a bike helmet is very simple. You place it level on the top of your head and pull the straps down so that they form a “V” around your ears. Pull the buckle forward and clip it closed.
When correctly tightened, you should be able to fit a finger between your chin and the strap. If it is too loose or tight, adjust the strap accordingly. The strap needs to be properly tightened to ensure that the helmet will remain securely on your head in case of a fall.
How should a bike helmet fit?
If your helmet does not fit correctly, it will not be able to do what it is designed to. Helmets can be purchased in various sizes based on your head circumference.
If you are a keen cyclist, you will be wearing your helmet a lot, sometimes up to 6 hours at a time, so it is vital that it fits properly and is comfortable. You helmet should sit level on your head and should touch all around while being snug. It should not be tight though.
Your helmet shouldn’t move more than around an inch and must not come off when pulled, no matter how much you try.
How to measure for a bike helmet?
Most helmets are available with a small, medium, large, and extra-large size, allowing you to find a helmet that will fit your head. Measure your head’s circumference just above your ears. This is the number that your helmet should be able to be adjusted to.
For example, if your head is 56cm, get a helmet that can adjust from 52 to 58 cm, so you have a bit of leeway. This way, you can always make sure you have the correct fit.
How to choose a bike helmet?
Bike helmets are designed to be used only once. In other words, once the helmet has been involved in a collision, it is used and must be replaced. Considering that the helmet gives its life for yours, it is best to purchase the best helmet that your budget allows.
MIPS helmets give you better protection than standard helmets and should be one of the first considerations when choosing a bike helmet. If you are a road cyclist, an aerodynamic helmet would be best for you for ventilation and speed.
If you are mountain biking, a helmet with a visor will help protect your eyes from debris while also shading your eyes. Most bike helmets can be used by both men and women, so choose a helmet that fits the circumference of your head. Having an adjustable dial is also a great consideration.
After that, you simply need to choose a style and color that you like. However, you should never compromise your safety for the sake of style and color.
What is a MIPS bike helmet?
Over the last decade, more bike helmet manufacturers have begun adopting MIPS in their helmets. MIPS – Multi-directional Impact Protection System – is actually its own brand, but helmet manufacturers that use this system build this system into their helmets for added safety.
MIPS liners are specially designs to reduce the rotational forces that the brain experiences in a collision. It does this through the extra layer of friction which spreads the impact.
MIPS helmets normally cost more, but their injury-reducing abilities make them well worth the money.
Most manufacturers produce helmets that meet the safety standards necessary for providing adequate protection for your head in a collision. But choosing the correct helmet can be very tricky, especially with the wide variety of options available.
All of the helmets on our list are great all-round choices for any cyclist, but our favorite has to be the POC Tectal Bike Helmet. This is thanks to its ease of use, adjustability, and breathability thanks to the 15 vents.
This helmet is also very lightweight and has excellent safety features that will reassure you when wearing it. Plus, the goggle retention strap keeps your eyewear in place as you cycle.
Don't forget to also read our article on the "Best Mountain Bike Helmet of 2018: Complete Reviews with Comparison".