The Best Mountain Bike Helmets of 2020

After countless rowdy test days, here are the best mountain bike helmets for all types of rides, from casual singletrack spins to enduro pursuits.

On a good day in the saddle,你不会注意到你在所有的头盔。但是,当一个不太可能的灾难发生时,头盔可以防止严重伤害或死亡。

To determine the best mountain bike helmets of 2020, our gear testers rode variable trails and conditions across the Rocky Mountains. Our team of men and women included professional, competitive, and recreational mountain bikers in Colorado and Utah. Their specialties range from dirt jumping and enduro events to endurance all-mountain, multiday, and avid weekly excursions.


The Best Mountain Bike Helmets of 2020

Best Overall:布拉的Bontrager山WaveCel头盔自行车($300)

Bontrager WaveCel Helmet

The Blaze is a top performer for safety and comfort. The design uses WaveCel, an exclusive interior honeycomb-like structure that crumples and glides to absorb impact and rotational energy. The technology is an alternative to MIPS liners.

WaveCel是在头部保护比单车意外传统的泡沫头盔五倍更有效,vwin徳赢网according to a studycompleted by the Legacy Research Institute. While there has been some controversy around that study, it’s certainly proven itself effective.


The buckle is magnetic and easy to clip, which is especially great when you have gloves on. And the 13 vents allow for maximum airflow. We also like that the quick-adjustment Boa fit system easily altered the fit.


One tester noted, “This helmet has great versatility with an integrated mount up top for a light or GoPro camera, which is huge for me. Plus, the GoPro mount doubles as a screwdriver to adjust the visor — a smart feature I really like.”

磁山系统留在地方,没有’t move at all during test rides. However, the included mount screw wasn’t tight enough, and we had issues with the GoPro tipping forward while riding. Instead, I swapped out the screw with one that came with my GoPro, and it worked great.

And as our editor noted during我们的火焰WaveCel回顾, “If you damage the helmet in a fall within one year of purchase, Bontrager will replace it for free.”





总体而言,我们与舒适性和覆盖面留下了深刻印象。该基鲁重量在335克,与帽舌甲板,并且具有15个通风口。头盔是既眼镜和护目镜兼容,虽然没有护目镜休息点的遮阳板没有调整能力。并获得了头盔五星安全评级from Virginia Tech Helmet Ratings during a third-party analysis.

Our tester confirmed, “The breathability is great with large vents that let the air flow well on long climbs — but not it’s not too much with cold temps. The helmet packs nicely into an鱼鹰包LidLock但稍不对称由于通风口的展示位置。总体而言,对于价格,这是一个愉快的配合有很大的头盔,没有表现任何真正的缺点“。


Best Full-Face Helmet:Troy Lee Designs D4 Carbon MIPS($ 575)

特洛伊李设计D4碳 - 最佳全罩式头盔速降

The D4 Carbon MIPS is the best-fitting, most comfortable full-face helmet we’ve worn. It fits snugly without pressure and feels very light.

The helmet has 24 total vents: 10 front, five overhead, and seven rear. One downhill tester noted, “The vents kept my head cool during sunny, steep climbs, which is impressive for a full-face with this level of protection. I could sit for 10 minutes at the top of the climb without feeling overheated or claustrophobic.”


我们的测试做并排侧骑的比较,并指出,福克斯Proframe现状头盔($260) is a lighter 750 g but sacrifices protection. And thePOC Coron Air Spin($275) is heavier at 1,170 g.

该D4的内衬是可调和清洗。该设计提供了在中心 - 低级碱较软的区域,被称为锁骨冲击系统,以防头盔猛地肩部或锁骨。我们也是这样的快速释放面颊垫是抗菌,解剖学设计,并且可以轻松与头盔在碰撞之后被去除。

下颏带具有厚填充,所以带自己不或刺激挖。护目镜适合大 - 这样做的太阳镜。总体而言,建筑是耐用和适合的价格标签。对于穿梭游乐设施或下坡和耐力赛的赛车,这种头盔是首选。



Sweet Protection Arbitrator Helmet

在一个渐进的设计中,仲裁员是敞篷全罩式头盔与可拆卸的碳纤维下巴防护下坡认证。的重量为980克(M / L),或550克当面部保护被除去。

The helmet includes two pad thickness choices for personal fit. The fit is adjustable for head height and circumference via the Occigrip turn dial, which testers found easy to use. Sunglasses and goggles work well with the helmet, including space to park goggles.


For a full-face, the ventilation is pretty good. We never overheated, and there’s enough airflow to ride comfortably. But this helmet is focused more on protection, so there’s not as much ventilation as the other non-full-face helmets.

测试骑手说,“可调节的遮阳板是无用的。在最低设置,它不是为我阻挡了阳光 - 我甚至无法看到它。还当我需要停泊我的护目镜不向上滑动变得非常容易。此外,正规头盔是相当学究气 - 这是很大的,而不是非常精简“。


Sweet Protection Arbitrator Helmet
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最佳风格:Smith Forefront 2 MIPS($240)

Smith Forefront 2 Helmet

前列2个使用Smith的专利安全材料称为Koroyd:侧由侧管 - 其样子吸管 - 被焊接在一起并均匀粉碎时的冲击。

The open-tube construction of the Koroyd, in addition to the 20 vents, also allows for airflow. Three vent portals in the helmet’s center offer complete ambient exposure. The 380g (M) helmet feels light on the head. And testers appreciated that it kept their heads cool.

“The fit is really comfortable too, with an easy dial-adjustment called VaporFit,” explained our test rider, who used the helmet on a range of desert and mountain rides from 8 to 15 miles long. The conditions were 60-70 degrees F with ample sunshine.


Anyone looking for a comfortable and stylish helmet should consider the Forefront 2.


Best Ventilation:Giro Radix MIPS($95)


At only 315 g, the Radix MIPS has 25 vents and great breathability. It’s a great choice for summer riding and offers the ventilation you’d expect from a road helmet.


There’s a small-interval dial, so you can get a perfect fit. And the slide adjustments are also easy and intuitive.

Ultimately, this Giro helmet pairs well with sunglasses and goggles, feels lightweight but sturdy, and it hits the lower end of the price spectrum.



Specialized Ambush MIPS SL with ANGi($ 200)

Specialized Ambush Mtn Bike Helmet

The Ambush helmet weighs in at 309 g (size small) and has 20 vents, but what sets it apart is the high-tech connectivity.


当传感器检测到崩溃,它将发送一个有限公司untdown alert to the rider’s phone that they can deactivate in up to 90 seconds. Otherwise, it will notify emergency contacts via SMS and email. The sensor also syncs with Strava and the Specialized Ride app to provide GPS-based activity tracking, which can be sent to the emergency contacts as well.

我们的测试发现该系统确实有效。“它发送的电子邮件在我的个人乘坐的开始和结束我的紧急联系人。And the sensor didn’t confuse banging up the helmet with a real crash,” said the tester, who dropped the helmet on top of packed pebbles and granite from 3, 5, and 7 feet high, and also expelled the helmet on a boulder while riding.

The helmet also has an exclusive, ultralight MIPS design, called the MIPS SL protection, integrated into the helmet pads. Furthermore, the helmet’s fit system — the Mindset 360 — offers 360-degree customization. An integrated dial alters the tension around the head, and five internal height positions are manually tailored inside the helmet.



Lazer Sport Impala MIPS($140)





总而言之,这是一个伟大的头盔。这是如果你正在寻找花费超过预算驰入($ 60),但低于200 $坚实的选择。


POC Tectal Race Spin($ 220)

POC Tectal Race Spin Helmet

The Tectal Race Spin helmet has a stylish, polished, and streamlined design. Plus, the inside is cushy, and the shell feels light but robust.


The optimally placed SPIN pads are made with a silicone gel-like membrane, which allows the helmet to “spin” on impact. The design is 368 g (M/L) and has 17 vents, which our tester found kept him cool on long rides.



Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose a Mountain Bike Helmet


For a proper fit, the helmet rim should rest one to two finger widths above the eyebrow, according to Virginia Tech researchers. During use, tighten your helmet down and make sure that helmet movement is minimal.


Utility, Breathability

In addition to fit, determine the primary application of your helmet, like cross-country, casual rides, downhill, or enduro.

“I base my helmet choice on the following factors, in this order: application, MIPS, comfort, style, and breathability,” said one of our testers, an expert enduro racer. Another tester, a competitive cross-country, enduro, and IRONMAN rider, agreed, saying, “Fit, comfort, and utility are my main considerations.”


Comparing helmet styles; photo credit: Eric Phillips


Furthermore, examine how much a helmet weighs. “Sweet Protection builds helmets on three principles: light weight, low volume, and providing world-class impact protection. It needs to be lightweight, as we do not want to add any more mass to a head in a crash or impact. More mass translates to increased impact forces and speeds,” explained Garrity.



What Is Rotational Motion Impact Reduction?

“Rotational motion impact reduction technologies, in short, are materials used as a ‘lubricant’ between the head and the helmet to reduce injuries resulting from angular impacts. When implemented in a helmet, they are designed to reduce rotational forces by absorbing and redirecting rotational energies and forces transferred to the brain,” said Garrity.

One of the most common technologies is made by MIPS (multidirectional impact protection system), which has developed the technology for more than two decades.


Lifespan & Recycle Options

Keep track of your helmet’s age. Over time, exposure to environmental factors will diminish the life of the helmet from sunlight to extreme cold, moisture, and sweat. Also, repeated small impacts,such as dropping the helmet at the trailhead or tumbling around the back of the rig on the commute home,contribute to reducing the helmet’s life expectancy.




Have a favorite mountain bike helmet we missed? Let us know in the comments for future updates to this article.



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