Wearing a helmet when you are off-roading is debatably one of the most important things that you can do. Helmets add an extra layer of protection to your head, which can help reduce head and brain injuries significantly. Although wearing helmets is not always fun and can look kind of goofy, we are going to help you find the best helmet for not only your protection, but also one that you will feel like a badass wearing.
What makes a helmet good? Well, a good helmet has to check off a list of quite a few different things before it can be considered good. These things are the weight of the helmet, amount of protection it offers, your vision while wearing the helmet, the venting/ airflow in your helmet, its certifications, and the overall design.
While considering all of these factors, here are our top picks for the best helmets of 2021.
Fox V3 Dirt Bike Helmet
Fox is definitely a fan favorite and their V3 Dirt Bike Helmet is no exception. Not only do these helmets look cool, but they have some pretty cool technology as well. These helmets have their Multi-Directional Impact Protection System, or MIPS, which helps protect the wearer’s head during an angled impact. This is a key feature for a helmet because most impacts do not happen straight on. The helmet also has an EPS liner, which maximizes the impact absorption of the helmet, which in turn maximizes the wearer’s head protection during an impact. Another cool technology that this helmet has is the visor release system. During an impact, the visor will effortlessly detach, which can reduce additional injuries to the wearer. On top of all this, the helmet has well over 12 vents, which makes the airflow and ability to stay cool fantastic. Additionally, it has exceeded the ECE 22.05 and DOT certifications.
Although the Shoei VFX-W reigned as Shoei’s best for a long time, its reign has since passed and the VFX-EVO has taken its place. The VFX-EVO has a Motion Energy Distribution System, or M.E.D.S., which helps reduce the rotational acceleration to the wearer’s head during an impact. This new system still has the lightweight and impact-absorbing power of their well-known EPS system. The helmet also has a Multi- Ply Matrix AIM + shell which is their strongest and lightest shell yet. It has hand-laid layers of fiberglass and is DOT and SNELL approved. This helmet also has well over 12 vents, an advanced mouthpiece, large eye port, chin bar EPS, and an emergency quick release system, or E.Q.R.S.. The E.Q.R.S. is a great feature which makes the helmet extremely safe and easy to remove from the wearer in the event of an injury.
Arai VX Pro 4
The Arai VX Pro 4 is a fantastic helmet with a unique fit. Arai offers a diverse selection of interior fit shapes which helps cater to the various shapes and sizes of the wearer’s head. This is key to not only the optimal fit of the helmet, but to the optimal comfort as well. This helmet is DOT and SNELL approved, has a good ventilation system, and also has a dry-cool liner interior which allows it to dry significantly faster than other fabrics. Another neat feature of this helmet is that it is not made of the typical fiberglass, in fact, it is made of Super Fiber, which increases its strength and resistance with its complex Laminate construction, or cLc. The Arai helmets “egg-shape” is part of their “glance off” technology which helps avoid sending the impact energy straight into the helmet.
Bell Moto-9 Carbon Flex
The Bell Moto-9 Carbon Flex is an impressive helmet from Bell. Their Progressive Layering Technology, which has the ability to manage energy from low, mid, and high impact scenarios actually exceeds the DOT and SNELL safety standards. This technology is made of Expanded Polyolefin which works with Expanded Polypropylene and Traditional Expanded Polystyrene. The shell is lightweight carbon composition, which is extremely strong and provides a high level of protection. The helmet also has a Velocity Flow Ventilation System, or VFV, and adjustable FlowAdjust vents. The X-Static XT-2 Silver Liner Extended Wear Interior, which is antimicrobial fabric is removable for easy washing and the chin bar is EPS lined and ventilated.
Alpinestars M10 Helmet
Alpinestars M10 helmet is carbon fiber and has a unique flat design to help reduce energy during impacts. This helmet also has an inner EPS liner and a safety feature of MIPS which helps protect the wearer from various types of impacts. There are well over 20 different vents on this helmet, so airflow is no problem. Along with this, the antibacterial liner is also removable and washable. The M10 helmet is ECE and DOT certified and also has an emergency cheek pad removal system, which is helpful to someone that may be needing to remove the helmet from the wearer during an impact or emergency.
Although these are all great helmets, the most important part of finding the best helmet is searching for what the best fit is for you. Helmets can be extremely personal and our top pick may not be your top pick or the best fit for you.