As we edge closer to Summer, with the days stretching out like a lazy cat in the sun, the mountain biking tribe gets that familiar itch. It’s not just the call of the wild trails whispering through the trees; it’s the hunt for the holy grail of headgear—the best full-face MTB helmet. And let me tell you, this season’s lineup is looking so promising, I half expect them to come with superhero capes.

This year, we’ve got helmets that are more than just a pretty shell. They’re like the Swiss Army knife in your adventure pack, equipped with advanced safety features, materials that might as well have been borrowed from spaceships, and designs so sleek they’d make a black panther look twice.

And the ventilation? Imagine your head in the cool embrace of an air conditioner on a hot July day—that’s the kind of breeze we’re talking about. Plus, with impact protection technologies evolving faster than my ability to keep up with my laundry, these full-face helmets are turning into veritable fortresses, albeit with the comfort of your favorite pillow.

Whether you’re the type who likes to hurl themselves down mountains at speeds that make gravity nervous, or you’re all about exploring every nook and cranny of the trails, there’s a helmet out there trying to swipe right on you. So, as we dive into the cream of the crop for 2024, remember: your helmet isn’t just your safety partner—it’s your wingman for every adventure.

Now, before we leap into our top picks, let’s pause for a moment. Picking the right helmet is a bit like choosing a doughnut—sure, they’re all pretty great, but finding the one that’s just right for you? That’s where the real magic happens. So, let’s spend a minute to agree on what makes for a good MTB helmet.

Full-Face MTB Helmet Buyer’s Guide

Picking the right helmet is like choosing the perfect burrito. Yeah, I know I just said it was like choosing a donut, but who doesn’t love a good donut with their burrito?

Like a burrito, you want your helmet packed with all the good stuff, without it falling apart on the first bite. Let’s break down what makes a helmet the top pick for your noggin, making sure we’re hitting all the right keywords and sprinkling in those first-person nuggets of wisdom.

  • Fit is King. Here’s the deal, the fit of your full-face helmet is like the secret sauce to your riding comfort. It needs to be snug enough to stay put during those “did that just happen?” moments, without making you feel like your head’s in a vice. Adjustable chin straps, cheek pads, and a bit of interior padding customization can turn a good fit into a perfect one. And trust me, a helmet that fits like a glove is like finding a trail that’s just the right amount of challenging—it’s bliss.
  • Ventilate or perish! Ever tried pedaling up a steep incline on a scorching day? That’s when you’ll wish your full-face helmet had the breathability of a mesh tank top. Good ventilation is crucial to avoid cooking your dome under the sun. We’re talking strategically placed vents that let the breeze in without compromising on protection. It’s a fine balance, but when you find it, your sweaty head will thank you.
  • Don’t be a bobblehead. Keep it light! Lugging around a heavy full-face mountain bike helmet is like wearing lead boots on a hike—unnecessary and exhausting. The lighter the helmet, the happier your neck will be. But here’s the kicker: you want the durability of a tank without the heft. Materials like carbon fiber tick these boxes, but they might add zeroes to the price tag. The goal? Find that goldilocks zone of weight, protection, and price.
  • Protection is the priority. Not all heroes wear capes, but all smart riders wear certified helmets. Look for that stamp of approval—CPSC, EN 1078, or AS/NZS 2063—guaranteeing your lid is up to snuff. And hey, let’s talk about MIPS (Multi-directional Impact Protection System) for a sec—this nifty feature could be the difference between a close call and a call to the hospital. Extra protection against rotational forces? Yes, please.
  • Seeing is believing: A full-face helmet that blocks your side-eye glance at a passing squirrel isn’t doing you any favors. Ensure your peripheral vision is clear because, on the trails, seeing is surviving. Compatibility with your favorite goggles and a secure system to keep them in place is also a major plus.
  • It’s the little things. Removable liners for those extra sweaty rides, speaker pockets to jam out, or camera mounts to capture the glory? Yes, these extras can turn a helmet from good to “where have you been all my life?” And don’t even get me started on aesthetics. Rocking a helmet that looks good not only feels awesome but also keeps those GoPro shots stylish.
  • Priceless protection at a good price! Helmets range from “I found this in a bargain bin” to “I might need to take a second mortgage on my house.” Okay, third mortgage. While it’s tempting to save a few bucks, remember, this is about keeping your brain in one piece. The best helmet you can afford often means better materials, technology, and overall noggin happiness.

So there you have it, my trail-loving friends. Choosing the best full-face MTB helmet is about balancing all these elements to find your perfect trail companion. Because at the end of the day, it’s not just about protection—it’s about making every ride a good ride.

Top Full-Face MTB Helmets for 2024

When it comes to snagging the best full-face MTB helmet, it’s not just about casually browsing your local bike shop; it’s a dedicated search for that pinnacle of protection that’ll have you mastering the trails with confidence and comfort.

While I haven’t had the chance to crash test every helmet out there (and frankly, I’m not keen on the idea), I’ve dedicated serious time sifting through features, specifications, and customer reviews to distinguish the leaders of the pack in terms of safety and style. And while I own one of the helmets on this list, I’m actually preferential to one of the ones I DON’T own.

This journey, however, isn’t just for my own benefit; it’s about providing you with options that ensure you’re well-equipped, comfortable, and protected, no matter the adventure that calls to you. We’ve delved into the specifics to find helmets that strike the perfect balance between robust protection, wearer comfort, and a light enough design not to weigh you down.

Whether you’re the rider fully loading the car for a weekend of epic downhill runs or the type who meticulously examines every gram of gear before setting off on a cross-country trek, our lineup is tailored to introduce you to the helmets that promise to enhance your rides as you navigate tight trails or soar down open descents.

Now, let’s kick off with our top pick right away!

Giro Disciple MIPS Adult Mountain Cycling Helmet

Giro Disciple MIPS Adult Mountain Cycling Helmet
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For riders who've had their fill of bulky headgear without compromising safety, the Giro Disciple MIPS Adult Mountain Cycling Helmet emerges as a beacon of hope. It’s not just another helmet; it’s your ally for every gravity-defying adventure, offering a lightweight feel without skimping on protection.

The MIPS technology stands out, actively reducing rotational forces during impacts. This feature alone elevates the Giro Disciple into a league of its own, ensuring that your head gets top-tier protection on those rugged trails.

Features & Specifications

  • Multi-Directional Impact Protection System for added safety
  • Lightweight design for improved comfort and mobility
  • Wind Tunnel™ Ventilation technology for enhanced airflow and cooling
  • Sleek and stylish Matte Black/Gloss Black colorway
  • Fiberglass shell with EPS and Vinyl Nitrile liner for rugged durability
  • Meets industry safety standards and exceeds bicycle standards for added peace of mind.
  • Available in Extra Small (51-53 cm) size for adults.
  • Lightweight design allows for improved comfort and mobility during intense rides.
  • Designed specifically for mountain biking adventures, providing the perfect fit and protection for this adrenaline-fueled activity.
  • MIPS technology reduces rotational forces during impact, providing an extra layer of safety not seen in other helmets on the market.

The Giro Disciple doesn’t just talk the talk; it’s been rigorously tested in Giro’s leading helmet lab to surpass industry safety standards, promising reliability and peace of mind. Beyond its impressive safety creds, it boasts a Wind Tunnel™ Ventilation system for unmatched coolness and comfort, even on the most intense rides.

Style isn’t sacrificed, either. The Matte Black/Gloss Black colorway and modern design will have you looking sharp on the trails. This helmet doesn’t just protect; it elevates your mountain biking experience, blending state-of-the-art safety features with cutting-edge style and comfort. If stepping up your game is the plan, the Giro Disciple MIPS is ready to be your crown.

O'Neal Sierra Helmet

O'Neal Sierra Helmet
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The O'Neal Sierra Helmet is my personal go-to for a full-face MTB helmet. While it's geared more towards motocross riding, it ticks all of the MTB boxes for me. This piece of head armor is a triple threat, offering unmatched protection, breathability for those lung-busting climbs, and a sleek aesthetic that's sure to make a statement on the trails. Crafted with a polycarbonate shell, renowned for its high-impact resistance yet surprisingly lightweight touch, it promises to keep your dome safe without feeling like you're dragging an anchor up the mountain.

Ventilation is where the O'Neal Sierra truly shines, sporting a series of strategically placed air vents that invite a cooling breeze to dance around your scalp, a blessing during those scorching summer rides.

Features & Specifications

  • Polycarbonate (PC) shell construction for lightweight and high-impact resistance
  • Multiple air vents for superior ventilation
  • Plush removable liner for comfort and moisture-wicking properties
  • Adjustable visor to protect against sun and debris
  • Integrated face shield for added protection
  • Height adjustable helmet shield for a customized fit
  • Padded chin strap with Double-D safety lock
  • Meets DOT FMVSS 218 and ECE 22.05 safety standards
  • Available in various sizes and colors to fit your personal style

Comfort doesn't take a backseat, thanks to its plush, removable liner that wicks away the sweat of your brow, and is as easy to wash as your favorite post-ride tee. The helmet’s adjustable visor is a small but mighty feature, shielding your eyes from the relentless sun and rogue debris, while an integrated face shield adds an extra layer of defense against the unexpected.

But it's not just about feeling good; it's about riding with confidence, knowing you're well-protected. Meeting both DOT FMVSS 218 and ECE 22.05 safety standards, the O'Neal Sierra Helmet is a fortress for your head, but with the comfort of a royal pillow. Its design, featuring a padded chin strap with a Double-D safety lock and a height-adjustable helmet shield, offers a customized fit that's rare in the wilds of mountain biking gear.

With a palette of sizes and colors to choose from, this helmet doesn’t just protect your head—it showcases your style. Riding with the O'Neal Sierra, you’re not just prepared for the trails; you’re equipped to reign over them. Again, this is my personal helmet, so I'm a bit biased, but you're not going to go wrong with this choice!

Fox Racing Proframe Mountain Bike Helmet

Fox Racing Proframe Mountain Bike Helmet
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Fox Racing has been a household name in the motocross and mountain biking world for decades. Known for their high-quality gear, apparel, and accessories, it's no surprise that they have created one of the helmets on the market – the Fox Racing Proframe Mountain Bike Helmet.

With the inclusion of MIPS technology, it stands as a fortress for your brain, significantly reducing the rotational forces during those "oh shit" moments that can lead to serious injuries. It’s reassuring to know there’s some serious science cradled around your head, ready to deflect those unseen threats.

Features & Specifications

  • Increased ventilation and decreased surface contact area for improved cooling
  • 3-position adjustable visor compatible with goggles
  • Removable under visor GoPro mount included
  • Includes additional pad set to optimize fit
  • Meets the ASTM-F1952 Downhill MTB certification standard
  • Available in black color, adult sizes, size large recommended.
  • Mips technology for added protection against rotational motion and forces.
  • Lightweight and comfortable design, perfect for long rides.
  • Stylish and sleek look with the iconic Fox Racing logo.
  • Ventilation system with 24 Big Bore vents for enhanced airflow and reduced fogging.
  • Adjustable and removable visor for a customizable fit.

Sporting 24 Big Bore vents, thee Proframe Helmet doesn't just whisper cool relief; it shouts it. Whether you're grinding up a steep incline or bombing down a technical descent, the airflow keeps you composed and fog-free, a boon for those of us who've experienced the sauna effect under less breathable lids. The helmet’s visor also deserves a shout-out. Adjustable and removable, it caters to the preferences of goggle wearers and sunny day riders alike, providing flexibility and comfort in spades.

Styled in sleek black and emblazoned with the iconic Fox Racing logo, this helmet doesn’t just protect—it makes a statement. Size matters and the large option offers snug coverage that feels just right. Diving into the specs, from the goggle-compatible visor to the GoPro mount for capturing those ride highs and lows, every feature is thoughtfully designed.

Certified to the ASTM-F1952 Downhill MTB standard, this helmet doesn’t just meet expectations—it exceeds them, making it an easy pick for our list of top full-face MTB helmets. With the added bonus of an extra pad set for the perfect fit, it's clear the Fox Racing Proframe is much more than just a helmet; it's a crucial piece of your mountain biking arsenal, designed to let you focus on the ride, not the risks.

Fox Racing Rampage Bike Helmet

Fox Racing Rampage MTB Helmet
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In the high-flying world of mountain biking, where each trail throws its own curveball, the Fox Racing Rampage Bike Helmet steps up to the plate, ready to knock it out of the park. This isn't just any helmet; it's like the Swiss Army knife of headgear, inspired by the legendary prowess of Fox's Rampage Pro Carbon. For those who eat, sleep, and breathe extreme riding, this helmet is your trusty steed, ready to charge into battle with you.

The real MVP of the Rampage Bike Helmet is its Proven MIPS impact protection system. It's like having a superhero cape, but for your head, offering an extra layer of "just in case" when the trail gets cheeky. And let's talk about feeling like a featherweight champion; thanks to its injection-molded ABS shell, this helmet ensures you're not lugging around any unnecessary bulk, keeping you nimble and in control, whether you're navigating a tricky descent or showing off at the bike park.

Features & Specifications

  • Tested and certified according to CPSC, EN 1078AS/NZS 2063, ASTM 1952-15 Downhill, and ASTM 2032-15 BMX Bicycle Standards
  • Lightweight injection molded ABS shell
  • Proven Mips impact protection system
  • Mesh vent screens for ventilation and debris filtering
  • Moisture-wicking pads for added comfort
  • D-Ring buckle closure and adjustable visor
  • Available in four different sizes for a perfect fit
  • Complies with U.S. CPSC safety standards for bicycle helmets for persons age 5 and older
  • Sleek and stylish design inspired by the Rampage Pro Carbon helmet
  • Suitable for extreme mountain biking and BMX riding
  • Comes with a variety of color options to match your personal style

The Rampage Bike Helmet brings its A-game in style and comfort too. With a design that could make Troy Lee Designs nod in approval, it's as sleek as it is functional, offering a moisture-wicking, comfort-packed interior that's like a spa day for your head. And with sizes from S to XL, it's like finding that perfect pair of riding gloves; just right. The mesh vent screens are the cherry on top, letting you breathe easy while keeping the trail grit out. It's not just riders saying it's the bee's knees; this helmet's racked up accolades for its snug fit, endurance, and downright dashing looks.

The Fox Racing Rampage Bike Helmet isn't just making waves; it's setting the standard, ticking all the boxes for safety with its MIPS system and a trophy case of certifications for every riding style. Lightweight yet tough, stylish yet serious, it's the full package. So, if you're ready to elevate your game and keep your head in one piece, with style to boot, the Rampage Bike Helmet is your ticket to the next level. Trust me, it's like stepping up from a tricycle to a full-blown downhill demon—game changer, trail blazer, rampager.

Fox Racing Proframe RS Bike Helmet

Fox Racing Proframe RS Bike Helmet
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We're keeping it in the Fox family with their Racing Proframe RS Bike Helmet, which blends the perfect combination of style, comfort, and safety for any mountain biker. Slipping this helmet on your head feels a bit like stepping into a sci-fi film where style, safety, and comfort are paramount. First off, the helmet's sleek and modern design catches the eye, available in sizes that cater to head circumferences from 51-63cm, ensuring just about any rider finds their perfect fit. It's like this helmet was tailored just for you, which, in my book, is a solid start.

The magic really happens with the BOA® fit system that ditches the old-school strap and buckle tango for a fit so snug and customizable that you'd swear it was crafted by a team of helmet elves dedicated to your dome's comfort. But, where this headgear transforms from mere mortal to superhero status is in its commitment to your noggin's safety.

The MIPS Integra™ technology, merging an EPP liner with an EPS layer chin bar, is like having a guardian angel specifically focused on minimizing rotational forces during those "oh, shit" moments. And for the documentarians among us, the removable under-visor GoPro mount is a nod to our era of share-everything, ensuring your epic descents are captured for posterity (or at least for bragging rights on social media).

Features & Specifications

  • Increased ventilation and decreased surface contact area improves cooling
  • Ionic+ anti-microbial liner and cheek pads to optimize fit
  • Fidlock® magnetic closure for easy on/off access
  • 3 position adjustable visor compatible with goggles
  • removable chin bar and under visor GoPro mount included
  • MIPS™ Integra technology for added head protection
  • Available in three sizes (51-55cm, 55-59cm, and 59-63cm)
  • BOA® fit system for a customizable and secure fit
  • Lightweight design for comfortable wear during long rides

Comfort isn't sacrificed, thanks to moisture-wicking pads that handle sweat better than a napkin at a rib-eating contest, and a Fidlock buckle that's as easy to clip as it is secure. The revolutionary 3-position adjustable visor not only makes this helmet goggle-friendly but also adapts to whatever the trail or sun decides to throw at you. It's like having your personal weatherman advising you on visor positioning for optimal vision and protection.

Why this helmet deserves a spot in your gear lineup isn't just about its flashy features or the cooling breeze you feel thanks to its optimized ventilation. It's about the peace of mind you get knowing the Ionic+ anti-microbial liner is keeping things fresh, the Fidlock® magic making life easier, and the MIPS™ Integra technology standing guard. It's a trifecta of cool, clean, and safe that elevates the Proframe RS from just another piece of equipment to an essential ally on the trails. Whether you're a greenhorn or a seasoned trail veteran, this helmet doesn't just accompany you on rides; it enhances them. So, if you're serious about your mountain biking escapades, the Fox Racing Proframe RS isn’t just a wise choice—it’s a declaration that you're all in.

Fox Racing Proframe Bike Helmet

Fox Racing Proframe Bike Helmet
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Differentiating itself from its sibling, the Proframe RS, The Fox Racing Proframe helmet brings its own flair to the table. While both helmets boast the Proven MIPS impact protection system, the Proframe distinguishes itself with a dual-density Varizorb™ EPS liner. This isn't just any liner; it's a breathable, moisture-wicking marvel that keeps your head cooler than a cucumber in a cooler. And let's talk ventilation—24 Big Bore vents make the Proframe a breath of fresh air, literally, ensuring you stay as cool as a polar bear's toenails no matter how hard the ride.

Now, the Proframe's integrated chinbar and fixed visor set it apart from the Proframe RS's adjustable offerings, creating a streamlined airflow that could give a wind tunnel a run for its money. Plus, the Fidlock SNAP helmet buckle is like the cherry on top of a sundae—easy on, easy off, no fuss, no muss. Weighing in at a mere 750g and dressed to impress in a variety of colors and designs, the Proframe isn't just about safety and comfort; it's about making a statement that you're here to ride, and you're here to do it in style.

Features & Specifications

  • Tested and certified: The Proframe is tested and certified according to CPSC, EN 1078, AS/NZ 2063, and ASTM F1952 Bicycle Standards. This means it meets high safety standards for all riders.
  • Lightweight design: At only 750g, the Proframe Bike Helmet is impressively lightweight, making it a comfortable choice for longer rides.
  • Proven Mips impact protection system: The Proframe features a Proven Mips impact protection system, which reduces rotational forces in the event of a crash.
  • Dual-density Varizorb™ EPS liner: This helmet's liner provides improved impact protection while also ensuring breathability and moisture-wicking properties.
  • 24 Big Bore vents: The strategically placed vents provide unrivaled breathability, keeping riders cool and comfortable.
  • Patented integrated chinbar and fixed visor: The combination of the chinbar and visor provides added protection while also maximizing airflow.
  • Fidlock SNAP helmet buckle: This innovative buckle system allows for quick entry and exit, making it easy to put on and take off the helmet.
  • Multiple sizes and colors available: With four different size options and a variety of designs to choose from, riders can find the perfect fit and style for their needs.

Why the Proframe instead of the Proframe RS? It boils down to the type of rider you are and the features you value most. If the idea of an integrated chinbar, a helmet that breathes easier than a marathon runner in peak condition, and a design that's as sleek as it is safe appeals to you, then the Proframe is your huckleberry. And, at a 20% lower pricepoint than the RS, it might be the better choice.

Both models are a testament to Fox Racing's commitment to pushing the envelope in helmet design, offering a perfect blend of safety, comfort, and that undeniable cool factor. So, gear up with either Proframe model, and ride with the confidence that you're protected by the best in the biz.

Wrapping It Up!

Navigating through the expansive terrain of full-face MTB helmets, we've encountered some standout selections. These helmets exemplify the marriage of innovation and functionality, offering solutions whether you're scaling steep ascents or navigating challenging downhill trails. The meticulous attention to safety, comfort, and design across these models can elevate the riding experience! In terms of overall scoring, here's how they stacked up!

But it isn't just about the numbers... What becomes clear when you dig into all of the reviews is that the right helmet does more than just protect—it enhances the ride. In the end, choosing the right helmet for you means not just buying one but embracing a piece of gear that’s been thoughtfully designed to keep you protected while you hurl yourself down a mountain trail at head-busting speed. In the end, we do this for the thrills. But we can keep the thills high and the unnecessary risk level low thanks to helmets like these. Ride on!

Full-Face MTB Helmet FAQs

Why should I choose a full-face helmet over a standard helmet?

Full-face helmets offer enhanced protection by covering the entire head, including the jaw and chin area, which are vulnerable in high-speed crashes. They are recommended for high-risk riding styles like downhill and aggressive enduro riding.

Are full-face helmets ventilated?

Yes, modern full-face helmets are designed with ventilation systems that include multiple vents and channels to allow for airflow, helping to keep the rider cool and comfortable even during intense rides.

Can I wear goggles with a full-face helmet?

Absolutely! Most full-face MTB helmets are designed to be compatible with goggles. They often feature goggle-friendly visors and retention systems to keep the goggles in place.

How do I know if a full-face helmet fits properly?

A properly fitting helmet should feel snug around your entire head without being uncomfortably tight. It should sit level on your head and not move in any direction when you shake your head. The chin strap should also fit securely.

What is MIPS, and why is it important?

MIPS stands for Multi-directional Impact Protection System. It's a helmet technology designed to reduce rotational forces that can result from certain impacts. It adds an additional layer of safety by allowing the helmet to slide relative to the head.

How often should I replace my full-face MTB helmet?

I recommend replacing your helmet every 3-5 years, depending on usage, or immediately after a significant impact or crash, even if no damage is visible. Material degradation and unseen damage can compromise the helmet's protective capabilities.

Are there lightweight full-face helmets?

Yes, all of the models we've featured are among the most lightweight, designed using advanced materials and construction techniques to reduce weight without compromising on protection.

What safety certifications should I look for?

Look for helmets that meet or exceed safety standards, such as CPSC for the United States, EN 1078 for Europe, AS/NZS 2063 for Australia and New Zealand, and ASTM F1952 for downhill mountain biking. Certifications ensure the helmet has passed rigorous testing for impact resistance and safety.

Scott Meldrum

Scott founded FunOutdoors to connect his professional life with his passions. When Scott isn’t working, you’ll find him on the bike trail, riding a wave, or skiing down a mountain.

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