Editor's Choice: Top 3 Full Face MTB Helmets 2020
Full Face Mountain Bike Helmet FAQs
What are full face mountain bike helmets used for?
Full face helmets are generally used for downhill (DH) mountain bike riding and freestyle.
How do I know my size?
To find your helmet size, simply measure the circumference of your head with a tape measure. See our sizing chart at the end of the article.
When do MTB helmets need to be replaced?
If you have ever had a bad crash and your helmet hit the floor with considerable impact, the helmet should be replaced.
Can a full face MTB helmet be washed?
Yes. Most full faced helmets have a removable inner lining that can be washed.
How are full face MTB helmets tested?
Most helmets are drop tested or impact tested. More advanced testing use MIPS, which tests multi directional impacts. See this video at the end of this article.
Will a full face MTB helmet save my life?
Yes. As off-road mountain bike riding increases in popularity, the number of serious accidents has increased dramatically over the last five years. A proper helmet should be worn at all times.
- 1 How We Tested These Helmets
- 2 Leatt — DBX 3.0 Enduro 2020
- 3 Fox Proframe Helmet
- 4 Fox Head Rampage Full Race MTB Helmet
- 5 7iDP M1 Full Face MTB Helmet
- 6 Bell Sanction Downhill MTB Helmet
- 7 Demon Podium Full Face MTB Helmet
- 8 Bell Super 2R MTB Helmet
- 9 Giro Switchblade MIPS MTB Helmet
- 10 Fox Racing Rampage Pro Carbon (RPC) Helmet with MIPS (Best Pro Helmet)
- 11 661 Complete MTB Helmet (Best cheap full face helmet)
- 12 POC Coron Full Face Bicycle Helmet (Best Looking Helmet)
- 13 Troy Lee Designs D3 Composite Helmet Cadence (Best High End Helmet)
- 14 MIPS Helmets and How They are Tested
- 15 Helmet Resources and Testing
How We Tested These Helmets
All the helmets on this page have been manually reviewed. Among our team of writers, researchers and developers, we own most of these helmets. The ones we do not own were borrowed from friends at our Palo Alto Mountain bike club.
The main criteria for reviewing these helmets were:
Comfort – making sure the helmets had good inner padding and were well ventilated
Weight – We weighed each helmet, only lightweight helmets made the cut (Under 3lb)
Protection system – Each helmet was researched using the manufacturer’s data to see the type of system used e.g MIPS
Safety certification – we made sure each helmet had CE EN 1078 certification
Note: Non of these full face helmets are DOT approved – they are for mountain bike riding and not suitable for motorcycle use
Leatt — DBX 3.0 Enduro 2020
Leattt DBX 3.0 Enduro is a trail riding helmet, with an impressive number of safety features that will boost the confidence of a downhill rider. Polycarbonate outer-skin supplies strong protection from punctures and other objects. While polycarbonate still has the flexibility to allow impacts though to the absorption layer.
Beneath the polycarbonate is a 3d in-molded V-foam for impact protection. The V-shapes in the foam and many foam densities allow for a staged approach to absorbing impacts of different angles. The DBX 3.0 Enduro also has something called 360o Turbine Technology. 360o T.T. absorbs twisting impacts and reduces the chances of concussion, like MIPS in other helmets.
Impact Absorption: Dual-density Varizorb™ EPS liner.
Weight: 1.65 pounds (0.75 kg).
Visor: Adjustable, Ventilated, and breakaway.
There is an excessive number of air vents on the helmet, and the inner liner is moisture-wicking and washable. The chin bar is also removable and has quick-release latches. The helmet has an innovative Fidlock™ chin buckle, which uses a magnet to find its position and aids in quick releasing. And there is a special hydration hole to feed a drinking tube through.
If you have a serious accident, Leatt has implemented their quick-to-remove cheek pads. By using these pads, it takes much less friction and tugging to remove the helmet. The sun-visor also has break-away bolts, to prevent the visor from catching and snatching the wearers head back.
Fox Proframe Helmet
Fox’s Proframe Full Face mountain bike helmet with a fixed chin bar. There is plenty of ventilation and protection from the elements while supplying good visibility to the wearer. This helmet has 24 ventilation ports, 15 intakes, and 9- exhaust ports. The internal liner is also anti-microbicidal and fast wicking to keep the rider comfortable in warm weather.
Fox also uses Fidlock™ Snap buckles on this helmet. It is possible to secure these buckles while wearing gloves, and in the same way, these buckles are easy to detach. The chin bar is a strong point of this helmet, with the certificates to prove as much. The visor is not adjustable, but it is replaceable, and its position supplies the greatest airflow into the helmet.
Impact absorption: 3D in-molded V-foam.
Weight: 1.65 pounds (0.75 kg), 0.83 pounds (0.38 kg) without chin bar.
The shell of the helmet uses MIPS™ to absorb rotational crash energy and reduce the chances of concussion or worse. MIPS has been around for a while now, and it is a tried and tested technology. The technology Varizorb™ uses dual-density EPS foam for inner-shell impact absorption.
This is a good-looking helmet and functional, the weight is well within comfortable levels, and it offers good protection. The clip-style chin buckle still seems like a less secure option over a D-ring, but that is difficult to test that unless you are in a crash with this helmet. And it is hard to find any other full-face helmets with this much ventilation.
Fox Head Rampage Full Race MTB Helmet
Fox racing needs no introduction if you are a regular Sauserwind reader, they produce high quality MTB helmets which are loved by pro riders. The helmet has an eleven vent air system and removable/washable inner lining. Lots of positive reviews make this full face helmet one of our top 3 buys.
We love the black matt finish on this Fox rampage helmet, but it does come in three other colors if you want to stand out. See also the carbon version below for competitive riders.
The Fox Rampage is a full-face downhill race helmet, with an integrated visor, and stiff outer shell. The outer shell of this helmet is fiberglass, which needless to say, adds to the weight. This helmet is a little over 2.5 pounds and is 25% heavier than a similar sized polycarbonate helmet.
Impact protection comes in the form of EPS foam, a standard material used for impact protection in helmets. The ventilation on this helmet is not great, with 11 vents in total. And all the vents are small with exception to the chin vent and the viewing hole.
Impact Absorption: EPS foam.
Weight: 2.5 pounds (1.13 kg).
In warmer weather, this helmet is going to get hot and sweaty, more so if wearing a mask. If you wear it in the winter, this lack of ventilation may be a plus. And it may seem old-school, but the D-ring chin buckle is still one of the best methods of securing a helmet.
Using fiberglass on a helmet is an older approach, yet it does have superior strength compared to some newer materials. But the weight that fiberglass adds is greater than any of the other benefits it may have. And fiberglass has a greater tendency to crack in light impacts than materials such as polycarbonate.
7iDP M1 Full Face MTB Helmet
7iDP specialize in mountain bike riding protection and offer a range of helmets and body armor. This full face helmet has a seventeen vent system and its USP is the large eye area for maximum visibility. Amazon buyers love this helmet due to the comfort and low weight.
Bell Sanction Downhill MTB Helmet
Bell is a US-based company that specializes in helmets for motorbikes and bicycles, with seventy years of manufacturing experience. Bell also partner the International Mountain Bike Association (IMBA) to help develop the industry and safety in the sport. The Bell Sanction Downhill helmet is an Amazon best seller with lots of positive reviews. The helmet is lightweight for a full face helmet, weighing in at 950g. The shell is hand laminated with fiberglass and is well ventilated.
These helmets are designed for kids or adults with small heads!
Demon Podium Full Face MTB Helmet
Another best seller on Amazon, the Demon Podium is an awesome helmet for under $200. the helmet was designed my Demon’s pro rider team and is made of a tough polycarbonate shell with thirteen well designed air vents. This helmet is very well ventilated and perfect for hot summer rides.The helmet has a removal and washable liner which is a great feature as full face helmets can tend to get smelly.
This full face helmet is also compatible with the brain teaser audio system
This full face mountain bike helmet from Demon United is for the downhill rider that wants to be comfortable and secure. The Podium has good ventilation and a hygienic liner. The outer shell is polycarbonate, which helps to reduce the weight and also gives superior puncture protection.
Podiums use MIPS to give the wearer rotational crash protection. With MIPS, the shell and the inner impact foam can rotate a small amount to absorb rotational energy. The ergonomic EPS impact foam fits snug to the rider’s head, yet still gives adequate ventilation. And the Podium uses a plastic clip-buckle strap, which is not as good or strong as a metal D-ring buckle.
Impact absorption: EPS foam.
Weight: 2.13 pounds (0.97 kg).
There is a washable removable inner liner. The liner helps to provide a more uniform flow of air around the head. This liner comes out in one piece when you want to wash it, and simple to put it back in place. The 13-air vents in and around this helmet will help to cool the wearer, but these vents are smaller than some other full-face helmets.
The chin guard is not removable, though the visor is, and it is even adjustable to vary the flow of air into the vents. Each vent has mesh over it to prevent debris and splashes from entering the helmet. And with each helmet bought, Demon United provides a bag to keep it scratch-free and clean before the ride.
Bell Super 2R MTB Helmet
Another top selling helmet from Bell. The Super 2R helmet’s main USP is the removable chin bar so you can also use it for general riding. The helmet also comes with dedicated camera mounts for capturing your epic rides. We love the oversized air vents which are great if full face helmets make you feel slightly claustrophobic.
Giro Switchblade MIPS MTB Helmet
Another great helmet from Giro with a removable chin guard and Gopro mounts. This full face helmet has a twenty vent cooling system which technically well designed.
The helmet comes in ten different color scheme and six different sizes. This is also a great kids starter helmet for BMX or DH MTB.
Fox Racing Rampage Pro Carbon (RPC) Helmet with MIPS (Best Pro Helmet)
The Rampage pro MTB helmet is made for competitive riders. It’s made of carbon which makes it extremely light compared to the others on our list, but you will pay the price for it. The RPC helmet has a 17 point ventilation system and luxury interior which makes it comfortable to wear. The helmet is built with Fox Racings’s MIPS system, which is a patented crash system to reduce brain injury. Crash test are done from varying angles, unlike standard test in which the helmet is dropped directly onto a hard surface.
The RPC comes in three different color schemes and weighs 5.1lbs.
661 Complete MTB Helmet (Best cheap full face helmet)
661 is a California company specializing in protective gear for cyclists. This helmet is amazing for the price (under $100) and comes in five different sizes and five color schemes.
Ideal if you are looking for a cheap full face MTB helmet for kids.
POC Coron Full Face Bicycle Helmet (Best Looking Helmet)
POC Sports is an award-winning Swedish based company that started out in protective ski gear and expanded into mountain bike helmets. They are now a big player in the MTB industry and are the official partners of the Cannondale-Garmin pro rider team.
The helmet is made of POC’s M-force shell which was designed in collaboration with their pro riders. The inside of the helmet has an EPP liner and superb ventilation system.
CERTIFICATIONS EN 1078, CPSC 12.03, AS/NZ 2063:2008, ASTM F1952
Troy Lee Designs D3 Composite Helmet Cadence (Best High End Helmet)
- Technologically advanced composite shell construction
- Digital wind tunnel-tested, aerodynamic shell design
- Revolutionary injection-molded air intake system
- DOT approved. Meets the FMVSS 218 Standard
Troy Lee has spent 30 years designing helmets for motocross and mountain bike riders. The D3 is an upgraded version of the D2 with added safety testing . This helmet has been around a few years and won numerous awards and competitions. The hardware is actually made of titanium which makes the helmet more expensive than most of its rivals. The helmet also comes in a carbon version which is much lighter, but obviously costs more:
MIPS Helmets and How They are Tested
What are MIPS helmets?
MIPS stands for Multi-directional Impact Protection System, pioneered by Hans von Holst and Peter Halldin from the Royal Institute of technology. The MIPS system uses a slip plane inside the helmet, similar to our brain’s protective system.
MIPS helmets provide added protection and well worth paying a little extra for, they could save your life.
Here’s a great video showing the MIPS helmets are tested
Full Face Helmet Sizing Chart
Helmet Resources and Testing
- Ultimate Guide to Mountain Bike Dropper Posts 2021 - February 8, 2021
- MTB Rear Shocks to Save Your Backside: Ultimate Guide for 2021 - February 6, 2021
- Best 26″ Mountain Bike Forks for a Bike Update - February 1, 2021