Complete Guide to Full Face Mountain Bike Helmets


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best full face mountain bike helmets
If you have progressed from trail riding to full on downhill (DH) or freeriding, you will need to upgrade your helmet to a full face. Downhill is much more dangerous due to the speeds and risk of collision. Below we have made your buying decision simpler,  with reviews of the 12 top full face mountain bike helmets that provide best protection.
We have also narrowed these down to the top 3 products if you are in a hurry below.

Editor’s Choice: Top 3 Full Face MTB Helmets 2020

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.

Facts:
Impact Absorption: EPS foam.
Skin: Polycarbonate.
Vents: 11.
Weight: 2.5 pounds (1.13 kg).
Visor: Removable.

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 M1 Full Face Mountain Bike Helmet
27 Reviews
7iDP M1 Full Face Mountain Bike Helmet

  • Lightweight
  • Suitable for Googles
  • 17 vents
  • Good color choice

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 Sanction Downhill Full Face Helmet
480 Reviews
Bell Sanction Downhill Full Face Helmet

  • Lightweight ABS shell
  • Great with Googles
  • Very comfortable
  • Fully certified

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!

>> Read also our guide to the top helmet cameras to buy

Demon Podium Full Face MTB Helmet

Demon Podium Full Face Mountain Bike Helmet
331 Reviews
Demon Podium Full Face Mountain Bike Helmet

  • Top helmet brand with awesome design
  • Great with Googles
  • Only weighs just over 2lb
  • Comes with helmet bag for track days out

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.

Facts:
Impact absorption: EPS foam.
Skin: Polycarbonate.
Vents: 13.
Weight: 2.13 pounds (0.97 kg).
Visor: Removable.

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.

https://youtu.be/2AaSYlca-YY

Bell Super 2R MTB Helmet

Bell Super 2R Full Face Helmet
28 Reviews
Bell Super 2R Full Face Helmet

  • Top helmet brand
  • Fully vented design
  • Lightweight
  • Awesome matt black finish

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

Giro Switchblade MIPS MTB Helmet
122 Reviews
Giro Switchblade MIPS MTB Helmet

  • More air vents then any other helmet
  • Multi certifications passing top safety test
  • Good color
  • Chinbar can be removed

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) 

Fox Racing Rampage Pro Carbon
1 Reviews
Fox Racing Rampage Pro Carbon

  • Super lighweight carbon shell
  • EPS foam linning
  • Break-away visor
  • Matching Fox goggles available as extra

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.

Read our guide to the best Fox helmets (Non full)

661 Complete MTB Helmet (Best cheap full face helmet)

661 Complete Helmet
24 Reviews
661 Complete Helmet

  • Lightweight
  • Well padded foam linning
  • Great vision
  • Googles optional

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 Coron Bike Helmet

  • Lightweight M force shell
  • Well paddedlinning
  • POC designed ear chambers for improved balance
  • Snap-off visor

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)

Troy Lee Designs Composite Cadence Adult D3 Bike Sports BMX Helmet - Black/Yellow/Large
1 Reviews
Troy Lee Designs Composite Cadence Adult D3 Bike Sports BMX Helmet - Black/Yellow/Large
  • 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

https://vimeo.com/235215203

Full Face Helmet Sizing Chart

MTB helmet sizing chart by Sauserwind.com

Helmet Resources and Testing

Guide to Government Helmet Safety Certification