When it comes to being protected while you are on your bike and following where the road (or trail) takes you, nothing compares to the security and safety of a full face helmet. While there are many different options on the market for helmets, including half helmets and three-quarter helmets, it’s the trusty full face helmet that gives your noggin the most protection and that’s why we give it two thumbs up. While your state may not specifically require a full face helmet (or any helmet at all), we suggest you give them a hard look for their stellar safety features. Never forget the sane rider’s mantra: “Ride safe, ride again.” A full face helmet helps you do this.
Of course, there are many different full face helmets to choose from. Your end choice of helmet will likely be determined by the way that you ride. Read our guide below to get an approximation of which variety of full face helmet might be the best choice for you.
Street Full-Face Helmets
This is the most common variety of helmet chosen by those who stay on paved roads. A Street Full Face helmet should fit snugly around your head, but allow for plenty of motion. There should be secure padding, in other words, but if you feel like your skull is being crushed you probably need a bigger size.
Street full face helmets are especially good for making riding at higher speeds more comfortable. Their design increases your aerodynamic qualities, and they also help your head resist wind motion. Many riders prefer them to riding with no helmet for this reason. However, some riders say that a street full face helmet limits their range of motion. These helmets also tend to be heavier than other kinds of helmets, which can be burdensome for riders who are in the saddle for hours.
Additionally these full face helmets are more expensive than other kinds of helmets. Fortunately, there are plenty of helmets at all price points. You can spend as little as $100 on a street full face helmet, or up to over a thousand. There are many different options for you in the street full face helmet market.
Off-Road and Motocross Helmets
As it is highly likely that people who choose an off-road or Motocross helmet are going to be riding on bumpy terrain, these helmets are designed to cover most of your face to offer high levels of protection. They come with a distinctive visor design, which helps keep the sun out of your eyes and improves your ability to see on trails.
These helmets tend to offer high levels of ventilation to promote comfort, since most of the time you’ll be riding at slower speeds and thus won’t be exposed to as much airflow as you might while on pavement. They also offer open face plates so that you can wear goggles. The extended protrusion on the top of the helmet helps prevent you from getting hit directly in the face with a branch, which is never a good day on the trail when it happens. Plus, this design can help you avoid being slapped in the face by another rider’s roostertail of dirt if somebody is riding in front of you.
However, they tend to be a lot less useful at high speeds, since they catch the wind more than street full face helmets do.
Modular helmets are the Transformers of full face helmets. They combine elements of a 3/4 helmet with a full-face helmet. Basically, the bottom section can flip up to turn the helmet into a 3/4 style. These are very useful for riders who may be cruising with others and need to communicate frequently; simply flip up the bottom of the helmet to talk. However, it is not recommended for riders to actually operate the motorcycle with the helmet in the 3/4 position.
In essence, if you’re the kind of person who really doesn’t like taking off and putting on your helmet repeatedly while riding, a modular helmet may offer the comfort and convenience that you are looking for.
The hybrid helmet is the helmet-based equal to the dual-sport motorcycle. Basically, these helmets can be worn on both the road and on the trail. They are more aerodynamic than off-road helmets, but resemble off-road helmets a bit more with a wider visor and the prominent jutting chin piece.
If you’re the type of rider who likes to ride your bike to the trail and then immediately hop in the dirt, having a Hybrid helmet may be the right choice for you. However, these helmets still offer higher wind resistance at higher speeds, so if you spend most of your time on the pavement you may still wish to invest in a street-specific full face helmet. However, if you participate in both off-road and on-road driving and can only afford one helmet, a hybrid helmet certainly fits the bill.
The Best Helmet For You
There is no actual magic formula when it comes to picking out the best helmet for you. A good place to start, though, is by taking the way that you normally ride into consideration. Obviously, if you spend all of your time on pavement, you’ll probably either want to get a modular or a regular street full face helmet. If you only ride on dirt, then having an off-road helmet is going to benefit you the most.
Again, we highly recommend a full face helmet for maximum safety while on the road. While nobody likes to think about taking a spill while they are on their bike, the possibility is always there. Wearing a full face helmet can go a long way toward ensuring that if you do take that fall, you can get up again.
The most important thing is to take your time when considering the selection of full face helmets available to you. There are literally thousands of helmets out there to choose from, so do your research. with enough time and consideration, the best full face helmets will make themselves known to you.