Best Dirt Bike Helmet in 2021

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You don’t buy a dirt bike helmet every day, but exchanging your old helmet for a new one is done every once in a while.

Maybe the lid has suffered an impact. Perhaps the old helmet got worn out. Perhaps this is your first dirt bike helmet purchase, or you want to get a brand-new one.

Whatever the reason, we’d like to help you find the best dirt bike helmet for you. We’ve compiled a list of the top five dirt bike helmets to consider.

We’ve also provided you with a buyer’s guide and answered some of the most common questions about this type of helmet.

Comparison Chart

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O’Neal 2Series Adult Helmet, Spyde (Black/Hi-Vis, LG)
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AHR H-VEN20 DOT Outdoor Adult Full Face MX Helmet Motocross Off-Road Dirt Bike Motorcycle ATV XL
Troy Lee Designs SE4 Polyacrylite Mono Off-Road Motocross Helmet (Black, Medium)
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ILM Adult ATV Motocross Off-Road Street Dirt Bike Full Face Motorcycle Helmet DOT Approved Dual Sports Suits Men Women(L Matte Black)
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Senhill DOT Motocross Helmet Unisex Offroad Helmet Dirt Bike ATV Motorcycle Helmet Gloves Goggles (Black, L)

Best Dirt Bike Helmet Models

O’Neal 2Series Spyde

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A lightweight, comfortable dirt bike helmet from a renowned manufacturer, O’Neal.

Product Highlights

Many consider O’Neal one of the forefathers of dirt bike racing gear. The company’s founder, Jim O’Neal, saw an opportunity and seized it. Over the years, dirt bike gear manufacturers have sprung up all over the world. Still, the O’Neal name is a symbol of quality.

The 2Series helmet was released a few years ago, and it remains one of the most affordable options from O’Neal. But don’t let the humble price tag fool you – we’re talking about a brilliantly designed model.

This dirt bike helmet model comes in a variety of cool color design options. This will appeal to many, but every experienced off-road bike rider knows that protection always comes before aesthetics.

With the O’Neal 2Series Spyde helmet, you won’t have to compromise the looks for the sake of safety. It easily surpasses the DOT certification requirements.

The ventilation system of this model is particularly prominent. The strategically placed ventilation ports help ensure the best airflow possible, expelling the hot air out of the helmet’s back, allowing the cool air to circulate.

At 1,450 grams, O’Neal 2Series Spyde is lightweight, meaning no neck soreness and better riding posture. Fortunately, the helmet doesn’t owe this light weight to any lack of padding.

The inside of the Spyde is soft and comfortable. Plus, the liner is removable for washing. Even though you won’t sweat too much, you’ll get the benefit of always putting on a fresh helmet.

The Good

Given the name behind it, and when you consider its quality build, the O’Neal 2Series Spyde off-road helmet is more than conveniently priced.

It combines a great aesthetic with good safety features, which is always a huge plus. It delivers brilliant airflow; plus, its lining is machine washable. Freshness is the name of the game here.

The Bad

Unfortunately, this helmet runs a tad small. This has been done for a snug fit (safety), but it does compromise comfort.

So, if you can’t try this helmet on before buying it, consider the fact that it runs small. It’s not the best model on the market, but at this price, it won’t disappoint you.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Great airflow
  • Brilliant aesthetic options
  • Soft, comfy interior

Cons

Runs a bit small

AHR H-VEN20 DOT

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A very cheap dirt bike helmet with surprising quality.

Product Highlights

If you’re looking at this helmet’s price and wondering about safety, you can rest easy – the “DOT” in the name of this product means it’s DOT-certified.

Bike safety products don’t get a DOT certification just like that, so expect satisfactory safety standards.

At 1,600 grams, it might not be the lightest model, but it’s still light. The fact that you’ll hardly feel this model on your head doesn’t mean that it hasn’t met the DOT safety standard requirements.

Don’t think that this is the safest, most secure helmet model on the market. Still, it’s capable of protecting your head from most dirt bike-related trauma.

The shell is made out of ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene), which ensures its favorable weight and resilience. The liner is fully vented and made out of EPS (Expanded polystyrene) for added protection and wearing comfort.

Both the liner and the cheek pad are easily removable and washable using mild soapy water. This will make sure that your helmet’s interior remains constantly fresh.

Unfortunately, the foam will wear down after a while.

The Good

This model is incredibly cheap while still offering tremendous amounts of protection, a lot of comfort, and excellent airflow. Another huge plus with the model is its weight.

At 1,600 grams, the weight is spot-on. Yes, the AHR H-VEN20 DOT is a perfect model for your riding companion. Still, it can easily replace your primary helmet, as well.

The Bad

The EPS foam inside the helmet will wear down after a while. When it does so, it gets slightly unpleasant. Still, an occasional relining investment beats paying for more expensive helmets; that’s how cheap this model is.

Pros

  • Very cheap
  • Extremely lightweight
  • Sturdy and safe
  • Well-ventilated

Cons

Foam lining wears down

Troy Lee Designs SE4

A top-of-the-line helmet with advanced safety features.

Product Highlights

The price of the Troy Lee Designs SE4 helmet is steep; no one’s denying that. But the features that you get with this model justify the price tag.

The SE4 boasts a carbon/Kevlar composite in its shell construction. In addition to the standard DOT certification, this model Boasts MIPS (Multi-directional Impact Protection System). Thanks to this system, the SE4 helmet slides relative to the wearer’s head, meaning more rotational protection. This kind of protection is particularly effective for angled impacts.

In addition to its positive airflow qualities, the chin bar is reinforced using expanded polypropylene, which protects the overall helmet’s construction.

The emergency release system is held with magnets. It allows quick and safe removal in case of injury involving the neck or the spine.

The helmet itself is also SNELL- and CE-certified.

There are 22 high-flow intakes and six exhaust ports on this helmet, which allow for fantastic airflow.

Although the SE4 offers excellent ventilation, it helps diminish the effect of sweat and moisture even further, thanks to the Dri-Lex and Cool Max moisture-wicking materials.

The 2017 Troy Lee Designs SE4 is definitely not the lightest helmet on the planet. Still, it sits comfortably at 1,325 grams, which is incredibly light, especially when you consider its carbon/Kevlar build.

The fit is another thing that is perfectly on point with this helmet. It’s snug enough, but not to the point of discomfort. It will also fit any dirt bike goggle type on the market.

The Good

The 2017 Troy Lee Designs SE4 is unparalleled when it comes to its protective features. Along with the DOT, SNELL, and CE certifications, the integrated MIPS technology makes this helmet incredibly safe.

Its Kevlar build doesn’t stand in the way of comfort, as it provides a very snug, very comfy fit. The interior lining is long-lasting, comfortable, and moisture-wicking.

The Bad

Comfortable as it is, this helmet runs a bit large, which is an important thing to consider. Purchasing a product that is this expensive without having the chance to try it out is somewhat risky.

Pros

  • Incredibly safe
  • Snug and very comfortable fit
  • Comfy interior with moisture-wicking
  • Excellent airflow

Cons

Runs a bit large

ILM Adult ATV Helmet

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An affordable dirt bike helmet for dirt bikes and ATVs.

Product Highlights

At first glance, this ILM helmet looks much more expensive than it really is. But it’s not just the aesthetics that make this dirt bike helmet an excellent choice for dirt bike riders.

Although most affordable dirt bike helmet shells are ABS, this one feels particularly well-fitted and constructed.

What you don’t get with most cheap helmets is a removable inner lining. After a couple of sweaty rides without washing the lining, you’ll cringe before putting the helmet on.

This model allows you to take the lining out and wash it after each use, providing a fresh riding experience. Use mild soapy water when washing the lining, and make sure that it’s completely dry before putting it back in.

The sun visor on this helmet is more adjustable than most models, especially in this price range. Even a slight sun visor adjustment can provide better visibility and, therefore, performance improvement.

The helmet’s “edgy” design isn’t there just for show (although it does make it look cool). Thanks to its shape, the ILM Adult ATV Helmet is very aerodynamic and diverse.

The included air vents aren’t the best on the market and are rather typical. Still, for a price this low, you’d expect a much worse airflow.

Weighing slightly over 1,900 grams, don’t expect this helmet to be lightweight. Neck soreness and bad posture are to be expected here, despite all the mentioned upshots. This is why the ILM Adult ATV is usually used as an extra helmet for when you take someone on a ride-along.

Of course, many riders use this one, but better options on the market exist. For a higher price, that is.

The Good

Affordability – given all the features and benefits you get with this model – is the No. 1 selling point. You can rest assured that it will last you quite a while, and don’t think that you’re going to have to change the inner lining anytime soon. So, as far as cheap helmets go, this is a solid choice.

The Bad

Unfortunately, at 1,900 grams, the ILM Adult ATV is relatively heavy. This means diminished stability while riding, bad posture, and overall neck soreness. If you aren’t used to an expensive model, though, you might like this one.

Pros

  • Solid and safe
  • Aerodynamic
  • Good airflow
  • Affordable

Cons

Somewhat heavy

Senhill DOT Motocross Helmet

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A cheap helmet with gloves and goggles.

Product Highlights

When buying most dirt bike helmets, you expect to get the helmet itself, maybe a microfiber cloth and some maintenance equipment, if you’re lucky.

The Senhill DOT Motocross Helmet comes with a pair of gloves and goggles. Don’t expect a high price point, either. This is what makes this model so perfect for a beginner dirt biker.

At a tad over 950 grams, the Senhill DOT Motocross Helmet is borderline ridiculously lightweight. This might be its most significant selling point. It’s also the reason why many off-road riders opt for this helmet as a spare one (just in case someone comes for a ride-along).

However, many riders out there claim that they’ve replaced their primary helmet with this one. Yes, that’s how good it is.

The padding might not be too resilient, but it’s removable and washable, meaning it’s also replaceable. If you’re looking for more comfortable padding options, use the money you didn’t spend on gloves and goggles to go with the helmet.

Some people will find the fit here ideal. Others will find it a bit too tight or loose. There is no guarantee that you’ll fit this helmet perfectly. But make no mistake, we’re talking about a beginner’s helmet here. If you want a more professional piece of equipment, you’re going to have to pay for it.

The Good

You can equip yourself with a decent helmet, a pair of gloves, and a pair of goggles for a very low price.

Essentially, the moment you get this helmet, you can sit on your dirt bike and give the helmet, gloves, and goggles a test run. It’s also very lightweight – you won’t even feel it on your head after wearing it for a while.

The Bad

The fit might not be ideal for you. It might end up a perfect match, but the helmet doesn’t have a lot of flexibility in this department. The same goes for complementary gloves and goggles.

Pros

  • You get extra gloves and goggles
  • Very lightweight
  • Removable padding
  • Cheap

Cons

Fit not perfect

Buyer’s Guide

We hope that you can already put your finger on your perfect helmet from the list above. But you may want to try browsing some models on your own.

Even if you’ve found the ideal model on our list, you should still know what to pay attention to. In this buyer’s guide, we’ve outlined five key points to look out for when choosing the best dirt bike helmet for your needs.

Types of Dirt Bike Helmets

There are two types of dirt bike helmets. There are typical off-road helmets made explicitly for off-road purposes. Then, there are dual-sport models.

An off-road helmet is made for bike rides away from the streets and on the dirt. The visors on these models are much larger than that of other helmet types. This is immensely important for off-road riding, as you’ll want the best possible field of view.

But off-road helmets rarely offer eye protection. Without a visor, it’s essential that you bring along a pair of quality dirt bike goggles with you.

Most off-road helmets have a protruded chin bar, to ensure better airflow. Minimum weight, maximum protection, and excellent ventilation are the name of the game here.

Dual-sport helmets are basically where a full-face and an off-road helmet meet. They are of similar construction as off-road helmets but offer more padding and more comfort.

Additionally, dual-sport helmets are usually full-face models. This helmet type is perfect for mixed terrain use. For instance, when your route for the day is partly on the road and partly in the dirt.

Make no mistake, though; if you’re looking for a dirt-riding-specific helmet, you should go with the more terrain-specific choice. This is why all five of the helmets mentioned above are off-road models.

Weight and Protection

The weight is the most understated aspect of a dirt bike helmet, or any bike helmet, for that matter. Some people simply forget to take a helmet’s weight into account.

Make no mistake, though, this plays an absolutely essential role in dirt bike riding. For one, a heavy helmet encourages a bad riding posture. Plus, you can expect a sore neck after a long day of riding with a heavy helmet.

As a rule of thumb, the heavier the helmet, the hotter it is to ride in, which means another point for the discomfort column.

The goal here is to forget that you’re wearing a helmet while riding. When browsing for a dirt bike helmet, stay in the 1,600-gram ballpark. Anything above this will start taking its toll.

Still, if you’ve found the perfect helmet, don’t let the extra 50 grams scare you. Making an exception for 1,650 grams is okay.

Naturally, lightweight should never come at the price of a helmet’s safety. A cheap plastic helmet might be light weight but won’t offer any protection. So, always look for protection first and light weight second.

Every single helmet in the above list is DOT-certified, which presents a solid safety guideline. If you’re looking for a helmet on your own, make sure that the model you’ve got your eyes on is DOT-, or at least SNELL-certified.

Ventilation and Airflow

If you’re a snowcross racer, you’re on the lookout for a helmet that doesn’t offer too much ventilation. However, when it comes to dirt bike helmets, ventilation is vital.

There is nothing worse than a helmet on your head that’s full of sweat; it’s distracting, it’s uncomfortable, and it will put a dent in your performance.

Depending on how much you sweat, you’ll want to carefully consider the ventilation and airflow properties of any given helmet.

The problem with the lack of airflow and ventilation isn’t just sweat. Even if you don’t get sweaty, improper ventilation will fail to bring fresh air into the helmet, which is never good for focus and performance.

As mentioned earlier, the accentuated chin bar on off-road helmets ensures better airflow.

When you put on a helmet, you may not notice the difference, but if you put a lid on the chin bar, you’ll see how horrible the off-road riding experience can get. This is why most off-road helmets don’t feature such a lid. Dual-sport helmets, however, do – for on-road riding.

The accentuated chin on dual-sport helmets doesn’t perform as well as the one found on most off-road helmets. This is why off-road helmets usually offer much better ventilation and airflow.

Helmet Fit

Although most dirt bike helmets will claim that they will fit all head sizes, there is a way to test whether a helmet fits you. Actually, there are few things to keep in mind.

For one, a helmet should feel a tad snug as you put it on and take it off. But it shouldn’t be too snug to the point where it’s painful or uncomfortable. Additionally, if a helmet doesn’t feel sung enough, adjust the strap; it may do the trick.

If you’re unsure whether the helmet is sung enough, put it on, tighten the chin strap (but not past the point of comfort), and then shake your head in all directions.

Make sure that you’re shaking hard enough; dirt biking will have you hitting bumps all the time.

Try putting one finger between your forehead and the helmet’s padding. If the finger fits, go with a smaller helmet size.

Ask a friend or a bike equipment store employee to try rolling the product off your head. Have them push up from the helmet’s base in the back. If they manage to take the helmet off, that means that it isn’t safe enough – a crash will dislodge it, leaving you unprotected.

Advanced Safety Technologies

DOT certification should go without saying when choosing a dirt bike helmet. Even if a product offers some incredibly advanced and fancy safety features, don’t buy it unless it’s DOT-certified.

However, if you see DOT certification on the model’s packaging, you can proceed to take a look at other listed safety features.

Here’s an example of such a feature.

Multi-Directional Impact Protection System, or MIPS, is slowly turning into quite an industry standard.

What this technology does, is it actually encourages your head to slightly rotate inside the helmet. This reduces the effect of rotational forces on your brain, thereby diminishing the potential and severity of brain concussions.

There are various other advanced safety technology features that you’ll find on various dirt bike helmets.

Still, the MIPS is definitely the one to keep your eye out for. In any case, don’t get a helmet that is not DOT – or at least SNELL-certified.

FAQs

How Much Does a Dirt Bike Helmet Weigh?

Dirt bike helmets can weigh anywhere between 950 grams and two kilograms. The lightest model on the market isn’t necessarily the best choice on the market, and a bit of extra weight doesn’t make a model “bad.”

Ideally, though, as mentioned in our Buyer’s Guide, you’ll want to aim for 1,600 grams. The lighter, the better, but anything around the 1,600-mark is considered decent. Provided the helmet offers proper protection, of course.

How Strong is a Dirt Bike Helmet?

Dirt biking is considered an extreme sport. This means that it’s relatively dangerous. Dirt roads are unpredictable, and a simple mistake can have fatal consequences. It is, therefore, absolutely essential that you use proper head protection.

Dirt bike helmets are strong and resilient and will help protect you against head injury. Some models feature additional safety features that protect against concussions. So, the answer here is a good dirt bike helmet is considerably strong.

How to Maintain a Dirt Bike Helmet?

Dirt bike helmets, quite expectedly, are frequently exposed to dusty and dirty environments. Proper cleaning and maintenance on the outer part of a dirt bike helmet are necessary.

A soap and grease remover wash after every dirt biking session should do the trick. You’ll want your helmet to be as clean as possible.

No matter how good the airflow that a helmet provides, sweating and general moisture should be expected.

The lining is removed and washed using a mild soap to avoid undesirable smells. If your helmet doesn’t have removable padding, there isn’t much you can do. Use wet wipes to clean things up after each riding session.

Can You Use a Dirt Bike Helmet for Mountain Biking?

Dirt bike helmets offer more protection than mountain bike helmets. So, if you happen to fall during mountain biking, your head is safer inside a dirt bike helmet.

Compared to mountain bike headgear, dirt bike helmets are heavier, more constricted, and offer limited movement.

So, while dirt bike helmets provide more protection, they might increase the probability of mountain biking accidents. If you have to use a dirt bike helmet for mountain biking, though, get the lightest one possible.

Final Verdict

The Troy Lee Designs SE4 helmet is, without a doubt, the best model on the list. It has an extremely resilient and safe carbon/Kevlar composite shell and offers advanced MIPS protection. Its 22 high-flow intakes and six exhaust ports make for fantastic airflow.

Finally, even without the SE4’s excellent protective options, 1,325 grams is incredibly light.

If your aim is maximum safety, comfort, and build quality, you’re going to have to set aside a bit of money for a helmet like the SE4.

But if you’re looking for a more affordable alternative, the Senhill DOT is both very cheap and comes with a pair of gloves and dirt bike goggles. In the end, it all depends on personal preference.

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