The 7 Best Mountain Bike Helmets
This wiki has been updated 21 times since it was first published in August of 2019. If you do a lot of mountain biking, it's just a matter of time before you take a good spill, especially if you're an aggressive rider. Our list includes only MTB helmets with a multidirectional impact protection system, or MIPS, or the newer SPIN technology. These decrease the transfer of energy to the brain during certain types of crash, reducing the chance of serious head injury. When users buy our independently chosen editorial selections, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
August 14, 2019:
You have a good lid for your road bike, so do you really need a dedicated helmet for your mountain bike? In a word: yes! MTB helmets offer more coverage than road bikes, especially for the temples and the back of your head, to better protect you when you fall in uneven, rock-strewn terrain.
Most of our selections feature a multi-directional impact protection system (MIPS), which is a relatively recent technology that decreases the transfer of rotational energies to your brain during some types of impact, decreasing your chances of serious brain injury. The only exception is the POC Octal X, which includes a MIPS-like system called SPIN (Shearing Pad INside) that works the same way. Both systems feature a free-floating layer of material that allows the helmet to slide relative to the head.
Many of our selections also feature an in-mold outer shell, which means the shell is bonded to the expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam during manufacturing, which makes for a sturdier product.
You can find cheaper helmets than our selections, but your safety is one area where you shouldn't compromise to save a few bucks. That's why we like the Bell Nomad--it offers some of the features of high-end models, so you don't have to compromise, but without the high-end price. If you want the best of all worlds, including a visor that accommodates goggles, then it's hard to go wrong with the Giro Chronicle MIPS.