If you ride downhill or technical enduro trails, you are going to need a proper full face mountain bike helmet. They give you the protection you need and help with your confidence. This is because you are not held back worrying about your pretty face. You may think they are overkill and you may find a full face mountain bike helmet bulky to start with. However, you will soon get used to it and forget it is there.
Manufacturers are now making full face mountain bike helmets super lightweight with clever ways of giving you as much protection as possible. This is because trails are getting more technical and riders are realising that more protection is best when riding them. However, previous full face mountain bike helmets got hot and sweaty and became uncomfortable when wearing them for long periods of time. This is especially a problem for enduro racers, as some racing series’ require the rider to wear a downhill rated full face mountain bike helmet to enter. Therefore, modern full face helmets have to be safe, comfortable and well ventilated.
Here are the best full face mountain bike helmets you can currently buy.
Troy Lee Designs Stage
You get the light and airy feel of an open face helmet with the Troy Lee Designs Stage helmet. However, it has great protection and has MIPS. You should be able to find the best fit by fine tuning it with the selection of internal pads it comes with.
Troy Lee Designs is known for making some of the best full face mountain bike helmets around. And the TLD Stage is true to the brand with a bold motocross inspired design.
The Stage is not the lightest helmet on this list, but it is still a very lightweight option.
It comes with ten different inserts that are all interchangeable. This is so you can fine tune the fit, to to get the comfort just right.
Protection comes from the Polylite shell and the expanded polystyrene and polypropylene foam internals. The polypropylene is the softer of the two foams and makes up the inner layer. The Stage has MIPS technology to reduce the rotational forces going in to your head when you crash, which is always a confidence booster.
The TLD Stage is quite well ventilated. It has eleven ventilation holes, but they don’t see to effect the rigidity of the helmet. But, they do let in a nice amount of fresh air to keep you cool. These actually give a similar sensation to riding with an open face helmet, especially as you don’t have cheek pads that wrap around your jaw, like you get with other full face mountain bike helmets.
The Stage is marketed as an enduro helmet, but it is downhill rated, so you can wear it for racing.
The faster on the chinstrap, is magnetic. This is a feature we are seeing on more mountain bike helmets these days. I really like it, as you can easily fasten and unfasten it, even with a gloved hand.
- POLYLITE Shell construction with fibre reinforcement
- DUAL DENSITY EPS co-moulded with EPP combine to safely manage high and low-speed impact energy (PATENT PENDING)
- POLYACRYLITE injected chinbar with EXOskeleton reinforcement
- 11 High Flow air intakes and 14 Open Core exhaust ports with deep max air flow internal channeling
- FIDLOCK magnetic buckle system
- MIPS brain protection system reduces rotational forces to the brain in certain crash scenarios
- X-static pure silver comfort liner delivers high performance odor protection and quick-dry moisture wicking (*Helmet includes 2 liners – 13/10mm and 2 neck rolls 25/15mm)
- JAWPAD / lo-profile cheekpads use Xstatic fabric and super soft interior surface for maximum comfort and breathability (*includes 3 sizes – 35/25/15mm)
- EXCEEDS CERTIFICATIONS: CPSC 1203, CE EN1078, ASTM F1952, ASTM F2032, and AS/NZS 2063-2008
- 690 grams (1.5 lbs) size M/L
Fox Racing ProFrame
A fantastic full face mountain bike helmet, with a focus on ventilation. It is lightweight for a full face mountain bike helmet, but gives you way more protection than a half shell. The ProFrame is ideal for bike park days and trips to the alps, or for those who want a bit more protection, but don’t want a sweaty head.
The Fox ProFrame full face mountain bike helmet is designed with “open face” breathability. Fox’s aim for this helmet is to have the protection of a full face mountain bike helmet with maximum airflow. I can tell you…..it works!
It has huge holes in the chin bar to allow the air in. The chin bar has a padded rubber material that doesn’t touch your skin and detachable cheek pads. The helmet’s pads come in different sizes, allowing you to tweak the fit and comfort to how you want it. Which negates the need for an adjustable retention device, so it hasn’t got one.
Protection comes from a high density expanded polystyrene and MIPS. I recommend buying helmets with MIPS or an equivalent technology. A nice little feature on the Proframe, is the magnetic buckle to make it easier to secure the helmet with gloves on.
The peak is fixed, but doesn’t obscure your vision and will obviously accommodate your goggles. There is a molding on the back of the helmet to ensure your goggle strap doesn’t slip at all.
- Fox racing’s lightest DH approved full frame helmet
- Fox integrated chin bar
- Highly breathable liner system
- 24 big bore vents
- Fixed visor
- Fidlock® Snap helmet buckle
- MIPS™ (Multiple Impact Protection System)
- Dual-density Varizorb™ EPS liner
- Weight: 750g (size M)
The iXS Trigger FF is a super lightweight full face mountain bike helmet. With aggressive enduro and downhill riding in mind, this should keep your head protected while allowing good airflow to prevent you boiling your noggin.
This full face mountain bike helmet is designed to provide the breathability and ventilation you get with an open face helmet with full face protection. iXS claim that it is the lightest full face helmet on the market right now at around 660g for the medium/large size. However, the Endura MT500 (see below) weighs in less, but not enough to really make much difference.
The iXS Trigger FF is fully downhill rated, therefore you will be able to wear it for racing. This is thanks to the internal X-Frame in moulded construction.
Finding one that fits you well should be pretty easy, as it comes in five different sizes. One of the comfort features this helmet has, is the spacing around the ears. It has nice recesses for your ears to sit in to eliminate the pressure points you sometimes get on your ears.. The 3D moulded cheek pads wick away sweat exceptionally well and are very comfortable
It is very well ventilated, with 22 vents that channel air over your head. This helps your head stay comfortable no matter what the weather is. You should never be too hot or cold with this full face helmet.
The visor is large enough to provide your face with the necessary protection from the elements. But, it is also large enough to accommodate a GoPro mount. The visor is also adjustable. This is important if you like somewhere to put your goggles when you are not wearing them.
- New patented in-mould technology
- External & internal ventilation channels
- Goggle compatible adjustable visor
- Precision interlocking
- ErgoFit UltraTM system for horizontal and vertical adjustment
- Fidlock magnetic closure
- EN1078, CPSC, ASTM, KC
- +/- 595g (SM 54-58cm), +/- 660g (ML 58-62cm)
Endura MT500 Full Face
The Endura MT500 Full Face Helmet is super lightweight and very well ventilated. It is hard to believe when you pick not up that it is downhill certified.It has a unique construction made from a honeycomb style layer. This is what gives the helmet its strength and ventilation.
This is what I will probably replace my Bell Super 3R with when the time comes. If you want something for riding enduro all day, this is the helmet for you.
These are the best full face mountain bike helmets you can buy right now
You get what you pay for when it comes to a full face mountain bike helmet. Buy don’t automatically go for something expensive because it looks good. It needs you fit your head perfectly, so if it is wrong send it back and try another one. Please let me know your thoughts and questions in the comments section below. Also, don’t forget to sign up for the MTB-Threads newsletter!
If you want to try an alternative full face mountain bike helmet, you may be interested in the Bell Super 3 R. It has a removable chin bar, giving you two helmets in one.