No one doubts the importance of wearing a good helmet when you’re out for a ride, but the better helmets on the market tend to get pricey. Luckily, there are sweet sales going on right now that can help save you a pile of cash and get you into a great helmet. There’s an old saying in off-road – “If you have a $10 head, wear a $10 helmet.” Premium helmets usually come with a premium price, but with that price comes levels of comfort and protection that don’t exist in an entry-level helmet. If you’ve been wanting a high-performance skid lid, now’s the time; Revzilla has markdowns on many of their top helmets, saving you a ton of cash while getting you the best protection you can get.
Why should you buy a good helmet?
Not all helmets are created equal, and construction can make a huge impact on performance. The outer shell is important, as it is the first point of contact between your skull and whatever is rushing towards it. Lower-end helmets have outer shells made of polycarbonate—a type of hardened plastic. There’s nothing wrong with a polycarbonate helmet, and if that is what your budget permits, by all means wear one! Better helmets have resin helmets made from a weave of different materials, such as fiberglass, Kevlar, or carbon fiber. These materials are going to be lighter and much stronger, giving you better protection.
Inside of the helmet is a foam liner designed to absorb and disperse the forces of impact. This is the real star of the show when you get into an accident. Due to the design and construction of a helmet’s foam liner, all helmets are a “one-and-done” use, meaning once you have had an accident, it’s time for a new helmet. They cannot be repaired, and once the foam is compacted, it will not deliver the same protection a second time. That’s the bummer about spending big bucks on a premium helmet, however it’s still much cheaper than an extended hospital stay, or worse a funeral.
The next layer of protection is the padded material that connects with your head. In most every helmet available today, this is removable for cleaning. It is also how helmets are sized to fit you perfectly. Usually the cheek pads in an off-road helmet are separate from the rest of the helmet and on premium helmets, are easily removed from the outside, allowing EMS personal to get your helmet off you in case of an accident.
How do you determine your helmet size?
A helmet manufacturer may produce three to four outer shell sizes, and then use the liner to double that amount. You want your helmet to fit snuggly and not wiggle on your head. To determine your size, measure two inches above your eyebrows around the widest circumference of your head and then match it to the sizing chart for each helmet. Each manufacturer is a little different, so do your research for the helmet you want.
Now that we’ve covered your shopping bases, here’s a look at some of our favorite off-road helmets that are rolled into the Revzilla sale we mentioned above.
The XD-4 from Arai is a premium crossover helmet from a company that only produces premium helmets. Arai doesn’t have a bargain line, instead focusing on levels of protection and comfort that are hard to beat. They meet or exceed the highest levels of safety ratings, including the latest Snell Memorial Foundation standards, one of the highest standards for helmet safety. The XD-4 combines elements from Arai’s MX-style helmet with a flip-down face-shield, making it a great option for those of us who wear glasses. These helmets usually sell for $740, but you can get one now for under $500.
Bell Moto-9 MIPS
You will see MIPS listed with a lot of the better helmets. MIPS stands for Multi-Impact Protection System. It adds protection against the rotational motion transmitted to the brain from angled impacts to the head. The rotational motion is a combination of rotational energy and rotational forces from angular acceleration that both affect the brain and increases the risk for minor and severe brain injuries. Bell is one of the older helmet companies and they have been making amazing helmets for decades. The Moto-9 uses multiple layers of composite laminates for the outer shell and the MIPS system built into the inner liner. These are often $400 and up helmets, but if you are a Tomac fan, you can score this sweet lid for just $259.97!
No discussion of the best helmets would be complete without 6D. This is the company that won a grant from the NFL to study how concussions and brain trauma can be prevented through helmet advancement. Why? Because they understand the physics of helmets better than anyone. The ATR-1 is one of the off-road helmets they developed and they are amazing in terms of protection, fit and style. They developed what they call Omni-Direction Suspension to shield your head from concussions and injury. They also made the helmet extremely comfortable. You can get a 6D ATR-1 for 30- to 43% off the list price. That is HUGE savings on a premium helmet. They have youth sizes, too!
Fly Racing Carbon F2
If you want a premium helmet without the premium price, the Fly F2 is for you. These helmets are made from a carbon-fiber woven outer shell and are Snell2015 rated. They are very well ventilated and extremely light weight. The interior protection uses the MIPS system and the liner is removeable for washing. The MIPS versions can be had for just $279.97, and you can get the non-MIPS closeout lids for as low as $230! These are scary good helmets for that price and worth every penny.
Fox Racing V3
Fox Racing, one of the most iconic brands in off-road, has worked tirelessly over the years developing their protective gear to be both stylish and extremely good at keeping you safe. The V3, their top-of-the-line, premium helmet uses every trick in their playbook. This MIPS-equipped helmet has a magnetic-release visor to keep the helmet from causing additional strain on your head and neck during an accident. Fox also developed four shell sizes to optimize the fit of the helmet, so you have the utmost protection available. 14 intake vents keep you cool and the liner is designed to whisk away moisture to your not sweating down into your goggles. Plus, it’s Fox, so the style is on point. This lid sells for around $510, but you can score one here for less than $332!
Arai VX Pro4
The Arai off-road/motocross helmet, the VX Pro4 is one of the absolute best helmets on the market. Another Snell2015-rated lid, the Pro4 uses special composite fiber layers to give the shell supreme strength without the additional weight often associated with adding more levels of protection. The result is a lighter, tougher helmet. The chin bar fits snuggly so you have optimal protection and specialized foam in the check pads compresses to give you the most protection without feeling pinched. Most Pro4 helmets will run around $750 or more, but you can score one here for $389.99!