To us, the thrill of mountain biking is hard to replace. The charm of the trails and adrenaline-pumping descents are simply irresistible, making it one of our favorite outdoor activities. Safety remains a priority amidst the exhilaration of conquering the rugged terrain. And when it comes to safeguarding our heads, only the best helmets will suffice, which is why we’re here to show you some of the top Backcountry mountain bike helmets. Backcountry’s list of outdoor gear is endless, and its bike helmets are among the best on the market. We’ve tested the following helmets with options from different brands like Giro and Smith. They provided us with unparalleled protection and exceptional ventilation and comfort so we could immerse ourselves in the wilderness adventure. Keep scrolling and have a closer look at them!
Table of contents
- Giro Radix MIPS Helmet
- Smith Network MIPS Helmet
- Specialized Echelon II MIPS Helmet
- Giro Source MIPS Helmet
- POC Kortal Race MIPS Helmet
- Smith Engage MIPS Helmet
- Fox Racing Speedframe MIPS Pro Helmet
- Bern Macon 2.0 MIPS Bike Helmet
- Smith Convoy MIPS Helmet
- Giro Manifest Spherical MIPS Helmet
- Troy Lee Designs A1 MIPS Helmet
- Smith Forefront 2 MIPS Helmet
- Smith Session MIPS Helmet
- How To Choose The Best Backcountry Mountain Bike Helmets?
- Do I really need a mountain bike helmet?
- Is an MTB helmet OK for the road?
- Why are mountain bike helmets so expensive?
Giro Radix MIPS Helmet
The first bike helmet on this list is the Giro Radix MIPS Helmet, a popular pick for mountain bikers looking for a lightweight and protective helmet. When we first received this helmet, we immediately fell in love since there were so many things to love about it. From the trail-lid style shell that offers good coverage without being too bulky to its MIPS technology for protection against rotational forces, this helmet has many features.
One of the things that amazed us the most was its ventilation system. With 25 vents, we couldn’t believe how we were able to stay cool when the rest were sweating because of the hot weather. We also loved how the vents were positioned to channel air over the head. Not to mention, compared to many other Giro helmets, this one is more affordable.
- It’s lightweight and comfortable.
- The polycarbonate shell is highly durable.
- The visor is adjustable.
- The quality of the straps can be better.
Smith Network MIPS Helmet
Stylish and versatile, the Smith Network MIPS Helmet is one of the brand’s most amazing bike helmets. And just like its siblings, the Smith Network takes protection very seriously. Whether you’re a cyclist or a competitive racer, you can always wear this well-rounded helmet. With a polycarbonate shell, a Koroyd EPS liner, and MIPS technology, we didn’t have to worry about our heads at all. We also tried dropping the helmet a few times, and it remained scratch-free.
As expected from Smith, this helmet is really comfortable. Though we wore it for a long time, we were never uncomfortable. The fit was just nice; it was snug but not overly tight. The straps were also easy to adjust. A+ in all categories! Speaking of which, you should also check out these best Smith sunglasses for men and Smith sunglasses for women.
- The visor is removable.
- There are so many different shades to choose from.
- It’s lightweight but durable.
- Some people think the sizing of the helmet is a bit off.
Specialized Echelon II MIPS Helmet
Who says affordable helmets aren’t worth your attention? Take a chance on the Specialized Echelon II MIPS Helmet, and thank us later! We’ve tried wearing this helmet a few times and now have nothing but positive things to say about it. For one, this is a quiet helmet. During testing, we noticed that it was much quieter than many of our helmets, even when we were riding so fast.
Aside from that, the ventilation was also outstanding. With tons of vents and the 4th Dimension Cooling System, we were able to stay cool and cozy regardless of how hot it was. If you love to ride at nighttime, you’ll want to wear this helmet. Why? That’s because it comes with reflective details, adding visibility when in the dark.
- Adjusting the strap is easy, even with one hand.
- It has a sleek and modern design.
- It’s comfortable enough to be worn for longer rides.
- Choosing the right size can be a little tricky.
Giro Source MIPS Helmet
Comfy, protective, and well-ventilated, who can say no to the Giro Source MIPS Helmet? The highlight of this helmet is its Roc Loc 5 fit system. For those who are wondering, it’s one of the best adjustable fit systems out there. When we tested the helmet, this feature allowed us to easily adjust the fit of the helmet with only one hand. We also found an adjustable screw-in visor to protect us from glares.
When it comes to ventilation, this helmet boasts 17 vents in total. They did a fantastic job of pulling the cool air in so we could stay cool and cozy no matter how devastating the weather was. If you have a bigger head than most people, this may also be the helmet for you. That’s because aside from S, M, and L, it’s also available in XL.
- With MIPS technology, this helmet offers amazing protection.
- The shell is highly durable.
- There are so many colors to choose from.
- Though the ventilation is good, it’s not as well-ventilated as some others.
POC Kortal Race MIPS Helmet
Say hello to the POC Kortal Race MIPS Helmet, a high-performance mountain bike helmet designed for enduro and trail riders. We’re sure you’ll love the design of this helmet. Its 360-degree wraparound design provided us excellent protection for the back and sides of our heads. In addition to that, the amazing ventilation system kept us cool and comfy even during hot days.
Apart from that, we should also praise its weight. It’s one of the most lightweight Backcountry bike helmets we’ve tried. Despite that, it’s still very protective. Another thing that we’d love to point out is its size and color availability. Unlike many helmets out there, this one is available in multiple sizes, from XS all the way to XXL. Also, there are so many fun and bright colors to choose from.
- It offers a comfy and secure fit that’s easy to adjust.
- The peak is adjustable and can be lifted pretty high.
- It’s true to size.
- It’s on the pricier side.
Smith Engage MIPS Helmet
Want to level up your mountain biking game and be the best? The Smith Engage MIPS Helmet can help you with that. Our first impression of this helmet was nothing but sweet. We loved how it provided us with a nice, comfortable fit, allowing us to wear it for a long ride. The helmet sat snugly on our heads without being too tight, and there were practically no pressure points.
Moreover, adjusting the straps was a piece of cake for us. Plus, the dial retention system made it easy to get a secure fit. We also appreciated the ventilation system, which kept our heads cool and dry. And when it comes to protection, the MIPS technology and Koroyd material promise you’ll never have to worry about impacts.
- The visor can be adjusted in two positions.
- There are 20 vents in total, keeping your head cool.
- It’s lightweight and comfortable for long rides.
- The helmet is too big for some people.
Fox Racing Speedframe MIPS Pro Helmet
Are you looking for a top-of-the-line trail helmet with superb protection, comfort, and ventilation? Look no further than the Fox Racing Speedframe MIPS Pro Helmet. It’s one of those helmets that’s so comfy you’ll forget it’s there. Don’t worry, though. We’ve tested this helmet before, and despite its weight, it’s safe to use. It boasts MIPS technology and a Varizorb EPS liner to help absorb impact energy. When we first wore the helmet, we couldn’t believe how comfortable it was. The interior padding was surprisingly soft and plush. The helmets fit our heads snugly but not too tightly, which can sometimes cause headaches. Best of all, there are endless color options to choose from.
- It’s a well-ventilated helmet that’s not noisy.
- This helmet is packed with all the essential features.
- It offers excellent protection.
- It can be a bit expensive.
Bern Macon 2.0 MIPS Bike Helmet
Those on a budget should take a look at this Bern Macon 2.0 MIPS Bike Helmet. Though affordable, you shouldn’t overlook this helmet. For one, we’re huge fans of its versatility. We’ve tested this helmet for a variety of activities, from mountain biking to trail riding, and it performed well in most activities. This may be the one if you’re searching for a good-looking, multi-sport helmet.
With MIPS technology, the safety of this helmet is undeniably great. But what amazed us the most during testing was its weight. According to the official website, this helmet is 15% more lightweight than the previous Macon. No wonder we were so comfortable wearing it. For more affordable options, check out these best bike helmets for under 100 USD!
- There are so many trendy colors to choose from.
- It can be used for many outdoor activities.
- This helmet fits most people well.
- Many other helmets have better ventilation.
Smith Convoy MIPS Helmet
Among all of our picks, the Smith Convoy MIPS Helmet arguably has the best balance of price and performance. We’ve worn this helmet a few times, and it performed well in most conditions. It was comfortable enough for us to wear for long rides, and the ventilation kept our heads cool even though the weather was insanely hot.
“This has to be one of the best bike helmets on the market. It offers all the essentials without the steep price tag.”WOW Travel
Furthermore, this helmet can easily fit a wide range of head shapes. We also liked the adjustable VaporFit retention system, which made it effortless for us to get a snug and secure fit. Finally, the lightweight construction made us feel like we were wearing nothing at all. Speaking of which, have you read our list of the best lightest bike helmets?
- It is a great option for those looking for affordable helmets without sacrificing performance.
- It has 20 vents for improved ventilation.
- There’s an integrated visor to protect your eyes.
- The internal strap mount is pretty basic.
Giro Manifest Spherical MIPS Helmet
If you don’t mind spending more for a high-end model, check out the Giro Manifest Spherical MIPS Helmet! In addition to the astounding MIPS technology, this helmet also boasts a durable In-Mold polycarbonate shell and an EPS liner for extra protection. When we tested the helmet, we were awed by the generous padding inside. It helped reduce pressure points and let us have a long and comfortable ride.
Speaking of comfort, we also loved the Roc Loc Trail Air fit system. It allowed us to customize the helmet’s fit to our head perfectly. We also found the addition of the magnetic buckles to be a huge plus point. It may be expensive, but we think it’s worth the price. Want to learn more about this helmet? Check out this review from ENDURO Mountainbike Magazine.
- It offers excellent protection and extended coverage.
- With 19 vents, this helmet offers impressive ventilation.
- It can be used for riders ages 5 and older.
- This is one of the more expensive options.
Troy Lee Designs A1 MIPS Helmet
The Troy Lee Designs A1 MIPS Helmet is another great addition to this list. It has everything a biker needs, from a high-quality helmet. Perhaps its biggest selling point is its MIPS technology, which protects your brain from a crash. However, what stole our attention during testing was its comfort. We were able to have a long, comfortable ride with this extremely comfortable helmet. The deep profile gave us amazing coverage, and the padding was plush and soft.
When we’re talking about comfort, we should also talk about ventilation. While it’s not the best in this department, the vents should be big enough for most bikers. In addition to that, this helmet comes in a cool, streamlined design that will look good on your bike. Considering its price and features, we think it’s worth investing in.
- This helmet offers amazing protection and comfort.
- You can easily adjust the fit.
- It has a lightweight and streamlined design.
- The ventilation could be better.
Smith Forefront 2 MIPS Helmet
While there are so many highly-rated Backcountry mountain bike helmets, the Smith Forefront 2 MIPS Helmet remains a standout. This is one of the safest options on the market. Aside from MIPS, it also offers Koroyd impact absorption technology, which helps to absorb impact energy. We tried dropping the helmet a few times during testing, and it showed no signs of abuse. Even better, despite its toughness, it was surprisingly lightweight.
We were also impressed by the VaporFit adjustable fit system. It allowed us to fine-tune the fit to our head shape easily. What about ventilation? It’s nothing less impressive. The brand’s AirEvac ventilation system uses 20 huge vents to promote air circulation, keeping your head cool. Best of all, it’s available in a wide array of different shades.
- It features a goggle-friendly visor.
- The anti-odor lining helps keep you cool and comfortable.
- It’s both lightweight and durable.
- This helmet is a bit more pricey than its competitors.
Smith Session MIPS Helmet
Whether you’re a pro or a beginner, you can always rely on the Smith Session MIPS Helmet, a popular choice for mountain bikers of all levels. One of the standout features of this helmet during our test was its fit. Available in S, M, and L, we tried the M model, which fit our head well. Also, this helmet can be a great choice for long rides in hot weather, thanks to the excellent ventilation.
Another reason this helmet is a favorite among bikers is its MIPS technology. That way, your head will always be protected. Another thing we want to highlight is the visor. We were impressed by the three-position adjustable visor, and we could adjust it easily with only one hand. On top of that, it also has goggle compatibility, so you can wear your favorite ski goggles, too. Have a closer look at the helmet by watching Adventure Rig’s YouTube video review!
- This helmet has a lightweight and durable construction.
- With the AirEvac technology, this helmet keeps your lenses fog-free.
- So many colors to choose from.
- Some people have trouble choosing the right size.
How To Choose The Best Backcountry Mountain Bike Helmets?
Choosing the right helmet is crucial for ensuring your safety and comfort while enjoying the thrills of mountain biking. Here are the key factors to consider when selecting your helmet:
Mountain bike helmets are designed to absorb impact energy and protect your head from injuries. Look for helmets with certifications from recognized standards organizations, such as ASTM F1959, CE EN1078, or CPSC. In addition, you should look for one with MIPS, an advanced safety feature that helps reduce rotational forces during impacts.
Proper fit is paramount for the helmet’s effectiveness and comfort. Your mountain bike helmet should sit snugly but not tightly on your head, with the front edge positioned one inch or less above your eyebrows. It should not rock or wobble excessively. Additionally, your helmet should have adjustable straps and a fit system to allow for a personalized fit.
It’s no secret that mountain biking can get strenuous, so ventilation is essential for keeping your head cool and comfortable. Choose a helmet with multiple vents to promote airflow and prevent overheating.
Now that you’ve seen our picks above, you may also want to take a look at our favorite Backcountry electric bikes.
Do I really need a mountain bike helmet?
It depends. If the trail is steep, then you should wear a mountain bike helmet for better head protection.
Is an MTB helmet OK for the road?
Yes, you can use mountain bike helmets for road cycling. In terms of safety, they’re both designed to protect your head from impacts.
Why are mountain bike helmets so expensive?
That’s because they typically use higher-quality materials than other types of helmets. On top of that, they require a more complex design and construction process, which drives up the cost.
Some images in this article are copyrighted by Backcountry.