Let’s cut to the chase - BMX is dangerous and crashing is inevitable. The overall aim of the best BMX bike is to push your abilities and perform the most stylish tricks over the most testing obstacles, and be that in the skatepark, on the streets or down the dirt jumps the environment is never very forgiving. With all of this in mind having the correct safety equipment is a must, and purchasing a suitable helmet is probably the most important of all.
Like the best mountain bike helmets, choosing the best BMX helmet is vital. Having the best fit and protection levels is super important in making sure you remain comfortable and safe during those long sessions. Depending on your riding level and style one helmet option may be better than another, and what suits someone who’s hitting up the pump track may not be the best choice for the person who’s attempting backflips at the indoor park.
Whatever your demands we’ve put together a list of our favorite BMX helmets. Scroll down to see everything you need to know.
Best helmets for BMX
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The Dawn is possibly one of our favourite-looking helmets here, and with its extra level of protection, it injects confidence and instils the desire to turn the dial up to 11.
The old-school-inspired design is manufactured out of TSG’s proven hard-shell material which is covering the tried and tested shock-absorbing EPS foam inner. The shell comes in two sizes and each size is then shipped with two different pad thicknesses to allow for the final fit to be fine-tuned. These pads are also easily removable and machine washable, so the Dawn remains fresh for session upon session.
With the extra coverage just putting this helmet on makes you instantly feel safer. We think this is a strong option for big transition riders as well as frequent dirt jumpers, or just anyone who wants to rock the sick-looking retro design.
Pro-Tec has been making action sports protection for over 40 years and the Classic helmet is a combination of its classic shell design and general wealth of experience. Following a classic skate shell profile means there are ample levels of protection coverage and the 11 tactfully placed vent holes extinguish hot spells during heavy sessions while keeping just enough cool air flowing.
Internally, the Classic lid sees premium heat-sealed pads – on the head, these remain comfy even when worn for hours at a time and do a top job of eliminating sweat from dripping into your eyes.
Available in massive size range and various different colours, all of which are remarkably well priced, makes the Pro-Tec Classic one of the best helmets for BMX.
The Flight Sport is Fox’s entry-level dirt jump/BMX helmet, but the smooth lines and well-thought-out design give it a premium feel.
Keeping you safe is a single-density layer of EPS foam matched with Fox’s proven ABS outer shell design. With eight big-bore vents, the Flight Sport is by far the coolest running lid we have here, so if you run hot this is one if the best options.
We were also big fans of the stealthy looks, but the lack of lively designs may disappoint some. While the price is great, if you can spend a little more Fox also offers a premium Flight which features a more sophisticated fit and a dual-density EPS foam to further improve the overall protection levels.
What’s unique about the Bell Local is its inclusion of an on-the-fly adjustable fit system. Essentially the overall size of the Local can be incrementally adjusted by turning a dial on the back of the helmet – this is great for getting the perfect fit, but the system can make a little bit of noise during use.
Matching the secure fit with an ABS hard shell outer and tuned EPS foam liner makes for a helmet that can be worn for everything from vert riding to seeing how many car parking spaces you can manual.
Protection giants Giro is well known for its huge range of top-performing helmets, and the Quarter is one of its lowest-profile helmets to date.
Its classic BMX shell shape offers all of the coverage we’d expect, and the EPS liner and tough ABS outer shell fulfill all of the safety criteria.
It’s actually the Quarter’s helmet pads that impressed us the most though and their overall quality, feel and sweat-absorbing traits are some of the best we’ve used. As soon as you put the helmet on, you’re greeted with day-long comfort and a securely stable fit. The only thing we’d like to see is the choice of some more patterned designs.
Best full-face helmets for BMX
Fly’s Default is one of the cheapest full-face helmets available and its low weight, good looks and seriously affordable price tag make it the one Bike Perfect's recommends.
The overall helmet profile has a fast-aerodynamic look to it and its construction far exceeds any set safety standards. There is also a lot of features we’re used to seeing on much more expensive lids too, such as the 21 vents to aid with cooling on race days, aluminum boots securing the visor in place, removable and washable liner and a padded D-ring closure. In practice, all of these features make for a helmet that far exceeds its price tag in terms of performance and quality.
It’s also available in a full youth sizing range too, so if you’ve got a little one who’s eager to hit the race track the Default is a wicked option, and there’s a variety of color schemes and design styles for them to choose from.
With inspiration from the downhill mountain biking World Cup podium-proven ‘Rampage Pro Carbon’, the new Rampage helmet has been totally re-designed for 2020.
The Rampage features an injection-molded ABS shell and includes a fully adjustable visor and large vents that offer better-than-expected airflow and venting. On top of this, keeping things in place is a really easy-to-use quick release buckle.
As far as proper full-face helmets go the Rampage doesn’t break the bank either, and its general feel and feature list rival other helmets with a much higher price tag. So, if you’re visiting the BMX racetrack frequently or just want to be extra safe without breaking the bank this is a strong contender.
The new Troy Lee Designs D4 Carbon helmet is hyper-expensive but if you’re looking for the latest and safest helmet money can buy, this is your answer.
The entire outer shell of the D4 is made of carbon fiber and a unique combination of carbon weaves makes for the strongest, safest and lightest Troy Lee helmet to date. Internally the D4 carbon sees a MIPS liner, too. It also features a nifty feature named the ‘EPP collarbone impact system’ – following research Troy Lee Designs found a certain section of the helmet was prone to causing collarbone and shoulder injuries during a crash, so to combat this, the company has integrated a relief area in the lower center section of the helmet with the aim of eliminating these forces.
24 vents in total keep things cool and a quick-release, fully washable antimicrobial liner promotes long-lasting freshness.
With a massive size range and a plethora of different design and color options, the Troy Lee Designs D4 Carbon helmet will appeal to everyone.
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How to choose the best BMX helmet
Nearly every BMX helmet is made up of an EPS (expanded polystyrene) liner which is then wrapped in a poly-carbonate outer shell. EPS is a crushable foam that does a really effective job of dispersing high-velocity impacts, this makes it ideal for use in helmets. Stopping the helmet from coming off in a crash is an adjustable chinstrap that usually clips into place.
Unlike the majority of mountain bike helmets that feature a tuneable dial that incrementally alters the helmet's size to achieve the most accurate fit possible, most BMX helmets come in a variety of fixed shell sizes which are then fine-tuned by using different thickness foam pads. Generally, this is to keep the design simple and the cost low, and while it can take a little persistence to get the best pad combo possible, a secure and comfy fit is nearly always achievable. Making sure you have the correct shell size to start off with is key though, so we recommend paying close attention to the manufactures size guide and always try on when possible.
Due to the nature of BMX overall protection takes priority over cooling. Most other cycling disciplines feature a lot of high-intensity physical efforts, especially if you’re racing, and this means you’re likely to run hot, so having a helmet with efficient ventilation is essential. When riding BMX this isn’t an issue as the general spot-sessioning vibe is more relaxed and with the emphasis being on attempting tricks, overall shell coverage takes priority. Don’t worry though, nearly every BMX helmet still features small vents that allow the worst of the heat to escape out of the shell, regardless of moving speed.
Half shell vs full-face
Full-face helmets offer the most protection, but they compromise visibility and run hot. Half-shell helmets run cooler and have an unrestricted visibility range. There’s usually a big difference in price too, with worthwhile full-face helmets being a lot more expensive. We generally think a half shell (open-face) helmet is more than adequate for BMX, however, if you’re frequently at the BMX racetrack or just thrive on pushing the limits, a full-face helmet is well worth considering. It’s worth knowing that most counties actually require a full-face helmet with a visor for racing and most proper tracks make it a requirement to wear one for gate practice and coaching sessions, too.
All helmets have a life span and you should make sure to check the best before date on your current lid. Also, if you have a crash your helmet will need replacing, even if there are no visible signs of damage there could still be some structural destruction. Remember, you only get one head!