10 Best Full Face Helmets Reviewed for Protection
Purchasing a motorcycle helmet is not a casual decision: when your life is on the line, you want to be sure you are buying a quality product. If you ride without a helmet protecting your head, you risk permanent brain damage or even death if you get into an accident. An unmitigated impact to the head at highway speeds is not something you want to be on the receiving end of, so you will want to keep yourself protected on the road. Wearing a full face helmet will ensure that you are as safe as possible while riding, not just from accidents, but also from any other minor hazards that may come flying your way (a flying beetle to the face does not feel good when you are racing down an empty freeway).
- Shoei RF-1200
- ScorpionExo Covert
- Bell Qualifier
Durability is an obvious factor to consider when purchasing a motorcycle helmet, but there are other features to consider as well. Weight, comfort, and air flow are also important factors, because a helmet that makes it difficult to ride is just going to end up getting you into an accident anyway. You want a helmet that is not only tough enough to protect your head, but also provides enough visibility and sits comfortably enough on your head for you to ride safely. A good helmet will increase your chances of surviving an accident without increasing the likelihood of you getting into one.
10 Best Full Face Helmets
1. Shoei RF-1200
The RF-1200 uses high quality materials to create a small, light shell in order to keep you protected without weighing you down or swinging your head around with the helmet like a bobblehead.
Removable Cheek Pads
The cheek pads on the RF-1200 are removable in case of emergency. If you are ever in an accident that incapacitates you, emergency workers can pull the tabs on the side of the helmet to remove the cheek pads from the helmet.
Cost and Value
Shoei’s helmets are not the absolute cheapest products on the market, and this option is the third most expensive item on this list. However, you truly get what you pay for with the RF-1200, and the features of this helmet make it well worth its price.
- Small and light construction
- Fantastic noise reduction
- Fog-free visor
- Excellent ventilation and airflow
- Many sizing options
- May be too small for some
- Not the cheapest helmet out there
2. ScorpionExo Covert
When producing this helmet, Scorpion started from a half helmet design and added modular parts to protect the rest of the face and head. The face mask is detachable and the visor is retractable, allowing you to use the helmet as is needed for the situation.
The helmet’s face mask is well-ventilated and will keep you cool and breathing while you read. Good air flow design also means that the visor won’t fog up on you while you’re riding.
Cost and Value
This helmet is priced middle of the line in comparison to other options on our list. Some of the helmet’s cost can be attributed to its modular design, so if you are not interested in your helmet being modular it may be a good idea to consider other helmets on this list.
Modular design allows for choice in level of protection
Fantastic ventilation and airflow
Comes with a clear visor for riding at night
Comfortable to wear
Face mask and visor are easy to manipulate
Face mask is not as protective due to being removable
Airflow also lets in a lot of noise when riding
3. Bell Qualifier
There are two vents at the top of the helmet as well as a vent on the chin that can be adjusted to increase or restrict airflow to the rider’s preference. This means that you can keep things colder or warmer inside your helmet depending on what the weather looks like outside.
Transitional Visor Option
Even though it costs extra, the transitional visor is a great option if you don’t care to change your visor each time the lighting changes. With the transitional visor, you can go riding in the middle of the day and have your visor darken itself for night-riding without any hassle.
Cost and Value
This helmet is cheaper than one would expect. This price can get a little bit higher if you opt to buy a dark visor to go with the included basic clear visor, and even higher than that if you go for the transitional visor, but even then it is still a very affordable helmet.
Low price for what it offers
Transitional lens option is convenientAerodynamic shape keeps your head straight
Wide field of vision
Keeps you warm with the front vents closed
Can get loud compared to more expensive helmets
Costs more if you want a non-basic visor
4. HJC CL-17
Though there is some debate over whether or not Snell testing is actually any better than DOT testing, you at least know with a Snell certified helmet that the product has been properly tested. Though it is unlikely that a trustworthy manufacturer would lie about DOT testing, it’s still nice to have a guarantee other than a simple honor system.
The padding on this helmet is very comfortable and will keep the helmet snug on your head. There is even some extra space around the chin where you can attach more padding, but you will have to buy the extra padding yourself.
Cost and Value
This helmet is slightly more expensive than the Bell Qualifier, but if Snell certification is important to you, then the HJC CL-17 is easily the best value on this list. Even without the Snell certification it is an extremely affordable helmet and is a solid choice for anybody not looking to spend too much.
Insanely cheap for a Snell certified helmet
Extremely comfortable padding, even on the chin strap
A variety of positions for the visor
Visor is easy to access one-handed
Air vents are reachable even with the helmet worn
Air gets in through the chin
Matte finish is easily scratched
5. Duke Helmets DK-120
A quick release strap makes the helmet easy to remove even with gloves on. Whether you just hate fumbling with your helmet to get it off at the end of a ride, or you want to know that you can get it off quickly in case of an emergency, the quick release strap means your helmet won’t be getting stuck on your head when you don’t want it to.
Two Visors Included
Even at its extremely low price point, Duke Helmets offers two visors with the DK-120. Being able to swap out between a clear and tinted visor for day and night riding is usually expected when a helmet costs several hundred dollars, but it’s an especially good deal with a helmet that is already so affordable.
Cost and Value
As the cheapest helmet on this list, cost is definitely not a problem with the DK-120. If you want a practical helmet which gives you a good value for your dollar without raising costs for extra features you may not care for, then this helmet will be the best choice for you.
Extraordinarily low price
Comes with two visors, one clear and one tinted
Generous number of ventilation slots
Hypo-allergenic cheek pads and lining
Very accurate sizing
Enough wind gets through to make a whistling sound
Some people have fogging issues with the visor
6. Bell Revolver Evo
This option comes with an integrated flip-down sun visor that you can deploy whenever you need it. It should be noted that the actual face visor itself is clear and you will need to buy a separate tinted one if the sun visor is not enough coverage for you.
Though it doesn’t quite break down to a half helmet like the ScorpionExo Covert does, the Revolver Evo’s modular design is still a big selling point. The protection of a full face helmet is important, but sometimes it’s nice to have a little breathing room when you need it.
Cost and Value
This helmet is almost twice as expensive as Bell’s other product on this list, the Bell Qualifier, but it is still far from an expensive helmet. The Revolver Evo is a fairly affordable helmet that is good for people who don’t want to spend too much, but aren’t willing to scrape the bottom of the barrel either.
Modular release is easily accessible with gloves on
Sun visor can be lifted up and down as needed
Snug fit supports the head well
Detachable cheek padding can be replaced
Chin guard is easy to flip down
Modular design lets in a lot of noise
The magnet on the chin strap can weaken over time
7. AGV K3-5
This helmet is surprisingly light, rivaling even more expensive competitors that took the top spot on this list. If you’re worried about straining your neck with a heavy helmet, the AGV K3 might be for you.
Moisture Resistant Padding
The padding in this helmet is made with Dri-Lex technology, which keeps moisture away from your face while also keeping it from getting absorbed into the padding. This way, both your face and your helmet will stay cool and dry as possible even in wet conditions.
Cost and Value
The price point of this helmet option is about the same as that of the Bell Revolver Evo. It is a close decision between the two helmets, and the value of each respective helmet ultimately depends on which features you value more in a helmet.
Moisture resistant padding
Extraordinarily lightweight for its price
Extremely quiet with the visor on
Enough room in front of the visor to wear glasses
Blocks wind while providing ample airflow
Visor lacks a locking mechanism
Some complain that the helmet is a bit small
8. Biltwell Lane Splitter
Visibility is not a problem with the size of this helmet's visor. Stretching all the way toward the sides of the helmet, Biltwell has ensured that you actually have your peripheral vision while riding with this helmet.
This helmet's ventilation system is good, perhaps even a little too good. You’ll be able to breathe easily on a hot day, but some may find the airflow excessive when it’s cold out.
Cost and Value
The price of this helmet is kept fairly affordable due to its lack of unnecessary frills and features. However, its material and construction is very high quality, so it isn’t quite a budget helmet either and is a bit more expensive than the Bell Revolver Evo or AGV K3.
No value wasted on superfluous features
Very wide field of vision
Fog on visor clears nearly instantly
Substantial amount of airflow
Still includes ear recesses for earbuds
Might be too minimalist for some
Can get a little loud at higher speeds
9. Arai XD4
Various parts of this helmet can be taken apart as and individually cleaned or replaced. For example, the interior liner can be removed for washing and then replaced back into the helmet.
The construction is very solid, and you will notice when you wear the helmet. Every moving part feels and sounds satisfying when locked into place and you won’t have to worry about parts of the helmet flying off while you’re on the road.
Cost and Value
This is the most expensive helmet on the list and it’s up to you if the security and luxury offered by the product is worth the high price tag. This option is a high quality product that lives up to its dollar value, but not every rider will be willing to spend that much.
Extremely sturdy build quality
Modern design is both functional and attractive
Advanced ventilation system with closeable vents
Many layers of protection
A bit heavy for its price range
Visor requires tools to change out
10. Klim Krios Karbon
Everything on this helmet that can be made of carbon fiber is made with carbon fiber. This material choice ensures that the helmet is as light as it can possibly be without sacrificing other features such as durability.
Quick Release Visor
A quick release system makes the visor easy to remove without the use of any tools. This is done without sacrificing the integrity of the visor’s attachment to the helmet, which can be a problem with cheaper helmets.
Cost and Value
The Krios Karbon is a luxury product, second in price on this list only to the Arai XD4, and even then the Krios Karbon is only slightly behind in price. However, if you want a helmet suited for long rides that manages to keep itself light, then the price for the Klim Krios Karbon may be well justified.
Carbon fiber construction is extremely light
Aerodynamic design keeps your head straight
Ventilation system is suited for long rides
Meets all safety standards despite light construction
Easy to set up without tools
High price is mainly for a lightweight helmet
Lackluster noise control
There are a lot of motorcycle helmets to choose from, and the choices can get overwhelming. When it comes to choosing a product that will safeguard your life, however, you don’t want to be cheap with your time or money. All of the products listed here will protect you in the case of an accident, but other factors such as comfort or visibility can also affect your likelihood of getting into an accident. Make sure you understand the riding conditions you will be dealing with, and what sorts of factors you need to worry about in picking the right helmet for yourself. It’s not necessary to buy the most expensive helmet available, especially if it’s expensive due to extra features you don’t personally need, but you also don’t want to buy a helmet just because it fits within your budget but fails to keep you safe on the road.
Five Protective Helmet Categories
- Full face helmet – This type of helmet pretty much covers the entire head, ranging from the base of the skull in the back to the end of the chin in the front. They also include a tinted or clear front view with a transparent plastic shield, which is also called the visor. It can be swiveled up and down according to the user preference.
- Motocross/Off-road helmet – These helmets are typically designed with tough off-road conditions in mind, and they regularly feature an elongated chin protector, as well as an enlarged visor which allows for additional protective goggles to be worn inside the helmet.
- Flip-flop/Modular helmet – A design solution that would come in between the two aforementioned kinds is the modular type of helmet, which bears the characteristics of both the full face helmet and the motocross one. It features a special lever to pivot the chin and visor protection up and down, thus enabling the alternation between the two types of protection.
- Open face helmet – This helmet covers roughly the three-fourths of the head, with the face part being left exposed, without any additional chin protection. While great for keeping the back of the head safe, the face is left unshielded which can lead to discomfort from the dust, bugs, and other inconveniences, as well as a greater degree of injury possibility, should a crash occur.
- Half helmet – Offering the least protection of all five types, the half helmet is nowadays considered obsolete and its usage is also prohibited in some countries. It pretty much covers only the top of the head, while the parts on the side remain exposed and unshielded.