LAST UPDATED: August 24, 2019
Best Open Face Helmets: Protect Your Dome With These Top Picks
Feel the wind in your face with these top open face helmets
The Review Team
How We Decided
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PUBLISHED ON August 24, 2019
Sometimes a full-face helmet can be stifling, so a good alternative is an open face helmet. It protects your head, but your face is exposed to the elements so you can enjoy the ride without feeling restricted. Many also exhibit a vintage ‘70s feel. Our open face motorcycle helmet reviews can help you find the top helmets on the market.
This glossy pearl white helmet is made from a lightweight polycarbonate/ABS shell. It’s open-faced but comes with a shield to protect your face. There’s a ventilation system to help keep you cool.
The helmet uses three EPS sizes to help you achieve a more customized fit. It also has a fully integrated Sena SMH10 port and intercom system.
The helmet can feel clunky or bulky on your head. You’re also limited to the one specific Sena Bluetooth device that’s designed for the helmet.
This helmet features moisture-wicking fabric that keeps you cool and comfortable. It has a quick-release lock and a removable, snap-on gloss black bubble visor.
The helmet is well constructed, slim, and low profile. It stays snugly in place without any lift even at highway speeds. It's light, comfortable and provides an accurate fit.
There’s not a lot of foam padding, which may make it less safe in a crash. The snap that holds goggles may break, and some riders don't like the quick-release snap.
This open face helmet has a built in shield system that has a clear and tinted sun shield. The helmet is DOT-approved. There are adjustable vents on the front. It comes in gloss black, gunmetal, matte black, pearl white, pink, and red.
This helmet is lightweight and made from a high pressure thermoplastic. It also comes in a wide range of sizes (XS-XXL) for a custom fit.
The visor won’t stay closed at high speeds. The helmet runs small, so size up on the size chart. The helmet can feel like it sticks out too far from the sides and top of your head.
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Benefits of Open Face Helmets
- Feel the wind on your face. If you’re the type of rider who enjoys feeling the sun and wind on your cheeks when you’re on the road, lightweight open-face helmets can provide that type of experience.
- Be safe. You can wear one of the best open face helmets and still protect your noggin in case you are involved in an accident. It’s better to wear an open face helmet than to not wear one at all.
- Obey the law. Some states require motorcyclists to wear helmets. Low profile open face motorcycle helmets are less intrusive than full-face helmets but still comply with state regulations.
- Stay cool. Top-rated open face motorcycle helmets are much cooler than full-face helmets. They don't have chin bars, so air flows more easily towards your chin and cheeks.
- See better. You have a wider range of vision with an open face helmet than you do with a full-face or modular helmet. Even open face motorcycle helmets with visors provide better visibility.
- Carry less weight. The best three-quarter helmets are lighter than full-face helmets. They're still very strong and have protective qualities, yet they aren't as heavy and will cause less fatigue than other types of headgear.
Types of Open Face Helmets
With Visors or Shields or Without
Open face helmets are also known as three-quarter helmets and are good for both motorcyclists and scooter aficionados. Some feature built-in sun visors, which are very useful in protecting against road debris and weather conditions. They sometimes have half visors that flip down to cover the eyes or full visors or shields that can cover your entire face. Many visors are removable for your convenience. If you prefer a helmet without a visor or shield, you can simply wear sunglasses or goggles to protect your eyes.
The American company Bell was founded in 1954 during the height of California's hot rod and racing scene. The company currently manufactures high-quality helmets for the auto racing, motorcycling, and bicycling arenas. One top product is the Bell Custom 500 Open Face Motorcycle Helmet.
HJC has exclusively been making motorcycle helmets since 1971. Based in La Habra, Calif., HJC aims to provide safe, comfortable, stylish, and affordable helmets to people around the world. One top product is the HJC IS-33 II Open Face Motorcycle Helmet.
Biltwell launched in 2006 with a couple of friends who started out strictly supplying hard parts to consumers. Based in Temecula, Calif., Biltwell produces a variety of motorcycle accessories, including helmets, gloves, luggage, and apparel. One popular product is the Biltwell Unisex-Adult Open face Bonanza 3/4 Helmet.
Shoei built its first motorcycle helmet in 1959 and still today every helmet is handmade in Japan. The company also produces backpacks and other equipment geared towards motorcyclists. One recommended product is the Shoei RJ Platinum R Black Open Face Helmet.
Scorpion Sports, Inc.
Based in Santa Fe Springs, Calif., Scorpion Sports was founded in 2002 by Jang Park, who has 30 years of experience in the motorcycle industry in the United States, Europe, South America, and Asia. The company’s main products are high-performance, technical, protective motorcycle helmets and apparel. One popular product is the ScorpionExo Belfast Blanco 3/4 Open Face Helmet.
Based in Pasadena, Calif., TORC is the second-largest helmet manufacturer in the world. The company produces a variety of full-face, open face, half-face, and dirt helmets. Its aim is to incorporate modern technology into its products while “staying true to the motorcycle culture.” One top product is the TORC T50 3/4 Helmet.
Open Face Helmet Pricing
- Under $100: You can find several cheap open face helmets on the market, and you get what you pay for. Many in this price range provide a minimal amount of protection required and don’t necessarily have as many features as more expensive options.
- $100-$200: Many decent quality open face helmets are available at this price point. They may have special, custom designs, and better visors or shields than cheaper versions.
- Over $200: The safest open face helmets will cost a little more money. Higher-end brands and premium open-face helmets can cost several hundred dollars. They are generally manufactured to the highest quality and are worth it if you ride frequently.
This is one of the most important features because if your helmet isn't comfortable you're unlikely to wear it. Make sure it fits according to the shape and size of your head. Also, inspect the lining to see if it's adjustable or removable. This will allow you to customize it so it's as comfortable as possible and doesn't have any pressure spots.
Even the best half-face helmet is typically noisier than other types of helmets. This is because they are less aerodynamic. However, some brands are quieter than others based on certain characteristics. Wind noise can exceed 115dB, and hearing loss can occur with noises above 85dB, so it’s important to wear a helmet that produces as little sound as possible.
- Style: Not all open face helmets are the same when it comes to their designs. You want to find one that connects to your own personal style. Some may appear bigger on your head while others may be more sleek and low profile in their construction. The options are nearly endless.
Best Open Face Helmet Reviews & Recommendations 2020
Bell takes innovation a step further with this Bluetooth integrated helmet. It comes with a special compartment on the side for the Sena SMH10. This keeps the helmet streamlined and eliminates the Bluetooth communicator from being stuck on the side of the helmet. The outer shell is made of a lightweight polycarbonate/ABS shell. There are vents throughout to ensure proper airflow. The pearl white design of the helmet is beautiful and clean-looking.
What really stands out about this helmet is the integrated intercom system. There are internal compartments for the speakers, and installing your Sena is easy. The helmet also has three EPS sizes, which gives you a customized fit.
Unfortunately, the helmet still feels bulky or clunky on your head. While the communicator integration is nice, you’re limited to the Sena SMH10. You cannot use another communicator device.
This helmet meets DOT safety standards and comes in a variety of sizes to ensure proper fit. Its moisture-wicking fabric keeps you cool and comfortable. It also has a quick-release lock that you can trigger with one finger, so it's easy to remove. It comes with a removable, snap-on gloss black bubble visor.
The helmet is well constructed, low profile, and feels safe and stylish. It stays snugly in place without any lift at highway speeds. The shape of the helmet is slim and doesn't make you look like a bobblehead or mushroom head. The quick-release chin snap is also very convenient, and overall it is light and comfortable. In general, the helmet provides an accurate fit as long as you follow the manufacturer's sizing chart.
One of the helmet's biggest drawbacks is there’s not much soft foam at the top corners of the head compared to some competitor brands, which may make it less safe in a crash. Also, the snap on the back that holds goggles may easily break. Finally, some riders don't like the quick-release snap and would prefer a D-ring style system instead.
This helmet gives riders a lot of options to find the perfect helmet. It comes in sizes XS through XXL and six colors. Choose from gloss black, gunmetal, matte black, pearl white, pink, and red. The helmet is DOT-approved.
Once you put this helmet on, you’ll appreciate how lightweight it feels. This is because it’s made from high-pressure thermoplastic. It also has the nice feature of a dual visor system. There’s a large clear face shield and a smaller, darkly tinted sun shield. You can independently move them up and down.
One problem with this helmet is that the clear visor won’t stay down when you reach higher speeds. This is counter-productive since having the shield down to protect your face becomes more important the faster you ride. You may also feel like the helmet “feels big” by sticking out too far from the sides and top of your head. The size chart runs small, so size up when ordering.
- Even if your state does not have a helmet law, we recommend wearing a helmet that is DOT certified so that it offers the best protection in case of a crash.
- Helmets should fit snugly but not cause discomfort. To see if you have the proper fit, insert your pinky between your forehead and the helmet. Only the tip should fit inside of it. If you can fit more than that, it's probably too big.
- Don't wear a helmet that's been involved in a crash or that has dropped to the ground. It can easily be damaged even if you don't see any visible signs of impact. You want the best protection possible, and damaged helmets cannot provide that sense of security.
- Avoid buying a used helmet. You do not know if it has experienced any damage/impact. It's not worth risking your life for a helmet that has a muddy history.
Q: Do open face helmets come with visors?
A: It depends on the brand that you purchase. Some come with visors or shields, while others do not. If you find a helmet you really like, you may have to purchase a visor separately.
Q: What size helmet do I need?
A: The best thing to do is to measure the circumference of your head. Next, you should check the sizing of a particular brand to ensure that you order one that fits correctly.
Q: Can I put Bluetooth speakers in an open face helmet?
A: That depends on the helmet and the size of the speakers. Many brands don't provide helmets with speaker pockets; however, you can purchase universal ear pads with speaker pockets from a separate supplier.
Our pick for the best open face motorcycle helmet is the Bell Mag-9 Open Face Motorcycle Helmet.
For a more budget-friendly option, consider the D.O.T. Daytona Cruiser, which is a low-profile helmet with a quick-release strap.