Best Open Face Helmets: Protect Your Dome With These Top Picks
Feel the wind in your face with these top open face helmets
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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.
- Best OverallTORC T50 3/4 HelmetSummarySummary
The TORC T50 has a throwback look and comes in a variety of different graphics. It includes an ultra-suede liner that looks like leather. The cheek pads are removable and washable.ProsPros
It's very stylish, comfortable, and works well in the wind. It also includes a snap on the back to hold goggles.ConsCons
It may be tight but loosens up over time. There is no ventilation, so if you are using the included shield, it can get quite hot.
- Best ValueD.O.T. Daytona CruiserSummarySummary
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.ProsPros
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.ConsCons
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.
- Honorable MentionHJC IS-33 II Open-Face Motorcycle HelmetSummarySummary
This helmet features an advanced polycarbonate composite shell, an impact-absorbing liner, and a one-touch integrated sun shield. Its ACS advanced channeling ventilation system provides good airflow.ProsPros
It's comfortable to wear with glasses or sunglasses, and there's space for a Bluetooth headset. The retractable sunshade and the duckbill visor make it very versatile.ConsCons
The helmet may be slightly heavier than other open face brands, and the visor may be hard to manipulate if you're wearing gloves.
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All of our reviews are based on market research, expert input, and practical experience with each product we include. This way, we offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.
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 2019
Best Overall: TORC T50 3/4 Helmet
The TORC T50 has a retro look and comes in a variety of different graphics, from an eight ball to skulls, stars, and gold sparkles. It includes an ultra-suede liner that looks like leather but repels moisture. The shell is made of advanced thermo polymer alloy, and the cheek pads are removable and washable. The visor is also removable, and the helmet meets DOT safety standards. It's available in sizes XS to 2XL.
One of the best things about this helmet is it's very stylish. It's also very comfortable and works well in the wind. You have the ability to remove the padding around the ears, which makes it much cooler to wear during the summer. In addition, the helmet includes a snap on the back to hold goggles.
One problem is that it may initially be a tight fit, but it loosens up over time. In addition, there is no ventilation with this helmet, so if you are using the included shield it can get quite hot. There have also been some complaints that the helmet makes you look like a bobblehead because it appears very large on your head.
Best Value: D.O.T. Daytona Cruiser
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.
Honorable Mention: HJC IS-33 II Open Face Motorcycle Helmet
This helmet features an advanced polycarbonate composite shell that is lightweight and provides superior fit and comfort through advanced CAD technology. It features an impact-absorbing liner and a one-touch integrated sun shield that deploys and retracts quickly and easily. Also, the ACS advanced channeling ventilation system provides good airflow.
One really nice thing about this helmet is there is no pressure on your temples or ears when you wear it with glasses or sunglasses. Also, there is a lot of room around your ears so they don't get folded over when you put the helmet on, and there's space for a Bluetooth headset. In addition, the retractable sunshade and the duckbill visor make it very versatile. They both keep the sun glare down, but you can also pop off the visor and install a face shield to keep the wind off your face.
One problem is the helmet is a little long in the back. If you tilt your head back you may feel the helmet hitting the back of your neck. There have also been some complaints that the helmet is slightly heavier than other brands, and the visor may be hard to manipulate if you're wearing gloves. In addition, when you pull the shield down it may be situated very close to your face, which can be uncomfortable.
- 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 TORC T50 3/4 Helmet. It has a cool retro look and features removable ear flaps that help keep you cooler in the summer.
For a more budget-friendly option, consider the D.O.T. Daytona Cruiser, which is a low-profile helmet with a quick-release strap.