Best ATV Helmets: Be Safe and Protect Your Skull
These top ATV helmets look good and don’t cost a lot of money
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BY Noelle Talmon / LAST UPDATED ON March 30, 2020
If you're looking for the best ATV helmet for the money, you've come to the right place. Our buying guide highlights some of the best ATV helmets on the market that will keep you safe and make you look good when you're on your quad. Awesome ATV helmets don't necessarily cost hundreds of dollars. So, if you want the best helmet for ATV trail riding, we've got you covered.
This helmet features intake and exhaust vents for ventilation and meets DOT, ECE 22-05, and AS/NZS safety standards. It has a removable padded liner that keeps you cool and dry.
The graphics really make this helmet stand out, and it is lightweight and breathable. The vents keep you cool on warmer days, and the thick padding makes it comfortable.
It may be smaller than the description, so you may need to order one size up. It may also be snug around the cheek area, making it hard for you to talk.
This helmet comes with gloves and goggles and is certified to meet DOT standards. The liner is removable and washable, it has several vents for airflow, and a bag is included.
It's snug enough to keep you safe and secure, and the padding inside makes it quite comfortable. The quality of the helmet is top-notch considering how little it costs.
The included gloves and goggles aren't very good quality. Also, the rubber around the face may come off over a short period of time.
This helmet has a Coolmax liner, which is plush, removable, and washable. The liner and air vents keep you cool and dry, and the helmet includes an adjustable visor.
This model from O’Neal comes in a range of colors and designs with top quality graphics for a personalized look. It’s also comfortable, lightweight and breathable.
As with other helmets in the O’Neal range, sizes tend to run small. And this model has particularly thick cheek pads, too.
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Benefits of ATV Helmets
- Be safe. A helmet can mean the difference between life and death. It's crucial to wear head protection when you're riding an ATV to protect your skull and face in case there's an accident.
- Obey the law. Some states mandate that ATV riders wear helmets. There are a lot of cool ATV helmets on the market that looks good and keep you from getting a ticket.
- Reduce fatigue. Riding an ATV or motorcycle can be tiring. The best ATV helmets help ward off fatigue by reducing wind noise. You need to stay alert and focused when riding, and ATV helmets can help.
Types of ATV Helmets
Most quad riders prefer to wear off-road ATV helmets. That's because these helmets cover your entire head but leave your face open. They are very strong and protective, yet you have a good view of the trail and everything else around you. Most importantly, they are very safe.
ATV full-face helmets are superior when it comes to safety. They offer maximum protection and cover your head and face much better than other types of helmets. For example, an open-face helmet or half helmet can expose some areas of your face, which can be problematic if there's an accident and your face hits the ground. However, full-face helmets can be heavy.
A modular ATV helmet has a little more versatility than a full-face helmet. It includes a hinge that allows it to become an open-faced helmet if you want some fresh air when you're at a stop. They are not intended to be open while you're on the ATV. Modular helmets are not quite as safe as full-face helmets because when you flip the chin bar forward, the front of the helmet is susceptible to impact.
Open-face helmets are also known as three-quarter helmets. Some have built-in visors, which are very useful in protecting against road debris and weather conditions. They sometimes feature half visors that flip down to cover the eyes or full visors/shields that can cover your entire face. Many visors are removable for your convenience, or you can wear sunglasses or goggles to protect your eyes.
A half helmet only covers the top and back of your head. This type of helmet is usually not as expensive as others due to its styling. They tend to be very lightweight and strong, but don't provide nearly as much protection as off-road, full-face, or modular helmets because the entire face is exposed.
Nearly 50 years ago, a teen named Jim O’Neal from Southern California became addicted to racing. In 1970, he created a company that continues to produce parts, apparel, and accessories for young racers around the world. Two popular products are the O'Neal Unisex-Adult Off-Road Style 3 SRS Helmet and the O’Neal 2 Series Spyde Helmet.
The American company Bell was founded in 1954 during the height of California's hot rod and racing scene. The company currently manufactures helmets for auto racing, motorcycling, and bicycling arenas. Popular products include the Bell MX-9 Adventure Full Face Helmet in Black and White.
HJC has exclusively been making motorcycle helmets since 1971. Based in La Habra, California, HJC aims to provide safe, comfortable, stylish, and affordable helmets to people around the world. One top product is the HJC Solid Mens CL-X7 Off-Road/Dirt Bike Motorcycle Helmet.
Typhoon Helmets is a division of Midwest Motorsports LLC in Fort Branch, Indiana. It has been in business since 2001 and makes adult and youth motocross helmets and helmet combos, dirt bike riding gear packages, snowmobile helmets, motorcycle helmets for kids, and more. We recommend its Typhoon Full Face Dual Sport Helmet Off Road UTV ATV Motorcycle Enduro.
ATV Helmet Pricing
- Under $100: You can find a variety of affordable ATV helmets under $100. However, they may not be as durable as more expensive brands, and sizing can be off.
- $100-$200: There are a number of good-quality ATV helmets at this price point. Most meet federal safety standards, and they come in a variety of styles and designs.
- Over $500: Pro racers tend to spend a lot of safety gear such as helmets. However, you can still get a good-quality ATV helmet as a casual rider without spending this type of cash.
Safety is paramount when it comes to the best ATV helmets. Therefore, make sure the ATV helmet brands you consider meet or exceed national safety regulations. This means they should meet DOT minimum standards. That way you know you're protected as much as possible if there's an accident.
It doesn't matter whether you wear a small or large ATV helmet as long as it fits correctly. If it's too tight, it will press against your head and feel very uncomfortable. If it's too big it can move around and won't provide adequate protection if you crash. Plus, incorrectly sized helmets can be very distracting, which can be dangerous. Be sure to measure the circumference of your head before making a purchase.
- Material: Most ATV helmets for adults and children are injection-molded polycarbonate construction. This type of shell tends to be heavier than more expensive brands, which are often made of carbon fiber and fiberglass. It's important that the helmet is strong, durable, and high-quality regardless of what type of material is used.
- Ventilation: Another thing to consider when purchasing a quad helmet is airflow. Many models feature vents and slots to keep you dry and prevent you from sweating. It’s important to have a breathable helmet when you ride your ATV so you don’t get overheated.
Best ATV Helmets Reviews & Recommendations 2020
- As we’ve already mentioned, ATV helmets should have a snug fit. If it glides on without much force, it's probably too large. If it goes on easily, it will likely come off easily, which won't protect you during an impact.
- When you put on your helmet, grab the back of it and try to lift it forward. You shouldn't be able to lift it off your head. If you can, it's not the right size.
- If you can slip your fingers underneath the front of the helmet next to your forehead, then it's too big. Make sure it rests tightly against your forehead for maximum protection.
- Wear the helmet for several minutes to see how it feels. If you feel uncomfortable pressure spots, then it may not be the right design for your head.
Q: Do I have to wear a helmet when I ride my ATV?
A: It depends on the state, but many require helmets if you ride on a street, road, or highway. However, you should wear one 100 percent of the time regardless of your age or experience in order to protect your head and face from impact.
Q: Can I wear a bicycle helmet when I ride my ATV?
A: No. Bicycle helmets are not rated for ATV use and off-roading. They will not protect your head adequately if you are involved in an accident.
Q: When should I replace my ATV helmet?
A: You should buy a new helmet every five years whether or not it's been involved in an accident. Over time, the helmet's materials can degrade, which can compromise safety.
Q: How do I clean my ATV helmet?
A: To clean the outside of your helmet, use water, a nonabrasive cloth, and helmet wax or a specially designed cleaner. Take out any removable parts and either hand-wash or machine wash them. Wipe down the inside with a gentle cleanser.
Our pick for the best ATV helmet is the O'Neal Unisex-Adult Off-Road Style 3 SRS Helmet. It's breathable, comfortable, and has a really neat graphic design.
For a more budget-friendly option, consider the Typhoon Adult ATV Helmet Goggles Gloves Gear Combo.