Best Motorcycle Half Helmets: Stylish and Protective Head Gear
Hit the open road with these tough and protective motorcycle half helmets
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PUBLISHED ON November 5, 2019
The most important piece of gear a motorcyclist can get is a helmet. It is tough and durable, and protects your head from injuries. Helmets come in several styles, colors, and shapes, and one of the most popular styles are half helmets. They offer the protection of a full-face helmet but allow you to feel more wind on your face. If you are on the lookout for a new motorcycle half helmet, consider these top picks.
- Best OverallHJC Solid IS-Cruiser Half Shell Motorcycle HelmetSummarySummary
A modern and sleek-looking matte black half helmet with an integrated smoked sun shield for added protection and vision.ProsPros
It features plush and moisture-wicking Nylex padding. It fits snuggly, securely, and comfortably. It is lightweight and easy to put on. Plus, the visor reduces wind noise and resistance.ConsCons
It isn’t the most ventilated helmet on the market and can get quite hot because it’s black. Also, the windscreen isn’t tinted.
- Best ValueVega Helmets Warrior Motorcycle Half HelmetSummarySummary
A small, lightweight, and comfortable half helmet that features an adjustable dial system to fit it firmly to your head.ProsPros
It includes a tinted drop-down sun shield to protect your eyes from the sun, bugs, and debris. It is equipped with an advanced moisture-wicking liner and padding for maximum comfort.ConsCons
It does not offer much protection for your ears. The shield feels flimsy and wobbles a bit. The lining is a bit thin and can move around.
- Honorable MentionHJC Helmets CS-2N Half HelmetSummarySummary
HJC made this list again because it knows how to make a tough and lightweight half helmet, and the CS-2N is really good. The shell is developed out of thermoplastic alloy for added protection.ProsPros
The helmet comes with an aerodynamic visor, a soft and padded Nylex interior, two vents for enhanced airflow, a removable zip-out neck curtain, and optional earflaps with pockets for speakers.ConsCons
The visor is small and does not protect your eyes or face. The wind noise is loud. The chin strap is short and can be a hassle to buckle.
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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 Motorcycle Half Helmets
- Safety. It’s always wise to wear a helmet to safeguard your head in a crash. While a half helmet provides less protection than a full-face helmet, it's better than not wearing one at all.
- Enhanced airflow. The best half helmet for motorcycles lets you feel the wind on your face and is cooler than a full-face helmet. Open-face helmets don't have chin bars, so your chin and cheeks are exposed to more airflow.
- Lightweight. Half helmets are much lighter than full-face and even 3/4 helmets. The best half-face motorcycle helmets aren't very heavy, yet they are still strong and protective.
Types of Motorcycle Half Helmets
Low-profile motorcycle half helmets cover the top of your head from your forehead to your eyebrows. Your face is entirely exposed, and there is minimal coverage on the back of your neck and ears. They are not nearly as protective as full-face or 3/4 helmets, yet many of them are DOT-approved.
Traditional With a Sun Shield
Lightweight motorcycle half helmets don't typically come with a visor or face shield, but some brands do. Built-in visors are handy because they protect your eyes from road debris, rain, and other conditions. Usually the sun visors are half visors that flip down to cover your eyes, and some are removable. If you don't have a visor, you can wear goggles or sunglasses to protect your face.
HJC has been manufacturing motorcycle helmets since 1971. The company is headquartered in La Habra, California, and it designs safe, comfortable, stylish, and affordable products. One of its best half shell motorcycle helmets is the HJC Solid IS-Cruiser Half Shell Motorcycle Helmet.
Vega Helmets is based in Columbus, Ohio, and has been making quality helmets since 1994. The company rigorously tests its helmets during the design process and also manufactures accessories, such as mirrored shields and ear pads. Among its best rated motorcycle half helmets is the Vega Helmets Warrior Motorcycle Half Helmet.
Torc is located in Pasadena, California, and is one of the world's biggest helmet manufacturers. In addition to half-face helmets, the company makes full-face, open-face, and dirt bike helmets. One of its best-looking motorcycle half helmets is the TORC T55 Spec-Op Half Helmet with Flag Graphic.
Motorcycle Half Helmet Pricing
- Under $50: Motorcycle half helmets are typically not very expensive. You can find several products that have DOT approval in this price range. However, there are also helmets known as skid lids that offer very little protection and do not comply with any safety regulations, so do your research before making a purchase.
- $50-$100: Some of the best half helmets are less than $100. They provide adequate safety protection and may also feature a visor or sun shield for your eyes.
- Over $100: For the best protection, you need to spend a little more money. High-quality half helmets in this price range also have advanced features, such as removable neck curtains for cold weather, speaker pockets for communication devices such as Bluetooth, and adjustable dials for a better fit.
The best-fitting motorcycle half helmet will feel snug on your head and won't move around. If it doesn't fit properly, it will wobble around and won't provide much protection during an impact. The helmet should also be comfortable because if it's not, you are less likely to wear it. Everyone has a different head shape, so make sure you check the fit before purchase.
Even the best motorcycle half face helmet will produce a bit of wind noise. This type of helmet is much less aerodynamic than other types of helmets, so don't be surprised if it doesn't provide a quiet ride. However, some helmets are less noisy than others. Since wind noise can damage your hearing, you need a helmet that dampens some of the sound.
The safest helmets are those that are approved by the Department of Transportation. These helmets undergo rigorous testing to ensure that they meet government standards for safety by fulfilling the minimum requirements. Riders who wear helmets without DOT approval often do so for aesthetic purposes rather than for protection.
- Style: The biggest problem with half helmets is that some of them are very large and can make you look like a bobblehead or mushroom head. Fortunately, there are many brands available in many different styles and colors, so you have a lot of options if you want a model that is more streamlined and less bulky.
- Liner: Check the liner to see if it is removable and washable. It's important to clean your liner on a regular basis because it can accumulate sweat and dirt. Also, some liners feature pockets that let you insert earbuds or speakers from Bluetooth devices, which can make a helmet quite versatile.
Best Motorcycle Half Helmet Reviews & Recommendations 2020
Best Overall: HJC Solid IS-Cruiser Half Shell Motorcycle Helmet
This DOT-approved matte black half helmet is sleek and modern-looking. It features an integrated smoked sun shield that is easy to use and provides added vision protection. The composite shell is made of lightweight polycarbonate. CAD technology enhances its fit, and it comes with a nylon strap D-ring retention system.
The helmet features plush and moisture-wicking nylex padding and includes a removable and washable antibacterial liner. The helmet fits nicely secure and snug. The flip-down shield reduces wind noise and resistance and doesn't interfere with glasses.
One downside is that the helmet doesn't have the greatest ventilation. Also, it can get quite hot in the summer because it’s black. Some people complain that the helmet makes your head look like a giant bubble, and it may feel a little top heavy on some riders.
Best Value: Vega Helmets Warrior Motorcycle Half Helmet
The Rebel Warrior DOT-approved half helmet is designed for both men and women. It's small, lightweight (just 2.2 pounds), and comfortable and features an adjustable dial system for a firmer fit. It comes with a vented, high-density EPS liner for safety and to provide a cooling effect. It also has a five-year limited warranty.
The helmet has a tinted drop-down sun shield to protect your eyes from the sun, bugs, and debris. It is equipped with an advanced moisture-wicking liner and padding for maximum comfort. The helmet does not make your head look like a mushroom, the visor has no distortion, and it's not overly heavy. The quick release is also a nice feature.
One downside is that the helmet does not offer much protection for your ears. Also, the shield feels flimsy and wobbles a bit, and the lining is a bit thin and can move around. In addition, if you have a very large head, even the XX-large may not fit properly.
Honorable Mention: HJC Helmets CS-2N Half Helmet
HJC's DOT-approved CS-2N is lightweight yet tough. It weighs just over three pounds, and the thermoplastic alloy shell was developed with the aid of advanced CAD to provide added protection. The low-profile helmet is warm and fits well with both glasses and goggles.
The helmet features an aerodynamic visor, a soft and padded Nylex interior, two vents for enhanced airflow, a removable zip-out neck curtain, and optional earflaps with pockets for speakers. The helmet stays on your head with no lift. It's very comfortable and doesn't make you look too much like a mushroom head.
However, the visor is small and does not protect your eyes or face very well. Also, the wind noise is loud, and the chin strap is a little short and can be a hassle to buckle.
- Wear a mask or bandana over your mouth to protect against bugs, the elements, and debris. While the shield or visor may do this as well, a second barrier is always a bonus.
- Once the helmet is on, tie or wrap the straps around themselves so they don’t interfere with your eyes, ears, or face during the ride.
- If the padding falls off or doesn’t stay on, glue them back into place with a strong adhesive or water-resistant tape.
Q: Are helmets required in every state?
A: No. Check your state’s motorcycle laws to see if they require you to wear a helmet. However, we recommend you wear one when you ride to better protect yourself on the road.
Q: How can I be sure a motorcycle half helmet fits comfortably?
A: Measure your head and compare the size with the manufacturer's sizing chart. To do this, measure the width of your skull. You want a helmet that fits comfortably without being too snug or too loose and one that doesn’t ride too high on your head.
Q: Can I mount a camera to a half helmet?
A: You should be able to mount a camera to any helmet; however, it is best to check with the manufacturer to make sure. Some helmets may not be able to properly hold the extra weight of the camera.
Q: Can I wear glasses or goggles with a half helmet?
A: Half helmets are designed to allow the rider to wear glasses or goggles while riding. Because they do not offer full head protection, you should wear a pair of glasses or sunglasses to protect your eyes and face.
If you need a reliable and durable motorcycle half helmet, then consider the HJC Solid IS-Cruiser Half Shell Motorcycle Helmet.
If you want to save some cash and still get a strong half helmet to protect you while you ride, check out the Vega Helmets Warrior Motorcycle Half Helmet.