Although motorcycle helmets were in use before the First World War, and are now a legal requirement for motorcycle riding in many countries, full face motorcycle helmets are a relatively recent innovation.
The distinguishing feature of a full face helmet is – as the name suggests – that it covers the entire head and face, offering greater protection and increased impact absorption in the event of a crash.
Once considered the preserve of the professional racer, full face helmets are increasingly seen as the default option for the responsible rider. Below are the best full face motorcycle helmets available on the market.
Joyoushousehold.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com
Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates.
|HJC Full Face Helmet||X-Small to 5X-Large||9.6 / 10|
|Arai XD4 Full Face Helmet||X-Small to XX-Large||9.6 / 10|
|LS2 Stream Motorcycle Helmet||X-Small to XX-Large||9.4 / 10|
|Shoei Full Face Helmet||X-Small to XX-Large||9.4 / 10|
|1Storm Street Bike Helmet||X-Small to XX-Large||9.2 / 10|
|Triangle Dual Visor Street Helmet||Small to X-Large||9.2 / 10|
|Triangle Street Helmet||Medium to X-Large||9.2 / 10|
|1Storm Mechanic Helmet||Small to X-Large||9.2 / 10|
|Shoei Neotec Helmet||X-Small to XX-Large||9.2 / 10|
|Bell Qualifier Street Helmet||X-Small to XX-Large||9 / 10|
|GLX Dual Visor Street Helmet||Medium to X-Large||9 / 10|
|ScooterPartsDepot Street Helmet||Small to XX-Large||8.8 / 10|
Motorcycle helmets are worn by motorcycle riders for the primary purpose of safety. They’re meant to protect the rider’s head, face and neck in the event of a collision, preventing or reducing head injury and saving lives.
Some helmets, particularly the more expensive modern models, come with a host of luxury extras, including ventilation and built-in sound systems. It’s important to remember however that these are extras: as comfortable as some helmets might be, their job is still the same.
Although there’s often been tension between the law, concerned with safety, and riders more interested in feeling the wind in their hair, most motorcycle owners today would agree that helmets are there for protection, and that’s a good thing.
Motorcycle riders looking for a new helmet will find themselves weighed down by choice. With all the extras available on some helmets, and the range of styles & colors available, the decision can become overwhelming without even getting to ask the most important question about a helmet: will it keep me alive if I crash? If mere survival isn’t enough, you could add the second most important question: will it protect my face?
Before even thinking about luxuries and color coordination, a rider looking for a new helmet needs to decide between the three basic types available for use on roads. These are the full face (or closed), modular (or flip-up), and open face (or three-quarter) types.
The full face type of helmet covers the entire head, including the base of the skull and the front of the chin, while the open face type covers only the ears, cheeks, and back of the neck.
The modular type is a sort of hybrid between full face and open face helmets: when fully closed, they resemble a full face helmet, but the visor and chin bar can be pivoted to allow access to the face.
All motorcycle helmets are, in theory, designed to protect the rider’s head and face. Most conventional helmets, regardless of type, follow the same basic model of construction: a hard outer shell (of plastic, fiberglass, or even Kevlar) and a thick, soft inner foam lining.
That said, most scientists agree that full face helmets are the way to go. Studies show us that over a third of all motorcycle crashes result in major impact on the chin, in which case anything other than a full face helmet won’t offer protection.
One provocative study even showed open face riders were more likely to suffer a traumatic brain injury in a serious collision than riders without helmets. This might be down to the confidence that comes with wearing a helmet, even if it’s not fit for purpose – as was unfortunately the case for the riders in this Brazilian study.
Full face helmet wearers showed a markedly lower rate of traumatic brain injuries. If the purpose of a motorcycle helmet is to keep you alive and keep your face intact, there’s no substitute for full face.
As with the other types of helmets on the market, there are a number of variations and extras available when looking for the right full face helmet. Some models allow the face shield to be pivoted up or down, allowing some access to the face. This won’t give the same degree of access as most modular helmets, but less access means more protection.
With that in mind, it’s worth considering whether any amount of access is necessary: after all, the helmet’s there to protect your face as well as your head.
A lot of full face helmets do include vents, which help with airflow. This can be a big deal for some riders, who dislike the isolation and sticky heat of riding with their head enclosed.
Wearing a full face motorcycle helmet comes with a number of benefits:
If you’ve decided a full face motorcycle helmet is right for you, there are still a few things left to consider before making your purchase.
The process of putting on a full face helmet should quickly become second nature, even if you’re only used to open face helmets or new to motorcycle riding altogether.
Even if you’re an old hand, you’ll benefit from physically trying on any helmet you’re considering buying. Everyone’s head shape is slightly different, and so some helmets will feel better to some riders than others.
To put your full face helmet on, first hold it by the chin straps with the front of the helmet (i.e. the visor and the chin guard) pointing at the floor. Put your thumbs on the inside of the straps and gently apply pressure, balancing the helmet with your fingertips, and use the chin straps to guide the helmet down onto your head.
If it’s a good fit for you, it’ll feel snug. Enlisting the help of a friend or store assistant can help make sure you’re wearing it the way the manufacturer intended.
It’s important to remember that motorcycles will never be the safest mode of transport, and that riding one will remain a fundamentally dangerous activity whatever precautions are taken.
The fact that motorcycle riding is dangerous doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take every effort to make it as safe as possible. In fact the opposite is true, which is why full face helmets are enthusiastically recommended by medics and professional riders alike.
That said, you should always remember that a helmet alone won’t keep you safe. Reasonable and responsible riding is hugely important, for your safety as a rider and the safety of any passenger you might be carrying, as well as that of other road users and pedestrians.
The freedom which makes so many riders passionate about motorcycles can create the temptation to speed and maneuver around other vehicles on the road. Resisting this temptation is the easiest way to protect your life and that of others. Even the most expensive high-tech helmet on the market won’t protect you from brain injury at a certain speed.
Regular inspections of your helmet are recommended, as even a small crack can have a significant effect on its ability to absorb an impact.