As an avid mountain biker with over a decade of experience hitting singletrack and bombing downhill runs, having the right protective gear is essential. And when it comes to protecting your dome, nothing beats a quality full face helmet.
Full face lids offer way more coverage and impact protection compared to standard half shell bike helmets. With a full chin guard, occipital protection, and extra thick padding, these hardcore hats are made to handle the most intense rides.
I’ve gone through my fair share of full face helmets over the years. From cheap-o models that fog up instantly to high-end carbon fiber brains buckets, I’ve tried them all.
In this blog post I’ll be sharing my picks for the top 5 best full face mountain bike helmets currently on the market based on protection, comfort, ventilation, and overall value. I’ve included options at different price points for every budget.
So without further ado, let’s get into it!
The Best Bang for Your Buck: Bell Sanction
Kicking things off with a lid that delivers premium protection without breaking the bank, the Bell Sanction is my top value pick.
What I love about the Bell Sanction is that it packs great features like an adjustable visor, ABS shell construction, and a super comfortable padded interior into an affordable package. Plus it just looks wicked (especially in the matte blue colorway).
While it doesn’t have the largest face opening or jaw protection, for most trail and all mountain riding it gets the job done. Extra ventilation would be nice as well, but at this price point the Sanction can’t be beat!
The Ventilated Virtuoso: Troy Lee Designs Stage
If riding in hot and humid conditions is your thing, then the Stage from Troy Lee Designs needs to be on your radar. With 21 big bore vents and special sweat-wicking liner fabric, this helmet keeps you cool and dry even on the most blistering bluebird days.
I’m continually impressed with how lightweight and comfortable the Stage feels despite having full face protection. TLD really nailed the fit and proportions on this one.
My only real complaint is that the visor is fixed and non-adjustable. But the camera/light mounts and feathery feel more than make up for it!
The Feature-Packed Favorite: Leatt DBX 4.0
Packing in all the bells and whistles without compromising safety or style, the Leatt DBX 4.0 takes the title as my personal favorite and most frequently used full face helmet.
The intelligent design and shape work with your natural head movement instead of against it, making the DBX feel like an extension of your body. The 360° Turbine Technology effectively sucks in air to keep you chill while the reinforced shell and impact foam manages hard hits.
I also love the FidLock magnetic buckle which makes taking the DBX on and off a breeze. And the visor is perfect in terms of adjustably and coverage.
My only gripe is that the cheek pads can press against sunglasses and feel uncomfortable. But throwing on some aftermarket pads solved that issue for me.
The Downhill Destroyer: Fox Racing Proframe
When downhill domination is the name of your game, the Fox Racing Proframe delivers gnarly composite construction and supreme protection that meets even the most discerning rider’s needs.
Weighing in at under 3 pounds, the Proframe is a marvel of lightweight engineering. The carbon composite shell reinforced with external molded pieces can take hits all day long while the MIPS liner technology helps mitigate oblique impacts.
Ventilation and sweat management are also excellent thanks to the perforated chin bar and rear exhaust ports. Field of view is nice and wide as well so you can spot lines on the fly.
Yes it’s pricy, but for those looking for a FIS-certified full face helmet built for competition, the Proframe earns its keep!
The Young Shredder Special: Demon Podium
And last but not least, if you have a aspiring young downhiller at home, check out the Demon Podium. Available in a range of colors/designs and sized for smaller domes, this lid was purpose-built for kids.
What’s awesome about the Podium is that it provides full face protection tailored specifically for youth proportions. So many “kids” helmets are basically just resized versions of adult models, which can lead to comfort and safety issues.
But Demon put careful thought into creating a properly proportioned helmet with rad graphics that will have your toddler shredding in style. And the parents will appreciate the reasonable price point too!
The Bottom Line!
So there you have it friends–a breakdown of my top choices for the best full face mountain bike helmets across a range of needs and budgets. Protect that melon properly so you can keep the rubber side down!
Don’t hesitate to leave a comment if you have any additional questions. ‘Til next time, this is Ava signing out. May your rides be rad and your face remain intact!