There are a lot of things to consider when it comes to choosing and purchasing a new dual sport/adventure helmet – budget, technicality, safety, riding type, and more – so use this buyer’s guide as a starting point. We’ve done the heavy lifting and compiled a list of our favorite ADV helmets, so follow along as we breakdown their features, capabilities, and prices.

Bell MX-9 Adventure MIPS Helmet

Price: $219.95 – $249.95

For a dual sport/adventure helmet on a budget, you can’t do much better than the Bell MX-9 Adventure MIPS helmet. While the helmet doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of some of the more expensive helmets on this list, it does everything it needs to, and it does it well – that’s a bang for your buck right there.

The value kicks off with Bell’s 5-year warranty on the helmet, i.e. protection of your investment and peace of mind. Offering such a long warranty demonstrates Bell’s confidence in their helmet – they built the MX-9 Adventure to last. One indication of that is the helmet’s multi directional protection system (MIPS). A low friction layer under the EPS liner, the MIPS is a slip plane that enables relative motion between the head and the helmet to mitigate rotational forces on impact. This, paired with a lightweight polycarbonate/ABS shell, a two-point adjustable visor with air intake vents, Bell’s Velocity Flow Ventilation system, and the anti-fog/anti-scratch NutraFog II shield, round out the DOT/ECE certified helmet’s long list of impressive features.

There is a DLX version of this helmet sitting just above the $300 mark, but the only difference between the two is the transition lens that comes included with the DLX.

Bell MX-9 Adventure Helmet Colors
Matte Black White Black/Red/White
Bell MX-9 Adventure Helmet Colors: Matte Black Bell MX-9 Adventure Helmet Colors: White Bell MX-9 Adventure Helmet Colors: Black/Red/White
Black/White/Orange Sand/Brown/Grey White/Blue/Hi-Viz
Bell MX-9 Adventure Helmet Colors: Black/White/Orange Bell MX-9 Adventure Helmet Colors: Sand/Brown/Grey Bell MX-9 Adventure Helmet Colors: White/Blue/Hi-Viz
Black/Grey Camo/Black
Bell MX-9 Adventure Helmet Colors: Black/Grey Bell MX-9 Adventure Helmet Colors: Camo/Black

Scorpion EXO-AT950 Helmet

Price: $269.95-$289.95

Starting at $270, the Scorpion EXO-AT950 helmet is another screamin’ deal on the market. The EXO-AT950 is comparable to the MX-9 Adventure in several aspects – a 5-year warranty, a DOT approved polycarbonate shell, etc. – but sets itself apart with one significant distinction: modularity. If you’re looking for a modular helmet, this one’s it.

Scorpion’s EXO-AT950 was one of the first true modular ADV helmets, and it remains so today. The chin bar has three positions and can easily be operated with just one hand, making it possible to flip the bar completely out of the way. This comes in handy for pretty much everything – from stopping and talking to eating and drinking, you can just lift the chin bar rather than taking off the entire helmet. Another factor in modularity is the helmet’s removable helmet peak/exterior visor. With this removed, the helmet can be customized for whatever on or off-road riding you want to do.

Beyond its modularity, the EXO-AT950 has an unexpected number of high-end features like a drop-down sun visor (the only helmet in this lineup with it), an optically correct face shield, and a toolless shield changing system with Ellip-Tec.

Scorpion EXO-AT950 Helmet Colors
Anthracite Hypersilver Matte Black
Scorpion EXO-AT950 Helmet Colors: Anthracite

Scorpion EXO-AT950 Helmet Colors: Hypersilver Scorpion EXO-AT950 Helmet Colors: Matte Black
White Sand Hi-Viz
Scorpion EXO-AT950 Helmet Colors: White Scorpion EXO-AT950 Helmet Colors: Sand Scorpion EXO-AT950 Helmet Colors: Hi-Viz 1
Orange Silver Hi-Viz
Scorpion EXO-AT950 Helmet Colors: Orange Scorpion EXO-AT950 Helmet Colors: Silver Scorpion EXO-AT950 Helmet Colors: Hi-Viz 2
Red Titantium Black/Grey
Scorpion EXO-AT950 Helmet Colors: Red Scorpion EXO-AT950 Helmet Colors: Titanium Scorpion EXO-AT950 Helmet Colors: Black/Grey
Blue/Hi-Viz Hi-Viz/Black Neon Orange/Dark Grey
Scorpion EXO-AT950 Helmet Colors: Blue/Hi-Viz Scorpion EXO-AT950 Helmet Colors: Hi-Viz/Black Scorpion EXO-AT950 Helmet Colors: Neon Orange/Dark Grey
Scorpion EXO-AT950 Helmet Colors: Pink/Grey

Arai XD4 Motorcycle Helmet

Price: $548.95-$692.95

Arai is the first of three premium helmets we cover in this guide. It’s been around for a while, but it remains to be one of our favorites year after year and frequents our ADV helmet buyer’s guide.

Why? The biggest reason is comfort. The Arai XD4 is unbelievably comfortable – riders here have put the helmet on and not wanted to take it off. This is a customary reaction, and rightfully so considering the helmet’s cheek pads and comfort liner. With exclusive 5mm peel-away side/temple crown pads, you can customize the fit and comfort of your helmet to give it more interior width as needed. You won’t find that trait in any other helmet, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg for the XD4’s features.

Protection is also a priority in the Arai with its R75 shell design; made as round as possible with no hard edges, the R75 shell allows the helmet to slide in the event of a crash rather than snag or stumble. This safety feature contributes not only to the helmet’s DOT certification, but also its revered Snell certification. On top of that, convenience works its way through the helmet with large exhaust vents, a wide chin bar vent, and a pivoting face shield system.

Arai XD4 Helmet on the Hooked on Phoenix Ride

Arai XD4 Motorcycle Helmet Colors
Africa Twin/White Aluminum/Silver Black Frost
Arai XD4 Motorcycle Helmet Colors: Africa Twin/White Arai XD4 Motorcycle Helmet Colors: Aluminum/Silver Arai XD4 Motorcycle Helmet Colors: Black Frost
Black Depart Black/Silver Frost Depart White/Blue
Arai XD4 Motorcycle Helmet Colors: Black Arai XD4 Motorcycle Helmet Colors: Depart Black/Silver Frost Arai XD4 Motorcycle Helmet Colors: Depart White/Blue
Fluorescent Yellow Vision Black Frost Vision Orange Frost
Arai XD4 Motorcycle Helmet Colors: Flo Yellow Arai XD4 Motorcycle Helmet Colors: Vision Black Frost Arai XD4 Motorcycle Helmet Colors: Vision Orange Frost
Vision Red Frost Vision White Frost White
Arai XD4 Motorcycle Helmet Colors: Vision Red Frost Arai XD4 Motorcycle Helmet Colors: Vision White Frost Arai XD4 Motorcycle Helmet Colors: White

Klim Krios Pro Helmet

Price: $699.99

Klim’s Krios Pro is a feature-rich premium helmet, but its weight wouldn’t show that. The first thing most riders notice when picking up or putting on the Krios helmet is just how lightweight it is – a size large weighs just 3 lbs. 1 oz. In case you’re wondering, that’s almost a pound lighter than most of the other helmets in this lineup, and it can all be attributed to its Karbon Fiber hand-laid shell.

The Karbon Fiber shell isn’t the only proprietary Klim tech that can be found in the Krios, though (and it definitely isn’t the only tech that starts with the letter “K”). The premium helmet comes equipped with the Klimatex antimicrobial/moisture-wicking liner and Koyoryd materials. Koroyd represents an innovation in safety technology for Klim – a new take on the traditional EPS liner, Koroyd is an energy absorbing structure that crushes homogenously on impact for an asserted 48% more energy absorption. This technology is used in conjunction with the usual EPS liner included in the helmet.

Some other aspects of the Krios Pro that we like are its comfort and its versatility. With the Klimatek liner and padding, the helmet fits on the head nicely and fits true to size. As for versatility, the face shield can be removed to allow for goggle compatibility while the whole visor can be removed with a few user-friendly screws.

Klim Krios Pro Helmet Colors
Arsenal Dune Arsenal Grey Loko Striking Grey
Klim Krios Pro Helmet Colors: Aresnal Dune Klim Krios Pro Helmet Colors: Arsenal Grey Klim Krios Pro Helmet Colors: Loko Striking Grey
Matte Black
Klim Krios Pro Helmet Colors: Matte Black

Shoei Hornet X2 Helmet

Price: $715.99

Arguably the most technical helmet in today’s lineup, the Hornet X2 excels at acoustics, aerodynamics, and protection.

Shoei can thank its in-house wind tunnel for the unprecedented on-road performance of the Hornet X2. Their helmets undergo extensive testing at varied speeds, and Shoei uses that information to refine their models for optimal acoustics and aerodynamics. The shell and its venting are designed and constructed to minimize on-road noise, while the visor is shaped to reduce buffeting and remain stable at high speeds.

Protection is handled with the shell’s Multi-Ply Matrix AIM + technology that keeps the helmet rigid and unyielding. The Emergency Quick Release System (EQRS) is another plus, allowing the cheek pads to easily be removed by emergency personnel in the event of a crash. The helmet’s CNS-2 shield ensures clarity and consistency of vision by preventing fogging and offering a wide field of vision.

Comfort and other nuances do not go ignored by the Shoei helmet, either. With a multi-density EPS liner inside the helmet, recessed speaker pockets, a chin curtain, a breath guard, and a quick-drying, moisture-wicking liner, the Hornet X2 is one of the most well-rounded helmets on the market.

Shoei Hornet X2 Navigate Helmet Colors
Black/Grey Black/Yellow Red/White
Shoei Hornet X2 Navigate Helmet Colors: Black/Grey Shoei Hornet X2 Navigate Helmet Colors: Black/Yellow
Shoei Hornet X2 Navigate Helmet Colors: Silver/Orange

Keep the Ride Going

These may be our top 5 ADV helmets going into 2020, but there are still so many other good helmets out there. Check out our Adventure Motorcycle Helmet page for more of our favorites, as well as some great closeout deals. And, if you want even more gear advice, check out the rest of our buyer’s guides for 2020!

ADV Helmet on the Red Rocks to Mountain Tops Ride


Tell Us What You Think

Which ADV helmet do you currently have? Are you considering an upgrade? Let us know in the comments below.