With riding season kicking into full gear, it may be time to get a new helmet. We know that choosing your new lid is no small task, so we have compiled a few guides to give you the information you need to make your decision. From premium helmets to budget-friendly, mid-level alternatives, this article will help you find the helmet that checks all of your boxes.

Premium Helmets

These helmets are an investment, but they feature top-of-the-line technologies, venting designs, the industry’s latest innovations.

6D ATR-2 Helmet
Price: $674.95

It is not possible to create a premium helmet buyer’s guide without including the ATR-2. 6D has created one of the safest and most innovative helmets on the market in the ATR-2. Their Omni-Directional Suspension (ODS) works to offer complete protection. With a replaceable inner EPS liner, multi-impact EPP liner, progressive EPP damping towers, low-friction disks, and isolation dampers, the system distributes the forces of impact to lessen their damage. Here’s how it works: the EPS and EPP liners are separated by their isolation dampers that can move in 6 degrees of motion. This design absorbs impact but also helps mitigate rotational forces as well. Together, each element of the ODS system helps to slow rotational energy and lessen linear impacts. The friction disks are in place to reduce additional drag between the two liners to aid further in rotational energy management. Think of it like a MIPS system for the EPP and EPS liners.

Aside from the ODS system, the ATR-2 boasts a lightweight tri-composite shell, comfortable liner, and weight just over three pounds for a size medium.

The Bottom Line: If safety and impact protection is your top concern, then you cannot go wrong with the ATR-2.

Carson Mumford in the 6D ATR-2 Helmet
Photo Credit: Kardy Photo

6D ATR-2 Helmet Colorways
6D ATR-2 Solid Helmet White 6D ATR-2 Solid Helmet White Red 6D ATR-2 Solid Helmet Black
White White/Red Black
6D ATR-2 Patriot LE Helmet Black 6D ATR-2 Helo Helmet Yellow Grey 6D ATR-2 Helo Helmet Red White Blue
Black Yellow/Grey Red/White/Blue
6D ATR-2 Helo Helmet Red Grey 6D ATR-2 Helo LE Helmet White Grey Black 6D ATR-2 Helo LE Helmet Black Grey
Red/Grey White/Grey/Black Black/Grey
6D ATR-2 Missile Helmet Black 6D ATR-2 Strike Helmet Red 6D ATR-2 Shadow Helmet Neon Yellow
Black Red Neon Yellow
6D ATR-2 Motion Helmet Red
Red

Fly Racing Formula Helmet
Price: $689.95

Two things stand out about Fly Racing’s Formula helmet: comfort and weight. When we first put this helmet on, we were blown away by how comfortable it felt. The padding was plush and the fit was better than any other helmet in recent memory. As for weight, a size medium comes in at just two pounds, 13 ounces. That is extremely lightweight, most notably if you are transitioning from a helmet in the mid three-pound range.

Beyond those two factors, there are other features that make the Formula a premium helmet. First, the Impact Energy Cell by RHEON. Stacked by the helmet’s EPS liner, the RHEON cells work to mitigate rotational forces. Second, the Conehead EPS Technology operates by efficiently absorbing impact in six critical zones fine-tuned for progressive response. Third, the True Functional Ventilation (TVF) forces air through multiple intake vents, around the helmet, and out varying exhaust vents.

The Bottom Line: If you want comparable safety features to that 6D’s ATR-2 provides in the most comfortable package, then the Formula helmet is for you.

Justin Bogle in the Fly Formula Helmet
Photo Credit: Kardy Photo

Fly Formula Helmet Colorways
Fly Racing Formula Carbon Axon Helmet Black Blue Hi-Vis Fly Racing Formula Carbon Axon Helmet Black Grey Blue Fly Racing Formula Carbon Axon Helmet Black Grey Orange
Black/Blue/Hi-Vis Black/Grey/Blue Black/Grey/Orange
Fly Racing Formula Carbon Axon Helmet Black Red Gold Fly Racing Formula Carbon Helmet Matte Black Fly Racing Formula Carbon Helmet White
Black/Red/Gold Matte Black White
Fly Racing Formula Carbon Origin Helmet Black Hi-Vis Fly Racing Formula Carbon Origin Helmet Matte Black Teal Fly Racing Formula Carbon Origin Helmet Red White Blue
Black/Hi-Vis Matte Black/Teal Red/White/Blue
Fly Racing Formula Carbon Solid Helmet Matte Black Fly Racing Formula Carbon Vector Helmet Blue White Black Fly Racing Formula Carbon Vector Helmet Matte Hi-Vis Grey Black
Matte Black Blue/White/Black Matte Hi-Vis/Grey/Black
Fly Racing Formula Carbon Vector Helmet Matte Orange Grey Black Fly Racing Formula Carbon Vector Helmet Red White Black
Matte Orange/Grey/Black Red/White/Black

Fox Racing V3 RS Helmet
Price: $499.95

The V3 RS from Fox is one of the most unique looking helmets, but it offers safety, comfort, and innovation. The look of the helmet has been known to polarize riders, but we’ve grown to like the lid and the features packed into it. For example, the multi-directional impact protection system (MIPS) liner is a familiar feature, but being paired with the Varizorb EPS liner is more unique. The Varizorb liner provides protection by spreading impact forces across a wider area of the helmet while the MIPS liner works to mitigate rotational forces. The dual densities offer a more progressive impact absorption through the entire shell of the helmet.

Some additional features of the helmet include a multi-composite shell, the Magnetic Visor Release System (MVRS) Fox has become known for, and a venting design that is hard to beat.

The Bottom Line: For a helmet that does everything well, plus a few unique features like the MVRS and Varizorb liner, you should invest in the V3 helmet from Fox Racing.

Ken Roczen in the Fox V3 RS Helmet
Photo Credit: Kardy Photo

Fox Racing V3 RS Helmet Colorways
Fox Racing V3 RS Solids Helmet Matte Black Fox Racing V3 RS Wired MIPS Helmet Steel Grey
Matte Black Steel Grey

Bell Moto-9 Carbon Flex Helmet
Price: $679.95

The distinguishing feature of the Bell Moto-9 Carbon Flex helmet is its Snell certification. The only helmet on this guide to achieve this, the Moto-9 stands out for its comprehensive safety features. To qualify for Snell certification, helmet manufacturers must pay for their helmets to undergo more rigorous testing than that for DOT and ECE certification. The Moto-9 Carbon Flex passed these tests thanks to their progressive layering – a three-layer impact liner design built to manage energy in low, mid, and high-speed impacts – their rotational energy management – a slip zone that allows the inner layers to move independently of each other – Bell’s Magnefusion Emergency Removal System (MERS) cheek pads are our favorite. The cheek pads are held in with magnets that make it incredibly easy to install and remove the cheek pads. For those that wash their cheek pads often or maybe take them out between motos to dry, they’re perfect.

With those safety and comfort features in mind, the biggest drawback of the Moto-9 is its weight. Most helmets that can pass Snell certification have to be a little heavier, and the medium Moto-9 Carbon Flex weighs in at three pounds, six ounces.

The Bottom Line: For a time-tested helmet with an impenetrable reputation, and the only Snell-certified option on this list, the Bell Moto-9 Carbon Flex is your top choice (so long as you do not mind a little extra weight).

Eli Tomac in the Bell Moto-9 Carbon Flex
Photo Credit: Kardy Photo

Bell Moto-9 Carbon Flex Helmet Colorways
Bell Moto-9 Carbon Flex Helmet Solid White Bell Moto-9 Carbon Flex Helmet Syndrome Matte Black Bell Moto-9 Flex Breakaway Helmet Matte Navy Light Blue
Solid White Syndrome Matte Black Matte Navy/Light Blue
Bell Moto-9 Flex Breakaway Helmet Matte Silver Black Bell Moto-9 Flex Fasthouse DITD 21 Helmet Black Grey Red Bell Moto-9 Flex Fasthouse Newhall Helmet Gloss White Black
Matte Silver/Black Black/Grey/Red Gloss White/Black
Bell Moto-9 Flex GTLND Helmet Black Hi-Viz Bell Moto-9 Flex Louver Helmet Matte Grey Red

Bell Moto 9 Flex McGrath Replica Helmet Gloss Blue Red Black
Black/Hi-Viz Matte Grey/Red Gloss Blue/Red/Black
Bell Moto-9 Flex Louver Helmet Matte Grey Red Husqvarna Moto-9 Carbon Flex Railed Helmet Grey
Matte Grey/Red Grey

Alpinestars Supertech M10 Helmet
Price: $649.95

The Supertech M10 is the premium offering in Alpinestars’ Supertech lineup. And rightfully so – at two pounds, 14 ounces with a full carbon shell, the helmet is created to be lightweight and extremely protective.

In the shell, Alpinestars has used 3k density carbon with a UD carbon composite layer and an aramid fiber layer to offer rock-hard protection. This, paired with four different EPS pieces of varying densities, offer extreme impact protection. Inside the helmet, vents have been strategically placed to offer ultimate airflow, along with a few speaker cutouts for convenience. Plus, a sip tube can be routed through the chin bar for those off-road riders with hydration packs. These features are fairly unique, almost as much as the A-Head patented fitment system included in the helmet. Using this proprietary tech, the comfort liner can be adjusted to offer the best fit for the rider’s height and head angle.

The Bottom Line: The Supertech M10 stands out for its uncommon vents and sizing. If Bluetooth communication and hydration packs or custom fitment are your priorities, then you should take a closer look at this helmet.

Hunter Lawrence in the Supertech M10 Helmet
Photo Credit: Kardy Photo

Alpinestars Supertech M10 Helmet Colorways
Alpinestars Supertech M10 Alloy MIPS Helmet Black Orange Red Alpinestars Supertech M10 Dyno MIPS Helmet Matte Black White Alpinestars Supertech M10 Dyno MIPS Helmet Red White
Black/Orange/Red Matte Black/White Red/White
Alpinestars Supertech M10 MIPS Helmet Anthracite Grey Orange Alpinestars Supertech M10 MIPS Helmet Black Aqua Orange Alpinestars Supertech M10 MIPS Helmet Black Grey Yellow
Anthracite/Grey/Orange Black/Aqua/Orange Black/Grey/Yellow

Klim F5 Koyord MIPS Helmet
Price: 649.99

The F5 Koyord is the most breathable helmet on this list, and that’s because of the Koyord. Koyord is made up of laser-welded tubes that act as crumple zones to absorb energy, but also allow air to quickly pass through them. With traditional EPS liners, unless there are cutouts, air cannot flow so freely through. The Koyord allows this movement, though, along with the 18 intake ports and eight massive exhaust vents.

Other notable features of the helmet include a full Klim Karbon Fiber shell, a MIPS liner for increased protection, a dual-density EPS liner, and the FID-Lock strap closures. These closures allow you to open and close the chin strap with just one hand, even with a glove on, upping the convenience factor of the helmet.

The Bottom Line: If you’re looking for maximum air flow, there isn’t a better breathing helmet than Klim’s F5 Koyord.

Klim F5 Koyord MIPS Helmet Colorways
Klim F5 Koroyd MIPS Helmet Ascent Asphalt Klim F5 Koroyd MIPS Helmet Ascent Monument Grey Klim F5 Koroyd MIPS Helmet Ascent OPS Black
Asphalt Ascent Monument Grey OPS Black
Klim F5 Koroyd MIPS Helmet Ascent Striking Petrol Klim F5 Koroyd MIPS Helmet Ascent Vivid Blue
Striking Petrol Vivid Blue

Mid-Level Helmets

You have a budget, and we have affordable helmets that still offer safety, comfort, and convenience.

Troy Lee Designs SE4 MIPS Helmet
Price: $260.00

The SE4 MIPS helmet comes in the same shape as the premium SE4 Carbon MIPS helmet, just in a polycarbonate shell. For this budget-friendly offering, though, that’s enough. The shell is tough – DOT and ECE certified. Plus, it’s comfortable and boasts good ventilation with 16 intake vents and eight exhaust ports.

The protection features of the SE4 helmet are what really make it stand out, however. A three-piece EPS liner with different densities is integrated throughout the helmet to absorb impacts at different speeds. Paired with the MIPS liner system, the helmet offers premium-level protection at half the price.

The Bottom Line: Safety is the focus of Troy Lee Design’s SE4 MIPS helmet, and their protection system rivals that of their premium helmet.

Justin Barcia in the TLD SE4 Helmet
Photo Credit: Kardy Photo

Troy Lee Designs SE4 MIPS Helmet Colorways
Troy Lee SE4 Beta MIPS Helmet Orange Navy Troy Lee SE4 Beta MIPS Helmet Silver Troy Lee SE4 Checker MIPS Helmet Black Gold
Orange/Navy Silver Black/Gold
Troy Lee SE4 Checker MIPS Helmet Black White Troy Lee SE4 Mono MIPS Helmet Matte Black Troy Lee SE4 Skully MIPS Helmet White
Black/White Matte Black White
Troy Lee SE4 Yamaha MIPS Helmet Blue White
Blue/White

Fox Racing V2 Helmet
Price: $259.95

Fox Racing’s V2 is a helmet we have spent plenty of time in. From our experience, the helmet does everything well. The helmet is DOT and ECE certified, featuring a MIPS liner system, the same dual-density Varizorb EPS liner as the V3 RS, and the well-known magnetic visor release system, MVRS.

That said, there are a few things the helmet does better than its competitors. Venting is one such thing. There are 11 intake vents and four exhaust ports, but their placement and design create a very breathable environment. Sizing is another unique feature of this helmet. Coming in four shell sizes, the V2 offers a closer fit than most budget helmets. Such fitment does come with a slight tradeoff in weight – the size large comes in at three pounds, 10 ounces.

The Bottom Line: Great venting, close fitment, and comparable safety features are all packed into the V2, so long as you can handle a little extra weight.

Fox Racing V2 Helmet Colorways
Fox Racing V2 Mastar Helmet Yellow Fox Racing V2 Mastar Helmet Black Fox Racing V2 Venin Helmet Black
Yellow Black Black
Fox Racing V2 Voke Helmet Aqua Fox Racing V2 Voke Helmet Dark Purple Fox Racing V2 Voke Helmet Flo Red
Aqua Dark Purple Flo Red

Alpinestars Supertech M5
Price: $229.95

Where the V2 leaves something to be desired in terms of weight, the Supertech M5 shines. A size large in this helmet weighs in at three pounds, two ounces. Considering the helmet’s polycarbonate shell, this weight is even more impressive.

Part of the reason why this helmet is so lightweight is its EPS construction. The five-density EPS liner is extremely effective in weight management and crash protection. Alpinestars uses this unique liner to put the five different densities in the areas of the helmet that need them most. For example, the areas of the helmet that typically experience the hardest impact on crash get the densest pieces, while the lighter sections are spread throughout other parts of the helmet. Topped with a low friction coating, the EPS liner works well with the helmet’s comfort liner.

Another notable feature of this helmet is its visor release system. The breakaway visor releases when a pre-determined amount of force is applied at any angle, making the helmet that much safer in the case of a crash.

The Bottom Line: The Supertech M5 is the budget option of the Alpinestars Supertech lineup, but it carries a lot of the same premium features in an extremely lightweight shell.

Alpinestars Supertech M5 Helmet Colorways
Alpinestars Supertech M5 Compass Helmet Matte Black Orange Alpinestars Supertech M5 Compass Helmet Matte Black Yellow Alpinestars Supertech M5 Helmet Matte Black
Matte Black/Orange Matte Black/Yellow Matte Black
Alpinestars Supertech M5 Helmet White Alpinestars Supertech M5 Rayon Helmet Black White Orange Alpinestars Supertech M5 Rayon Helmet Light Grey Black Silver
White Black/White/Orange Light Grey/Black/Silver
Alpinestars Supertech M5 Rover Helmet Anthracite Grey Camo Red Flo Alpinestars Supertech M5 Rover Helmet Anthracite Yellow Flo Grey Camo
Anthracite/Grey Camo/Red Flo Anthracite/Yellow Flo/Grey Camo

Klim F3 Carbon Helmet
Price: $399.99

The thing you need to know about Klim’s F3 Carbon helmet is that it is not DOT compliant. If you’re riding on the streets and need a helmet that’s going to fulfill those requirements, the F3 Carbon helmet is not your best option (you could always try Klim’s F5 Koyord MIPS helmet).

If DOT compliance is not a sticking point for you, then there are several great features included in the F3 Carbon. Extra-large eye ports, FID-Lock strap closures, and high efficiency ventilation mark some of the conveniences of this lid. The real defining feature of the helmet, however, is its weight. A size large is two pounds, seven ounces, by far and away the lightest helmet we have ever worn. That lack of weight is noticeable as soon as you put on the helmet, but it really adds up after you’ve spent an entire day riding in the helmet.

The Bottom Line: The Klim F3 Carbon will be the lightest helmet you have ever worn, but you need to remember that it is not DOT approved.

Klim F3 Carbon Helmet Colorways
Klim F3 Carbon Helmet Draft Elektrik Gecko Asphalt

Klim F3 Carbon Helmet Draft Vivid Blue Klim F3 Carbon Helmet Draft White
Draft Electrik Gecko Draft Vivid Blue Draft White
Klim F3 Carbon Helmet Ghost Klim F3 Carbon Helmet Hi-Vis
Ghost Hi-Vis

Fly Racing Formula CC Helmet
Price: $489.95

Fly Racing’s Formula CC helmet is the exact same as their premium Formula Carbon helmet except for the shell construction. Where the Formula Carbon helmet comes with a 12k carbon fiber shell, the Formula CC helmet comes with a tri-weave composite shell comprised of carbon fiber, DuPont Kevlar, and fiberglass. This blend is still strong and still lightweight, but makes the helmet $200 cheaper than its premium counterpart.

If you read our premium guide above, then you know some of the incredible features in the Formula Carbon helmet and therefore the Formula CC helmet. Impact Energy Cells by RHEON help absorb impacts and rotational forces, while the Conehead EPS works to absorb impacts at both high and low speeds. These features make the Formula CC one of the most effective lower-cost helmets on the market.

The Bottom Line: If you want nearly every feature of a premium helmet in a more affordable shell, then the Fly Racing Formula CC helmet is the one that makes the least compromises.

A Privateer in the Fly Racing Formula CC Helmet
Photo Credit: Kardy Photo

Fly Racing Formula CC Helmet Colorways
Fly Racing Formula CC Primary Helmet Blue Grey Fly Racing Formula CC Primary Helmet Matte Grey Black Fly Racing Formula CC Primary Helmet Matte Grey Orange
Blue/Grey Matte Grey/Black Matte Grey/Orange
Fly Racing Formula CC Primary Helmet Red Khaki Fly Racing Formula CC Rockstar Helmet Black Red Yellow Fly Racing Formula CC Solid Helmet Matte Black
Red/Khaki Black/Red/Yellow Matte Black

Fit Guarantee

We know that fitment can be an issue. That’s why we offer worry-free apparel ordering. If the helmet you order doesn’t fit the way you like, you can get free shipping both ways on your first exchange. Read more about the Fit Guaranteed program here, or ask one of our helpful customer service representatives via phone or online chat when you place your order.

Shop Now

Use the product tables under each helmet to shop all the cool colorways for 2021. Or, browse all of our motocross helmets and closeout dirt bike helmets for even more great options.