What’s better than bombing down a forest trail, mud and dirt flying, the engine chugging along under you like an unleashed demon, and flicking the rear wheels a little sideways around the bends to get the grin on your face permanently etched there? Strange concept, but doing so safely is even better.
We’re not talking about reducing the level of fun you’re having, not by a country mile. What we’re meaning here is wearing good off-road gear. Boots, gloves, knee and elbow armor, maybe even full chest and torso armor. But definitely, always, and forever: wear a helmet.
Some of the best off-road helmets out there are also some of the most expensive, coming from brands such as Arai, Kryos, and the like. However, you are a budget-conscious buyer, and you want the best value for money you can get for under $300. Well, if you are that person, today’s list is perfect for you!
The MX-9 MIPS is what you get when you combine one of the best rated, most popular off-road helmets ever with a new bit of technology. MIPS stands for “Multi-Directional Impact Protection System,” and has trickled down from motorcycle racing. What does it do? In short, it is a cradle system behind the top liner of the helmet that, in the event of an impact, it absorbs the first millisecond of rotational energy on the helmet. This diffuses the energy across the cradle, preventing that initial rotational shock from rotating the helmet itself, which in turn protects the neck from sudden rotations.
MIPS Multi-Directional Impact Protection System for dramatically improved rotational impact energy displacement
Lightweight polycarbonate shell
3 shell sizes
SM: XS and SM Helmets
MD: MD and LG Helmets
LG: XL and 2XL Helmets
Velocity-flow ventilation system for cooling and comfort
Moisture wicking, removable/washable air channeled comfort liner
EPS-lined chin bar
Integrated vented roost guard
Padded chin strap with D-ring closure and strap keeper
DOT and ECE certified
Protection & Safety
MIPS system to prevent harsh rotations to the head or neck
Fully EPS lined chin bar for frontal impacts
Highly effective ventilation to keep your head cool without compromising safety
The Airflite series from ICON has become legendary in just how many different helmets belong to the range. The Moto Rubatone version is the perfect helmet for someone that not only rides ATV’s, but also has a motorcycle and doesn’t want to have to shell out for two different helmets.
The Moto Rubatone, in off-road spec, removes the clear visor and instead installs a sunpeak over the visor opening. The opening is shaped so that even the biggest of goggles will fit, and the peak is designed to break away should a crash happen. In motorcycle spec, the sunpeak comes off and a clear visor is installed. In both specs, it is fully ECE and DOT rated.
And best of all, all the ventilation is designed to work in either mode!
Injection molded polycarbonate shell for strength
3 shell sizes: XS-SM, MD-LG, XL-3XL
Clear face shield included
Aerodynamic, removable visor peak included
Multiple oversized intake and exhaust ports
Removable side plates
Molded breath deflector
Removable Hydradry moisture wicking liner
Recessed twin channel supervent cooling system
All world standard, meets or exceeds the following: DOT FMVSS 218 (US), ECE 22-05 (EUROPE), SAI AS1698 (AUSTRALIA) and SG (JAPAN) safety and testing standards. Does not ship with SAI OR SG Certification stickers unless purchased from an authorized dealer in that country
Protection & Safety
Injection molded polycarbonate shell is resistant to almost every weather condition, and is strong and elastic to disperse some impact force
Sunpeak is designed to break away in the event of a crash to disperse energy and not force pressure into the neck of the rider.
Scorpion has a well-earned reputation of making great gear at very affordable prices. This is true of the EXO-AT950, quite possibly the most feature-laden helmet in today’s lineup.
FIrst of all, it is a modular helmet, which for running around the trails and muddy fields is important if you need to do some small repairs or stop for a rest break. Simply flip up the chin bar, and the visor and peak both rotate up out of the way with it. The sunpeak is removable if you want to ride with simply the visor, and the opposite is true, with the visor removable and putting the sunpeak back on if you want to ride with goggles.
If it gets sunny, you have a drop down sunshield inside, activated by a sturdy slide switch to the left behind the visor. The visor opening is also massive, allowing you extremely good vision of the trail ahead, the obstacles ahead, as well as peripheral vision to catch things coming at you from the side.
Advanced LG Polycarbonate shell engineered to be lightweight, strong and maximize impact displacement
Dual Density EPS advanced multi-layer EPS provides superior energy displacement
Intake vents on top force cool air in while exhaust vents maximize movement of hot air out of the helmet
Dual position mouth vent 1st position acts as defroster and 2nd position acts as defroster and ventilation
Ellip-Tec Ratchet System uses an elliptical motion that creates 7.6mm of travel which pulls the shield securely against the eye port, ensuring a proper seal and allows for 100% tool-less shield changing in a matter of seconds
EverClear No-Fog Face Shield optically-clear shield with state-of-the-art fog-free technology, anti-scratch hardened coating, 100% UV-A & UV-B protection
Wide eye port (11cm tall) allows for greater peripheral vision and downward visibility
EverClear SpeedView drop down sun visor features EverClear anti-fog coating on both surfaces
KwikWick II anti-microbial helmet liner keeps you cool and dry in warm weather, and warm in cool weather
Kwikfit cheek pads allow easy on and off of the most common styles of eye glasses.
Easy-use flip-up chin bar allows the chin bar to be raised or lowered with either hand.
Communication system speaker pockets
Removable block off plates included for use when visor is not on helmet
Folding metal visor hardware
5 year warranty
3 shell sizes
Protection & Safety
Chin bar latch system is strong, stainless steel against stainless steel
Full dual density, multi-layer EPS foam protection
In all configurations except with the chin bar raised, fully DOT compliant and can be, and often is, used as an ADV motorcycle helmet alongside use on the ATV
Quite possibly the best value helmet of this list (we won’t say cheap because it’s not “cheap”), the Fly Racing Dirt Kinetic Helmet will do everything the ATV rider of today wants a helmet to do.
The shell is made of a polymer alloy to be both robust in strength, but elastic enough to absorb some impact energy. It is backed by dual density, dual layer EPS foam for energy absorption. But where the helmet truly stands as a great all around helmet is the excellent ventilation. Riding an ATV hard along the trail gets you warm, and having a helmet with proper ventilation to both feed you cool, fresh air and whisk away heat and perspiration is key.
Durable and lightweight polymer shell construction
Dual density EPS liner
TFV (True Functional Ventilation) includes multiple intake and exhaust vents that create massive airflow to keep your head cool
Flow through EPS (Expanded Polystyrene) and comfort liner air system align to maximize airflow
Removable and washable comfort liner and cheek pads
Custom molded rubber trim with nose guard
Protection & Safety
Polymer alloy shell is strong, lightweight, but elastic enough to disperse some impact energy
EPS is dual density, which is what many ATV guides recommend, a single density does not absorb energy as efficiently
Chin guard also has a nose guard also built it, and is low enough goggles with fit in without issue.
Fox Racing is a name nearly synonymous with off-road adventure through some type of motorized vehicle with two or more wheels. As such, the V1 Matte helmet is one of the best helmets to have ever come from the legendary company.
Not only is the helmet made of injection molded polycarbonate, not only does it have dual density, multi-layer EPS foam for impact energy absorption, it also is the only other helmet apart from the Bell MX-9 to feature a MIPS rotational protection system.
It also features a magnetic sunpeak release system that pulls the peak away from the helmet during a crash or impact, reducing any torsion on the head or neck. It also, as evidenced by the multiple grilles all over the helmet, features insane ventilation.
Multi-Directional Impact Protection System (MIPS)
Lightweight, injection molded polycarbonate and ABS shell construction
4 shell and 4 EPS sizes for a precise fit
Magnetic Visor Release System (MVRS)
Removable, washable comfort liner and cheek pads
9 intake vents and 5 exhaust vents
Meets ECE 22.05 and DOT certification
Protection & Safety
One of three helmets in this list to meet the much more stringent ECE 22.05 regulations
MIPS system to prevent twisting and torsion of the head and neck
Sunpeak release system uses magnets to attach the peak to the helmet, meaning it will simply come off if exposed to enough force, preventing torsion to the head and neck
KLIM is the name in the adventure and adventure touring motorcycle space, so it only fits that they also make some of the best off-road helmets. The F3 Prizm helmet features KLIM’s patented Structure Mapped Composite, layering up the shell to make it lightweight but extremely strong.
The EPS layers inside are dual-density, and specially shaped to provide the most protection from the most angles. Because of this, KLIM was able to stuff a simply unbelievable 13 intakes and 6 exhausts for ventilation, meaning that it is literally impossible to overheat in this helmet.
The liner and padding are all designed with the most head sizes and shapes possible considered and should fit 90% of people that try this helmet on. As well, the helmet can work either on its own or be combined with a neck brace system for competitive ATV races.
Engineered to minimize neck fatigue and maximize impact protection
Constructed with KLIM’s Structure Mapped Composite base material lay up, the F3 optimizes strength in all the right areas while reducing overall weight
Three shell sizes: SM, MD-LG, XL-4XL
Effective intelligent ventilation system with thirteen intake vents combined with six exhaust ports to provide optimal heat dispersion even while stationary
Features the widest unobstructed field of view in its class
Custom EPS and internal liner systems to secure the rider’s head completely
3D ergonomic cheek pads and liner foam are optimized for a great fit
Works in conjunction with market leading neck brace technology
Meets or exceeds ECE and DOT standards
Klimatek Fabric liner systems utilize adaptive smart foam technology and anti-microbial/bacterial fast-wicking textiles
Protection & Safety
KLIM’s Structure Mapped Composite makes the shell the strongest where the most impacts happen, while keeping the rest of the helmet strong and resilient
Massive ventilation prevents overheating, preventing heat related exhaustion while riding
EPS foam is customized to absorb the most energy from the most common angles, while remaining strong throughout the helmet
Meets and exceeds ECE 22.05 stringent testing standards