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Wearing an ATV helmet is fundamental to a person’s safety when partaking in off-roading activities. However, there is such a vast market for them that it can be overwhelming to any buyer – novice or experienced rider alike. Here is a guide to buying the best ATV helmet so that you do not get lured into false advertising that leaves you with a subpar ATV or UTV helmet. Given their importance, it is critical to get the right one.
The Best ATV Helmet
This is a modular full-face helmet from reputable ATV helmet manufacturer ILM. It comes in a variety of sizes and colors. Additionally, it has a useful flip-up function as well as an anti-scratch visor that has been designed to minimize fog as well as allow the rider to have as wide a view as physically possible. The design is also attractive with a sleek finish and features a liner and cheek pads that are easy to remove if needed for a more comfortable fit.
Comes in a variety of colors
Designed to reduce wind noise
Meets and exceeds the FMVSS 218 and DOT safety standards
- Weight4 pounds
This is another modular helmet. It has many features that make it a good buy and is available in an XS size if you are looking at kid’s ATV helmets or one for yourself. It is comfortable to wear due to the amount of vents that are included. 1Storm put vents at the top, back and front, and they all feature easy switches, much like the mechanisms that need to be operated to move the inner visor and modular lift up.
Large variety of bright, easy to see colors
Lightweight yet durable
- Weight4 pounds
This DOT-approved helmet is available in both black and white in a variety of sizes up to XX large if you have a bigger-than-average skull. It is a great example of a helmet that can be used for all off-roading purposes. So, if you are looking at motocross helmets, quad helmets or dirt bike helmets, this could be the ideal solution. It has multi-density EPS for safety as well as a reinforced chin strap to further protect its users and keep them comfortable.
Easy use switch for sun visor system
Comes with fully washable liner and pads
Meets and exceeds DOT FMVSS 218 standard
- Weight3.7 pounds
If you are in the market for a kid’s ATV helmet or youth ATV helmet as your youngster has been bugging you to go off-roading, then this is a great option. Not only does it come in a wide variety of colors that are highly visible, this TCMT ATV helmet also comes with goggles and gloves so that you can be confident of your kid’s safety when they are out and about off road.
Can be used all year round due to ventilation system
Flip up modular helmet
Suitable for a kids dirt bike helmet or for a youth 4 wheeler helmet
Full-face helmets aren’t for everyone, but this is an excellent example of one that will keep the rider safe. It’s a good value and is available in a wide variety of easily visible colors as well as a classic matte black finish. We love the streamlined design that helps with aerodynamics and reduces wind noise so the rider can listen for other sounds that can help keep them safe.
Quick release strap system
DOT safety standard approved
Comes with two visors – smoked and clear.
- Weight2.98 pounds
We like this ATV helmet for its sleek matte black design and a whole host of other features. First, the retractable tinted sun visor looks cool when off-roading and also helps riders to see when lighting conditions vary. We also like the use of polycarbonate in the shell so that the helmet is comfortable to wear yet can absorb impact.
Matte black finish
Retractable sun visor
Removable front mask
- Weight3.97 pounds
Not everyone favors a classic black finish on their ATV helmet, and this is certainly one to try if you like bright colors, either for safety reasons or for style purposes. It is one of the top ATV helmets available given the adjustable visor angle and the extra-large eye port that allows riders to wear a variety of goggles for eye protection, depending on what they find comfortable.
Unique outer graphics
Adjustable visor angle
- BrandFuel Helmets
- Weight6.15 pounds
Kids love bright colors, so this is an excellent ATV helmet for those who are looking to buy either youth ATV helmets or kid’s ATV helmets but are struggling to find one that appeals to their less safety-conscious demands. This one comes in a variety of finishes and patterns yet has many sizes that will fit your youngster. It also meets DOT standards.
Huge array of patterns and finishes
Perfect choice for those with trying to placate youngsters
Plenty of cushioning for a comfortable fit
- BrandHard Head Helmets
- Weight2 pounds
This sleek black finish ATV helmet is suitable for both men and women and comes in a variety of sizes, so it is possible to find a fit that will be comfortable for all. While a full-face helmet is not always comfortable for some due to heat, this helmet has a highly efficient ventilation system so users can wear it year round. Importantly, it also uses multi-density EPS and comes with a reinforced chin strap that has a quick-release buckle.
Efficient ventilation system
Extra space for glasses and bluetooth speakers
Easy to use sun visor system
Coming in either classic black or a highly-visible white finish, this ATV helmet from O’Neal comes in many sizes. Plus, it has very comfortable, removable, and washable padded liners so that not only do riders have the snuggest fit possible, they also find that any sweat produced while riding is soaked up and wicked away quickly. It also has an adjustable visor design to help with cooling in addition to a larger ventilation system.
Shell made from Polycarbonate
Comes in either black or white
Goes up to size XX Large
- Weight4.05 pounds
This specially-designed ATV helmet for women is a great purchase for ladies as it is slightly lighter than your average ATV helmet yet does not scrimp on safety. Women can wear it for longer periods and off road for extended periods of time. The addition of matching gloves and goggles is a nice touch to make a good ATV helmet suitable for many off-roading activities – regardless of gender.
Comes with goggles and gloves to match as standard
Meets DOT standard FMVSS 218
Intake vents for airflow
- BrandTyphoon Helmets
- Weight3 pounds
This is another specially-designed helmet that meets DOT safety standards yet is more comfortable for women to wear. It comes with matching gloves and goggles so the user can remain stylish while out on a quad or four wheeling. It can be worn all year round thanks to the well-ventilated design.
Effeminate, butterfly design
Comes with goggles and gloves that match
Modular design with flip up section
Users of this dual-sport helmet rave about both its fit and finish. While it certainly looks very stylish in any of the colors it comes in, it delivers on safety too. It complies with DOT requirements and has a UV protective finish so that the helmet lasts even longer than it would otherwise. It is comfortable to wear for users due to the heavily cushioned interior.
Dual sports helmet design
UV protective finish
Last on our list is this full-face ATV helmet made by O’Neal. It is a unisex helmet and consequently comes in a wide variety of sizes from extra small to XX large. It is available in both solid black and solid white. We like its padded chin strap that comes with an easy-to-use double d safety lock. It makes off-roading safe and pleasurable at the same time.
Available in both black and white
Fairly lightweight at just over 1.5kg
Removable and washable liner
- ModelSierra Ii
- Weight3.5 pounds
Best ATV Helmet Buying Guide & FAQ
What to Consider When Buying an ATV Helmet
There are a number of things to consider when looking to buy the best ATV helmet, whether you want to use one for yourself or if you are in the market for a kid's dirt bike helmet or youth 4 wheeler helmet.
ATV and UTV helmets that are uncomfortable are dangerous because it makes the rider less likely to wear it. It is imperative, especially if you are in the market for youth ATV helmets, to find ATV helmets that fit correctly and are comfortable. For ATV helmets to be comfortable, it is essential to have the proper amount of padding. All ATV helmets, whether they are used as motocross helmets or 4 wheeler helmets, need to fit snuggly but not so tight that they then put undue pressure on the rider’s head, neck and face. Additionally, to prevent sores, ensure that the helmet goes around the ears but do not touch them. Face shields should not block vision.
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It is fundamental for all ATV helmets and all UTV helmets to come with the correct certification for a user to be confident that they are buying a helmet that will provide them with proper protection. For the necessary helmet safety ratings that are needed, please see our note on Helmet Safety Ratings below.
In the same vein as having the right certification, ATV and UTV helmets need to have a component that will protect a rider’s head in any accident. This is largely known as the EPS lining. It is a firm cushion that is designed to absorb all the force of an impact. There is a minimum amount of EPS that helmets have to meet, though some actually provide more than stipulated. If your chosen ATV or UTV helmet has a chin bar, make sure the EPS runs along the bar as well as throughout the helmet.
- New Versus Old Helmets
Many novice riders consider buying an old helmet instead of a new one. However, all quad helmets or four wheeler helmets deteriorate over time, plus you don’t know what happened to that helmet before you got it. In short, it is never a good idea to buy an old helmet. The risk is too great.
- Ensuring the correct fit
Before buying a new ATV helmet or a new youth 4 wheeler helmet for child, you need to ensure that you have the correct fit. There are instructions for how to measure one’s head for an ATV helmet below. But making sure that you have the correct fit as well as knowing that fits and sizes actually vary from brand to brand, so don’t necessarily always buy a large every time you come to replace an ATV helmet.
Different Types of Helmets
There are many different types of ATV helmets available on the market. Take a look below to see which type of these bike helmets suit you best
- Full-Face Helmets
Full-face helmets are easily the safest type of ATV helmets available. The reason is fairly self-explanatory given the name, but that does not mean that they are the most widely used bike helmets or motocross helmets out there. While they, no doubt, cover your entire head and face so they are protected against injury, full-face dirt bike helmets or quad helmets are also the heaviest ATV helmets around. Additionally, out of all the different types of UTV helmets or ATV helmets out there, they seriously restrict the amount of airflow to a rider’s face and head making them particularly uncomfortable in the Summer months.
- Open-Face Helmets
Again, the title of this type of helmets is fairly self-explanatory. Quite simply, while this helmet protects the head and skull, it does not cover the face so that a rider’s visage is totally exposed and visible. It is best to wear eye protection at the same time as wearing one of these ATV helmets.
- Modular Helmet
What many users of a modular helmet like, whether they use them as quad helmets or 4 wheeler helmets, is that it can work as both a full-face helmet as well as a three-quarter helmet. The result is that users can get air to their face as they would an open face helmet if they need, while also having the option of having full face protection when they deem it necessary. They are the most flexible type of ATV helmet available.
- Off Road Helmets
Without a doubt, off-road helmets are the most popular type of UTV or ATV helmet out there. This is because it keeps a person’s face exposed, while simultaneously protecting the head, chin and jaw. They are therefore often used as dirt bike helmets or quad helmets and should be worn with eye protection at the same time as it otherwise does not protect that area which is so essential to keep safe.
Other Reasons to Wear a Helmet
There are more reasons to wear bike helmets and ATV helmets than just protecting your head, which should be reason enough.
- Eliminating other sounds. The wind can be pretty noisy when driving a bike, by wearing any of the above examples of a best ATV helmet, you will have a much more pleasurable and easy ride
- More protection. While any four wheeler helmets or quad helmets will protect a person if they should suffer a crash, they can also add protection in terms of keeping insects out of their eyes, nose and mouth
- Reducing wind fatigue. It is not often publicized, but wind fatigue is a very real thing that should be taken seriously. The best ATV helmet will keep you more alert by reducing this condition.
- Eye protection. Not only is protecting your eyes in the event of a crash important, it is also imperative to protect them against the elements while driving. Full-face ATV helmets or modular bike helmets will do this.
- Easier to see to others. If a bike rider chooses a helmet that is fluorescent or brightly colored, they become far more visible to other riders that are enjoying an off road ride in their 4 wheeler helmets too.
Helmet Safety Ratings
There are lots of rogue helmet manufacturers out there that will try to tell you that they meet all the necessary safety requirements. To stay clear of unsafe ATV helmets and only purchase the best ATV helmet available, keep an eye out for two certifications. They are DOT and Snell. The Snell standard is widely regarded as being the most strict standard. With particular respect to helmets with face shields, you need to ensure that the shield is also certified as safe. This means that it needs to come with a VESC-8 or ANSI Z-87 certification.
Best ATV Helmet FAQ:
Q: How do I measure my head for an ATV helmet?
A: Getting the right fit for an ATV helmet is crucial and is all down to measuring your head correctly.
The first thing you require is a soft tape measure that can go around your head. If you do not have a soft one, and only have a rigid one in your tool box, use a piece of string instead. Wrap either the string or the soft tape measure around the largest part of your head while using a mirror. The largest part of a person’s head is slightly above the eyebrows and ears. If you are using a piece of string, then hold the string up to your rigid tape measure to see how long it is all the way round your head. If you are using a soft tape measure, try to get the two ends to meet as well as possible with your fingers. When you remove it from your head, take a note of the number under your finger that was holding the two ends in place.
Then check this measurement against your intended ATV helmet’s manufacturer. The process of measuring is the same if you are trying to measure up for any kids dirt bike helmet or even a youth four wheeler helmet.
If you don’t have a tape measure to hand and are in a shop buying a helmet there and then, just try a load on. Remember to try a variety of sizes in each brand as sizing can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. Plus this way you will find one that suits you best as well. To ensure that you have a proper fit it needs to be tight, though not so tight that it is incredibly uncomfortable. You have to be able to wear ATV helmets for long periods of time.
In short, for a helmet to fit properly make sure there is minimal gap between the helmet and your head, especially your cheeks. If you can fit a finger in easily, it is too loose - this is especially important around your temples and forehead. Check as well that the helmet you have chosen fits snugly at the back to be the best ATV helmet for you. The same is the case of a kids dirt bike helmet. If in doubt, a good final check is grab hold of the front as well as the back of the helmet while it is on and try to move it back and forward. There needs to be a little movement, but it should be no means be a big one.
Q: When should I replace my ATV helmet?
A: The general rule of thumb for replacing any ATV helmets, whether they have been used as quad helmets or bike helmets or otherwise, is to replace them at least every five years. The resounding consensus from many learned bodies with respect to off roading is that in that time there is a sufficient enough deterioration in the glues, resins and other materials that make off road and four wheeler helmets safe. This deterioration will come from the oils in a person’s hair as well as their bodily fluids like sweat that they secrete during wear.
General wear and tear can also be held responsible for helmet deterioration. This wear and tear can come from ingredients in cleaners or paints and fuels that ATV helmets may often encounter. It is simply not worth risking keeping a helmet any longer than this for these degradation purposes.
Furthermore, the research and product development that transpires over a five-year period make it worthwhile purchasing a new one in any case. Plus, there will inevitably be new standards that ATV helmets have to reach to be safe for use.
Q: How do I clean my ATV helmet?
A: There are a number of ways to clean an ATV helmet. They’re not as onerous as one may originally think, even if you have the dirtiest of motocross helmets to wash.
- Machine Wash
Easily the quickest and least intensive of ways to wash dirt encrusted quad helmets is to put the liner in the washing machine with any other dirty clothes that you wore for that day’s ride. It’s possible to whack it in the machine as liners are simply made of fabric with perhaps a little plastic in them - like most clothes. By washing them in the machine you are actually lengthening the life of a helmet liner as you are ridding it properly of sweat and any other dirt that may damage the material.
In addition to putting your liner in the wash, you can also go on to wash any ATV helmets themselves in the shower. Many riders proclaim they do it at the same time as showering themselves to get rid of that day’s riding dirt. Your regular shampoo will be gentle enough on your helmet’s surface to wash. If you don’t like putting your liner in the wash, you can also use shampoo to help clean the liner in the shower at the same time too. Remember to rinse everything well.
With regards to your liner, make sure you hang it out to air dry. Preferably hang it so that it is flat so that it does not become misshapen.
- Soap And Water
If you don’t like the thought of taking your helmet into the shower with you, just get a soft rag and a well used old, very soft toothbrush along with a bucketful of water. Rub both the toothbrush and the rag over the helmet’s surface which should clean it up no problem. If you have a modular helmet, or one with a peak, try to remove the parts so they are separate from each other. This way, you can get into every nook and cranny to rid it of dirt and sweat.
Leave it to dry out thoroughly before using it again.
Q: Can I wear a bicycle helmet on an ATV?
A: It is not worth using just a bicycle helmet while on an ATV. It is simply not worth the risk. You need proper quad helmets or 4 wheeler helmets if you are going off road in a motorized vehicle. Bicycle helmets have not been designed for crashes that occur while riding a quad bike or other four wheel vehicles. They are not fit for this purpose in anyway and do not provide the level of protection that is needed when riding off road.
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