LAST UPDATED: August 28, 2019

The Best Car Racing Helmet (Review) in 2021

Best Choice The Best Car Racing Helmet (Review) in 2021 Conquer Snell Racing Helmet
Premium Pick The Best Car Racing Helmet (Review) in 2021 Conquer Carbon Fiber Full Face Auto Racing Helmet
Best Value Zamp Car Racing Helmet Zamp Car Racing Helmet
A helmet is critical if you’re speeding around the open track, racing cars, and indulging in this thrilling motorsport. Racing at high speeds is exhilarating, but it’s also a bit dangerous. A helmet allows you to indulge in the sport you love while staying safe. And in the event of a crash, a helmet can truly be a lifesaver. That’s why it’s so important to avoid any old helmet when you climb into your car and instead choose a helmet that’s specifically constructed to withstand the pitfalls that can come with racing. You need a helmet that takes car racing as seriously as you do. While there are plenty of options available, we’ve rounded up our picks for the best car racing helmets right here. They’ll keep you safe while still enabling you to be comfortable and at ease on the track.

Best Car Racing Helmet

If there’s a helmet that’s safe, sturdy, and trustworthy, it’s the Conquer Snell Approved Open Face Racing Helmet. An excellent choice for any driver who prefers an open-face helmet, this tough and reliable car racing helmet is a fantastic overall product. Made with a lightweight fiberglass shell, it’s comfortable to wear and prioritizes safety above all else. This Conquer racing helmet is padded with fire retardant material that helps cushion your head. Removable cheek pads ensure you can increase or decrease your comfort to your personal preferences. Worried about getting warm? This helmet has airflow venting that’ll allow air to flow freely. A Kevlar chin strap secures it all in place.

One of the biggest — and most important — details of this Conquer open face racing helmet is that it’s Snell approved. It’s Snell SA2015 certified, which means it meets Snell’s demanding safety standards to ensure you’re wearing one of the most protective pieces of headgear. Because of this, no matter what level you’re racing or competing at, you’ll know you’re prepared and protected. 

Key Features
  • Lightweight fiberglass shell
  • Comfortable fire retardant padding inside the helmet
  • Snell SA2015 certified for safety
  • HANS threaded inserts are present in the helmet shell
  • Cheek pads are removable
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Specification
  • Brand Conquer
  • Model 350-OF-SA15-BLK-S
  • Weight 1 pound

Drivers who want full coverage from their helmets will love the Conquer Carbon Fiber Full Face Auto Racing Helmet. This car racing helmet is lightweight, yet it offers complete coverage and complete padding to ensure it fits comfortably. The helmet is constructed out of carbon fiber composite, giving it a hard outer shell with sleek styling. Underneath, a padded interior is constructed from fire retardant material for added safety. A series of airflow vents are also included throughout the helmet to ensure you stay cool and breathable while you race. Lastly, a three-millimeter anti-scratch, flame-resistant shield is complete with a tear-off post.

In addition to looking cool, this Conquer full-face car racing helmet is also very safe. It’s Snell SA2015 certified, and it includes HANS threaded inserts in the shell. Snell safety standards are very demanding, so you can confidently trust that this car racing helmet is properly regulated to keep you safe out on the track.

Key Features
  • Lightweight shell made out of carbon fiber composite
  • Padded interior features fire-retardant material 
  • 10 airflow vents offer ventilation and increased comfort
  • 3-millimeter anti-scratch, flame-resistant shield has a tear-off post
  • Snell SA2015 certified for safety
Specification
  • Brand Conquer
  • Model 350-FFCARBON-SA15
  • Weight 4.69 pounds

The Conquer Open Face Rally Racing Helmet is more than just a safe car racing helmet. It also offers a few perks for drivers, giving you increased versatility and some unique benefits. Made with an outer shell of fiberglass, this helmet is lightweight and won’t weigh you down. Inside, a comfort fit padded interior made with fire retardant material will cushion you. Removable cheek pads can be added or taken out depending on your preferences. And the entire helmet is Snell SA2015 approved, which means you’ll be choosing a car racing helmet that’s been manufactured to meet Snell’s tough safety standards for auto racing.  

But where this helmet shines is its additional features. The removable cheek pads aren’t just for comfort — you can adjust them to install a wireless or wired comm system. A microphone shield is included to reduce noise and ensure you can communicate clearly. It’s the perfect helmet for anyone who needs to have seamless communication when competing. And you don’t have to sacrifice safety to get these extra features and benefits.

Key Features
  • Lightweight outer shell made of fiberglass
  • Interior padding is made with fire-retardant material
  • Airflow venting increases comfort and breathability
  • Snell SA2015 approved
  • Microphone shield to decrease external noise
Specification
  • Brand Conquer
  • Model 350-HFRALLY-SA15
  • Weight 4.59 pounds

For pros by name and by nature, Bell’s K. 1 Pro Helmet is an up and coming model to watch out for on the automotive market. This SA2015-approved helmet, available in various shades including white, matte black, circuit red, and circuit blue, is for all racers who want the best helmet to suit their racing needs. The superior chin bar design is just one of the many features that allows the K. 1 to stand out from the crowd.

Optimal ventilation is the difference between a good helmet and a great one: and Bell’s helmet is undoubtedly one of the latter through fitting bar vents, ten intake, and extraction vents around the upper and lower chin. Yet our personal favorite feature is the hollow synthetic rubber gasket seal that stops all specs of dust and dirt from permeating the helmet. All in all, this is a cool and comfortable helmet at an unbeatable price.

Key Features
  • Available in a wide variety of colors
  • Made of durable, lightweight composite shell
  • Draw string helmet bag included in purchase
  • Ideal for open wheel racers and kart racers
  • Multiple ventilation options include direct flow up and lower chin bar vents
Specification
  • Brand Bell Automotive
  • Model 2154033
  • Weight 3.5 pounds

Are you itching to acquire a helmet that’s greatness is on an equal par to your racing capabilities? RaceQuip’s glossy-white helmet will have other racers practically drooling with envy. Not only does it look great, but it will also help you obtain perfect form thanks to the optimal head and neck support it provides.

If you’ve had difficulty in the past with helmet fittings, RaceQuip’s website contains a thorough size chart so that you’re not guessing – consequently jeopardizing your safety on the track. In particular, we love how the Decal on this helmet’s face shield is removable, allowing the user to customize dependent on personal preference. Join heaps of satisfied racers and choose RaceQuip — you won’t regret it!

Key Features
  • RaceQuip Helmet provides full-face coverage
  • Meets all rigorous safety standards and compatibility for races
  • Accurate helmet size chart available to view before purchase
  • Provides adequate head and neck support for racing
  • Aesthetically pleasing gloss white design attracts attention
Specification
  • Brand RaceQuip
  • Model 273113
  • Weight 4.59 pounds

The HJC Helmets AR10 III Auto Helmet is a great option because it combines all of the best features of top car racing helmets into one lightweight, easy to wear product. It’s tough and sturdy, it’s very safe and protective, and it’s also comfortable in all different settings. Made with rubber tone material and weighing just four pounds, this helmet is light and comfortable. The exterior shell is constructed from an advanced fiberglass composite weave using an advanced design that’s just for auto racing. It features a polycarbonate anti-fog shield with tear-off posts as well as a pre-installed M6 terminal for head and neck restraints. An ACS advanced channeling ventilation system provides full airflow from front to back, flushing heat and humidity out to keep you cool. You can even customize this car racing helmet with an optional shield in an array of colors.

While the exterior of this car racing helmet is sleek, what’s inside is also great. It’s lined and padded with comfortable, fire-resistant, and moisture-wicking carbon material. You won’t struggle with discomfort as you race, whether you’re facing high heat, dust, or anything else. And, most importantly of all, with Snell SA2015 approval, you’ll know this helmet is safe and sound.

Key Features
  • Lightweight fiberglass composite weave makes the outer shell
  • Fire-resistant moisture-wicking carbon material offers comfort inside
  • Pre-installed M6 terminal for head and neck restraints
  • Polycarbonate anti-fog shield
  • Advanced ventilation system pushes heat outward
Specification
  • Brand HJC
  • Model AR10 III
  • Weight 4 pounds

If Zamp’s eight bright designs aren’t enough to entice you, the desirable features on its large OT helmet will have you typing in your bank details at light speed. Whether you’re attracted to simple, minimal designs or like to stand out from the crowd, you’ve got a wide choice on a scale from solid black to graphic orange.

Concerning ventilation, the five vents can be adjusted to suit your personal preferences. Likewise, although the protective foam padding will easily protect your head and neck if you run into difficulty, it’s not excessively warm to cause you to swelter on the track. Meeting all Snell and DOT safety standards, Zamp’s helmet delivers quality on every level.

Warning: This product does not contain a cut-out for glasses.

Key Features
  • Available in eight different styles
  • Five adjustable vents keep helmet interior ventilated
  • Comfortable helmet with protective foam padding
  • Helmet is lightweight to reduce driving fatigue
  • Meets all Snell and DOT safety standards
Specification
  • Brand Zamp
  • Model H045003L
  • Weight 4.75 pounds

Can we ever get enough of Conquer and their attention to detail? In short: we absolutely cannot! Their Aerodynamic Auto Facing Helmet is five stars in every way. For starters, the stability it provides thanks to the chin bar will make you a better driver: as the peace of mind knowing that you’ve got guaranteed head and neck protection is invaluable.

Being a Snell SA2015 certified design, Conquer turn the fire retardant padding on the interior from a SA requirement into a notable feature. Although several drivers may complain about the ‘tight’ fit of this aerodynamic helmet, Conquer profess that the snugger the fit, the less neck strain a driver will feel in the driver’s seat. And countless other racers agree!

Key Features
  • Ventilation in front and rear top improves air circulation
  • Snell SA2015 Certified
  • Optimal aerodynamic stability due to chin bar, forehead, and top vents
  • Fire retardant padded interior
  • Small size is snugly fitted to driver feels no neck strain
Specification
  • Brand Conquer
  • Model 350-FFVNTSA15-BLK-S
  • Weight 5 pounds

Just like Conquer, RaceQuip equips drivers with the security they crave time and time again. Their second product reviewed today, their Snell SA2015 glossy-white Open Face Helmet, allows drivers to feel the wind on their face when racing: a feeling of complete freedom. RaceQuip do away with frills and instead, focus on making their driver comfortable and secure.

Although some bemused customers speak about how the helmet is so big it makes them look like a Spaceball Trooper, one massive plus is that glasses-wearers have plenty of wiggle room. Plus, RaceQuip pulls out all the stops to ensure that their SFI-helmet is as durable as you can get thanks to the included storage bag and its fire-resistant construction. Available from small to extra-large, it’s a trustworthy helmet suitable for all racers.

Key Features
  • Cost-effective helmet available for great value
  • Prime SFI-rated helmet is fire resistant
  • No frills included
  • Open face design
  • Available from Small to XX-Large
Specification
  • Brand RaceQuip
  • Model 253115
  • Weight 4.5 pounds

Our last product reviewed today is one of our personal favorites. Conquer’s Rally Racing Helmet is for a racer that knows they’re the bee’s knees. Its fiberglass shell construction will keep the helmet lightweight, reducing neck strain and overall fatigue while rally racing. Plus, like all rally racing helmets should be, it’s Snell SA2015 Approved.

Conquer realizes that drivers don’t want an obtrusive sticker in their peripheral vision. Instead, the company ensures its brand sticker remains snugly inside their helmet. One of our favorite features is the sweet optimal sun visor that can be removed whenever you please. The only trouble you’ll have with this helmet is choosing what shade to go for — Matte Black or Gloss White! Acceptable at all SSCA sanctioned events, this helmet will get you into track days without any problems for half the price.

Key Features
  • Kevlar chin strap can be easily operated
  • Made of lightweight fiberglass shell construction with a black matte finish
  • Tinted 'shade' portion can be added/removed from short visor with sun screen
  • Snell SA2015 Approved
  • 'Conquer' sticker discretely inside helmet
Specification
  • Brand Conquer
  • Model 350-FFRLY-SA15-BLK-L
  • Weight 4.85 pounds

Best Car Racing Helmet Buying Guide

Trying to pick out a new car racing helmet isn’t easy. You have to consider safety, but you also have to consider other details, like your own comfort and how well the helmet will function as you drive. You also need to make sure you’re choosing a helmet that’s designed for car racing instead of other types of driving. If you’re trying to sort through all of the helmets out there, our buying guide can help you find the right car racing helmet for your needs.

Things to Consider When Buying an Auto Racing Helmet

Purchasing an auto racing helmet isn’t really something you decide to acquire: it’s a necessary step you must take to be allowed onto a race track. Therefore, if you have to get a helmet, it may as well be one that draws your attention. Ask yourself these three pertinent questions below before ordering the helmet right for you.

  • Does my prospective helmet meet or exceed Snell SA15 ratings?

Purchasing a Snell SA2015 certified helmet gives a rider the peace of mind that they’ll be kept safe when wearing their ‘Special Application’ helmet in competitive automotive sports and racing. However, the Snell SA15 ratings – in which a manufacturer must provide fire resistant linings and head and neck restraints to protect the driver – means that all helmets reviewed in this buying guide are not appropriate for motorcycle users, as they’re designed with smaller eye ports. Consequently, these smaller eye ports could affect a (moto)biker’s visibility when driving and, therefore, the overall safety of others.

  • Is my helmet sufficiently ventilated?

Look for a helmet that contains vents so a driver can breathe easily. Otherwise, they run the risk of becoming exhausted before they’ve even left the starting line. Models such as Conquer Snell’s Aerodynamic Auto Facing Helmet contains ventilation at the front, rear, and top to ensure that the user is getting the optimal amount of air in circulation.

  • What is the head and neck restraint system like?

The restraint systems are arguably the most important part of any helmet — without them, your head could go spinning when involved in an impact. Although they’re pretty expensive, a serious driver will have to purchase a Snell SAH2015 rated helmet and not just your run-of-the-mill SA2015 to make sure they’re totally protected.

Racing driver talking with coach

Full vs Open Face Auto Helmets

All racers are either full face helmet people or open face people. If you’re new to auto-racing, it’s time to decide what category of racer you fall into!

  • Full Face Helmets

Statistically speaking, full face helmets are safer than open face helmets. However, if you, unfortunately, contradict the stats — which affirm that full faced helmets are statistically safe – and are involved in a collision, these helmets are a lot more difficult to remove if an accident occurs. Nonetheless, we cannot fault a racer for choosing the full-face construction when it’s pouring with rain and they’re protected from the elements.

  • Open Face Helmets

There’s no doubt about it: open face helmets look extremely damn cool. Plus, we’re going to play devil’s advocate and argue that the above stats could be wrong, as the lack of blind spots accompanied by freedom of neck movement makes these helmets safer in many respects. However, their open construction means that fierce wind and adverse weather could distract a driver, leading to more accidents that could’ve been prevented.

To sum up, both helmet designs have their notable perks. It’s now up to you to decide what style suits your personality and thirst for adventure!

Types of Car Helmets

Racing Helmets: Competitive racing is an incredible sport; if everything goes according to plan. However, even with just one minor slip up, you could be off the track and on your way to the emergency room. Therefore, for safety’s sake, your racing helmet must comply with Snell or FIA homologations. Likewise, purchasing a full-face helmet is recommended if your ride of choice is a single seater or prototype car. Just be careful out there!

Rally Helmets: Have you ever noticed as soon as you tell people that you’re a rally driver, they pull all sorts of strange faces? It’s true; rally drivers are essentially adrenalin junkies that thrive off of controlled danger. Therefore, just like typical racing helmets, your helmet must be Snell or FIA-homologated and as sturdy as can be. You’ll know the quality of the rally helmet if they’ve got an included intercom, as communication is key in rally racing.

Karting Helmets: Karting may seem to onlookers like ‘just a bit of fun’. However, hitting a tire wall head-first can result in some pretty serious injuries. Go for a lightweight model to reduce neck strain – you’ll thank us later!

Track Day Helmets: These helmets are for days chilling and training on the track. No, they don’t need to be as tenacious as race helmets, yet we still recommend heavily investing – especially as you’ll still be going up the gears to hit high speeds.

Fiberglass vs Composite vs Carbon Fiber Car Racing Helmets

  • Fiberglass

It’s strong, cheap, and ready to be raced with. Fiberglass is one of the cheapest helmet materials on the market: buyers who aren’t willing to break the bank can securing fiberglass bargains for a steal. However, they’re advised for slower riders who aren’t often in major collisions. This is due to fiberglass’s fragility and tendency to consume impact through shattering. So, although the helmet will resist one crash, the second could fatally injure a high-intensity racer.

  • Composite

A magnificent mix of all the best characteristics from a variety of materials, composite crash helmets is the midpoint between fiberglass and carbon fiber helmets. If you want to safely aim for the middle of the road, we recommend opting for this fine material.

  • Carbon Fiber

If you don’t like your helmet to weigh you down, carbon fiber helmets are substantially lighter than fiberglass helmets, consequently reducing fatigue and, therefore, a rider’s overall safety behind the wheel. If you’re willing to invest in safety and performance (which we believe everyone should!), carbon fiber helmets are the best on the block.

Woman sitting at go-cart on a sports track

How to Choose the Right Size

If every helmet manufacturer got a dollar for how many times a buyer complained about their helmet being ‘too tight’, they’d be retired already! The correct size of the helmet, at first, should feel uncomfortably tight. In other words, it should feel ‘too’ tight to the point that you’d be unable to wear it if the helmet was a tiny bit smaller. Therefore, if you can feel the cheek pads and lining pressing up against your noggin’, you’ve got the right fit.

If you still need a little reassurance that your helmet fits as well as ‘the little glass slipper’ fitted Cinderella, attempt to pull your helmet off. Any slight movement is not permitted! However, thanks to the numerous fitting charts companies now produce with every helmet, you’ll have a little help in ensuring that your helmet will provide surefire protection when you’re on the race track.

Our Top Pick

Our top pick for the best car racing helmet? It’s the Conquer Snell Approved Open Face Racing Helmet. This is an all-around great helmet both in safety and in comfort. It’s lightweight thanks to a shell made from fiberglass, but it’s also very durable. It’ll protect you from the inside out, with fire retardant padding underneath the tough exterior shell. HANS threaded inserts offer another layer of safety while you’re on the track. Worried about getting hot while you’re speeding around the track? Ventilation throughout this car racing helmet helps to keep your cool and increase airflow. And most critically of all, this Conquer open face helmet is Snell SA2015 certified. It’s safe, and it can stand up to Snell’s rigorous safety standards so you can solidly trust in its effectiveness.

Sources:

  1. Differences in Carbon Fiber & Fiberglass Helmets – It Steel Runs
  2. Racing Helmets 101: How to Choose the Right Racing Helmet – On All Cylinders