People often judge helmets by their style, and most of the time, people go for the one that looks better in terms of the design, but that’s not really what’s important when it comes to choosing your helmet.
When dirt biking, the helmet is the most in-vogue and essential thing to have, although it’s also important that the helmet keeps you comfortable at all times while protecting your head.
Choosing on a helmet can be very frustrating, and what’s worst is that they can vary greatly in price, starting from budget-friendly to really hefty. So what’s the big deal, why they all look the same but some of them are a lot more expensive, it’s just a helmet right?
Well, these helmets also vary when it comes to their built-quality, as some of them are built with the highest-grade materials, some are built with cheaper ones, however, all of the included ones in the list will suit you just fine.
I made this list based on some very important factors, and each of the helmets mentioned down below are chosen carefully with plenty of research. Comfort, size, quality, and aesthetics, as well as budget, are all taken into serious consideration, so no matter what you choose, all of the helmets are worthy of your choice. To not spoil any further, let’s not get straight into the details to see what makes these helmets be so special.
Top 5 Best Dirt Bike Helmets Under $300 in 2021
5. AFX FX-21
AFX has been around for quite some time now, and it’s a top-option to this day for dirt bike enthusiasts all over the world. Some of the helmets that this brand has produced along the years are all top-tier, and the AFX FX-21 is no exception.
Unlike the other models that I have included in this list, the AFX FX-21 comes at a more affordable price, while the helmet comes with plenty of interesting and remarkable features that will do a great job at keeping your head secure and protected at all times.
To start off the right way, first let’s see what the helmet is made of. That being said, in terms of construction, the AFX FX-21 consists of an aerodynamic shell with a decent weight of 4.02 lbs. Well, some people may not find this quite decent, but that’s pretty standard, and what’s even better, the FX-21 makes sure to also lose some weight due to the composite poly-alloy material that the helmet is made of.
Maybe the most appealing feature is the fact that this helmet makes sure to prevent sweat and smell. To be exact, the AFX FX-21 features a lining that is made of hypoallergenic and antimicrobial nylon. In other terms, this material will not only add comfort and hygiene to the helmet, but it also adds an extra layer of protection.
In addition, what you’ll also like is the ventilation system, and it’s quite unique if you compare it to the other models in this price range. I can safely conclude that this helmet’s ventilation system is the best in this price range so far, considering the fact that it features seventeen total vents throughout the helmet, while for added convenience, it will keep you cool at all times when riding your dirt bike.
The AFX FX-21 consists of a removable shield, and this is great news especially for those who can’t stand UV rays as the shield provides you with protection against it. This may sound like you don’t need goggles, however, I wouldn’t really recommend that, and considering the fact that dirt biking is dangerous, it’s more than wise to wear goggles.
Moreover, let’s also not forget to mention that the helmet also includes an inner smoke tinted sun shield which is great, especially because it flips down easily with the left side lever whenever you need it.
The AFX FX-21 will be your favorite helmet, especially when you find out that at this price, this model also has ample room for speaker systems. It’s versatile, stylish, comfortable, and pretty high-quality, so there’s no reason for you to hesitate on getting this reasonably priced helmet.
4. Bell MX-9 w/ MIPS
The Bell MX-9 w/MIPS is oriented towards those seeking for quality helmets for popular brands. I have been personally using this helmet for quite some time, and so far, I haven’t really had any issues with it or whatsoever. There’s really a lot to talk about this helmet, although I am going to try to cover only the most important aspects of it, such as construction, design, protecting features, and so on.
This helmet has a pretty hefty price, it’s not a budget-friendly one, don’t let anyone fool you, however, depending on what model you choose, you can find a cheaper one. That being said, you can get the MX-9 in 16 different colors such as solid matte black, dash gloss black/red/white, gloss white/blue/yellow torch, and some other variants. In theory, from all the 16 color variants that the company provides you with, you should definitely be able to find one that matches your tastes the most.
Apart from graphics and colors, the helmet also comes in plenty of sizes, starting for x-small, small, medium, large, x-large, xx-large, and xxx-large, so you can also easily find one that fits more comfortably in your head.
Now comes the important part, what protecting features does the helmet have? Well, first let’s point out the fact that the Bell MX-9 MIPS is DOT certified, but apart from that, you also get some pretty useful features that will make sure you stay protected, safe and comfortable at all times.
That being said, one of my favorite features in that aspect is the Multi-Directional Impact Protection System, and that’s what MIPS basically means. If you want to know more about what MIPS is, there are a plethora of videos and articles on Youtube which can give you an idea. I’ll try my best to sum up what MIPS is in one line: MIPS is a yellow shell that can be found under the padding, and it can effectively offest the rotational forces in impact.
Construction-wise, this particular model features a polycarbonate/ABS shell, while this is also one of my favorite parts due to the fact that this makes the helmet pretty lightweight yet durable at the same time. Although that’s not all you can get from it, because such materials are also quite comfortable.
For added convenience, this helmet’s lining is removable and machine-washable, so everytime that you get home after a long ride on the trails, you can wash the lining and it will smell great on the next morning.
The Bell MX-9 w/MIPS is the probably the most premium option that you can find under $300, it brings along great value for money as it is highly durable, comfortable, and it boasts a high-quality construction that will make the helmet last you for many years to come.
3. Fox Racing V1 Motif
Fox Racing company is known for producing high-quality gear for dirt bikes, and all of the helmets that they’ve made are categorized by something unique, special, something that truly makes them stand out from the other models on the market.
In this case, we have the Fox Racing V1 Motif. This is not your typical helmet, it doesn’t even come at an affordable price since Fox Racing rarely makes affordable products. Although, all of the helmets pay the debt out in quality, comfort, and design.
This company is also very trustworthy, and for the most part, I put trust in them because the helmet is DOT certified, but ECE certified as well, so you can already tell how serious they are when it comes to protecting you. Besides these two aspects, there are also a dozen of extra protective features that will make you like the V1 Motif even more.
When it comes to the helmet’s construction, there’s nothing to complain about since the V1 Motif is made of the highest-grade materials, and it’s practically the leader in this price range.
To get into the details, the V1 Motif features an injection molded polycarbonate ABS shell, so the helmet carries along some serious strength, protection and comfortability at the same time because the helmet is quite lightweight, and that’s all you could ask for in a helmet.
If you’re worried about finding the right size for a comfortable fit, the manufacturer provides you with four different shell and EPS sizes. Thus, you can easily find one that fits you the best.
You’ll be pretty comfortable with the Fox V1 Motif as it consists of nine intake vents and four exhaust vents for optimum cooling. On the other hand, you can also remove the helmet’s padding and lining which is great because anytime they smell bad or have gotten sweaty, you can wash them and get them dry to use them again tomorrow.
For added convenience, the helmet has a Magnetic Visor Release System which adds an extra layer of protection and it increases the safety features because in case of an impact, the visor snaps off. I really like everything that this helmet offers, and I only recommend gear that I would use or have used, so you shouldn’t really hesitate when it comes to buying this helmet, because it truly checks all the boxes.
2. LS2 MX470 Subverter
The MX470 Subverter is a top-tier helmet in the LS2 lineup, and it doesn’t really come at an affordable price, it’s at the peak of $300, but it’s definitely one of the best options out there and I am going to show you why.
The LS2 MX470 comes in a variety of designs, designs which can also affect the price of the helmet. What I would suggest are the matte or solid colors, they tend to come at relatively cheaper prices, while there are also some other interesting designs available, so you can check them out as well.
First, let’s start by pointing out a couple of interesting facts about the helmet’s construction.
The MX470 Subverter features a kinetic polymer alloy which is the standard and very unique with LS2 products. In addition, you’ll be happy to know that the KPA material is super lightweight, so the helmet only weighs about 3.44 lbs and it won’t feel heavy on your head at all. Besides strength, the MX470 Subverter also offers some flex, which is all well-thought-out to manage the energy system which will protect your head during an impact.
Apart from that, the MX470 Subverter offers in-molded EPS as well, and it connects to an internal polycarbonate protective layer between the helmet’s padding and the main EPS layer.
To continue, it’s important to note that the polycarbonate layer is slick, which is great because it will allow the helmet to offset rotational forces in case of a crash.
There are a couple of other features available as well, such as the fact that this helmet features 35 vents, and you can find them on top of the helmet, at the chin, and in some other areas. For more convenience, the ventilation system also consists of channeled ports throughout the helmet and exhaust vents, which is great because it will get rid of the hot air and the moisture that might have occurred in your helmet.
The laser-cute foam lining is breathable, removable, and washable as well, so if you come home after a long ride, you can wash the smelly lining and get it ready for tomorrow’s ride fresh and clean. You should really take the MX470 Subverter into serious consideration, it’s one of my favorite helmets, and it hasn’t disappointed me in any way.
1. Fly Racing F2 Carbon MIPS
Fly Racing is a well-known and respected brand in the dirt bike industry. Over the years, it has produced some truly compelling products which have made sure to increase the brand’s reputation even more. In this case, we have the Fly Racing F2 Carbon MIPS.
I have used the Fly Racing F2 Carbon MIPS, and it’s definitely one of the best out there, which is also why I wanted to round up this list with this helmet being our number one to-go helmet.
It packs a plethora of interesting features within, starting from the protective features to its unique construction, so let’s get into it.
First, let’s point out that this lightweight helmet meets both ECE and DOT standards, ratings which definitely show the seriousness of the Fly Racing F2 Carbon MIPS.
What makes this helmet stand out from the other models in the market is the dual-density EPS liner, which basically is an extra layer of protection that will add some confidence and helps a lot in case of an impact. To be more precise, this adds a second lining to the helmet, and two-linings tend to absorb more energy on impact.
The Fly Racing F2 Carbon MIPS is one of the most comfortable helmets out there, its number goes beyond the charts and during the time I wore the helmet, I was feeling as comfortable as it gets. The ventilation system is more sophisticated and complex than in any other model out there, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s better, you’ll have to be the judge of that.
Basically, the helmet features a multi-port air induction cooling system which consists of 11 intake vents and 4 exhaust vents, so the airflow will be quite decent and refreshing.
The EPS liner also plays a really important role because the air travels through the EPS liner and out the exhaust vents, so this will make sure that you are provided with optimum airflow throughout the helmet as well as around your head to prevent sweating and moisture.
Moreover, you can remove the padding, and the best part is that it’s machine-washable, so the helmet will never smell bad.
To conclude, the Fly Racing F2 Carbon MIPS is the most premium dirt bike helmet out there, it does come at an expensive price, however, you’re really going to love everything that this helmet has to offer. Comfortability, durability, and innovation, everything that you could ever ask for in a helmet.
Things to consider before buying a dirt bike helmet
There are a couple of things that you should keep in mind when buying a dirt bike helmet, one of them being protection. Make sure you take a close look at the protection features because dirt biking is not as safe as it looks, an impact can really cause harm to you.
Also, before purchase, pay close attention to any major or minor abrasions on the exterior.
A helmet is all about protecting you, and sometimes it’s better having a cheap helmet on your head than not having on at all. Nonetheless, if you’re after the best one, then this list will do just fine, and no matter what you choose, all of them will serve you well.
The second thing to look out for when buying a dirt bike helmet is comfort. Take a close look at the comfort features, because you do want to be comfortable while riding your dirt bike, comfort will also keep you focused and prevent any accidental falls.
Most helmets are DOT certified, and that’s not really a big deal because the manufacturer itself can claim the title for the helmet. Either way, getting a helmet that is DOT certified, or even ECE certified is what you should be aiming for.
If you decide to buy a used helmet from someone who already used it, if the helmet was bashed against a rock or stump, it will lose the integrity of the energy-absorbing EPS structure, and it will not protect your head as it really should.
The reason I am saying this is because even if you buy a used helmet, make sure the helmet was never bashed because if you happen to hit the head at the same place that the helmet was previously hit, it’s not going to be nearly as effective in protecting your head in that area.
Lastly, make sure you check out the padding and lining, it’s also something that adds extra points to the comfort aspect. Apart from comfort, maintenance is also something important, and if the lining or padding is removable, that’s a plus for you because the helmet will never smell bad since you can wash the lining every time is sweaty and with moisture.
See? It isn’t that hard to choose your dirt bike helmet once you know all the important information and the security precautions that you need to consider.
With all those product reviews and informational articles out of the way, by now I believe you have enough facts to choose your dirt bike helmet. As you saw, there are quite somethings that you should take into serious consideration when purchasing a dirt bike helmet, and if you follow those steps carefully, you’ll definitely end up with a lifetime investment and a helmet that is going to serve you well for many years to come.
My top-pick for today is the Fly Racing F2 Carbon MIPS, it’s a helmet that basically has everything you could ever ask for, it’s as protective as it gets, while on the other hand, it also packs some serious comfort features within which are going to elevate your dirt biking experience to a whole new level.