We round up the best mountain bike trail and enduro helmets you can buy. Whether it's an open face lid for trail riding or something with a detachable chin guard for more technical trails, we've got a recommendation for a good helmet. In no particular order here's our list of the kit that has scored four stars or above and gear that we think is the best we have tested, dig in...
[Updated 20th March 2020]
Kali Pace Helmet
The Kali Pace is an entry-level lid that feels like it costs a lot more, and offers boosted protection via a ‘Low Density Layer’ that claims to reduce rotational forces. It's light, sharply styled, offers a traditional 'XC' rather than deep-dish 'enduro' sort of fit, and is pretty well-ventilated. There's a lot to like.
KASK Caipi Helmet
Though better known for roadie stuff, KASK should not be ignored for off-road lids, as this new Caipi demonstrates. It’s a well-fitting, easily adjustable, lightweight and good looking trail helmet, with plenty of venting that manages not to compromise coverage. There are niggles, such as with the chinstrap and buckle, but they're minor.
Bell Sixer MIPS
The Bell Sixer is a super comfy half face helmets that fits better than Bell helmets of old and looks great too. Perfect for more chilled trail riding as well as enduro racing too, this lid has a host of features that make it worthy of the price tag.
The helmet does come at a slightly premium price of £150 but it’s become one of our latest ‘go to’ lids and I don’t think you’ll be disappointed with your purchase if you choose to buy one. It’s a super comfy, rugged lid with some cool features that really do aid performance.
Giro Switchblade MIPS
The Giro Switchblade is a comfy full face helmet that feels substantial, offering all the protection of a downhill lid whilst being convertible to a half-face lid too. If your ride normally consists of long winches to the top and gnarly descents or you are into your enduro racing then this stylish convertible lid is well worth a look.
Since its inception (well the second one anyway) the Giro Switchblade has become a regular feature on the trails, so much so that wearers no longer get stared at for their moto-trials style. The Switchblade is a viable alternative to a full face helmet for enduro racing and technical trail riding, it will keep you relatively cool, it’s not that heavy, it's a comfortable lid to wear all day and it looks good with the chin bar attached which is more than can be said for other convertible options. All whilst protecting your pearly whites, of which you only get one set, a good reason if any to make the purchase.
Troy Lee Designs A2 MIPS
Troy Lee Design's A2 is the follow up to their first trail helmet and it manages to hit the mark with increased ventilation and improved safety features while keeping the same comfort and stylish looks. It offers masses of safety features and any small issues I have with it are more than offset by the fact it's so bloody comfortable. If you can justify spending this sort of money on a helmet then I doubt you'll be disappointed.
Giro Montara MIPS
The Giro Montara MIPS Helmet offers deep coverage in a well ventilated and good-looking package. With plenty of features and a comfortable fit, it’s a lid that hits the nail on the head in most trail situations.
I’ve been fans of Giro lids for some time, this being the second one to grace our testers head and it probably won't be the last. At 370g the Montara is not the lightest but it offers a great combination of protection, coverage and style. It’s so comfortable you’ll forget you are wearing it.
KASK's Rex helmet is a well-ventilated, high coverage lid for trail and enduro riders, but it's expensive considering it's up against well-proven and MIPS-equipped rivals. That said, it does impress with good comfort, some tidy features and quality construction. The only real issue we had with the Rex was the price. At £150, it's more expensive than MIPS liner equipped lids from some very big names indeed, such as the sublimely comfortable Troy Lee Designs A2 MIPS, and it's on a par with Giro's Montaro MIPS as well. While MIPS is yet to be proven independently when it comes to safety we're inclined to err on the side of caution and want all the technology we can get, even if there's an outside chance it's snake oil.
The Endura MT500 is made for enduro-style racing and trail riding with a wide, adjustable visor and mounts for lights, goggles and cameras, as well as holes for docking glasses and space for your goggles under the visor. It's extremely comfortable and offers great coverage too.
Bontrager Rally MIPS
Bontrager's Rally MIPS is a top-end trail lid with some neat features, such as the high pivoting peak that can park goggles underneath it and coverage that extends well down your temples and back of your head. The only fly in the ointment is a retention system that some may find uncomfortable.
All in all, the Bontrager Rally MIPS is a really well-featured helmet at a respectable price. It's well ventilated for a high coverage helmet, respectably lightweight and comfy. If it fits you, then it's a worthy choice - just make sure you try before you buy.
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