You remember the days as a kid, being forced to wear a bike helmet when you rode around the driveway or the block. It was always a drag; they would come running out of the house to tell you that you MUST wear it for protection. It wasn't that you hated the idea of being safe, we all remember falling hard and being happy the helmet was there, the thing we hated was how hot or itchy it could be!
I remember being a kid and hating wearing my big clunky helmet.
Well to an extent, those days are in the past, but some full face helmets for MTB and BMX do have better ventilation than others. It allows the rider to go harder and longer because they don't have to worry about their "hot head" holding them back or interrupting their ride.
Here are some of the most ventilated helmets for downhill mountain biking and BMX racing.
The XACT by IXS is one of the most ventilated helmet picks at under $200. In that price range, most helmets will skimp on ventilation, having around 10 to 15 vents, but the XACT packs a whopping 28 ventilation ports.
The XACT uses IXS' Vortex ventilation system to assure airflow is at a premium while riding. This system, which features tons of vent ports in the front chin bar and back of the helmet, circulates cool air in and pushes the hot, stale air inside the helmet out consistently.
The chin bar has 12 vents and the forehead another four to increase air intake while the back has another 12 to maximize exhaust. The vents are all mesh covered, something riders might like, as it can keep out debris.
The IXS might lack some of the other features of more expensive helmets, such as MIPS technology, but one thing you will not miss out on is venting. It is ahead of the curve and one of the best-ventilated helmets you can buy for under $200.
Bell Super 3R
The Bell Super 3R is a very popular full face helmet for mountain bike and BMX. Not only is it extremely lightweight (the lightest we have at SportsProtective) it is also extremely versatile and well vented.
The thing that allows the 3R to stand out is its removable chin bar. When riding, you don't always need your helmet to be full face. Sometimes on less aggressive or leisure trips, you want to be able just to wear the top shell. The Bell Super 3R gives riders that option by having the chin bar come off with three latching buckles (one on each side and one in the back).
While removing a chin bar can add venting, even as a full face helmet, the Super 3R is a ventilation marvel. It offers 23 ventilation ports, but they are massive and allow for a significant amount of airflow.
Compared to other full face helmets, it has an extremely open look and much of the face, head are exposed under the shell. But when it comes to air circulation, the Super 3R is second to none.
It comes equipped with MIPS technology as well, another great feature, and with its versatility, lightweight design and exceptional ventilation, the Bell Super 3R is going to be the pick of a lot of riders.
One look at the Fox Proframe, and you know exactly what you are getting. A full face helmet with maximum airflow. Fox made ventilation within the Proframe a top priority, and they accomplished that goal with ease.
The Fox Proframe has 24 ventilation ports, but they don't lack size. The massive "Big Bore" venting allows for incredible air intake, and a well ventilated back has excellent exhaust to keep flushing hot air from the helmet.
One thing that makes the Proframe stand out is its incredible chin bar design. It is very open (to say the least) and practically gives the feeling that the rider isn't wearing a full face helmet at all. While this might be a concern for some riders looking for a full face helmet, the Proframe is ASTM Downhill certified and the chin bar, although very open, is tough. Obviously, it goes without saying that a wide open chin bar like the Proframe is going to also add incredible ventilation for the rider.
The Proframe has a ton to offer outside of its ventilation. It is equipped with MIPS technology, giving it an added level of protection and it is also very lightweight, much like the Bell Super 3R. It is another great pick riders who want good airflow.