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Full Face Mountain Bike Helmets

Essential Protection for Downhill Mountain Bikers - a strong full face mountain bike helmet

Lift access riding demands a combination of bike handling skills, strength, and, let’s face it, plain old guts. A full face helmet is essential for downhill, and a smart decision for dirt jumping or any gravity fueled riding. You can learn more about downhill mtb helmets below. Want to know the difference between a $80 full face mountain bike helmet and a $300 helmet?

Don't think you need all the protection of a full face helmet? Check out our other mountain biking helmets that provide great head protection without a chin bar, or look for a full face DH helmet with a removable chin bar.

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When do I need a full face mountain bike helmet?

Whether or not you need a full face mountain bike helmet depends on the kind of riding you’ll be doing. The risk of injury is inherent in mountain biking, especially in downhill MTB or any type of riding in which you’re going to be airborne (or trying to get air). Choose a mountain bike full face helmet if you plan on doing any riding with a high probability of crashing (even the best riders can and will crash). And choose full face mountain bike helmets if you like the styling, level of protection, or other features.
Remember that helmets are mandatory in competitions; the sponsoring organization will stipulate in the rules if a full face downhill mountain bike helmet must be used.

What makes a full face mountain bike helmet different?

A mountain bike full face helmet differs from other bicycle helmets in a few distinctive ways.

  • First off is the obvious; your chin, jaw, and mouth are covered. This shields the lower half of your face from flying rocks, branches, and other debris and, more importantly, protects your face and jaw in the event of a crash or fall.
  • Full face downhill mountain bike helmets also typically cover more of the back of your head than other mountain biking helmets, which is helpful in the event of a backward fall.
  • Of necessity, full face mountain biking helmets are heavier than other bicycle helmets, although advances in materials technology has brought down their weight (and cost).
  • Regular mountain bike helmets typically have more venting than full face mountain bike helmets, which rely on passive as-you-go venting to circulate air through the helmet.
  • Full face mountain bike helmets have movable visors to help shield your eyes and the upper portion of your face.

SportsProtective staff picks for full face mountain bike helmets

  • We like to newly updated Giro Disciple full face mountain bike helmet. The Disciple offers protection as well as upgraded features without an upgraded price tag. Some of the Giro Disciple full face mountain bike helmet features include:
    • Fiberglass exterior hardshell and EPS foam liner
    • MIPS Protection System - Combats harmful rotation forces that can cause lasting brain trauma
    • Channeled ventilation at the brow line
    • Audio speaker pockets to accommodate Giro TuneUps audio drops. (TuneUps not included)
    • Integrated POV mount for a GoPro (camera not included)
    • X-Static® anti-microbial padding, typical of more high-end full face helmets, also offers odor protection
    • No-tool, easy-adjust, bolt-on visor
  • We also like the Fox Rampage full face helmet, which is great for freestyle, downhill, or BMX. The Fox Rampage has a vented fiberglass shell over EPS hard foam and features soft cheek pads, synthetic soft lining, and a double D-ring chinstrap.

Full Face Mountain Bike Helmet Comparison

If you’re in the market for a full-face mountain bike helmet, you’ve probably noticed there are a lot to choose from, with prices ranging from around $85 to over $400. That begs the question: What’s the difference between an $85 full-face helmet and, say, a $130 full face helmet? What more do you get from a $300 full-face helmet? We've taken some of our most popular full face helmets and compared them side-by-side in three different price ranges in order to make the choice a little easier for you.

When you’re deciding which helmet to buy, make sure you take into account all your needs. Yes, price and graphics are important, but is weight important to you? Are you looking for the safest helmet you can find? Do you need a helmet with great ventilation because you sweat a lot or live in a hot climate? Are you trying downhill for the first time or just starting to compete? Sure, your favorite mountain biker might wear a specific make or model, but this doesn't mean his helmet is the right one for you. Whatever full face helmet you choose, make sure it fits and make sure you wear it. Safe riding!

Compare helmets in the $75- $150 price range

Bell Sanction Full Face Mountain Bike Helmet
  • Exterior shell: Fiberglass
  • Interior liner: EPS foam
  • Weight: 950 grams (size large)
  • Vents: 15 with internal wind tunnel ventilation
  • Safety standards: CPSC and CE EN1078
  • What makes it cool: Adjustable visor and great color/graphics treatments
  • Other stuff: Was designed with younger riders in mind; as a result, it tends to run a little smaller than other full-face helmets
Fox Rampage Full Face Helmet
  • Exterior shell: Fiberglass
  • Interior liner: EPS foam
  • Weight: 1080 grams
  • Vents: 11
  • Safety standards: CPSC, ASTM F-1952, CE:EN1078
  • What makes it cool: Nice blend of Fox’s motocross helmet expertise and design capabilities in a full face mountain bike helmet; soft microfiber lining; cheek pads and inner comfort liner are removable and washable; the lowest priced helmet offered by SportsProtective that offers an ASTM F-1952 Downhill standard
  • Other stuff: The Fox Rampage runs a little smaller than some other brands. Size large is designed to fit head sizes 59-60 cm. Be sure to measure your head before ordering to ensure you order the proper size.
7iDP M1 Full Face Helmet
  • Exterior shell: Polycarbonate
  • Interior liner: EPP foam
  • Weight: 900 grams
  • Vents: 17
  • Safety standards: CPSC and CE:EN1078
  • What makes it cool: A great full face value under $100; meshed covered vents; soft interior liner; d-ring buckle
  • Other stuff: The interior comfort liner of the 7iDP M1 is not removable, take that into consideration when purchasing at this price level.

Compare helmets in the $150- $250 range

Giro Disciple Full Face Helmet
  • Exterior shell: Fiberglass
  • Interior liner: EPS foam
  • Slip Plane: MIPS Technology
  • Weight: 1120 grams
  • Vents: 14 including a brow-line ventilation system
  • Safety standards: CPSC and ASTM 1952
  • What makes it cool: Integrated POV camera mount; two built-in speaker pockets for Giro TuneUps audio drops; no-tool easy-adjust visor
  • Other stuff: MIPS technology designed to reduce rotational forces during a crash; Removable cheek pads that pull out for emergency helmet pull-off; washable interior liner with X-Static® anti-microbial padding
Bell Super 3R Mips Full Face Helmet
  • Exterior shell: Polycarbonate
  • Interior liner: EPS
  • Weight: 784 grams
  • Vents: 23 large vents
  • Safety standards: CPSC and EN 1078
  • What makes it cool: Removable chin bar with three snaps to give rider versatility to go from full face to a half shell helmet
  • Other stuff: Lightweight helmet with incredible ventilation

Compare helmets over $250

Leatt DBX 5.0 V12 Full Face Helmet
  • Exterior shell: composite matrix
  • Interior liner: 3D in-molded v-foam
  • Slip Plane: 360 Turbine
  • Weight: 990 grams
  • Vents: 22 mesh covered air circulation ports
  • Safety standards: CPSC, ASTM F-1952 and CE EN1078
  • What makes it cool: The shell is made of tough composite material and the interior liner offers great comfort; 360 Turbine Technology gives the rider added protection against incoming forces, no matter the direction, and helps combat rotational forces that can cause lasting brain trauma
  • Other stuff: Works seamlessly with Leatt neck braces that offer added spine/neck protection

Do you have more questions about which full-face mountain bike helmet is right for you?

Check out How to Choose a Mountain Bike Helmet and the Mountain Bike Protective Gear articles in our learning center today.

Shop the best selection of full-face mountain bike helmets at The Original Protective Gear Store - SportsProtective

No matter your choice of mountain bike helmet, we stand behind every product we sell and will work with you to get you the right equipment. Don't be fooled by others who look like us! SportsProtective has the best selection of top-quality mountain bike helmets—in stock—from brands you trust. Click to shop our selection of mountain bike helmets—including full-face mountain bike helmets and open-face mountain bike helmets. Whether you’ve just bought your first mountain bike or are an experienced downhill racer, you'll find a wide selection of top-quality mountain bike helmets, in stock, ready to be delivered to you quickly and accurately.