Skip to Main Content

The 8 Best Mountain Bike Helmets of 2021

Finding the perfect mountain bike helmet isn’t just just about safety (even though that’s the most important part). The right helmet encourages you to ride harder, go farther, and show a bit of personal flair while you’re at it. Once your noggin is protected, you won’t be afraid to push your skills further – get sideways into that next berm, hit that next jump, and ease off those brakes just a bit. Even if pushing the limits isn’t on your agenda, you still need a good bike helmet. After all, a safe rider is a fast rider - no matter how dialed your bike and the rest of your gear is, the most valuable component of every good ride is in between your ears.

Because your brain is important, we take mtb helmets very seriously. But with so many mountain bike helmet options on the market, all with their own fancy features, that it can be hard to figure out which helmet is right for you. So let’s break it down for you: here are our picks for the best mountain bike helmets for 2021, with summaries of their features, fit notes, and a chart to help you narrow down your selection and find the perfect mountain bike helmet for you.


Troy Lee Designs A3 MIPS

Best 2021 mountain bike helmets
 
 

Troy Lee Designs has long made some of the best mountain bike helmets around, and the new A3 carries on that legacy. The new A3 features modern deeper coverage, with a height adjustable spin wheel to control the fit, and has a more rounded silhouette. It uses a combination of foams for high and low speed crash protection and MIPS for added safety. Big bonus: the pads are incredibly easy to remove, which makes washing a breeze, because even dirtbags appreciate a clean helmet.

TLD really outdid themselves with well-considered details like Fidlock magnetic buckles and a mega-adjustable visor. It’s easy to dial in the perfect fit, and as usual Troy Lee offers a selection of colorways that range from mild to wild. Combining the A1s amazing fit with modern deep coverage and updated features makes the A3 a great choice, and one of the best bike helmets of 2021.

 
WeightSafety Tech Original Price
 375gMIPS $220

Shop Now >>>


Giro Source MIPS

Best 2021 mountain bike helmets
 
 

For riders seeking helmet nirvana, Giro offers the Source - a comfortable, well ventilated, easily adjustable lid that looks as good as it performs on the trail. Protect your brain with an in-molded EPS construction and a MIPS harness, and keep a cool head with an internal ventilation system that maximizes airflow. With a low-key palette of color options, you can easily find the right shade to suit your style. The intuitive ease of use and comfortable retention makes Giro’s Roc Loc 5 fit system is among the best in its class, and thanks to a moto-style adjustable visor, you can easily fine-tune with one hand and stay in the flow. It’s a full-featured mtb helmet with all the bells and whistles that will keep you safe and look darn good, and it won’t break the bank. The Source offers a ton of bang for the buck, which is why we chose it aas both ones of the best men's and women's mountian bike helmets of 2021.

 
WeightSafety Tech Original Price
 340gMIPS $120

Shop Men's >>>
Shop Women's >>>


Fox Speedframe MIPS

Best 2021 Mountain Bike Helmets
 

The Fox Speedframe looks fast standing still. Whether you’re an enduro privateer or new to mountain biking, this helmet offers a killer feature set that will protect your brain and won’t break the bank. With a multi-position adjustable 360-degree retention system, it’s easy to find the right fit for your head. Goggles are no problem, thanks to a 3-position adjustable visor. And cleaner heads prevail, thanks to a removable, washable moisture-wicking liner. Most important of all, you’re getting a MIPS-equipped lid for a great price. So if you seek speed, style, and safety, look no further than the Speedframe.

The Speedframe is perfect for the rider who’s looking for a little extra protection, whether because they’re riding more technical terrain, or racing enduros. And Fox offers some of the most comprehensive colorways out there, so your helmet is sure to match the rest of your kit.

 
Adjustable Fit?Safety Tech Original Price
 YesMIPS $109.95

Shop Now >>>


Shop All Mountain Bike Helmets
See All

Smith Session MIPS

Best 2021 mountain bike helmets

For a helmet with a generic-sounding name, the Smith Session sure has a way of standing out in a crowd. Smith’s signature honeycomb-like internal structure, called Koroyd. It doesn’t just look really cool – it also offers an additional layer of security, since it’s designed to crumple in a controlled way to help absorb the forces created by an impact. Even with the added protection, the Session is still surprisingly lightweight and features huge airports and internal channeling for awesome airflow and ventilation. Getting the fit just right is a breeze, and wearing (or stashing) goggles or glasses is no problem thanks to front-of-helmet channels and a super-adjustable 3-point visor. All of these features combined should put any rider’s mind at ease, so you can focus on what’s most important: the trail in front of you. The total package makes the session one of the best mountain bike helmets of the year.

Number of VentsSafety Tech Original Price
 15MIPS $160
evo Customer Review:

Light, cool, MIPS, I don't wear my helmet all of the time so I wanted something light and breathable and this fits the bill.

Shop Now >>>


Sweet Protection Bushwhacker II MIPS

Best 2021 mountain bike helmets

With its Scandinavian modernist good looks and cutting-edge protection, this trail helmet from Sweet Protection is lightweight, super comfy, and good-looking in a low-key way. With sophisticated good looks and all the security of a MIPS-equipped lid, this is fast becoming a cult classic among North American mountain bikers. No joke: the Bushwhacker II is sweet, that’s whit it graces our list of the best mtb helmets out there.

It’s also very cool, thanks to a ventilation system that channels air over your head and out through exhaust vents. With an adjustment system that makes it very easy to dial in the perfect fit and a low profile that looks sleek and modern, the Bushwhacker is a pinnacle of helmet design that seems to disappear when you’re riding.

WeightSafety Tech Original Price
 375gMIPS $219.95
evo Staff Review:

Lightweight, low profile and fits me very well. Sizing is a bit different from some other brands but still seems to make sense. I wear a medium in most other brands and happily downsize to the s/m in this helmet so it fits like a glove. The attention to detail regarding overall construction seems to be above and beyond what other manufacturers are doing too. I'm on my second one after a crash and I definitely think this helped prevent a concussion! A nice bonus; my sunglasses fit nicely onto the back of the helmet when not in use.

Shop Now >>>


IXS Trigger AM

Best 2021 mountain bike helmets

For riders who like to go against the grain, we have the IXS Trigger AM. This is the only non-MIPS-equipped helmet that made it onto our list – but the Trigger earned its spot, thanks to a durable, well-ventilated design, and nice touches. Starting at the chin clasp: the Trigger features a Fidlock buckle, a magnetic clasp that’s easy to operate when wearing thick gloves. The coverage on this helmet is deep, making it a good choice or enduro or all-mountain riding. You’ll find 19 well-sized and well-placed vents that’ll keep the air moving on hot days. All in all, the Trigger offers several well-thought-out features that make it stand shoulder to shoulder with the best helmets on the market right now.

Number of VentsMIPS? Original Price
 19No $149

Shop Now >>>


Giro Manifest MIPS

Best 2021 mountain bike helmets

If you’re looking for the cream of the crop, check out the Giro Manifest. This premium lid from Giro is chock-full of top-tier features, including MIPS Spherical. Not all MIPS is created equal, as this newer version of the rotation-impact protection system uses a ball and socket construction – in effect, the outer liner rotates around the inner liner in the event of a crash, thereby redirecting the crash force away from your precious gray matter. The Manifest’s other neato safety feature is its AURA arch, a plastic semiskeleton that reinforces the helmet’s structure. The Manifest also features a non-safety-related, but still super utilitarian, feature: a Fidlock magnetic chin clasp makes bucking and unbuckling easy, even with gloves on. And with 19 vents, it’s both super-lightweight and super-breezy. All of these cutting-edge features place the Manifest at the forefront of next-gen helmet design. If you’re the type of rider who settles for nothing but the absolute best, the Giro Manifest should be at the top of your list - it’s simply one of the safest and best mountain bike helmets.

Number of VentsSafety Tech Original Price
 19MIPS, AURA Arch $260
evo Customer Review:

Best helmet I've used. Super comfy. Barely feel it up there. My only complaint is I haven't found a good way to stick my sunglasses up there when not needed. Small detail. I really love the helmet and would buy again.

Shop Now >>>


Oakley DRT5 MIPS

Best 2021 mountain bike helmets

For many riders, that oblong O on the back of this helmet is all they need. Oakley is known for their top-tier eyewear, and the feature-rich DRT5 secures their place as top-tier bike helmet designers. Starting with the Boa® FS1-1 fit system, which allows for a glove-like perfect fit, everything on this helmet is premium. Since they’re known for their technical sunglasses, there’s an innovative retention system called the Eyewear Landing Zone that holds on to your sunnies when you’re in the shade or fog. And on the hot days, there’s a very cool silicone brow pad that keeps the sweat at bay. With twelve vents, there’s plenty of airflow – and it doesn’t just feel cool, it looks damn cool with a biomechanical, HR Giger aesthetic. All in all, the Oakley DRT5 lives up to the high expectations we have for anything with that O on it.

Fit SystemSafety Tech Original Price
 BoaMIPS $200
evo Customer Review:

After doing copious amounts of research about the DRT5, and reading reviews on completely opposite sides of the aisle, I decided to roll the dice and buy it. Though it runs a little heavier than many other helmets, I've never felt more secure wearing a helmet before. The silicone sweat guard REALLY WORKS, as do the sunglasses clips at the back of the helmet, and although there aren't a whole lot of vents on the helmet it's extremely well engineered and the vents definitely are cooling. I've also never benefited as much from a visor before, now that it's so easily adjustable. This is an awesome helmet, 100% worth the price!

Shop Now >>>


Learn More With Our Other Bike Guides:

Learn About our Favorite Bike Gear: