Unrivalled Full Face Helmets For Mountain Biking

The evolution of mountain biking since the first hard tail was thrown down a raw and loose trail has become unstoppable. Every minute a new and innovative idea is being hatched with regards to mountain bikes, trails and equipment.

The trails are becoming steeper, the features increasingly insane and the bikes incredibly equipped to handle anything you throw at them. With the added excitement of the trails comes a need for better protection, especially for your precious noggin.

Full face mountain bike helmets were once reserved for the truly insane downhill riders – think Redbull Rampage – but now with the superior technology at our fingertips, we have been gifted with an incredible array of full face lids suited to specific riding styles and riding abilities.

There are many different traits to choosing the best mountain bike helmet, but here are the most important when it comes to full face helmets for mountain biking.

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Mountain biking down 23 stitches at Blue Derby Mountain Bike Park

Protection

Chances are, if you’re searching for a full face MTB helmet, then protection is of highest priority. But it’s not enough to just slap any old full face on your head and be done with it, there are some factors you need to consider first.

The most important factor to consider when buying a full face mountain bike helmet (in Australia) is whether it meets the Australian Standards (AS/NZS 1698). This can be determined by a sticker on the inside of the helmet. 

Furthermore, check that the helmet meets the Downhill Standards (ASTM F1952). This isn’t a requirement for helmets and even some full face helmets aren’t certified. You can find out if a helmet is downhill certified by reading the product description. 

Lastly, a helmet with a MIPS system (multi-directional impact protection system) or an equivalent technology is highly encouraged. This technology increases protection ten fold, reducing rotational force and imitating the brain’s own protection system. This reduces the risk and severity of brain injury.

MTB Helmet Australian Standards sticker

The Fit

Getting the fit correct is a mission in itself. A mission that is almost impossible to perfect online! 

To find the perfect fitting helmet for your head, visit your local bike shop and test a couple. Unfortunately, our heads are all uniquely shaped and while a helmet is measured by circumference, this doesn’t necessarily mean it will sit comfortably on every head. 

To size your head, look for the helmet size guide specific to each brand and measure the circumference of your head to match it against the correct helmet size.

Most common pressure points associated with full face mountain bike helmets are around the cheeks. Luckily, many come with interchangeable padding for different sized and shaped heads.

Portrait wearing a fox proframe full face MTB helmet and Dharco MTB Gear

Ventilation

Ventilation is an extremely important factor to consider when looking at full face mountain biking helmets, as you can essentially create a sauna on your head by choosing a poorly ventilated one.

This is especially true for Enduro riders when pushing it on the ups is almost as important as racing the downs. Without a breathable full face helmet, your comfort and fitness suffer tremendously. This may not matter so much for those only relying on shuttles or chairlifts, unless you’re riding in hot conditions.

The best ventilated full face mountain bike helmets all have one thing in common, a generous amount of large vents to circulate airflow. This needs to be made up of both high-flow intake and exhaust vents in order to work efficiently.  

Convertible helmets are beginning to make a mark on the world of mountain biking, especially in the Enduro scene. This may be something you could consider buying. Just remember to check if they’re downhill certified.

Mat Walker riding the detonate rock chute in his full face mountain bike helmet

Weight

Another massive aspect to consider is how heavy the helmet is. And again, the importance of this factor comes down to what type of riding you intend to do.

For obvious reasons, a light and strong helmet is going to make climbing much more bearable. But if you’re all about downhill and danger, pairing with the toughest of full face lids may prove more important than saving a few extra grams.

To find a lightweight full face mountain bike helmet, a great guideline to run by is:

  • Enduro Full Face Helmet: <800g
  • Downhill Full Face Helmet: <1200g
Racing the Downhill run at Stromlo MTB park in my downhill mountain bike helmet

Price

With all things considered, the price of a full face mountain bike helmet can skyrocket. To provide something that is light-weight, well ventilated and tough enough to save your head from a high speed impact is not cheap.

To put it bluntly, you’ll have to start sacrificing certain aspects of what makes the best full face mountain bike helmet if you want to save money.

Personally, I would start saving some coin by sacrificing the best ventilation or lightest weight. Protection is of highest importance to me and something that should never be sacrificed. 

With all the nitty gritty out of the way, let’s dive into the markets best full face helmets for mountain biking.

Candace shredding her Canyon Strive in Blue Derby Tasmania

TLD Stage MIPS

Most Lightweight Full Face Mountain Bike Helmet 

Troy Lee Designs has somehow found a way to create a helmet that smokes all others in weight while continuing to provide exceptional protection and durability. The Stage is your ultimate enduro helmet, especially for racers out there where every gram counts!

The TLD Stage comes with three sets of cheek pads, neck rolls and liners that range in size for the best fit possible. The helmet is complete with a total of 25 vents, MIPS and a downhill certification. 

But of course, with an ultimate design comes a high price tag – which may be the only negative we can find so far with this helmet.

Features

  • 3 Interchangeable liners, neck rolls and cheek pads
  • Fidlock magnetic buckle
  • Multiple design options
  • Adjustable visor
  • Dual-density EPS and EPP liner

Price: $615 AUD
Ventilation: 11 intake ports and 14 exhaust vents
ASTM F1952 Approved: Yes
MIPS: Yes
Weight: 690 g 

Pros of the TLD Stage Full Face MTB Helmet:

  • Very lightweight
  • Durable
  • Great ventilation
  • Adjustable visor

Cons of  the TLD Stage Full Face MTB Helmet:

  • Expensive
  • Odd sizing of only three options: XS/S, M/L, XL/XXL 

Fox Proframe

Our Pick For Favourite Enduro Full Face Helmet

The Fox Proframe may just be our favourite full face mountain biking helmet on this list. With 24 big bore vents and only smidgen heavier than the TLD Stage, it seems a no-brainer to pay $215 less for an almost identical helmet. 

Not only is this helmet completely downhill certified with MIPS and EPS foam, it comes in loads of epic designs as well. If you’re looking for an enduro full face helmet that doesn’t break the bank but can hold up to big descents and hot days, this is it.

Features

  • 24 big bore vents
  • Varizorb EPS foam inner shell
  • Fidlock snap magnetic buckle
  • 3 Interchangeable pad sizes 
  • Multiple colours and designs

Price: $400 AUD
Ventilation: 24 vents
ASTM F1952 Approved: Yes
MIPS: Yes
Weight: 750 g

Fox Proframe Full Face MTB Helmet for Enduro Mountain Biking

See the latest price for the Fox Proframe at Worldwide Cyclery (free US shipping)
See the latest price for the Fox Proframe on Ebay

Pros of the Fox Proframe Full Face MTB Helmet:

  • Loads of cool designs to choose from
  • Very lightweight
  • Durable
  • Cheap for what you get

Cons of the Fox Proframe Full Face MTB Helmet:

  • Non-adjustable visor

Smith Mainline MIPS

The Smith Mainline MIPS helmet is another great contender for a lightweight enduro full face mountain bike helmet. With only a couple grams over the Fox Proframe, it’s almost as light with added protection from a new innovative design called KoroydⓇ fused with the well known MIPS Brain Protection System (BPS).

The KoroydⓇ are thermoformed panels that wrap the top of the head and the back of the helmet. These provide extra protection and added breathability. From our searches it does seem that the Smith is the most protective enduro helmet on this list.

As with the Proframe and the Stage, the Mainline comes with interchangeable pads and liners for a closer fit. With 21 vents, the breathability is almost as good as these other two helmets as well. 

The main downside for the Smith Mainline MIPS helmet is the price, which is creeping high for an enduro helmet. But it may just be worth it for the added protection!

Features

  • Adjustable visor
  • Three cheek pad sizes, two crown liners and two neck rolls
  • Double D-ring closure
  • Integrates perfectly with the Smith Squad MTB and Squad XL MTB goggles
  • AirEvac™ system keeps goggles from fogging up
  • Three designs to choose from

Price: $520 AUD
Ventilation: 21 vents
ASTM F1952 Approved: Yes
MIPS: Yes
Weight: 770 g

Mith Mainline MIPS full face mountain biking helmet

See the latest price for the Smith Mainline

Pros of the Smith Mainline Full Face MTB Helmet:

  • Comfortable
  • Lightweight
  • Downhill certified
  • Durable

Cons of the Smith Mainline Full Face MTB Helmet:

  • On the expensive side
  • D-ring closure can be annoying with gloves

7iDP Project 23 ABS Full Face MTB Helmet

The 7iDP Project 23 ABS helmet is your ultimate middle ground helmet. Not as light as the Fox Proframe or the TLD Stage, yet not as sturdy or protective as the Fox Rampage and TLD D4, this full face helmet sits in the middle of an enduro and downhill helmet. 

But with the low price, this may just be a compromise that is worthy. While the Project 23 doesn’t come with the well-known MIPS protection, it does have ABS. The ABS shell provides shock absorbency at an affordable price. But whether this is enough, we aren’t so sure yet!

Features

  • 23 big bore vents
  • Fidlock magnetic buckle
  • Adjustable visor that slides instead of using bolts
  • CRV (Crash Release Visor) allows visor to release on impact and be re-fitted afterwards
  • Four sizes to choose from

Price: $275 AUD
Ventilation: 23 big bore vents
ASTM F1952 Approved: Yes
MIPS: No
Weight: 860 g

7iDP Project 23 ABS Full Face mountain bike helmet

See the latest price for the 7iDP Project 23 ABS at Amazon

Pros of the 7iDP Project 23 Full Face MTB Helmet:

  • Cheap
  • Crash release visor that doesn’t need bolts, which are known to come loose and disappear

Cons of the 7iDP Project 23 Full Face MTB Helmet:

  • No interchangeable pad sizes
  • No extra protection such as MIPS or SERT
  • Not as breathable

7iDP Project 23 Carbon Full Face MTB Helmet

The 7iDP Project 23 Carbon Full Face Helmet is a step up from the above Project 23 ABS. This helmet has a larger focus on downhill mountain biking, with a strong carbon fibre shell and S.E.R.T (Seven Energy Reduction Technology) smart foam for better protection.

With an affordable price of just $550 AUD, this helmet could be the perfect entry level full face for downhill racing. The Project 23 Carbon comes with the same 23 big bore, allowing for great ventilation while your ripping the trails. And weighing just 945g, this full face helmet comes in

Features

  • S.E.R.T techology
  • Carbon Shell
  • 23 big bore vents
  • Adjustable visor that slides instead of using bolts
  • CRV (Crash Release Visor) allows visor to release on impact and be re-fitted afterwards
  • Quick release liner for easy cleaning
  • AGION anti-microbial liner
  • Fidlock strap

Price: $550 AUD
Ventilation: 23 vents
ASTM F1952 Approved: Yes
MIPS: Yes (SERT)
Weight: 945 g

7iDP Project 23 Carbon Full Face MTB helmet

See the latest Price for the 7iDP Project 23 Carbon on Amazon

Pros of the 7iDP Project 23 Full Face MTB Helmet:

  • Cheap in comparison to similar spec helmets
  • Crash release visor that doesn’t need bolts, which are known to come loose and disappear

Cons of the 7iDP Project 23 Full Face MTB Helmet:

  • No interchangeable pad sizes
  • Not as breathable

7iDP Project M1 Full Face MTB Helmet

Cheapest Option

The 7iDP Project M1 helmet is your go to budget option. While this helmet is lacking extra protection features or ultimate breathability, it is an ideal option for those just starting out who want more than an open face helmet.

The Project M1 meets the Australian Standards and comes with 17 vents that have a mesh covering to stop debris getting in. With a wider face opening, this may be a great intro into full face helmets if you are worried about feeling a little claustrophobic. 

Features

  • EPP foam liner
  • ABS shell
  • Seven sizes to choose from
  • 4 colours
  • Large eye port for better vision
  • 17 vents

Price: $200 AUD
Ventilation: 17 vents
ASTM F1952 Approved: No
MIPS: No
Weight: 890 g

7iDP M1 full face mountain bike helmet for budget friendly mountain biking

Pros of the 7iDP Project M1 Full Face MTB Helmet:

  • Cheapest on this list
  • Large eye port

Cons of the 7iDP Project M1 Full Face MTB Helmet:

  • No adjustable padding
  • Not downhill certified
  • No extra protection other than ABS
  • Not as breathable

TLD D3 Fiberlite MIPS

Moving away from the enduro helmet, the TLD D3 Fiberlite MIPS is a top contender for a budget friendly downhill helmet. The fiberglass option of the D3 offers a cheaper price tag while still featuring loads of the top technology found in the newer D4 carbon option.

The EPS liner and 26 vents keep you safe while staying relatively cool in this heavier and more protective downhill helmet. Mesh covers the vents to avoid debris filling your helmet, which combined with thick non-breathable cheek liners makes this helmet a little hotter than the enduro focused options. But for a downhill option, it has better breathability than many others.

Features

  • D-link closure buckle
  • EPS liner
  • 3D cheek pads can be removed easily in a crash
  • Aerodynamic streamline properties
  • Adjustable visor

Price: $400 AUD
Ventilation: 20 intake vents, 6 exhaust ports
ASTM F1952 Approved: Yes
MIPS: Yes
Weight: 1225 g

TLD D3 Fiberlight full face mtb helmet

Pros of the TLD D3 Fiberlight Full Face MTB Helmet:

  • High protection
  • Cheaper than most downhill helmets
  • Comfortable
  • Easily removable cheek pads

Cons of the TLD D3 Fiberlight Full Face MTB Helmet:

  • No interchangeable pad sizes
  • No rotational liner

TLD D4 Carbon MIPS

The TLD D4 Carbon MIPS full face helmet may well be in the running for the best protective helmet for crazy downhill racers. Many professional downhill riders choose to wear this helmet so it’s got to be good! 

However, it does come with a mighty price tag so it may be overkill if you’re not sending it down some extremely gnarly terrain at ridiculously high speeds.

We are creeping higher on the scales with the D4, which is a result of higher quality protection. Though with a weight of just over 1 kg, it is actually quite light in comparison to some other highly protective downhill helmets. 

Features

  • Adjustable visor
  • XT2 and X-static technology on cheek pads and liners for increased freshness
  • Extra set of padding in a smaller size
  • High-flow ventilation system channels
  • D-ring buckle
  • EPS liner

Price: $850 AUD
Ventilation: 24 vents
ASTM F1952 Approved: Yes
MIPS: Yes
Weight: 1050 g

TLD D4 Carbon full face downhill mountain biking helmet

Pros of the TLD D4 Carbon Full Face MTB Helmet:

  • Extremely durable
  • Not too heavy for a downhill helmet
  • Extra interchangeable padding size
  • Comfortable fit

Cons of the TLD D4 Carbon Full Face MTB Helmet:

  • Expensive
  • Overkill for intermediate riders

100% Status Full Face Mountain Bike Helmet

Most Budget Friendly Downhill Mountain Bike Helmet

The 100% Status Full Face mountain bike helmet is a great budget friendly option for those looking for a mid-level downhill helmet. The Status is equipped with some cool safety features such as a padded PU chin bar for increased protection and is compatible with inflatable emergency release systems.

However, it doesn’t come with MIPS or anything similar which could be a deal breaker for some. But with that being said, the Status is downhill certified and the EPS liner is built durably and can accommodate mid-level downhill riders. 

Features

  • Padded PU chin bar for increased impact protection
  • D-link buckle
  • Active cooling system for maximised airflow
  • Washable comfort liner, cheek pads and strap covers
  • 14 mesh covered vents
  • EPS liner
  • Compatible with emergency release systems

Price: $300 AUD
Ventilation: 14
ASTM F1952 Approved: Yes
MIPS: No
Weight: 950 g

100% Status full face MTB Helmet

See the latest price for the 100% status on Ebay

Pros of the 100% Status Full Face MTB Helmet:

  • Lightweight for a downhill helmet
  • Cool designs
  • Washable liner
  • Competitively priced

Cons of the 100% Status Full Face MTB Helmet:

  • No rotational liner
  • Some reviews of the helmet fitting oddly
  • No different sized pads

Fox Rampage Pro Carbon

Our Favourite For A Downhill Mountain bike Helmet 

The Fox Rampage Pro Carbon gives the TLD D4 Carbon helmet a run for its money. I may even have to say it looks better, on paper. As the name suggests, the Rampage is designed for the gnarliest riders out there. 

This model of the Rampage features Fox’s own rotational management system called Fluid inside (Fi). This is a low viscosity oil enclosed inside a cell foam that manages both linear and rotational impact energy. It also comes with the Magnetic Visor Release System (MVRS) which is designed to detach on purpose in the event of a crash, then clip straight back on.

It seems, however, that Fox has ditched both of these technologies on the 2022 model (which isn’t available in Australia yet) returning to the trusted MIPS technology and a new visor with breakaway visor screws that are designed to shear off at impact. 

But whichever Rampage helmet you go for, it will be packed full of features that have been the result of suggestions from their elite riders. 

Not only is it the safest full-face MTB helmet out there, but it is also one of the most comfortable with 3 shell & 4 EPS sizes for the best in class fit.

Features

  • Dual-density Varizorb EPS liner
  • MCT shell
  • Fluid inside liner (MIPS on newer models)
  • D-ring buckle
  • Removable and washable X-static moisture-wicking and antimicrobial comfort liner
  • MVRS visor

Price: $750 AUD
Ventilation: 15 intake vents and 4 exhaust vents
ASTM F1952 Approved: Yes
MIPS: Fi on older models, MIPS on newer
Weight: 1230 g

Fox Rampage Pro Carbon Downhill Full Face mountain bike helmet

See the latest price for the Fox Rampage Pro Carbon at Amazon

Pros of the Fox Rampage Pro Carbon Full Face MTB Helmet:

  • MTBA DH approved
  • Cool designs
  • Great durability
  • Removable pads for extra air flow

Cons of the Fox Rampage Pro Carbon Full Face MTB Helmet:

  • The sizes run a little smaller
  • Heaviest of the bunch
  • Expensive

661 Reset MIPS Full Face MTB Helmet

Best Budget Helmet With MIPS Protection

The 661 Reset MIPS full face mountain bike helmet could be the winner for the cheapest downhill helmet which still supports MIPS protection. In fact, the Reset is the first helmet equipped with the new version of MIPS, the MIPS E2 which is specifically designed for full face helmets. 

The ABS shell is lightweight and helps to keep the grams down compared to some other helmets on the market. While this helmet isn’t downhill certified, it is still a great option for those riders looking for a burlier helmet at a cheaper price.

Features

  • New MIPS E2
  • 10 angular vents
  • Adjustable visor
  • ABS shell
  • Large eye port
  • 6 designs to choose from

Price: $250 AUD
Ventilation: 10 vents
ASTM F1952 Approved: No
MIPS: Yes (new MIPS E2 version)
Weight: 1055 g

661 Reset full face mtb helmet

See the latest price for the 661 Reset on Ebay

Pros of the 661 Reset Full Face MTB Helmet:

  • Affordable
  • Lighter than some other downhill helmets
  • Newest version of MIPS
  • Cool designs

Cons of the 661 Reset Full Face MTB Helmet:

  • Not downhill certified
  • No extra sizes for pads
  • Not as breathable

This is by no means an extensive list of all that is available in the full-face mountain bike helmet department, it is but a sample of some of the best we have reviewed. Personally, our favourite is the Fox Proframe for it’s breathability, durability and lower cost compared to the similarly specced TLD Stage Helmet.