The Best Dual Sport Helmets for the 2020 Season

We’d Know: We’ve Hands-On Tested 400+ Helmets Since 2000

 

Choose Your Next Helmet:

Entry-Level

Priced under $300, these helmets are ideal for new riders or value-conscious shoppers.

See: Entry Level Helmets

Mid-Range

Priced $300-$500, these helmets are feature rich and offer excellent protection.

See: Mid-Range Helmets

High-End

Priced $500 and up. Simply the best of what is available in the open-face segment.

See: High-End Helmetsl

 

A note about our recommendations:

There’s a lot of fake “review sites” online today. We get it. We aren’t one of them. Founded in 2000, the team at wBW has extensively tested more than 2,500 pieces of gear. Helmets, jackets, boots, gloves, accessories, and more. We extensively and exhaustively test gear. We do not fluff reviews. Read our review policies.

 


 

Priced under $200

Best Entry Level Dual Sport Helmets

Scorpion EXO-AT950

Scorpion EXO AT950

Price: $269

Where to Buy

RevZilla Amazon

Why?

As Rick called out in his 2016 review, if you’re looking for a modular dual-sport helmet, the AT950 is the one to get. Priced at just under $270, riders enjoy an above-average feel and build quality at an entry-level price. Scorpion makes the AT950 in three shell sizes, so you never have the “bobblehead effect”, and the peak can be removed so that you can wear the AT950 as a full face if you feel so inclined.

We called it a bargain superstar in 2016, and that’s still very much the case today.

Specs, Head Shape, & More

Specs:

  • Head shape: intermediate oval
  • Weight: 4 lbs
  • DOT certified

Our In-Depth Review

Originally reviewed in 2016, we found this helmet to be an excellent value. However, at 4 lbs on the nose, it’s not lightweight by any stretch – especially compared to other dual sports listed here. Read our full review…

 

Bell MX-9 Adventure MIPS

Bell MX-9 Adventure MIPS

Price: Up to $219

Where to Buy

RevZilla Amazon

Why?

Bell’s MX-9 MIPS utilizes a multi-directional impact protection system (MIPS…) to maximize protection in the event of a crash. The MX-9 is also lightweight, ringing in under 3.75 lbs. If you’re planning on doing more off than on-road riding, that reduced weight will save your neck (and noggin)!

Specs, Head Shape, & More

Specs:

  • Head shape: intermediate oval
  • Weight: 3.74 lbs
  • DOT certified

In-Depth Review

Spencer at ADVPulse.com reviewed this helmet in 2015 and remarked that the MX-9 MIPS is one of the best dual sport helmets can buy in and around the $200 price range. That’s solid praise and worth taking into consideration. Have a look…

 


 

Priced $100 – $200

Best Mid-Range Dual Sport Helmets

agv ax9 dual sport helmet

AGV AX9

Price: $499

Where to Buy

RevZilla Amazon

Why?

Weighing in at just 3.69 lbs, the AX-9 is quite lightweight given what’s included, and by “what’s included” I’m speaking specifically to the monstrous peak that rests on top of this thing. However, utility was at the top of AGV’s designer’s mind, as the peak can easily be removed – as can the face shield – and you are free to quickly customize the AX-9 so that you can wear it however you prefer.

Specs, Head Shape, & More

Specs:

  • Head shape: intermediate oval
  • Weight: 3.69 lbs
  • DOT & ECE certified

Our In-Depth Review

We haven’t actually reviewed the AX-9 hands-on, though that is on our request list for the 2020 riding season. However, we did review the excellent AX-8 and found it to be, well, excellent. Plenty of friends in the industry have great things to say about the AX-9, and when we’ve handled them, we’ve found lots to like.

Klim Krios Valiance

Klim Krios Valiance

Price: $499

Where to Buy

RevZilla Amazon

Why?

The Klim Krios markets itself as one of the lightest adventure helmets ever created, and at a scant 3.25 lbs, they may well have done it wit the carbon fiber accented Krios Valiance. Of course, Klim is no experience to lightness (or carbon fiber) as Jim outlined in his 2019 review of the K1R. The Krios is a fully-loaded adventure lid that sports both DOT and ECE designations and a host of quality of life features. Recommended.

Specs, Head Shape, & More

Specs:

  • Head shape: intermediate oval
  • Weight: 3.25 lbs
  • DOT & ECE certified

Our In-Depth Review

We haven’t reviewed this one hands-on (darn it), but we are very familiar with Shark. Check out our Shark coverage.

 


 

Priced $500+

Best High-End Dual Sport Helmets

Shoei Hornet X2

Shoei Hornet X2

Where to Buy

RevZilla Amazon

Price: $605

Why?

Lauded in 2015 as a complete rethink of the dual sport helmet, the Hornet X2 is another demonstration of Shoei’s sheer badassery in action. Shoei made numerous deviations from the established “dual sport helmet” convention, and in so doing built a helmet that is quieter than most while flowing just as much air as the best of them. Notably, the Hornet X2 also meets the SNELL M2015 designation (see why that matters).

Specs, Head Shape, & More

Specs:

  • Head shape: intermediate oval
  • Weight: 3.92 bs
  • DOT & SNELL certified

Our In-Depth Review

Rick called out that the Hornet X2 raises the bar in dual sport helmet design, and that’s still very much the case five years after its introduction. The Hornet X2 is a great on or off-road helmet. Read our full review…

 

schuberth e1 adventure

SCHUBERTH E1 Adventure

Price: $649

Where to Buy

RevZilla

Why?

The E1 is more of a touring helmet than it is a dual-sport or adventure helmet in terms of its build and construction, but there’s no denying that it is one of the best modular dual sport helmets you can buy. Maybe even the best… but you pay for that premium. Still, if you have $650, there are far worse ways to spend it than on this excellent helmet…

Specs, Head Shape, & More

Specs:

  • Head shape: intermediate oval
  • Weight: 3lbs 16 oz
  • DOT & ECE certified

Our In-Depth Review

The E1 is a popular helmet among SCHUBERTH fans and those that prefer modular helmets in general. However, it comes with a premium price and you get a lot that comes with it… but still. $650 is no joke. That said, our in-depth review found a lot to love…

Criteria & Methodology

How We Determine "The Best"

At wBW, “Best” Actually Means Something

Remember when you could open up a review of something, and when the publication – magazine, car show, whatever – said “best” they stood behind it? Yea, we remember, and we’re bringing it back.

Here’s how we do things:

  • We disclose our affiliate relationships – We make money via advertising and affiliate relationships on our website. It’s how we pay our team and invest in things like sending Jim to Italy. And Japan. And France… wait… why do we always send Jim places?
  • We obsessively hands-on test – We wear and ride with gear before reviewing it, and we update reviews down the line if our opinions change. We look at real-world situations because that’s the world we live in.
  • We’re objective – Good gear is good gear, regardless of who made it.
  • We’re value-focused – Why pay $500 if something for $250 is just as good? Our review scores and recommendations reflect best value. Brand only goes so far – the gear has to stand on its own.

Hands-on reviews of 2020’s best riding gear. More than 2,500 hands-on reviews since 1999!

Mini-Buyers Guide

What to Look for in a Dual Sport Helmet

Like all helmets, open face helmets come with a list of items to pay particular attention to. More complex than every other type of helmet, knowing what to look for can be the difference between an awesome experience and a terrible one.

Look For:

  • DOT/ECE certifications – Many inexpensive modular helmets showing up on Amazon and eBay are not DOT or ECE certified. This certification may save your life. Don’t cheap out- remember, you’re preparing for the slide, not the ride.
  • Comfort – Modulars are generally heavier than other types of helmets. Most of the helmets featured on this page use lightweight materials to minimize neck strain- useful, especially on long rides.
  • Head shape – While most people are an intermediate oval, not all are. Make sure you get a helmet designed for your head shape.
  • Shell material – Polycarbonate is okay, but you’d be better served with carbon fiber (expensive) or fiberglass. All the helmets called out here (save for one) are fiberglass.
  • Interior liner – All the helmets featured here offer removable liners that are anti-moisture and anti-bacterial. Avoid non-removable liners (found in cheap helmets)- it’ll be a stink factory before you know it.

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