The Best Open Face 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 Open Face Helmets

Bell Mag 9

Bell Mag 9

Price: $179

Where to Buy

RevZilla Amazon

Why?

It’s hard to believe that technology has progressed to the point where a paltry $180 can get you a class defining helmet. No, the Mag-9 isn’t the most refined or feature-rich entrant on this list, but for 99% of riders that want a strong mix of ventilation, safety, and features… this is often the best choice. Bonus points for the fact that a SENA SMH-10 can integrate seamlessly and flawlessly into it.

Specs, Head Shape, & More

Specs:

  • Head shape: intermediate oval
  • Weight: 3.38lbs
  • DOT certified

Our In-Depth Review

Originally reviewed in 2016, we found this helmet to be an excellent value. It’s only major drawback was that the top vent could flow more air, but most riders overlook this given that it’s a, you know, open face helmet. Read the full review.

 

LS2 Spitfire

LS2 Spitfire

Price: Up to $149

Where to Buy

RevZilla Amazon

Why?

You want an open face helmet with a vintage look, but don’t want to sacrifice protection or features to achieve it. That sound right? Welcome to the LS2 Spitfire, which features an integrated sun visor, a decidedly vintage aesthetic, and excellent quality control. What an awesome helmet.

Specs, Head Shape, & More

Specs:

  • Head shape: intermediate oval
  • Weight: 3.7lbs
  • DOT certified

Our In-Depth Review

We haven’t reviewed this LS2 helmet, but boy would we like to. We HAVE seen it at industry events (like AIMExpo) and really think it’s a great unit.

 


 

Priced $100 – $200

Best Mid-Range Open Face Helmets

SCHUBERTH M1 Pro

SCHUBERTH M1 Pro

Price: $499

Where to Buy

RevZilla

Why?

The SCHUBERTH M1 Pro is one of the few open face helmets that is wind tunnel tested. It’s the natural evolution of the already popular – and feature-rich – M1, and it’s a doozy. This one comes with a Pinlock-ready face shield, removable/washable liner, and preinstalled speakers/microphone for the plug and play SENA SRC intercom system. This is a badass open face helmet.

Specs, Head Shape, & More

Specs:

  • Head shape: intermediate oval
  • Weight: 3.35 lbs
  • DOT certified

Our In-Depth Review

We actually haven’t reviewed the M1 Pro, but we have reviewed the original M1 and found it to be a solid open face. Our review of the M1 noted its outstanding build quality, awesome visibility, and comfort. Give it a read.

Shark S-Drak

Shark S-Drak Carbon

Price: $140

Where to Buy

RevZilla Amazon

Why?

The S-Drak Carbon is one of the lightest feature-rich open face helmets you can get. The slim-profile shell is ultra lightweight thanks to its 100% carbon fiber construction. Also built in is a sun visor and a detachable face mask, which offers 3/4 helmet flexibility and utility. Don’t want a rock to the face? Put it on. Want to look badass with your carbon fiber helmet and open face? Take it off. Awesome.

Specs, Head Shape, & More

Specs:

  • Head shape: intermediate oval
  • Weight: 2.89lbs
  • DOT 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 Open Face Helmets

Arai Ram-X

Arai Ram-X

Where to Buy

RevZilla Amazon

Price: $629

Why?

This is the “I want the absolute best open face helmet on the market” helmet, and it is that and more. $630 is no joke for an open face, but this one is hand made, SNELL and DOT rated, and equipped with a class-leading visor and sun shade combination. An evolution of the CT-Z, this is the open face for those willing to pay to play.

Specs, Head Shape, & More

Specs:

  • Head shape: intermediate oval
  • Weight: 4.6bs
  • DOT & SNELL certified

Our In-Depth Review

As this helmet is brand new for this year, we’ve yet to actually get our hands on one. However, we did review its precursor – the CT-Z – and if the Ram-X is even half as good, you know it’ll be a treat. Read our thoughts on the CT-Z.

 

Shoei J-Cruise

Shoei J-Cruise

Price: $531

Where to Buy

RevZilla Amazon

Why?

The J-Cruise is one of the nicest open face helmets you’ll find anywhere. It’s comfortable to wear, feature-rich, and made extremely well. Second only to the Arai Ram-X, and even then… perhaps just barely… the Shoei J-Cruise is effectively a “full face helmet without a chinbar”. Exceptional ventilation, an integrated sun visor, and outstanding build make this one hard to beat. Need SNELL? Get the Arai. Don’t care about SNELL? Get this one.

Specs, Head Shape, & More

Specs:

  • Head shape: intermediate oval
  • Weight: 3.75lbs
  • DOT certified

Our In-Depth Review

The new Shoei J-Cruise has to be one of the nicest open-face designs we’ve reviewed. It feels substantial and other than the absence of a chin bar, it feels very similar to a Shoei full-face helmet — and that’s probably about the best compliment that can be given. Read the full review.

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 Open Face 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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