REVISED : November 26th 2016
FULL FACE HELMETS are becoming one of the most popular choices amongst riders. Full Face helmets provide total face protection. With more than 30% of accidents on a motorcycle affecting the nose and mouth area, full face helmets offer greater protection to the entire face area. They are comfortable all year round, with the better brands offering high performing ventilation systems. Motorcycle helmet manufacturers are taking full advantage of their own wind-test tunnels, new technology, composite shell materials, aerodynamic designs and high performing elements.
Here are the Top 10 x Full Face Helmet Reviews
Bell have consistently produced full face helmets that are staples, meaning that they are the long term preferred choice for many riders. This is due to their recognisable signature look and the quality craftsmanship that is put into the making of their helmets. The Full Face Bell Vortex is a quality example of that. At an affordable entry price, the Bell Vortex in both graphic or solid color, can be worn in many different riding scenarios and is a Snell 2010 certified helmet. The design and shape is aggressive in its profile and highly suited to tuck position or used as an 3/4 alternative helmet.
The shape itself wins a lot of riders over because it is suited to different head shapes being a oval to intermediate shaped helmet. That means, the helmet is slightly longer front to back and really caters for the middle range head shapes. Most riders will choose a lighter helmet – and fortunately the Bell Vortex is a light helmet in itself coming in at the 600gm mark. The great thing about this helmet, despite it being a lower price, it is still made from high quality polycarbonate shell, which cannot be said about it’s peers in the same price band.
Important whether riding long or shot distances, the ventilation is good and it works! There is a chin and brow vent, chimney vent and EPS vents, with extractors sucking out the warm moist air out the back of the helmet like many good helmet designs do today. The front vents can be opened and closed depending on your choice of air flow and the weather. Vents on front can be opened and closed. The shield is a drawcard as it is made from the Bell photo-chromatic material, which means that when the suns UV rays hit the shield, it tints to minimise the glare affect. It also includes UV protection and anti-fog coating on the inside. The ease with which the shield can be snapped in and out is a big bonus. If you have been on a long ride and looking to cool down, the fact that the inner wicking comfort liner can be pulled out, dunked into water, squeezed and then put back in the helmet for the rest of the ride, keeping your head cool, continues to win over many riders. Bell consistently draws upon neat design features like the magnet on the chin strap that stows away any excess strap so it doesn’t flap around during a ride. Also, any pressure points are limited inside the helmet around the inner lining where Bell have chosen to minimize the number of snaps and placed them away from known head pressure points to enhance the comfort of the helmet. All in all, the Bell Vortex is a quality full face helmet and right in that affordable price range for beginning to experienced riders.
- Price – affordable
- Design features – reduce pressure points and enhance inner comfort
- Inner lining and wicking material – can remove all the inside, wash and replace. Can also adjust cheek pad sizes if too roomy or scarce in space.
- There is ample space for a Bluetooth system and speakers to be placed into the cut out areas situated near the ear positions inside the helmet.
- Rating 4.5 / 5
If you want the extra photo-chromatic face shield, you have to buy as an extra because the initial helmet does not come standard with it. It only includes a clear face shield
The Bell Bullitt – which went through a design evolution in 2014, made what was old, new again. It is the classical retro style that works for the rider inclined towards a vintage style design. The style itself comes in a graphics model, matte or gloss with a flat shield or a bubble. It comes with a clear face shield and, for those who want a bit more color or customisation, there is also a choice of different retro colored shields. The shield can be easily removed very simply using a coin to remove the side pods and can be just as easily clicked back into place. Just under the shield, Bell have include a neat design feature in the magnet that further stablelizes the shield locking into position. An oval shaped, slightly longer front to back helmet with 3 shell sizes and 3 EPS liner sizes. The shell is extremely lightweight, made from full fiberglass shell, premium and strong. The vent scheme in the Bell Bullitt is excellent with the chin vent that can be operated behind the chin bar (i.e. opened and closed from behind). There are 4 vents along the brow which directly vent to the EPS liner which are wire mesh with a neat trim on each vent. There is a ridge at the back which is supports the venturi system – sucking out any moist warm air during rides.
The trim inside this helmet is black with a full grained leather neck roll supporting the quality finish of this helmet. The comfort liner and inner cheek pads (wicking material) can be completely removed with an option of placing cutouts to insert speakers. However, having a clunky comms system stuck to the exterior of this premium helmet could cheapen the look and desirable retro style of the Bullitt. The versatility of this helmet and ability to customize the colors both in the shield and shell, paired with the full-out leather trimming and premium finishes makes this helmet one of the preferred full face’s on the market.
- The inside is like a dream-fit with the leather trim and finishings – no pressure points because of smart snap lock placement
- Shell is high quality material
- Inside lining fully removeable and washable
- Versatility – colors and shield (bubble or flat)
- Rating 4.3 / 5
- There is a lot of ‘noise about the noise’ – over 40mph the sound factor is really noticeable. If you look down at your gauges or lean forward – there is a lot of wind/noise coming in from the top of the face shield.
- The sizing has been said to run small in the Bullitt
- Priced at premium level
- The visor can scratch the helmet when raised or lowered – need to check there is enough space without there being too big of a gap.
Arai, who are a family owned company that have been making helmets for over 30 years,. They are once again a highly preferred staple brand helmet for long term riders and motorcycle enthusiasts. This is because of the evolution of design features and creature comforts that Arai manufacturers consider when putting a helmet together. Each helmet is a 100% handmade and goes through a 3 step inspection process, with includes a 5 year limited warranty.
The Arai RX-Q street helmet is a fine example of the design detail when it comes to a quality full face helmet. This piece of equipment is the top of the line of full face motorcycle helmets, and is designed to be the ultimate in street helmets. A popular choice amongst upright, 3/4 and dual sports enthusiasts, it is highly suited as a racing helmet due to its aerodynamic shell shape and profile. It weighs in at 1597 grams and exceeds Snell and DOT standards. Similar to the Bell Vortex, the Arai RX-Q is built to please the rider and make their ride as comfortable as physically possible.
The advanced ventilation is similar to that of the Arai Corsair V. Air inlets, brow and side vents duct air into the temple and out of the side vents for cooling. The newly designed side exhaust cowls exhaust heat as well as add lateral stability at speed. This particular air flow and ventilation system suits the 3/4 upright riding position. To compliment rider visibility, this helmet has the widest periphery of any helmet which makes it outstanding for all riding scenarios. To translate, there is now an extra 5mms visibility on each side in the riders peripheral vision. The shield pods have been slightly moved off to the side and towards the back, which optimises the noise level for long distance riding on a normal ‘non-track’ bike. The brand new cheek pads have the exclusive emergency release tab feature and are all fully removable and washable. Not only is this one of the best quality and safest helmets on the market, it is also the most comfortable helmet.
- One of the quietest helmets available
- Extreme visibility
- More comfortable inner liner
- Improved ventilation provides better air flow, and now also exhausts out to the side
- Stability -has been improved with a reengineered ventilation configuration – the front vents are now in a different position suited to street riding- side winglets stabilise the helmet – rear diffuser that is pulled back minimising the vacuum force that wants to pull your back whilst riding.
- Chin spoiler for air buffeting
- Rating 5 / 5
Previous Arai face shields will not fit this helmet
The AFX company has been producing helmets for 20 years and continues to roll out affordable helmets which meet ECE, DOT and Snell safety standards. The AFX FX-90 is a popular full face helmet with an aerodynamic shell design. It has a clear finish that protects both the graphics and the paint. It is made from a light weight poly-alloy composite and the shape is intermediate oval, which means it will fit most head shapes. The ventilation has 7 points which vents at the chin, side, rear and forehead making for a comfortable ride, especially in a warmer climate.
The inner lining is removable and washable, always a bonus on long rides. The pads themselves are made with hypo-allergenic and antimicrobial material, with amply space left near the ears for a Bluetooth or communications system. The face shield is optically correct, scratch resistant and has UV protection. The AFX FX-90 sizing runs a little larger so best to trial a few sizes before you make your purchase.
All in all, a very good entry level helmet that is a versatile and offers good protection and rider comforts.
- Affordable Full face helmet with rider comfort features
- Nose and chin guard are easily removable
- Meets Snell, DOT and ECE safety standards
- Included is a Lifetime Manufacturing warranty
- Space to fit a communications and speakers system with ease
- Rating 4.2 / 5
- The upper and lower air vents can be either hard to open or can open too easily during higher speeds
- Sizing needs to be checked – don’t go off a chart because many riders have said they had to go up or down a size
- A few issues with cheek padding – from the positioning not perfect aligned with the jaw to the pads becoming loose after a few rides
Speed and Strength, whom go by the mantra “Faster, Stronger” continue to maintain their high standards amongst their helmets, especially in the full face models. Such as the SS1400 Full Battle Rattle – the phrase used for a military soldier fully geared up and ready to hit the ground running. This military inspired helmet (depicting military soldiers and stars) comes in a range of graphics from high-viz to matt black , red and neutral. It is one very affordable helmet meeting and exceeding Snell and Dot safety standards. It’s housed in SS’s signature Advanced Fiberglass Composite Shell (AFCS) and is an intermediate to oval head shape. For comfort, the deluxe inner lining is fully removable and washable with a cool moisture liner made from their trademark Cool-Core material.
It’s a reasonable lighter weight helmet coming in at 16oo grams with, once again, Speed and Strength’s trademarked ventilation system called Air Strike. This vent system allows for air flow to course directly through the helmet allowing for good quality air circulation and complimented by the inner venturi vent off the back.
With regard to the shield, the SS1400 has the All Clear! optically correct anti-scratch, anti-fog and UV resistant face shield is included as the standard shield. And if you want a smoked or tinted face shield for day time riding, they have one as an extra option.
- This is a high quality, affordable helmet meeting Dot and Snell safety standards
- Excellent ventilation system
- Speed strap quick release chin strap
- Removable chin curtain and breath guard – great for hotter days
- Lock N Load shield replacement system
- Rating 5 / 5
No bad reviews on this helmet, it has been rated a 5 /5
Another quality full face helmet offering from Shoei is the Qwest Passage Tc5, specifically built as a lightweight, low-noise and ‘superior rider comfort’ helmet. Once again a product of the experiments and testing Shoei do in their wind tunnel factory facility. The shell, Snell certified, is lightweight, resilient and rigid – made from carbon fiber / fiber glass composite and is ideal for touring. The internal shape is slightly round oval and Shoei have released 4 x individual shell sizes to keep a really low profile. The EPS liner has a dual layer which enhances safety and shock absorption, and the helmet offers a choice between 6 x EPS liner sizes which aim to fit a range of head sizes. With an effective ventilation system, the Qwest Passage’s upper air intake is located to max out air volume coming into the helmet and maximize performance and comfort in windy conditions. The vents themselves are very easy to operate whilst the rear and neck outlets allow for air to be easily exhausted out. The CW-1 visor is is included with the Q.R.S.A system – guaranteeing a tight seal at the face shield and a wider than normal periphery view. Safety is considered in all aspects of the design features in this helmet, and although quite a pricey helmet, Shoei have made no compromises with this helmet.
- Quality premium helmet – meeting Snell safety standards
- Lightweight shell – minimizing profile by offering a range of sizes (4) and EPS liners (6)
- Excellent ventilation system and air flow performance
- Superior high performance fiber materials creating rigid, resilient and strong helmet
- Can wear glasses under the shield with ease
- Chin curtain and Breath guard are included
- Rating 4.5 / 5
- Higher priced helmet
- Matte black color – scratches easily
- Chin strap of helmet – uncomfortable until broken in
- Shield can fog up easily – breath guard could work better
The GMAX GM69 full face helmet is a follow on from GMAX’s successful GM68 helmet. It is a lightweight helmet that come sin several shell shapes and made from a thermo-poly alloy shell. With solid ventilation, the air intakes start at the front where the air dam directs hot breath air away from the shield and reduce fogging at the same time. The adjustable chin vent performs a similar function with fog reduction and direction of air through the helmet. The vents at the top can be adjusted and can easily be adjusted with gloves on. The cheek pads, vented chin curtain and rear neck roll shape all work together to reduce noise and air flow leakages. The large eye ports provide extended vision with the anti-scratch optically correct shield which can be interchanged with clear or tinted version. ThisGMAX GM69 full face helmet is an extremely affordable helmet and is a comfortable fit.
- Affordable and well designed modular helmet
- Great ventilation
- Includes both clear and tinted shield
- DOT approved
- Rating 4.6 / 5
- Can be noisy – top vents whistle at speed
- Cheek padding is thin
- Sizing may run small for some heads
Another quality offering from Bell, the Bell Clutch Adult Qualifier is an aggressive looking looking helmet matched with an affordable price. Design features have resulted in a tight aerodynamic streamlined shell with Bell’s signature QuickRelease face shield system. It performs in any riding position, with superior ventilation housed in a lightweight polycarbonate shell. The interior is kitted out with contoured cheek pads, a removable and washable liner, integrated speaker pockets for a comms system for speakers and a padded wind collar that keeps the cold air and noise out. The shell comes in 3 sizes and is DOT approved. The Bell Clutch Adult Qualifier is a great entry level to the full face class and its performance is up there with the better full face helmets in both safety and design.
- Good price point for a full face helmet
- DOT certified
- 3 sizes that run to the chart
- Padded strap ring with D-Closure
- Integrated speakers for audio
- Rating 4.6 / 5
- Suspected air leaks make it slightly on the louder side
- Benefit from a chin curtain
- Physical profile on bulky side
- Condensation and fog an issue
AVG is an Italian company which started out making motorcycle seats in 1920 and later, in 1947 made the transition to produce helmets. Although the company was bought out by Dainese in 2007, the AVG brand had enjoyed considerable popularity and support with some of the sports best motorcycle riders including Valentino Rossi and Giacomo Agostini.
The AVG Diesel Full Jack helmet is one of the best sellers in the AVG product range and holds its sway due to its superior technical features and the signature Diesel customised design. The shell is made from a high resistant thermoplastic resin which is light to wear especially for those longer rides. The ventilation is good with air vents at the front and and chin guard. The air flow continues throughout the helmet supported by the 2 side extractors and a rear extractor integrated into a rear spoiler – which sucks out warm moist air.
AVG’s Diesel shield is anti-fog and has UV protection with a scratch resistant cover. However, some riders have noted that their shield has scratched in a few places – but this is a simple item that can be replaced without tools in a few seconds. The inner lining is removable and washable, and as it is made of Dri-Lex, which aims to prevent allergies and the growth of any bacteria. The visor has a quick release mechanism and is supported by a clever ‘perimetrical visor seal’. In simple terms, the visor edge is coupled with a visor profile (ridge) along the visors length and sides. A good overall, affordable and stylish helmet.
- Great price – good bang for your buck
- The Diesel design makes for a good looking helmet
- Lightweight and balanced
- Ventilation is excellent and works well
- Good shield
- Rating 4.5 / 5
- The sizing runs small – be sure to try the helmet on before purchasing it
- Not a lot of room under the shield if you wear glasses
- It can get noisy on long rides
- It has been criticised for squeezing the ears after a few hours on the road – more space recommended inside – especially if want to include a comms system
Bluetooth Helmets enhance your riding experience significantly and now come in such a great range of options to choose from. We have selected what we think are the best in terms of voice control, range of communication (including obstacles and mountainous terrain), coverage, talk and […read more…]