Like a safety belt in a car or truck, motorcycle helmets are scientifically proven lifesavers in cases where you are involved in a crash. But even so, thousands of bikers each year sustain further injuries on the road because they chose to ride without a helmet.

Often, the common complaint about wearing motorcycle helmets is their lack of comfort. This is especially true for long-distance riders who are more likely to notice moisture accumulating in their helmet. Fortunately, there are numerous ventilated motorcycle helmets on the market today. But which one should you choose?

This guide will help you answer that quest by highlighting 6 of the best ventilated motorcycle helmets available to bikers today. This guide will also teach you what to look for in a useful motorcycle helmet, including a model that provides optimal ventilation.


Preview

Model

Air Vents

Shell Material

Check Price

Biltwell Lane Splitter Solid Full-face...

Biltwell Lane Splitter

Front and side

Injection-molded ABS

ILM Motorcycle Dual Visor Flip up Modular...

ILM 902

Front and top

ABS

LS2 Helmets Rebellion Motorcycle Half Helmet...

LS2 Helmets Rebellion

Flow-through channel ports

Kinetic Polymer Alloy

1Storm Motorcycle Modular Full Face Helmet...

1Storm HB89

Front, center, and back (2 each)

Aerodynamic ABS

AHR Run-F DOT Motorcycle Full Face Helmet...

AHR DOT

Rear

ABS

1Storm Commander Motorcycle Modular Full Face...

1Storm Commander

Front And rear

Thermoplastic Alloy


Benefits of Wearing a Ventilated Helmet

The benefits of wearing a ventilated helmet are fairly straight forward. First and foremost, you’ll be fulfilling your obligation to engage in safe behaviors while at the helm of a motorcycle. In this case, you are keeping yourself safe by wearing a piece of equipment that could save your life. That alone makes wearing a helmet, ventilated or otherwise, worth it.

However, as far as a ventilated helmet is concerned, wearing such a helmet will also keep you more comfortable over extended rides. To be specific, these helmets often allow air that is traveling past your helmet to channel through its interior. This, in turn, wicks moisture away from your hair and scalp, leaving you more comfortable overall.


Features to Look for in a Ventilated Motorcycle Helmet

Ventilation Features

Naturally, if you’re shopping for a ventilated motorcycle helmet, the first feature that you should check out should involve that helmet's ventilation system. These come in a variety of forms but most often incorporate air channels that travel the length of the helmet's interior. Some also include air flaps that allow ventilation through the top and sides of the helmet. In any case, your chosen helmet's ventilation features should provide a hygienic, comfortable riding experience in any weather.

Shell Material

A motorcycle helmet must include a very durable shell that can resist hard impacts at high speeds. That way, your helmet can protect its fragile contents if you are involved in a crash. The shell is the first line of defense in this system, so it must be as sturdy on its own as possible. However, a multi-shell system is also an excellent way to enhance your personal safety while on the open road.

Helmet Size & Style

Motorcycle helmets come in a variety of styles based upon their level of coverage. These include full face (which provides the most coverage) and half helmet (which provide the least, comparatively) styles. Generally, the more a helmet covers your head (and offers more protection), the more it needs ventilation to remain comfortable.

Visor Features

While it may not impact ventilation, choosing a helmet with a useful visor can help ensure your view of the road is never obstructed. As you may expect, a clear or tinted visor will best serve this purpose, though alternative colored visors also exist for use in non-standard lighting environments. Many quality visors also come with anti-fog and anti-scratch coatings to prevent it from becoming cloudy due to continuous use.

Certification

Any motorcycle helmet you buy must be certified. This isn’t a legal requirement, though; instead, choosing a certified helmet allows you to know that your chosen protective gear has passed rigorous testing before hitting the market. In particular, American helmets must carry a certification from the federal DOT. There are also other certifications available, including those from SNELL and ECE.

Price & Warranty

While shopping for a new motorcycle helmet, be sure to compare prices among leading models. Even among ventilated models, you’ll quickly see that some models are priced far higher than their feature arsenal would justify. However, if you are paying a bit extra for a worthwhile ventilation system, that's probably okay. The same goes for a productive warranty, which could save you a lot down the road if your new helmet fails to meet your expectations.


6 Best Ventilated Motorcycle Helmets Reviewed

1. Biltwell Lane Splitter

Best Full Face Ventilated Motorcycle Helmet

Air Vents

Front and side

Shell Material

Injection-molded ABS

Sizes Available

X-Small – XX-Large

Certification/Safety Rating

DOT, FMVSS, ECE

If you’re in a hurry to find the best full face ventilated motorcycle helmet, then look no further than the Biltwell Lane Splitter. This helmet provides you with all-around protection without being a massive burden on your shoulders. This model’s injection-molded ABS outer shell is very durable while also remaining lighter in weight than the average full face helmet.

Meanwhile, you’ll find lots of productive construction inside the Biltwell Lane Splitter. For example, this helmet’s three-piece Expanded Polystyrene liner provides an ample amount of cushioning, especially in a crash scenario. In fact, the arrangement of these liner components allows for efficient dispensation of impacts without becoming excessively bulky. This interior is also comfortable under regular riding conditions thanks to front and rear air vents.

The Biltwell Lane Splitter has also paid attention to small details that all bikers will appreciate. This includes brushed fleece Lycra touchpoints inside this model's chin strap that substantially reduce friction on the jawline. At the same time, this model's internal recesses allow audio equipment to be installed without any hassle. These easily make up for one detail that this helmet skipped out on, that is, its lack of adjustable air vents.

Pros

  • Three-piece Expanded Polystyrene liner effectively dissipates impacts
  • Brushed fleece Lycra touchpoints inside chinstrap add comfort
  • Molded recesses inside EPS interior shell are compatible with audio components

Cons

  • Vents are not adjustable

2. ILM 902

Best Ventilated Modular Motorcycle Helmet

Air Vents

Front and top

Shell Material

ABS

Sizes Available

Small – X-Large

Certification/Safety Rating

DOT, FMVSS

For whatever reason, the ILM 902 is often passed over in discussions about the best ventilated modular motorcycle helmet. That ignorance of its quality simply does not make sense to me, given that it comes with many of the best possible modular components.

For example, this helmet comes standard with a helmet liner and cheek pads that can be removed and washed with ease. It also features a modular visor system that can be removed and switched out without needing any tools.

Meanwhile, on the ILM 902's exterior, you'll find an ABS shell that comes in around 7 different colors and styles. It also comes in sizes small through extra-large, allows riders of all sizes to use this helmet without sacrificing safety. But this isn’t just any old smooth-shell helmet, though. This model’s exterior instead features unique exterior channels that increase internal airflow and reduce external noise.

For all of the quality and performance packed into this helmet, you might expect to pay more than $100 for it. But amazingly, the ILM 902 will only set you back around $70. That’s an impressive bargain, especially for a helmet that comes standard with an anti-fog visor. Just be sure to tighten down the screws on that visor after you ride because they are known to come loose without warning!

Pros

  • Inner padding can be removed and cleaned
  • Streamlined exterior reduces wind noise, even around vents
  • Front and top vents can be opened at will

Cons

  • Visor screws are known to come loose easily

3. LS2 Helmets Rebellion

Best Ventilated Half Helmet

Air Vents

Flow-through channel ports

Shell Material

Kinetic Polymer Alloy

Sizes Available

X-Small – XX-Large

Certification/Safety Rating

DOT, CARB

While I am not a huge fan of half helmets, I'm still here to say that the LS2 Helmets Rebellion is the best ventilated half helmet on the market today. With a going price of around $150, you get a lot for your money in this streamlined piece of safety equipment.

For example, this model provides you with added safety through its Kinetic Polymer Alloy shell. This material provides exceptional performance in high impact situations, which allows this helmet to pass both DOT and CARB standards.

Meanwhile, the LS2 Helmets Rebellion goes the extra mile when it comes to staying comfortable on a long ride. Apart from its open lower half, this helmet also features a  flow-through ventilation system that efficiently wicks moisture away from the user’s skin. If any moisture remains, it’ll be quickly trapped in this helmet’s hypoallergenic liner. This liner can be removed and washed as well, making it easy to keep this helmet hygienic through years of use.

If you’re a current user of the LinkIn Communication System, then you also need to take note of the LS2 Helmets Rebellion. That’s because this helmet allows for seamless installation with that system right out of the box. Even if you don’t already use that system, you might consider using it to communicate efficiently with your fellow riders while still wearing your new favorite helmet.

Pros

  • Flow-through ventilation provides reliable sweat-wicking
  • Kinetic Polymer Alloy shell reacts effectively to impacts
  • Twin Shield System includes a drop down shield screen

Cons

  • Inconsistent sizing

4. 1Storm HB89

Most Lightweight Vented Helmet

Air Vents

Front, center, and back (2 each)

Shell Material

Aerodynamic ABS

Sizes Available

Small – X-Large

Certification/Safety Rating

DOT, CAPA

Next up is the 1Storm HB89, which appears to be one of the most lightweight vented helmets for a motorcyclist. While it weighs in at right around 5 lbs, it actually achieves this impressively light weight despite everything features within and around it. This starts with this model’s aerodynamic ABS shell, which actually makes the helmet feel lighter once you are in motion. This shell comes in an assortment of colors, too, with everything from black and green to hot pink and yellow available.

Meanwhile, inside of the 1Storm HB89, you’ll find a whopping 6 ventilation ports spread on all sides of the unit. That’s almost twice the number of airflow ports on a standard motorcycle helmet, so you can bet that this helmet has outstanding internal airflow. The front and rear airflow ports, in particular, can be adjusted with ease, allowing you to add to your helmet’s comfort on your own terms.

The 1Storm HB89 features a few other small details that are worth taking note of. One of these is a quick-release buckle that makes it easy to don this helmet in a hurry. The 1Storm HB89 also features a productive UV-resistant finish to reduce how much heat it absorbs externally. All of this costs only around $65, too, so you can be sure that you’re getting a bargain with this one.

Pros

  • 6 ventilation openings provide excellent comfort
  • All pads and liners are removable and washable
  • Aerodynamic shell reduces noise and drag

Cons

  • Visor fogs up easily

5. AHR DOT

Best Cheap Ventilated Full Face Motorcycle Helmet

Air Vents

Rear

Shell Material

ABS

Sizes Available

Small – X-Large

Certification/Safety Rating

DOT

The AHR DOT stands up as the best cheap ventilated full face motorcycle helmet in this collection, not least because of its price tag of just over $50 in most cases. While that degree of affordability is nice, it pales in comparison to everything offered by this helmet despite its price. For example, it provides full face protection with its durable ABS shell. It also includes sizing options from small to extra-large, making this model a useful option for bikers of all sizes.

You may be surprised to learn that the AHR DOT comes standard with a double visor system. This system is made up of a wide, clear outer visor and an internal sun shield visor, both of which are designed to resist scratches pretty well. You’ll be able to toggle between these two visors with ease as well. Simply engage the switch on the helmet's side, and you’ll be set to ride with the best available visibility.

While the AHR DOT does only feature two air vents on its rear end, its internal construction makes the most of them. That interior lining is fully washable and can effectively channel internal moisture towards these vents while you are in motion. That lining material does break down in as few as 2 years, though, which might make this a better short term investment.

Pros

  • Inner lining includes channels to guide air toward rear vents
  • Streamlined aerodynamic design includes indents on helmet sides
  • Quick-release buckle allows for efficient placement

Cons

  • Internal fabric degrades in 2-3 years

6. 1Storm Commander

Best Budget Modular Hot Weather Helmet

Air Vents

Front, rear

Shell Material

Thermoplastic Alloy

Sizes Available

Small – X-Large

Certification/Safety Rating

DOT, CAPA

Finally, I want you to take a look at the 1Storm Commander. To be specific, shoppers who are on the lookout for the best budget modular hot weather helmet should take note of the 1Storm Commander. That’s because this model features a set of productive front and rear air vents that do not clog up easily at all. It’s also priced at right around $60, which is almost half the price of other competing helmets in its class.

At the same time, this helmet makes full use of its Thermoplastic Alloy shell. This alloy is designed to resist heat efficiently by reflecting UV light away. This has the effect of keeping the inside cooler, even while you are traveling through direct sunlight. You can even choose from one of this model’s several bright-colored shell options if you want to minimize its heat intake further.

It’s also worth noting that the 1Storm Commander is lightweight, both in hand and on your head. However, you might be a little bothered by this helmet’s semi-translucent visor. It simply isn’t as clear as other helmet visors in its class, decreasing your visibility in some lighting conditions.

Pros

  • Very lightweight, even when worn for long drives
  • Dual visor and sunshield system blocks out UV light
  • Comes in a variety of colors

Cons

  • Visor plastic isn’t fully clear

About Motorcycle Helmet Certifications

As with other forms of motorized transportation, specific agencies and organizations around the world have tasked themselves with testing each new motorcycle helmet that hits the market. To do this, they run each helmet through rigorous impact tests to evaluate their overall durability and resilience. If the helmet in question meets their pre-established standards for performance, then it will receive a certification.

Often, you can find these certifications listed on a helmet’s exterior in the form of a sticker. These certifications are issued by groups like the US Department of Transportation (DOT), the Economic Commission for Europe (ECE), and the Snell Memorial Foundation (SNELL). You can read more about these organizations and the tests they run here.


How to Choose the Right Helmet Size

Choosing a helmet that is the correct size and shape for your head is critical for its proper operation. Even a slight mismatch can cause your helmet to perform poorly in a crash situation. It is important to take some time and discover which size/shape helmet you need. Sizes will vary from model to model, though shapes tend to range from circular to oval-shaped.

You can learn more in this video.


People Also Ask (FAQs)

How many years does a motorcycle helmet last?

Most motorcycle helmet manufacturers recommend replacing their models once every 5 years. This is because certain aspects of a helmet's in-line safety system (namely, its padding) tend to wear down and compress over that time. With proper care, though, a motorcycle helmet can last 7-8 years at the most. At that point, you should likely replace your helmet as a matter of course.

Are ventilated helmets quieter than non-ventilated ones?

In some cases, yes. Often, ventilation systems built into a helmet will channel air from this unit's exterior to its interior. This can cause a bit of extra drag on the helmet's exterior, which creates some noise around a biker’s head. In most modern ventilated helmets, this added noise is accounted for, though. So, it likely won’t be a going concern for you.

Why do motorcycle helmets smell bad?

If they are not well ventilated, yes, that may become the case. However, if you properly maintain your helmet, such odors won’t take hold of its interior as fast or at all. The secret is allowing your helmet’s interior to dry out completely after a ride. Also, washing your helmet’s interior lining regularly can prevent odor-causing bacteria from making it their home.

What should I do to take care of my helmet?

There’s a lot you can do to care for your new helmet. This includes keeping your helmet as clean as can be at all times. To do this, always clean of your helmet’s entire exterior after a ride. But more importantly, you should pay attention to your helmet's interior because sweat and debris tend to accumulate there. This video can teach you how to clean out that portion of your helmet with ease.


Conclusion

As you can now see, choosing a new motorcycle helmet does not mean that you need to sacrifice your comfort on the road. Instead, modern advancements in helmet-based ventilation technology will allow you to enjoy a comfortable and safe riding experience all at once. Models that include this tech are more affordable than ever, so now is a great time to upgrade to a new standard of comfort and safety.

Speaking of which, I want to give a second should out to the Biltwell Lane Splitter. As one of the best full face ventilated motorcycle helmets on the market today, this unit provides you all-around protections that don’t leave you with excessive in-helmet moisture. This model comes in a variety of sizes and colors, too, so any biker can easily find a model that fits both their head and their sense of style.