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5 Top Trail Riding Helmets For An Unbeatable Off-Road Experience

Vic Womersley October 12, 2023

The adrenaline and freedom of dirt biking are unbeatable. It’s a demanding sport that requires safety kit that’s tough. Tough enough to cushion a fall, and tough enough to protect you from flying debris. That means gloves, boots and jacket. But most importantly, trail riding helmets. They keep you cool and protect your greatest asset—your head. Your dirt biking lid is your ultimate guardian angel. 

Have you ever wondered why they’re pointy? And what about using dirt bike helmets on the street—legal or not? In this blog about trail riding lids, we’ll unravel all the secrets of keeping your noggin safe. We’ll explain how to choose the perfect helmet, suggest some great lids for under £100, and explore why a trail riding helmet is essential for an unbeatable off-road experience.

Choosing the right trail riding helmet

Your trail riding helmet isn’t just a piece of gear; it’s your lifeline on those exhilarating off-road journeys. Choosing the right helmet is non-negotiable. When you’re hurtling through rugged terrain, the unexpected is always a possibility. Rocks, branches, and uneven surfaces lie in wait, ready to challenge your skills.

You need a helmet that’s not just safe but comfortable and a good fit too. Trail riding helmets, with removable liners and extra ventilation, ensure you stay cool, dry, and comfortable even during the hottest rides. Ensuring you have a properly fitting helmet means your lid becomes a trusty shield against the unknown, and the key to a safe and unforgettable journey. 

Measuring up for the best dirt bike helmet

Choosing the best trail riding helmet isn’t a one-size-fits-all mission—you’ll need to find your perfect match. 

Start by measuring your head with a flexible tape measure to get the circumference of your noggin, right above your eyebrows. It’s crucial to get this step right. It’ll help you match your head to whichever brand’s sizing guide you decide to go with. Your helmet should snugly cradle your head without being overly tight. Remember, a proper fit ensures your helmet stays in place when it matters most.

Secondly, consider your safety. Your chosen trail riding helmet needs to meet the necessary safety standards for the UK. That changes, depending on where you’ll be wearing your lid. You’ll need a Silver or Gold ACU sticker on your helmet if you want to compete in MX sports. For a dirt bike helmet that’s also road-legal, it needs to meet British safety helmet standards. Look for certifications and labels that guarantee your helmet’s reliability and protection.

Finally, consider extras to enhance your riding experience. Are you searching for top-rated dirt bike helmets under £100? Maybe you’re interested in off-road dirt bike helmets with ventilation, perfect for tackling trails that get you a little heated. Trail riding helmets with removable liners are a bonus, allowing you to keep your lid fresh and clean. It can get pretty mucky out on the green lanes!

Balancing comfort and safety is important too. A helmet needs to be safe and comfy so you can enjoy your ride. It can help to try a few on before you commit to buying anything. Choosing the best trail riding helmet is similar to choosing a lid for street riding. The best trail riding helmet for comfort and safety is the one that offers both without compromise.

Top 5 affordable trail riding helmets

When it comes to finding the perfect trail riding helmet, you don’t need to break the bank. These top 5 trail riding helmets are affordable without compromising on quality or safety.

1. O’Neal 1 Series

Price: Under £100

Features: a completely removable and washable liner, multiple ventilation access and exhaust ports and a large mesh-covered chin vent. Soft rubber edging around the nose section and a total weight of 1450g for a Medium-sized lid.

Safety rating: ECE 22.05 approved.

2. Wulf Off-road Pro

Price: Under £60.00

Features: Meets British safety helmet standards, removable and washable liner and cheek pads, made from TPR plastic.

Safety rating: ECE 22.05 and ACU approved for off-road riding.

3. Dexter Emmet

Price: £130 or less

Features: Retro styling with modern technology. Fibreglass shell, 1250g total weight and a removable, hypoallergenic interior for easy cleaning. Comes with goggles.

Safety rating: ECE 22.05 approved.

4. LS2 Fast Evo

Price: Under £100

Features: Double D-ring fastening and an adjustable peak combined with an emergency release system. Removable interior, front and rear vents for improved ventilation.

Safety rating: ECE 22.05 approved.

5. Fox V1

Price: Under £130

Features: A well-respected brand for MX helmets. Removable liner, magnetically attached peak for easy removal, MIPS rotational energy reduction system, 15 vents for improved comfort and airflow. 

Safety rating: ECE 22..05 and ACU approved.

These top 5 trail riding helmets are some of the best value for your money. They prioritise safety, comfort, and affordability, so you’ll enjoy your off-road adventures without compromising on protection.

The difference between trail riding and street riding helmets

So what’s the difference between street helmets and trail riding lids? And can you use one for all types of riding? Below we take a look at what sets trail riding helmets apart from their street-focused counterparts.

1. Specialized design

Trail riding helmets, like the O’Neal 1 Series, Wulf Off-road Pro, and LS2 Fast Evo, are engineered with off-road conditions in mind. They feature specialized designs to handle rugged terrain, ensuring your safety even in challenging environments. They tend to have more vents and a different shape than street-riding lids.

You might have wondered why dirt bike helmets tend to have a pointy shape, yet street helmets are more rounded or head-shaped. This design is intentional. It creates better aerodynamics, reducing wind resistance during off-road rides and better ventilation around your face and head.

2. Safety certifications

Safety is paramount, and these helmets don’t cut corners. But they’re made for protection you from flying debris and hard ground, not tarmacked surfaces. ECE 22.05 approval, guarantees that these helmets meet stringent off-road safety standards. The Wulf Off-road Pro and Fox V1 are also ACU-approved for off-road riding and racing.

3. Comfort and cleaning

Comfort and convenience are key. Off-road helmets tend to come with removable liners making cleaning a breeze. It’s important because trail riding can get sweaty, muddy and dirty. The Dexter goes a step further ensuring their lid’s interior is also hypoallergenic.

4. Ventilation and cooling

Trail riding can get hot and sweaty, so air flow and ventilation are key to keeping your cool and comfort on a long ride. Multiple ventilation access and exhaust ports keep air flowing on difficult tracks.

5. Additional features

Some helmets, like the LS2 Fast Evo offer an adjustable peak and an emergency release system, adding to its safety in emergency situations. The Fox V1 uses an MIPS rotational energy reduction system to dissipate the force of sharp impacts.

Street legality for helmets in the UK

While trail riding helmets are optimized for off-road adventures, many of them aren’t great for street riding. In the UK, using a dirt bike helmet for street riding is generally not recommended. It is possible to get a cross-over dirt bike and street-legal helmet. You’ll need to check the safety ratings and consider motorcycle helmet laws before you buy a lid for both.

Preparing for off-road adventure

As you embark on your off-road adventures, your safety should always be the top priority. The right trail riding helmet is critical for enjoying the UK green lanes to the fullest and being protected. It is possible to balance quality with affordability and safety.

If you’re eager to explore trail riding experiences before investing in your own kit, Phoenix Trails offers premium off-road adventures. You’ll get everything you need for an exciting day out on the UK’s Green Lanes and off-road trails.

The thrill of trail riding is unbeatable. The right trail riding helmet lets you enjoy every twist and turn of your off-road journey with confidence. If you’re ready to embark on your own adventure, grab a great lid and try one of the 5 best dirt bike trails in the UK or book your adventure with us today. Ride safe, ride smart, and let your adventures begin!

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