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Downhill / Full Face Mountain Bike Helmets

If you’re riding downhill, you need the protection of a full face mountain bike helmet

Downhill racing demands a rare combination of bike handling skills, strength, and, let’s face it, plain old guts. A full face mountain bike helmet is essential for downhill, as well as for dirt jumping or any gravity riding. Learn more about full face mountain bike helmets below. Want to know the difference between a $80 full face mountain bike helmet and a $300 helmet? Don't think you need all the protection of a full face helmet? Check out our open face mountain biking helmets, which are less restrictive, but still provide great protection for your head.

Do I need a full face mountain bike helmet?

Whether or not you need a full face mountain bike helmet depends on the kind of riding you’ll be doing. The risk of injury is inherent in mountain biking, especially in downhill mtb or any type of riding in which you’re going to be airborne (or trying to get air). Choose a mountain bike full face helmet if you plan on doing any riding with a high probability of crashing (even the best riders can and will crash). And choose full face mountain bike helmets if you like the styling, level of protection, or other features. Remember that helmets are mandatory in competitions; the sponsoring organization will stipulate in the rules if a full face downhill mountain bike helmet must be used.

What makes a full face mountain bike helmet different?

A mountain bike full face helmet differs from other bicycle helmets in a few distinctive ways.
  • First off is the obvious — your chin, jaw, and mouth are covered. This shields the lower half of your face from flying rocks, branches, and other debris and, more importantly, protects your face and jaw in the event of a crash or fall.
  • Full face downhill mountain bike helmets also typically cover more of the back of your head than other mountain biking helmets, which is helpful in the event of a backward fall.
  • Of necessity, full face mountain biking helmets are heavier than other bicycle helmets, although advances in materials technology has brought down their weight (and cost).
  • Open face mountain bike helmets typically have more venting than full face mountain bike helmets, which rely on passive as-you-go venting to circulate air through the helmet.
  • Full face mountain bike helmets have movable visors to help shield your eyes and the upper portion of your face.

XSportsProtective staff picks for full face mountain bike helmets

We’re big fans of all Giro helmets, especially the Giro Cipher full face mountain bike helmet. The Cipher offers protection as well as upgraded features without an upgraded price tag. Some of the Giro Cipher full face mountain bike helmet features include:
  • Fiberglass exterior hardshell and EPS foam liner
  • Channeled ventilation at the brow line
  • Audio speaker pockets to accommodate Giro TuneUps audio drops. (TuneUps not included)
  • Integrated POV mount for a GoPro (camera not included)
  • X-Static® anti-microbial padding, typical of more high-end full face helmets, also offers odor protection
  • No-tool, easy-adjust, bolt-on visor

We also like the Fox Rampage full face helmet, which is great for freestyle, downhill, or BMX. The Fox Rampage has a vented fiberglass shell over EPS hard foam and features soft cheek pads, synthetic suede lining, and a double D-ring chinstrap.

At a slightly lower price point, we all agree that the SixSixOne Comp full face mountain bike helmet offers equal parts comfort and protection for both novice and advanced bikers. The tough, poly-carbonate exterior shell features a full-view eye port designed to give maximum peripheral vision and allow any goggles to fit without interference.

Full Face Mountain Bike Helmet Comparison

If you’re in the market for a full-face mountain bike helmet, you’ve probably noticed there are a lot to choose from, with prices ranging from around $85 to over $400. That begs the question: What’s the difference between an $85 full-face helmet and, say, a $130 full face helmet? What more do you get from a $300 full-face helmet? We've taken some of our most popular full face helmets and compared them side-by-side in three different price ranges in order to make the choice a little easier for you.

When you’re deciding which helmet to buy, make sure you take into account all your needs. Yes, price and graphics are important, but is weight important to you? Are you looking for the safest helmet you can find? Do you need a helmet with great ventilation because you sweat a lot or live in a hot climate? Are you trying downhill for the first time or just starting to compete? Sure, your favorite mountain biker might wear a specific make or model, but this doesn't mean his helmet is the right one for you. Whatever full face helmet you choose, make sure it fits and make sure you wear it. Safe riding!

Compare helmets in the $75- $150 price range

Bell Sanction Full Face Mountain Bike Helmet
  • Exterior shell: Fiberglass
  • Interior liner: EPS foam
  • Weight: 950 grams (size large)
  • Vents: 15 with internal wind tunnel ventilation
  • Safety standards: CPSC and CE EN1078
  • What makes it cool: Adjustable visor and great color/graphics treatments
  • Other stuff: Was actually designed with younger riders in mind; as a result, it tends to run a little smaller than other full-face helmets
SixSixOne Comp Full Face Helmet
  • Exterior shell: Poly-carbonate
  • Interior liner: EPS foam
  • Weight: 960 grams (size large)
  • Vents: 12 exterior ports
  • Safety standards: CPSC
  • What makes it cool: Panorama eye port for maximum peripheral vision
  • Other stuff: Panorama eye port designed to allow any goggles to fit without interference
Fox Rampage Full Face Helmet
  • Exterior shell: Fiberglass
  • Interior liner: EPS foam
  • Weight: 1179 grams (size large)
  • Vents: 11
  • Safety standards: CPSC, ASTM F-1952, CE:EN1078, and AS/NZ 2063
  • What makes it cool: Nice blend of Fox’s motocross helmet expertise and design capabilities in a full face mountain bike helmet; suede microfiber lining; cheek pads and inner comfort liner are removable and washable
  • Other stuff: The Fox Rampage runs a little smaller than some other brands. Size large is designed to fit head sizes 59-60 cm. Be sure to measure your head before ordering to ensure you order the proper size.

Compare helmets in the $150- $225 range

Giro Cipher Full Face Helmet
  • Exterior shell: Fiberglass
  • Interior liner: EPS foam
  • Weight: 1240 grams (size large)
  • Vents: 13 including a brow-line ventilation system
  • Safety standards: CPSC and ASTM 1952
  • What makes it cool: Integrated POV camera mount; two built-in speaker pockets for Giro TuneUps audio drops; no-tool easy-adjust visor
  • Other stuff: Removable cheek pads that pull out for emergency helmet pull-off; washable interior liner with X-Static® anti-microbial padding
Troy Lee D2 Midnight Fullface Composite Helmet
  • Exterior shell: Composite of carbon, aramid, and glass fibers with epoxy resin
  • Interior liner: EPS
  • Weight: 1060 grams (size medium/large)
  • Vents: 11 puncture-resistant vents
  • Safety standards: CPSC, ASTM F2032, ASTM F1952, and EN 1078
  • What makes it cool: Reflective Troy Lee graphics; Hi-Flow ventilation system; designed as a multi-sport helmet for MTB, BMX, or snowboarding
  • Other stuff: Motocross-style, replaceable, washable padded liner; TLD Orbit visor

Compare helmets over $225

Urge Archi-Enduro Veggie Full-Face Mountain Bike Helmet
  • Exterior shell: Linen/fiberglass composite
  • Interior liner: Extra thick EPS foam
  • Weight: 890 grams
  • Vents: Six wire mesh-covered circular vent holes
  • Safety standards: CPSC and CE EN1078
  • What makes it cool: The Veggie is made with a linen/fiberglass composite shell; the Archi-Enduro is also available with a 100% fiberglass shell
  • Other stuff: Low-profile chin guard and other design for internal Venturi Effect airflow; two anatomically designed wings on helmet sides help deflect objects
POC Cortex Flow Mountain Bike Helmet
  • Exterior shell: Fiberglass
  • Interior liner: Multi-impact absorbing EPP
  • Weight: 1040 grams (size extra large) Vents: 11, including one mesh mouth vent and two ear slot vents
  • Safety standards: CPSC and CE EN1078
  • What makes it cool: Gorgeous POC styling; Polygiene antimicrobial lining for permanent odor control; ultra-flexible, adjustable angle visor
  • Other stuff: 1.25-inch thick inner spherical foam core; cut for great peripheral vision



Do you have more questions about which full-face mountain bike helmet is right for you? Check out How to Choose a Mountain Bike Helmet and the Mountain Bike Protective Gear articles in our learning center today.

Shop the best selection of full-face mountain bike helmets at The Original Protective Gear Store – XSportsProtective

No matter your choice of mountain bike helmet, we stand behind every product we sell and will work with you to get you the right equipment. Don't be fooled by others who look like us! XSportsProtective has the best selection of top-quality mountain bike helmets—in stock—from brands you trust. Click to shop our selection of mountain bike helmets—including full-face mountain bike helmets and open-face mountain bike helmets. Whether you’ve just bought your first mountain bike or are an experienced downhill racer, you'll find a wide selection of top-quality mountain bike helmets, in stock, ready to be delivered to you quickly and accurately.

Haven't shopped with us before? Give us a try. XSportsProtective is The Original Protective Gear Store. We’ve been in business since 2005 with over 50,000 customers served. Same day shipping, free economy shipping, and no hassle returns on your mountain bike gear. Call us at 1-800-930-4084 or email us at info@XSportsProtective.com today to order your full-face mountain bike helmet.