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Electric Scooter Helmets: How to Choose & Recommendations

From multi-directional impact protection systems (MIPS) to magnetic visor release systems (MVRS), there’s a lot to get your head around when it comes to electric scooter helmets.

Motorcycle Helmet With Shield Open

Whether you’re looking for help on how to choose the perfect helmet, want to understand the pros and cons of different helmet types, or need a step-by-step sizing guide to find the right fit, I’ve outlined everything that you need to know in this guide. I’ve also included 3 helmet recommendations, including the one that I wear while testing electric scooters.

To learn more, click on the sections below:

See the helmets that I recommend

Learn about the level of protection that you need

Follow a step-by-step guide to find a helmet that fits

Learn about the key protection & comfort features

Learn how to clean and store your helmet

When to replace your helmet and how much they cost

Top Picks

Best Electric Scooter Helmets

Take a closer look at my recommendations by viewing the helmets below.
Full-Face Helmet
Bell Qualifier DLX MIPS Helmet
BELL Qualifier DLX MIPS
$289.95
Dirt Bike Helmet
Fox Racing V1 Helmet
Fox Racing V1
$149.95
Regular Bike Helmet
Thousand Heritage Helmet
Thousand Heritage
Sale: $79.00 $99.00

Full-Face Helmet

BELL Qualifier DLX MIPS

$289.95
Motorcycle Helmet

Key Stats:

BELL Qualifier DLX MIPS Overview:

The Bell Qualifier DLX MIPS is an exceptional helmet with a stylish aerodynamic profile.

Few helmets can match its range of features, while its superb build quality and unbeatable value for money smash the competition.

Bell DLX Qualifier MIPS Helmet From the Side

Not only do you get multi-directional impact protection (MIPS), but with the padded chin strap, D-ring closure, and ultra-convenient adaptive tint shield, it ensures safe rides no matter the conditions.

The Good:

The Bad:

Why I Recommend the BELL Qualifier DLX MIPS:

Offering superb levels of protection and a comfortable interior, the Qualifier is an excellent choice for electric scooter riders. Designed to be equally as good on the streets as it is on race days, it’s a stunning all-rounder that ensures crystal-clear visibility and will keep you safe. Better still, it’s both DOT and ECE-certified, meaning it meets the safety requirements of both the US and Europe. And, for what it's worth, it's also the helmet that I choose to wear when testing electric scooters.

Motorcycle Helmet With Certified Safety Standards

Now, a key safety feature that drew me to the Qualifier was its multi-directional impact protection system (MIPS). This is a low friction layer, otherwise known as a slip-plane, that’s suspended between the helmet’s outer structure and its liner. It absorbs rotational impacts on your head by allowing for a sliding motion of 10-15 mm in all directions.

Bell DLX Qualifier Multi-Directional Impact Protection

At its core, MIPS technology aims to mimic your head’s own protective structure. Between your skull and your brain, there’s a layer of cerebrospinal fluid, and on impact, this allows your brain to slide inside of your head, thereby protecting it from rotational forces.

Josh Holding the NIU KQi3 Pro's Handlebars

By comparison, a helmet without a slip-plane can’t move around on your head. This can lead to linear, straight-on impacts that can result in skull fractures, bleeding, concussion, and traumatic brain injuries.

Bell DLX Qualifier MIPS Helmet Adjustable Chin Vents

Another of the Qualifier's most impressive features is its adaptive tint shield. It automatically adapts to different light levels where it can transition from a clear tint during low light to a dark smoked-out tint when exposed to bright sunlight.

Motorcycle Helmet Shield

Shields like this are super convenient and save you time, money, and hassle in the long run since you don’t have to purchase multiple variations that typically cost $30-$50 per shield. They also eliminate the laborious task of switching shields when the light changes.

Then there’s the aerodynamic polycarbonate shell that looks great whilst also being relatively lightweight. Inside there’s a removable, washable liner that’s quick to dry and anti-microbial to prevent it from getting smelly and unpleasant.

Motorcycle Helmet With Removable Padding

It’s comfortable, too, and comes with a chin curtain that prevents any unwanted airflow. Adding to the comfort factor is a series of adjustable vents that prevent you from overheating, while its 3.57 lb weight ensures that it can worn for long rides without fatigue.

Bell DLX Qualifier MIPS Helmet Comfort Padding

With everything that the Bell Qualifier DLX MIPS has to offer, it’s easy to see why it's the helmet of choice for so many electric scooter riders.

Bell DLX Qualifier MIPS Helmet

Dirt Bike Helmet

Fox Racing V1

$149.95
Fox Racing V1 Helmet

Key Stats:

Fox Racing V1 Overview:

The sleek and angular-inspired Fox V1 Racing helmet delivers a race-worthy performance with plenty of style, comfort, and safety.

Its competitive design gives the world’s leading motocross riders an edge, but we can’t let them have all the fun; its lightweight profile, form-fitting design, and MIPS technology make it perfect for electric scooter riders, too.

Fox Racing V1 Helmet Side Profile

The Good:

The Bad:

Why I Recommend the Fox Racing V1:

This DOT and ECE-certified racing helmet from Fox is the ideal option for riders who have off-roading in mind and prefer the fit of a dirt bike helmet over a traditional full-face design.

Like the Bell Qualifier, you get protection from rotational impacts with MIPS technology (multi-directional impact protection system). Combined with the polycarbonate outer shell and EPS (expanded polystyrene) inner, you get all-around protection.

Fox Racing V1 Mips Close Up

One of the major considerations with the V1 is that it doesn’t come with a face shield. This is standard for dirt bike helmets as it increases airflow and reduces the risk of air vents getting clogged by dust and dirt. But, you’ll need to purchase a set of goggles to protect your eyes as you ride. This is a great choice if you wear glasses because you can get OTG (over-the-glasses) goggles.

Fox Racing V1 Helmet With Dirt Bike Goggles

Elsewhere, the V1 has been equipped with a sun peak. This provides shade, making it easier to see, but more importantly, it comes with a magnetic visor release system so that it can detach during impacts. This significantly reduces wrenching forces from transferring to your neck.

Fox Racing V1 Sun Peak

Aside from its impressive safety features, it also brings a healthy dose of comfort to the table. Inside the helmet, there’s a removable liner that can be washed. It’s highly breathable and molds to the shape of your face for a snug fit. Then there’s the plethora of intake and exhaust vents that work alongside the internal pads to keep air moving and prevent you from overheating.

Fox Racing V1 Removable Padding

in conclusion, the Fox Racing V1 is a fantastic helmet that offers excellent value for money and some of the best protection systems that you can get. It’s great for riders who enjoy all-terrain riding, but if you’re more at home on the asphalt, then I recommend a full-face motorcycle helmet instead.

Regular Bike Helmet

Thousand Heritage

Sale: $79.00 $99.00
Thousand Heritage Helmet

Key Stats:

Thousand Heritage Overview:

If you plan to ride on bike paths at slow, cruising speeds, you might prefer to go for a helmet from the Thousand Heritage collection.

This is an urban helmet with a minimalist appearance and retro classic feel. While it’s been designed for cyclists and skateboarders, it can also be used by electric scooter riders. But, because it doesn’t come equipped with MIPS, it should only be worn when riding lower-powered models that cannot exceed 15 mph.

Back of Thousand Heritage Helmet and Adjustment Dial

The Good:

The Bad:

Why I Recommend the Thousand Heritage:

Inspired by the simplicity of vintage moto lids and the heritage colorways of the 50s and 60s, it has a single-color matte shell with a thin white trim. The straps are made from vegan leather and the fit can be easily adjusted via a dial at the rear. Better still, the magnetic buckle that’s attached to the end of the straps allows you to fasten them with just one hand.

Thousand Heritage Helmet Chin Strap

Building on its simple-to-use, yet protective appeal are a series of vents that allow for copious amounts of airflow to keep you cool.

Thousand Heritage Helmet Vents

Elsewhere, a surprising addition to the helmet’s design that you’ll find super useful is the secret Poplock. Access to this hidden channel can be found behind the circular logo at the rear of the helmet. Once popped out, you’re able to thread a U-Lock or chain through it so that you can lock both your scooter and helmet together.

Thousand Heritage Helmet PopLock

Ultimately, then, this is an ideal helmet for riders who want to keep things light (it weighs just 1.01 lbs) and stylish as they cruise beach boardwalks, run errands, and nip around the neighborhood. It’s not suitable for fast-performance scooters, but if you’re a commuter who doesn’t want a bulky full-face helmet, it’s perfect.

Thousand Heritage Helmet Padding

What Level of Protection Do You Need?

Types of Helmet

Full-Face (Motorcycle) Helmet – High Protection:

A full-face motorcycle helmet completely covers your head and face. It has a fixed chin bar at the front and the only thing that moves is the shield which can be raised, lowered, and un-clipped.

Josh Wearing a Motorcycle Helmet

These types of helmets tend to have a medium weight, aerodynamic design, and provide the highest levels of protection. The downside is that they don’t offer as much ventilation and as a result, can get hot.

The main components that make up a full-face helmet are:

Outer Shell – Generally made from polycarbonate, fiberglass, or carbon fiber, the outer shell provides the helmet’s hard structure and the first layer of protection.

Impact-Absorbing Liner – This is a soft, thick layer usually made from expanded polystyrene. Its job is to protect your head by absorbing impacts.

MIPS (Multi-directional impact protection system) – This is a slip-plane that sits between the inner shell and the lining of a helmet to protect your head from rotational impacts.

Comfort Padding – The innermost layer of the helmet is a combination of foam and cloth designed to fit snugly around your head and face. It helps to create a tight, yet comfortable fit, whilst keeping the helmet in position. In most cases, the padding can be removed for cleaning.

Shield – The face shield (sometimes called a visor), is the transparent cover that can be raised, lowered, and un-clipped over your face. It protects you from rain, dust, debris, bugs, and fumes.

Vents – Multiple openings regulate airflow through the helmet to prevent overheating.

PROS:

  • High protection for your head and face
  • Face shield protects against inclement weather, bugs, and debris
  • Aerodynamic


CONS:

  • Poor air circulation
  • They can get hot and stuffy

Dirt Bike Helmet – Medium-High Protection:

Dirt bike helmets, as the name suggests, are typically used in the sports of motocross, dirt biking, and mountain biking.

Fox Racing V1 Helmet With Goggles

Instead of being aerodynamic, they tend to be bulky, allow for airflow, and can be used with goggles. They also have fixed chin bars and sun peaks that protrude from the brow. However, some more advanced models come with magnetic peak release systems that, when under pressure, detach the peak during impact. This is especially important as it significantly reduces wrenching forces from transferring to your neck.

The main components that make up a dirt bike helmet are:

Outer Shell – The shell provides the first layer of protection for the rider. The materials used (polycarbonate, fiberglass, or carbon fiber) are similar to that of full-face motorcycle helmets, except there’s less focus on aerodynamics and more on airflow.

Impact-Absorbing Liner – The inner EPS (expanded polystyrene) provides impact protection. If you plan to ride off-road, your risk of colliding with trees and other obstacles is heightened, and as a result, the EPS is made to wrap around your head, but also provide a thick layer of protection on the chin bar.

MIPS (Multi-directional impact protection system) – This is a thin suspended layer that sits between the EPS and the padding. It protects against rotational impacts.

Comfort Padding – Almost identical to that found in full-face helmets, the padding is foam and fabric that fits around your face. With most helmets, it can be removed and washed.

Peak – The peak sits above the face opening on the brow of the helmet. It provides shade from the sun but if dirt, mud, and debris are being kicked up in front of you, you can lower your head and use the peak to deflect them away.

Vents – Multiple openings improve airflow to keep your head cool.

Dirt Bike Goggles – Because these helmets don’t have face shields, you may want to wear goggles to protect your face and eyes. These can be bought separately, and are available in a range of styles and sizes so that you can find one that’s compatible with your helmet.

PROS:

  • Medium-high protection for your head and face
  • The peak can be used to deflect debris and sunlight
  • High amounts of airflow
  • Suitable for off-roading


CONS:

  • You need to buy a set of dirt bike goggles because the helmets don’t come with face shields
  • Fixed sun peaks can wrench your neck during impacts

Regular Bicycle Helmet – Low-Medium Protection:

A regular bike helmet sits on top of your head wrapping around your crown and forehead. They’re suitable for low-powered scooters that don’t exceed 15 mph and for when you need exceptional levels of visibility.

Josh Wearing a Bicycle Helmet

Compared to full-face helmets, they’re much thinner, lighter, and cheaper. They also provide the most airflow around your head and face but offer the least protection.

The main components that make up a regular helmet are:

Outer Shell – The outer layer of a bike helmet is often made from plastic – either PET (Polyethylene terephthalate) or, for extra protection, ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene).

Impact-Absorbing Liner – Made from expanded polystyrene this inner layer gives your head extra protection from impacts. Some helmets have holes in the inner shell to provide ventilation and keep the helmet light.

Adjustable Dial & Pads – To ensure that the helmet fits correctly and doesn’t wiggle loosely, a webbing system and pads hold and cushion your head. When you first get the helmet you’ll likely get a packet of adhesive foam pads that can be stuck inside to adjust the fit. Alternatively, some helmets have a dial at the rear that you can adjust to tighten or loosen the inner webbing.

Chin Strap & Buckle – The chin strap is a fabric or leather strap that hangs beneath the helmet and can be fastened under your chin with a small button or catch. Because bike helmets don’t surround your whole head a chin strap is necessary to hold it in place.

PROS:

  • Low-medium protection for your head
  • Cheap
  • Well ventilated
  • They allow for excellent visibility
  • Light and aerodynamic


CONS:

  • They offer the least amount of protection compared to all other helmet types
  • Only suitable for riding at speeds below 15 mph

Helmet Sizing

How to Find a Helmet That Fits

Step-by-Step Sizing Guide:

Getting a helmet that fits will provide significantly more protection than one that’s too small, or too big. Here are some simple steps to help you choose the best fitting helmet:

1) Measure the Circumference of Your Head

You can use a flexible measuring tape or a piece of string to do this. Here, you need to pass the tape one inch above your eyebrows and ears while keeping it parallel to the ground.

Josh Measuring the Circumference of His Head

2) Choose the Correct Helmet Size

Once you know the circumference of your head you need to match it to the correct helmet size. While some helmet sizes may differ, most will use these measurements:

  • Extra small: below 20 inches (51 cm)
  • Small: 20-21.75 inches (51-55 cm)
  • Medium: 21.75-23.25 inches (55-59 cm)
  • Large: 23.25-24.75 inches (59-63 cm)
  • Extra large: above 24.75 inches (63 cm)

Measuring Tape Showing the Circumference of Josh's Head

3) Adjust the Helmet Using the Retention System

Most helmets come with retention systems that allow you to adjust their fit.

The most common components include D-rings, clips, dials, and adjustable straps. Take your time to adjust each part and make sure that the helmet fits snugly around your head.

Josh Adjusting the Straps on His Motorcycle Helmet

4) Buckle and Tighten the Chin Strap

When you come to buckling up the straps, you should aim to only get one finger between the strap and your chin.

Josh Testing the Tightness of His Helmet

5) Shake Your Head to Ensure the Helmet Doesn’t Become Displaced

It’s essential that the helmet is snug so it’ll stay in place on impact. To test this shake your head up and down, and from side to side. If it slips or moves, adjust the retention system and chin strap.

Josh Shaking His Head to Check The Fit of a Motorcycle Helmet

Expert Tips to Find the Right Fit:

Opt For a Snug, But Not Overly Tight Fit

Your helmet needs to fit securely but it also needs to be comfortable. Choose one that holds your head firmly but doesn’t hurt or pinch.

Josh Wearing a Snug Fitting Bicycle Helmet

Be Mindful of Pressure Points

A properly fitting helmet should apply equally distributed pressure all around your head and face. If you feel localized pressure in certain areas try adjusting the retention system. Or, if the pressure points persist, the helmet may be the wrong shape for your head.

Josh Adjusting the Fit of His Bicycle Helmet

If You’re Between Sizes, Go With the Smaller Size

Not everyone’s head will perfectly match the helmet sizes available. If you find that you’re between sizes, it’s best to choose the slightly tighter helmet and loosen the retention system. This is because you need a snug fit. Besides, the internal cushioning will loosen over time.

Bicycle Helmet

With the Chin Strap Buckled, Open Your Mouth To Test Its Tightness

Opening your mouth and checking the tightness of the chin strap is a good way to check if the helmet is secure. If your chin pulls the strap down tightly, it must be loosened. If your chin doesn’t pull the strap, it needs to be tightened. And finally, if your chin pulls on the strap slightly, it’s been fastened correctly.

Ultimately, It’s okay to feel slight pressure from the strap but you should be able to open your mouth wide enough to talk and chew gum.

Josh Testing the Tightness of His Bicycle Helmet By Opening His Mouth Wide

Check for Chipmunk Cheeks

The pads on a full-face helmet should be up against your cheeks. If your cheeks are being squeezed slightly giving you the appearance of a chipmunk, then the helmet fits correctly.

Josh Wearing a Snug Fitting Helmet With Chipmunk Cheeks

Features You Need For Protection & Comfort

Key Helmet Features

Protection Features:

Safety Standards

You should only purchase a helmet that meets the relevant safety standards for its proposed use.

Motorcycle Helmet MIPS and Certifications

In the US, a regular bike helmet should meet CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) standards, while a motorcycle helmet should have a DOT (Department of Transportation) certification. For those in Europe, helmets need to be ECE (Economic Commission for Europe) certified.

Protective Outer Shell

The protective outer shell of a motorcycle helmet should be made from polycarbonate, fiberglass, or carbon fiber; all score highly in safety tests. For a regular bike helmet, the best materials are polycarbonate or ABS plastic. Both offer high-impact resistance.

Bicycle Helmet Protective Shell

Impact-Absorbing Liner

Most helmets use EPS (expanded polystyrene) because it’s cheap to manufacture, can be molded easily, and provides high levels of impact absorption.

Bicycle Helmet With Impact Absorbing Liner

MIPS

At its core, MIPS (multi-directional impact protection system) mimics your head’s own protective structure. Between your skull and your brain, is a layer of cerebrospinal fluid, and on impact, it allows your brain to slide inside of your head, thereby protecting it from rotational forces.

Helmets with MIPS have a slip-plane that sits between the shock-absorbing layer and the inner lining. This is suspended and absorbs rotational impacts on your head by allowing it to slide 10-15 mm in all directions.

Fox Racing V1 Mips

By comparison, a helmet without a slip-plane can’t move around on your head. This can lead to linear, straight-on impacts that may result in skull fractures, bleeding, concussion, and traumatic brain injuries.

Shield

If you choose a helmet with a face shield, it’s best to opt for one that has transition adaptive technology. With it, the shield can transition from a clear tint during low light to a dark smoked-out tint when exposed to bright sunlight. This ensures that you’re always able to see the road ahead.

Motorcycle Helmet Shield

Helmets that don’t have these types of shields require you to manually switch between clear and tinted ones. As a result, transition shields save you time, money, and effort.

Chin Bar

Full-face helmets should always have chin bars that provide extra protection for the front of your face. This is particularly useful for scooter riders who might fall forward and hit the road front on.

Fox Racing V1 Chin Bar and Vents

Chin Strap

All good helmets come with adjustable chin straps. These hold the helmet on your head and ensure that it stays there, even throughout the unfortunate event of a crash.

Bicycle Helmet Buckle

Retention Systems

For regular bike helmets, an adjustable dial is the best type of retention system. These stabilize the weight of the helmet by distributing a light, even pressure around your head, similar to how a baseball cap feels.

Bicycle Helmet Adjustment Dial

For motorcycle helmets, it's simply a case of making sure that the helmet is held in place via a secure double D-ring on the chin straps.

Motorcycle Helmet D-Ring

Comfort Features:

Vents

Vents are essential for keeping your head cool, particularly for full-face helmets. They allow for adequate airflow by combining intake and exhaust vents to suck air through the helmet.

Motorcycle Helmet Vents

Adjustable vents are best because you can open and close them to regulate your temperature.

Padding

Contoured internal padding that sits between the shock-absorbing liner and your head helps you to achieve a comfortable fit, whilst also keeping the helmet securely in place.

Bell DLX Qualifier MIPS Helmet Pads

Moisture-Wicking & Removable/Washable Interior

Even if your helmet has good ventilation, your head can get hot and sweaty. To prevent the build-up of bacteria and keep your helmet fresh, the interior – including the pads and lining – must be removable and washable.

Josh Removing Cheek Pads From Motorcycle Helmet

Chin Curtain

Chin curtains are clipped onto the underside of the chin bar to reduce the amount of air flowing through the helmet. With them installed, there’s less noise from the wind.

Motorcycle Helmet Chin Curtain

Weight

Standard bike helmets weigh 1-2 lbs, while full-face helmets weigh in the region of 3-4 lbs.

A lighter helmet will feel more comfortable, however, you need to balance this with the amount of protection offered. I recommend erring on the side of caution and choosing a helmet that offers the most protection possible.

Josh Testing the Varla Falcon

How to Clean & Store Your Helmet

Helmet Care & Storage

How to Clean Your Helmet:

Step 1

To start cleaning your helmet you first need to disassemble it. Remove all the parts that you can, including the shield, straps, and internal padding.

Disassembling a Motorcycle Helmet to Clean It

Step 2

Soak a large microfiber cloth in warm water and place it over the outer surface of your helmet. Leave it for 5 minutes to loosen any dirt on the surface, then rinse the cloth and use it to wipe off any residue. Pay special attention to the edges and vents where dirt can build up. If there are any areas that you can’t reach with the cloth, use a soft-bristled toothbrush instead. Then, using a second microfiber cloth, dry the helmet’s outer shell.

Cleaning the Outer Shell of a Motorcycle Helmet

Step 3

Moving on to the visor, use a specialist visor cleaner and wipe clean.

Cleaning a Motorcycle Helmet Shield

Step 4

Prepare a large bowl or basin with warm water and add some detergent. Place the helmet padding and straps into the basin and leave to soak for 10 minutes.

Soaking a Motorcycle Helmet's Inner Pads

Step 5

Gently squeeze the liquid out of the padding and straps. Rinse them with clean water and leave them to dry.

Rinsing a Motorcycle Helmet's Pads Before Leaving Them to Dry

Step 6

Once all the parts of your helmet have dried, you can reassemble it.

Reassembling a Motorcycle Helmet

How to Store Your Helmet:

When storing your helmet you need to consider the following:

  • Allow it to air after use to prevent it from getting moldy and smelly
  • Place it in a breathable storage bag to prevent it from gathering dust
  • Store it in a dry, cool space, and keep it away from direct sunlight
  • Make sure that it's left in a safe place where it won’t get knocked over or damaged

Storing a Motorcycle Helmet

When to Replace Your Helmet

Helmet Replacement & Costs

When Should You Replace Your Helmet?

As a rule of thumb, a helmet should be replaced as soon as it becomes damaged – whether that’s as a result of a crash or it being dropped and deformed. Helmets can only perform correctly if their structure is entirely intact and any weaknesses can reduce their effectiveness at keeping you safe.

Damaged Helmet

Exposure to light, sweat, and cleaning products can also cause a helmet’s layers to break down and become less effective over time. Consequently, it’s a good idea to replace your helmet every 5 years.

How Much Do Electric Scooter Helmets Cost?

Electric scooter helmets vary in price depending on how much protection you want. In some cases, specialist racing helmets can reach prices of up to $4,000, but for the most part, helmets with high levels of protection will cost upwards of $250.

Those that offer a medium amount of protection, meanwhile, cost around $150, and standard bicycle helmets – which sit at the lowest end of the protection scale – cost in the region of $50-$100.

Bicycle Helmet Vents

Josh Frisby
Josh Frisby

From basic budget and feature-packed commuters to all-terrain trailblazers and ultra-performance behemoths, I've spent the last 5 years testing every type of electric scooter. All of the scooters that I review are put through a rigorous review process so that I can clearly distinguish where one is better or worse than another. See how I test electric scooters or check out my guide to the best electric scooters. Contact me anytime: josh@electricscooterinsider.com

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