Best Bike Helmet For Touring, Bikepacking & Mountain Biking

Best Bike Helmet

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This is a gear review about the Best Bike Helmets for Bike Touring, Bikepacking, and Mountain Biking for 2024.

I remember long ago when we didn’t wear bike helmets at all, ever. But things have changed. We are much more educated about the risks of not wearing a helmet. If you were to get knocked over by a vehicle on the road, you could risk a severe head injury or worse.

A good quality bike helmet is THE most essential piece of safety gear. And when it’s for bike touring, it also has to be very comfortable to wear, lightweight, and reasonably priced. And if you are cycling in winter, there is also the option of using a winter bike helmet.

I’ve been checking out some of the best bikepacking helmets on the market in 2024. Keep reading for more info.

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How We Tested

The Bike Helmets in this review have been extensively evaluated and researched by the expert author who has many years of experience in Bike Touring and Bikepacking. Some of the Helmets were purchased by the author for this review. They have been rigorously tested by the author for more than 30,000 miles of cycling through more than 20 countries around the world. The research, testing, and experience of the author have combined to present this honest and unbiased review. Read the Review Policy for further details.

Best Bicycle Helmet 2024

The Bike Helmet For Bike Touring in 2024 are:

Best Bike Touring Helmet

Specialized Tactic 4 MIPS

Specialized Tactic 4 MIPS

> MIPS Evolve technology for safety
> Has a sporty yet understated aesthetic
> It has large ventilation holes all around
> Optimized airflow with 4D brow cooling
> Adjustable fit and integrated visor
> Only a couple of color choices, I think a red or blue one might be nice but not much not to like with this helmet, wish it was cheaper

The Specialized Tactic 4 helmet looks cool but will keep your head safe if you ever needed to use it when you fall. This is thanks to the MIPS Evolve technology (more on this in my buying guide a little later).

Another great feature of this helmet is just how well ventilated it is, which is perfect for long bike tours. It features 17 ventilation holes altogether, which cover almost the whole helmet.

It uses what’s called a computational fluid dynamic design to optimize the airflow through the helmet.

It reduces the sweat on your forehead by drawing airflow into the internal air channels, without compromising safety.

Like all helmets it has an adjustable fit system, to ensure that you get the most snug fit possible, and it has an integrated visor.

It’s available in a fairly wide range of colors and three different sizes, namely small, medium, and large. And weighs around 13.9 oz / 395 grams and has a place to store your cycling sunglasses in the visor when you don’t need them.

Overall, this a comfortable helmet for bike touring, mountain biking, and bikepacking, and worth the cost.

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Best Bikepacking Helmet

Troy Lee Design A2 Decoy Mips

Troy Lee Design A2 Decoy Mips

> Very popular
> Dual-density lining for low and high-speed impact resistance
> Cutting-edge MIPS safety technology
> Backed by a lengthy 3-year warranty
> The price can vary quite considerably with size
> Some cyclists have reported issues with the visor

This is a great bicycle touring helmet that is so well ventilated that from some angles it looks more like a ventilation hole than a helmet!

In fact, with its 14 ventilation holes, it provides 25% more ventilation than the manufacturer’s previous model, with a combination of huge intake and exhaust ports.

This factor, combined with its relatively low weight of 12.3 oz / 350 grams, makes it comfortable for long hours of bike touring.

It features cutting-edge MIPS safety technology. (More on MIPS technology in my buying guide later.)

It has become an industry first in that it features dual-density EPP/EPS in the lining to handle both low-speed and high-speed impacts.

It offers an adjustable fit and comes with an integrated visor.

There are 7 different color options to choose from to suit a variety of tastes. And it’s available in a wide range of sizes, starting from small, and going all the way up to XL/XXL. It comes backed by a lengthy, 3-year manufacturer warranty. 

Overall, this is a good lightweight bike helmet for bike touring, bikepacking, or mountain biking.

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Best Mountain Biking Helmet

Smith Engage 2 MIPS

Smith Engage 2 MIPS Helmet Review

> Looks super streamlined and sporty
> There are 21 ventilation holes
> 6 great color options to choose from
> Integrates perfectly with Smith eyewear
> MIPS Brain Protection System
> The price can vary a little with size

The Smith Engage 2 MIPS Helmet is another cool looking helmet and is rated by many as the best mountain bike helmet. So it is well worthy of a spot on the shortlist.

But more importantly, it’s very safe for the wearer, thanks to the MIPS Brain Protection System, which serves to reduce the rotational forces caused by angled knocks to the head.

And what makes it great for bike touring is the high level of ventilation to keep your head perfectly cool hour after hour.

There are 21 vents altogether expertly positioned around the helmet to make Smith’s VaporFit system, complete with AirEvac channels that promote breathability and airflow without your eyewear fogging up.

It’s available in a choice of 6 different color options, including some two and three tone ones. They all feature black adjustable straps under the chin and around your ears.

It’s also available in different sizes, namely small, medium, and large. And it weighs 12 oz / 340 grams.

Overall, this is another very comfortable, well-ventilated mountain bike helmet for bikepacking, touring, and mountain biking. It is one of the best mountain bike helmets when you take into account that it is a good balance between price, safety, choice of colors, and comfort.

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Best Lightweight Bike Helmet

GIRO Fixture 2 MIPS Helmet

GIRO Fixture 2 MIPS Helmet

> Bargain, affordable price tag
> Comes with MIPS technology
> Total of 16 separate ventilation holes
> Great color options to choose from
> Excellent Lightweight Helmet
> Certain color options are sometimes low in stock

The first thing that struck me about this newly updated bike helmet (besides the super cool design) was the affordable price tag and the fact that it is a very lightweight helmet.

But despite the affordable price, it still comes with that all important MIPS technology to protect your head from impacts in any direction. (More on that in my buying guide a little later.)

And to ensure comfort for the wearer for several hours of cycling, it’s very highly ventilated with 16 wind tunnel ventilation holes. Well suited as a gravel bike helmet, bike touring or Bikepacking in warm weather.

It’s available in a choice of 9 different color options. It is one of the lightest bicycle helmets which weighs only 11.6 oz / 330 grams. And I should mention that this is one of the best-selling bicycle helmets for mountain biking.

It’s also available in two different sizes. The universal adult size is for heads measuring between 54 and 61 centimeters in circumference, and there’s also a universal extra large, for heads that measure between 58 and 65 centimeters. You simply adjust it to a nice, snug fit using the straps underneath

Overall, this is another very comfortable and affordable high quality lightweight bike helmet that is well ventilated and suited as a ventilated helmet for long distance cycling. With low cost, high quality and ultralight weight, this bicycle helmet almost took out the top spot in 2024.

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Best Budget Bike Helmet

Bontrager Solstice MIPS Helmet Review

Bontrager Solstice MIPS

> Very streamlined and aerodynamic
> Built-in and removable visor options
> Plenty of ventilation and airflow
> MIPS Brain Protection System
> Very reasonable price tag
> Not much, a good reasonably priced helmet

This is another good-looking yet very safe bike helmet. What’s more, it just so happens to be available for well under $100.

But despite being so affordable, it features top-of-the-range helmet safety technology. More specifically, the MIPS Brain Protection System, which I’ll be discussing in my buying guide a little later.

There are plenty of ventilation holes carefully positioned dotted all around the helmet to allow plenty of airflow. And there are both built-in and removable visor options.

It’s available in a choice of 6 different color options.

It’s available in two sizes, small/medium for heads measuring 51-58 cm, and medium/large for heads measuring 55-61 cm. It is a lightweight bike helmet that weighs only 11.8 oz / 334 grams.

This helmet also comes with a crash replacement guarantee, whereby you’re provided with a brand-new helmet if you crash with it within the first year of owning it. That is a rather unique style of warranty which I like.

Overall, this is one of the better gravel bike helmets that is comfortable and well-ventilated. I especially like the warranty replacement guarantee that they have.

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Lightweight Bike helmet review

Size and Fit

To be effective, your helmet needs to be the perfect size and fit, so this should be your first and foremost concern.

If you are buying your helmet online rather than in a store you won’t be able to try it on first, so it’s imperative that you measure the circumference of your head, and check it against the size chart on the product page. Simply get a tape measure and measure the circumference of your head. This will give you an idea of what size you may need.

Just an extra bit of advice. If you find yourself cycling in colder weather it may be a good idea to measure your head with a beanie or some other head warmer that you may use to keep your head warm. I got caught out with a very uncomfortable tight-fitting helmet in the past when cycling in very cold weather with headgear. You have been warned.

Cycle Touring Helmet
The Author Testing a Fox MTB Helmet while BikeTouring in Canada


MIPS stands for multi-directional Impact Protection Safety. And as the name suggests, it protects your head from impacts from any direction. This is important because you never know how you’re going to fall if there’s an accident.

For this reason, all the Mips helmets in my shortlist feature the MIPS technology.

Helmet for Bike Touring
The Author testing a Bike Touring Helmet in Nicaragua


A good bikepacking helmet will feature several ventilation holes spread right around the helmet to get air through and give an element of breathability to the helmet. It seems every helmet manufacturer wants to brag about how much better their ventilation system is. The truth is, most helmets have good airflow and certainly all the helmets in this review are very good.

Helmet ventilation is especially important when bike touring or trail riding because having a sweaty head for several hours might tempt you to take the helmet off, which is the last thing you should do.

In case you were concerned, having ventilation holes in place does not make the helmet any less safe, secure, or impact-resistant.

All the helmets in this review are very well-ventilated bike touring helmets.

Cycling Helmet
8 Touring Cyclists all using different helmets


When bike touring, you’ll be wearing the helmet for many hours at a time, so the helmet needs to be both very solid and protective, yet at the same time sufficiently lightweight for the best possible comfort.

I have an old neck injury. At times the weight of wearing a helmet all day would be enough to cause neck pain and headaches. A lightweight helmet can reduce neck pain and headaches. Especially when you find yourself cycling 6-8 hours per day.

You should reduce the risk of finding out that the helmet is so heavy that you get tempted to take it off altogether.

All the helmets in this review are lightweight cycling helmets and should be added to your list of mountain bike gear.


So long as your helmet meets the right safety standards and will prevent head injury, there’s no reason why you can’t also prioritize the aesthetic of the helmet as well.

You could go for a bright, bold, shiny racer’s helmet so you can easily be spotted in a crowd, or you could go for something much more understated, perhaps with a matte finish. With so many options you should find a color or style to suit your personality!

In my opinion, all the helmets in this review are cool looking helmets.

Bike Touring Helmet
The author Bike Touring in Alaska

Value for Money

In my view, you just can’t put a price on safety, especially when it comes to the highest-quality helmets in this review. You can expect to pay around $100 or more for a top-quality bike touring helmet.

But I get that most people have a budget to stick to, so I encourage you to check and compare prices as you go along if you need to, especially if you spot one you like the look and sound of. 

Helmet for touring
The author bike touring in Europe with a MTB helmet


The Best Helmet For Bike Touring, Mountain Biking, and Bikepacking in 2024 are:

Another one of the Best Bike Touring Gear Reviews from BikeHikeSafari.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Coolest Looking Bike Helmet?

In my view, the coolest-looking helmets around are the Smith Engage 2 MIPS line!

What Style Of Bike Helmet Is Safest?

The safest bike helmets are the ones that you can comfortably wear with a visor, so that you can continue to see the way ahead without the sunlight impacting your view.

Do you need to wear a helmet when bike touring?

Depending on the local laws of the country you are visiting it may not be required by law, however, you should look to wear a high quality, well ventilated bike helmet all the time when bike touring.

Best Helmet for Bike Touring and Bikepacking

BikeHikeSafari Gear Review Process

The author, Brad McCartney from BikeHikeSafari is a small independent adventurer and outdoor gear tester who owns and runs

BikeHikeSafari is not part of a large blog network and is proudly independent. All reviews on this site are independent and honest gear reviews of outdoor products by the author.

The author, Brad McCartney is a very experienced triple crown thru-hiker, adventurer, and bike tourer having spent 1000s of nights sleeping in a tent and sleeping bag (Read more). He was a manager of an outdoor retail store and is very experienced in what is important when using and testing gear for reviews like this.

BikeHikeSafari will never receive any money for reviews and they do not accept sponsored reviews on this website. All the comments about the gear reviews are from the author based on his years of experience. Hope this independent review was helpful for you.

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Photo of author
About the Author:
Brad is an Australian who has completed the hiking Triple Crown after he hiked the Pacific Crest Trail, Continental Divide Trail and Appalachian Trail. He has hiked on every continent (except Antarctica) and has cycled from Alaska to Ecuador. He is an expert on outdoor gear currently living in Chile.

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