Best Bell Helmets – 2021 Picks

| Last Updated: June 27, 2021

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Bell Helmets is a pioneer in the helmet community, developing the first full-face helmet, and their innovating hasn’t stopped since then.

There is a wide selection to choose from, so we're looking at the best Bell helmets currently available.

Comparison of the Best Bell Helmets

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Padded wind collar reduces road and wind noise
  • UV-protected, anti-scratch, and anti-fog shield
  • Polycarbonate ABS shell is strong and lightweight
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  • DOT approved for peace of mind for safety
  • Industry-leading 5 year warranty
  • Removable neck curtain allows for cold-weather riding
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  • Best for the Money
  • Removable ear covers have built-in speaker pockets
  • Removable, washable interior for easy cleaning
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  • Best Bell Rogue Helmet
  • Lightweight yet robust carbon composite shell
  • DOT approved for peace of mind for safety
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  • Best Bell Bullitt Helmet
  • Contoured cheek pads have integrated speaker pockets
  • Front chin vents and metal mesh exhausts
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  • Best Bell Qualifier Helmet
  • Polycarbonate ABS shell is strong and lightweight
  • Padded wind collar reduces road and wind noise
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  • Best Bell Pit Boss Helmet
  • Removable neck curtain allows for cold-weather riding
  • Internal shade allows for quick and simple eye protection
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Who is Bell?

Renowned hot rodder Roy Richter started working for Bell Auto Part, located in Bell, California, in 1933. By 1945, he purchased the company for $1000, and in 1954 the company got its start in drag racing and helmet development. Two years later, in 1956, the Bell Helmet Company became a division of Bell Auto Parts. 

In 1968, the company created the first full-face helmet for auto racing. Three years later, they became the first company to produce the first full-face helmet for a motorcycle and a full-face off-road motorcycle helmet for dirt bike riding.

While the company likes to keep moving forward, it also keeps a pulse on its past with several retro throwback models that pay homage to their first open-face helmet design, as well as some of their older designs.

Bell manufactures motorcycle helmets for street, dirt, snow, side by side, as well as bike helmets, accessories, gifts, gear, parts, and apparel. It is smart in expanding its brand over the years to more than just motorcycle and dirt bike helmets.

Review of the Best Bell Helmets

Let's take a look at this year's top choices.

Best Overall:
Bell Qualifier 7049225

Bell Qualifier Full-Face Motorcycle Helmet (Solid Matte Black, X-Large)

PROS

  • Click release shield
  • Integrated speaker pockets
  • Lightweight Polycarbonate/ABS shell construction
  • NutraFog II anti-fog, anti-scratch, and UV-protected shield
  • DOT approved. Meets the FMVSS 218 Standard, the product also meets requirements imposed by the California Air Resources Board (CARB)

CONS

  • Vents rattle and some have come off
  • Some people note pinch tight spots in different areas

What Recent Buyers Report

Several customers were disappointed that the face shield was clear as they were expecting a shaded one, though the description stated a clear face shield. Buyers reported different issues, so there doesn’t seem to be any real patterns to the problems. An overwhelming majority of people love the helmet.

Why It Stands Out to Us

We love the look of the design, and with so many different color combinations to choose from, we can’t decide which we like best. The lightweight Polycarbonate/ABS shell construction caught our eye, too, using lightweight materials while also keeping safety in mind. Having the NutraFog II anti-fog, anti-scratch, and UV-protected face shield is extremely important, and we like to see it on our helmets. We were also surprised that it passed the CARB, as many materials used in the manufacturing of helmets don’t necessarily meet those requirements.

Bottom Line

For an everyday, basic helmet at this price point, you can’t beat the Bell Qualifier 7049225. You might not get all the bells and whistles, but you sure get the important ones and a couple of the nice to have as well.

Runner-up:
Bell Pit Boss 2033202

Bell Pit Boss Half Helmet (Matte Black - Large)

PROS

  • DOT certified
  • Speaker pockets
  • Internal sunshade
  • Removable neck curtain for cold-weather riding
  • Shell is a TriMatrix, made up of carbon, Kevlar, and fiberglass

CONS

  • Shield doesn’t fit with glasses
  • Fits smaller than previous versions

What Recent Buyers Report

Most of the recent buyers report they are happy with the Bell Pit Boss 2033202, multiple people mentioning that this is not their first Pit Boss helmet. Some had small issues, and the number one issue is finding a size that fits correctly. The sizing for this model fits smaller than previous models of Bell helmets.

Why It Stands Out to Us

We’re not going to lie, it’s a pretty badass looking helmet, and that’s what stood out to us initially. We’re sure the TriMatrix shell has something to do with that. We also like the idea of the speed dial fitting system, so you can adjust the helmet to get just the right fit. The internal sunshade is a smart idea, and while driving open face is great, if that sun pops out into your eyes, it’ll be great knowing that within seconds you can have coverage.

Bottom Line

First and second place were close, with the biggest difference being the helmet style. While we are more used to dealing with full-face helmets, it’s nice to see open-face ones now and then, too. This helmet is a great example of an everyday go-to open-face helmet.

Best for the Money:
BELL Recon Cruiser 7100547

BELL Recon Helmet - Asphalt (X-Large) (Matte Black)

PROS

  • DOT certified
  • Interior is removable and washable
  • 3 shell and EPS sizes for a personalized fit
  • Durable plastic goggle strap holder
  • Removable Peltor ear covers with built-in speaker pockets

CONS

  • Many complaints of mushroom head
  • Causes pressure points, especially around the ears

What Recent Buyers Report

According to many of the buyers, the sizing runs a bit big. That said, not everyone sees this as a negative for the brand. Some played it down to the fact that there was no sizing chart to reference. Many found the helmet to be very comfortable and were extremely happy with how the helmet looked.

Why It Stands Out to Us

We love the smooth, round style of this helmet and that it pays homage to the men and women of the United States Armed Forces. The minimalist design is breathtaking and a reminder that sometimes you don’t need all the flashy stuff that some helmets have, though we love them as well. We also really dig the removable ear covers with built-in speaker pockets. The helmet looks great, both with and without them, and the functionality is something we love.

Bottom Line

We love this helmet enough to risk mushroom heads. It’s a great helmet for the price, with some fantastic features that will have you looking fantastic on the road. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly helmet, this could be the perfect option for you.

Best Bell Rogue Helmet:
Bell Rogue 7000801

Bell Rogue Half Helmet (Matte Black - Large)

PROS

  • DOT certified
  • Interior is removable and washable
  • Fiberglass composite shell construction
  • 3 Shell and EPS sizes for a more perfect fit
  • Durable, adjustable muzzle that features a removable liner

CONS

  • Bulky fit for some
  • Causes some pressure points

What Recent Buyers Report

There are mixed reviews with this helmet, and it’s not one of Bell’s most popular. Sizing and fit seem to be an issue. It’s either too bulky, too tight, or doesn’t line upright. Another complaint is that it causes sore spots. There are some happy customers, too. Some say you just need to get used to the style.

Why It Stood Out to Us

This helmet just stands out. It is incredibly different than most helmets, and we had to look into it. We agree with what some of the recent buyers reported and that it’s something you need to get used to as it’s completely different from a full-face helmet. We loved that the helmet came with three shells and EPS sizes, making it easier to find the perfect fit. We were also surprised that this helmet uses. a fiberglass composite shell, such a lightweight design, and we remember when these helmets were much heavier.

Bottom Line

This type of helmet is for a very particular person. It might be a bit pricey for people to experiment with, so you’ll want to be sure before going in. We’re going to pass, but that doesn’t mean it won’t suit you.

Best Bell Bullitt Helmet:
Bell Bullitt 7047931

Bell Bullitt Helmet (Gloss Black - X-Large)

PROS

  • DOT approved
  • Front chin vents and intake and exhaust vents
  • Contoured cheek pads with integrated speaker pockets
  • Shell constructed with low-profile carbon composite
  • Genuine leather interior that is removable, washable, and antimicrobial

CONS

  • Produces a lot of noise at higher speeds
  • Pinching of ears caused by comms

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers love this helmet. While there were some issues surrounding noise and pinching of the ears, most users found that this helmet was perfect for what they needed. Many customers report the helmet to be light, comfortable, and provide plenty of peripheral vision.

Why It Stands Out to Us

The Bullitt is a modern classic and a throwback to the original Bell from the ’60s and ’70s. The Bullitt became an instant classic, and we can see why. While the helmet comes with the standard clear face shield, you do have several options to customize it. The low-profile carbon composite shell construction pairs an old design with new materials, and we love that. With a leather interior, we feel kind of fancy, we’re used to microbial linings.

Bottom Line

This style is another great helmet design by Bell. If you are someone who loves heritage helmets, you just might want to check this one out. Not only is it a heritage helmet, but it has a history behind it as well. 

Best Bell Qualifier Helmet:
Bell Qualifier Helmet

Bell Qualifier Street Helmet (Flare Gloss Black/Hi-Viz - Small)

PROS

  • A padded wind collar to reduce wind and road noise
  • Lightweight Polycarbonate/ABS Shell Construction
  • Click release shield for easy tool-free shield replacement
  • NutraFog II anti-fog, anti-scratch, and UV-protected shield
  • DOT approved; product also meets requirements imposed by the California Air Resources Board (CARB)

CONS

  • Some pressure points due to tightness  
  • Vents are flimsy, rattle, and have fallen off

What Recent Buyers Report

The majority of customers were satisfied with this helmet. Some buyers had different issues, but none appeared to have any pattern to them, so they were more or a one-off, or something that wasn't exceptionally common. The biggest complaint was that buyers didn’t receive a shaded face shield as the description clearly stated it came with a clear face shield.

Why It Stands Out to Us

So many things caught our eye with this helmet, from the design and different color combinations to the lightweight Polycarbonate/ABS shell construction. We love the idea of using lightweight materials while also keeping safety in mind. Having a face shield that’s anti-fog,  anti-scratch, and is UV-protected is something we want to see in our helmets. We were also surprised that it passed the CARB, as many materials used in the manufacturing of helmets don’t necessarily meet those requirements.

Bottom Line

The Qualifier is such a great choice for an everyday helmet or your go-to helmet if you happen to be a weekend warrior. It might not be at the top of the line, but it doesn’t have to be. It gives you everything you need and a little bit more. 

Best Bell Pit Boss Helmet:
Bell Pit Boss Cruiser

Bell Pit Boss Half Helmet (Honor Matte Titanium/Black - 3X-Large)

PROS

  • Shell is a TriMatrix, made up of carbon, Kevlar, and fiberglass
  • Innovative Speed Dial adjustable fit system
  • Internal sunshade that you can access on the fly
  • Removable neck curtain for cold-weather riding
  • DOT certified

CONS

  • Helmets tend to fit smaller
  • Issues with stability of visor

What Recent Buyers Report

Most of the recent buyers report they are happy with the Bell Pit Boss Cruiser and have been loyal to the Pit Bull series of helmets for a while. The biggest issue to come up was about sizing, and customers felt that the helmets fit smaller than previously. Some other customers had issues with the stability of their visors.

Why It Stands Out to Us

We love the look of this helmet, and that is what stood out to us first. We’re sure the TriMatrix shell has something to do with that, and more specifically, the Kevlar. The speed dial fitting system, so that you can adjust the helmet to get just the right fit for you, was something we haven’t seen before in motorcycle helmets, though we have seen it on construction helmets. The internal sunshade is a smart idea. Driving open face is great, but if the sun pops out into your eyes, it’s also great knowing that, within seconds, you have coverage.

Bottom Line

This product is a great looking helmet, and if you prefer the open-face helmet over the full-face helmet, we suggest this as a cruising helmet for you. You definitely can’t go wrong with the price point either. It's perfect for those who are just getting into riding.

Best Bell Full Face Helmet:
Bell Qualifier DLX 7085218

Bell Qualifier DLX Full-Face Helmet (Blackout Matte Black - Large)

PROS

  • DOT certified
  • 3 shell and EPS sizes
  • Microfiber, antimicrobial, and antibacterial interior
  • Lightweight polycarbonate/ABS shell construction
  • Comes with a clear face shield as well as an additional dark smoke shield

CONS

What Recent Buyers Report

A lot of buyers are happy with this helmet. The biggest issue is that the product is labeled as the Bell Qualifier DLX Blackout, which has a Bluetooth communications system. This version does not come with that system, so you can understand the upset. The seller now has a disclaimer on the page.

Why It Stands Out to Us

We love the look of the all-black helmet and the fact that you can achieve this look with the two face shields included. Having an interior such as the one on this helmet eases our minds quite a bit. One can work up quite a sweat when out riding, and it’s good to know that not only will we have help in wicking it away from our face, but there will be no build-up of bacteria on our faces or in the helmet, and it will be easy to clean.

Bottom Line

So long as you aren’t counting on the Bluetooth communications system, this is an excellent helmet choice and one of Bell’s best-looking full-face helmets. Other than the appearance, the helmet is pretty basic, so it might be a great one to start with.

Best Bell Star Helmet Review:
Bell Race Star Flex DLX

Bell Race Star DLX Adult Street Motorcycle Helmet - Velocity Matte/Gloss Black/HiViz/Medium

PROS

  • DOT approved
  • Speaker pockets
  • Triple-density cheek pads
  • Comes with a ProTint Photochromic shield
  • 3K Carbon shell construction, 10% lighter than previous versions

CONS

  • Sized too small
  • Pro-tint not as effective as it could be

What Recent Buyers Report

Most buyers reported they were happy with their purchase, with no complaints at all. The biggest complaint, which was only reported a handful of times, was the helmets were a little small, causing pain, especially when removing the helmet. Reported by even fewer, were those who thought the Protint could be more effective, specifically get darker.

Why It Stands Out to Us

Aside from all of the different color designs and combinations, we were intrigued by the 3K Carbon shell construction and the Protint photochromic shield technology. Knowing that in the past, photochromic glasses didn’t work so well, though apparently, that technology has advanced as well, we wondered if it would work well enough for a motorcycle helmet.

We’re not sure that triple-density cheek pads are necessary, especially after reading that people found the helmets fit smaller than expected. If you order from the U.S., you only receive the Photochromic shield. Anywhere else in the world, you get both that and a clear shield. We have no idea why this is, but it stood out to us.

Bottom Line

The Bell Race Star Flex DLX is a great looking helmet with not a lot of major complaints. We like the helmet, but we’re not sure that it’s worth the price point it falls in. We would expect to get more bells and whistles for something in that range.

Best Bell Vortex Helmet Review:
Bell Vortex Monarch

BELL Vortex Monarch Pink Full Face Helmet - 2X-Large

PROS

  • Integrated speaker pockets
  • Lightweight composite polycarbonate alloy shell
  • Padded wind collar to drastically reduce wind and road noise
  • ClickRelease for the fastest, easiest, tool-free shield swaps ever
  • NutraFog II anti-fog, anti-scratch, and UV-protected face shield

CONS

  • Only one design
  • Currently, there is low stock and limited sizes left

What Recent Buyers Report

There have been no complaints about this helmet, other than the fact that it is hard to come by. There is more demand than supply in this case, which is a good thing: however, it looks like Bell has stopped manufacturing it, which is too bad.

Why It Stands Out to Us

Motorcycling is thought of as a man’s hobby, and the previous nine helmets are categorized as unisex but directed towards men. This helmet is specifically for females. Sure, guys can wear it too if they want, we’re not discriminating here. But this helmet is a reminder that it’s ok to be feminine and a fan of riding at the same time. Not only does it have a beautiful design, but it doesn’t skimp out on the safety, comfort, and convenience of the other helmets we found at the top of our list.

Bottom Line

This product is a great helmet, and it’s too bad that Bell no longer manufactures it. It has all of the great qualities of any other helmet that we would expect, with just a touch of femininity to remind people that not all female riders are biker babes that Hollywood has portrayed them to be.

What Size Bell Helmet Do I Need?

A proper helmet fit is vital to the performance of a helmet during an impact. The helmet must fit properly with the chin strap secure. It must also provide safe peripheral vision.

How To Measure Head Size For Bell Helmet

Ensure that you get an accurate size of your head by measuring an inch above your ears and eyebrows. If you plan on wearing a balaclava or head sock, make sure that you have those on when taking your measurements. 

Keep in mind that the measurement is just one aspect of the fitting, and it’s just a number. The number won’t tell you what type of head shape you have. The majority of people can get away with an intermediate oval, but some have a rounder shaped head or a long oval.

Bell Helmet Size Chart

Please use the Bell sizing chart below to determine the size that best matches the head measurements you have just taken.

Photo credit: DirtBikes101.com

What Makes Bell Products Stand Out From the Competition?

Bells products stand out from the competition in a couple of ways. At first glance, it’s their appearance. You know when you’re looking at a Bell helmet. Most of them are a reminder of the throwback days, with heritage designs and inspirations. 

Another area in which they stand out is their price point. Bell has managed to keep their helmet prices relatively low compared to their competition, without needing to sacrifice safety, quality, comfort, or convenience. A task not easily done.

The company probably offers up more open-face helmets than any of the other top-tier helmet companies out there today. Most other companies focus a lot on full-face helmets, while Bell focuses more on open-face helmets.

Types of Bell Helmets

Bell manufactures many different types of helmets, the top two tiers of helmets they create are motorcycle and bike. Under those are the following:

Motorcycle

  • Dirt
  • Street
  • Snow
  • Side X Side

Bike

  • Mountain
  • Road
  • BMX

Photo credit: AutoWise.com

We’ve been looking at street bikes, and within that category, Bell has 29 different helmets, all with different colors and designs that you can customize to make your own. There is a good mix of full-face and open-face helmets, as well as the muzzle Rogue that we looked at earlier.

Qualifier seems to be the largest series in the collection with four different versions; Qualifier DLX Blackout, Qualifier DLX MIPS, Qualifier, and Qualifier Forced Air.

Next is Bullitt with, Bullitt Carbon, Bullitt SE, and Bullitt.

Custom 500 with Custom 500, Custom 500 SE, and Custom 500 Carbon.

Eliminator has Eliminator Carbon, Eliminator Forced Air, and Eliminator.

The Star series includes Race Star Flex DLX, Star DLX MIPS, and Star MIPS.

The last series is SRT with SRT-Modular and SRT.

After that, there are a few one-offs that are not part of a series. Those include Moto-3, Rogue, Revolver EVO, RS-2, MAG-9, Riot, Recon, Scout Air, Pit Boss, and Broozer.

Bell Helmets: How Do They Compare?

Bell has a lot of competition in the helmet field. Here is how they stack up against each other. 

Bell Vortex vs Qualifier

There are many similarities when it comes to Bell’s Vortex and Qualifier. For example, both helmets contain the NutraFog II anti-fog, anti-scratch, and UV-protected face shield with the ClickRelease fastest, easiest, tool-free shield swaps ever. 

Photo credit: RiderMagazine.com

Another similarity, which might not be a good thing, is the noise the helmets make when going at fast speeds. Both helmets have received complaints about the noise when traveling at higher speeds on the highways. 

One main difference is in the ventilation system. The Vortex gets higher marks than the Qualifier in this area. Many buyers of the Qualifier report that their vents had become loose and rattled or had come off altogether. 

Giro vs Bell Helmets

When it comes to Giro and Bell, it all comes down to fit. Bell develops a rounder or oval-shaped helmet, while Giro offers up a more square-shaped helmet. So, it’s not surprising that more people side with Bell on the comfort front. 

You may notice that Giro and Bell helmets look very similar, and you would be correct. The reason for this may be that the same company, Vista Outdoors, owns them. The biggest difference between the companies is what they sell; Giro does not sell motorcycle helmets.

HJC vs Bell Helmets

Looking at HJC helmets, you notice they look a lot like Bell helmets, and no, they’re not also owned by Vista Outdoors. It’s just a statement to show how similar these helmets appear. Like one person who owned both stated, they may look similar on paper, but they’re worlds apart in reality. 

Nearly everyone you ask who knows about these two helmet brands will pick Bell over HJC, thanks to its comfort and features. You may pay less for an HJC helmet, but just remember, you get what you pay for.

Shoei vs Bell Helmets

This matchup is the closest heat out of all four comparisons. Shoei is one of the top, if not the top, brands in motorcycle helmets today.

But, just like Bell, some people have a problem getting a good fit with Shoei helmets as well, so it will come down to fit once again.

We feel that Shoei pulls ahead when it comes to features available on their helmets. Shoei may focus on features, but Bell focuses on producing more motorcycle models, always trying to improve upon previous versions.

Bell Qualifier 7049225

How to Wash a Bell Helmet Liner

After every ride, wipe down with a microfiber cloth, including the sweat on the inside lining. If you use sunblock, make-up, or hair products, pull out the cheek pads and headliner and rinse them in the sink. Build-up of these products is difficult to remove and can damage the lining.

When cleaning the face shield, remove it and only use warm water or a neutral based cleaner and a microfiber cloth to prevent any damage. Lay the wet microfiber cloth across the face shield to soften the bugs and debris first, so it's easier to clean. 

About once or twice a season, do a full strip-down wash, removing all of the interior parts, including headliner, interior lining, and cheek pads to give them a thorough wash with hand soap. Be sure to refer to the video below for an overview of the process. 

Conclusion

We went in-depth on Bell Helmet Company, giving you history, information, and our picks for the top helmets that they manufacture. We hope that we helped you in your decision-making process, whatever it may be.

People Also Ask

We know it's not always easy to pick motorcycle gear, so if you have more questions, we're here to help. Here are some of the most common things people wonder about when choosing a helmet.

What Size Bell Bicycle Helmet Is Good For a 3-Year-Old?

On average, a three-year-old has a head circumference of between 49 and 51 centimeters. The smallest Bell helmet is 51 centimeters, a size 4XS, so that would be the size you should purchase for a 3-year-old. Between the shell and EPS sizes, you’re bound to get a great fit, even if your child’s head is a little smaller.

Is Bell a Good Helmet Brand?

Yes, Bell is a good helmet brand and happens to be one of the most trusted brands in both the motorcycle and bike worlds. Their helmets can blow most competitors away and maintain a tight race with the top two or three companies, where you never know who will come out the winner.



Hi, my name’s Troy. I started riding motorcycles with Clay mid-2020 and soaking up his vast knowledge of bikes. I have been writing for a few years and decided it was a good time to start writing about what I’m passionate about - motorcycles. No matter how bad your day is, a bike will always make you feel better, that’s my motto.