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As adventure motorcycle riding increases in popularity, more people require helmets that combine the benefits of the full-face protection you get with a traditional motorcycle helmet and the lightweight design you get with dirt bike helmets. This is where dual-sport helmets come into play. They offer specialized protection for those that enjoy riding in both on and off-road conditions.
How Do I Choose a Dual Sport Helmet?
Since dual sport helmets need to offer riders protection in both on and off-road riding conditions, they need to find the perfect balance between durability, comfort, and versatility. When choosing a dual-sport helmet, you should always keep an eye out for the following features:
You need a safety helmet to wear on long highway rides, so you should prioritize protection. The helmet must be strong enough to withstand a collision with another vehicle and an impact on the pavement.
A good dual sport will be lighter than a standard motorcycle helmet, as it needs to remain comfortable in all driving conditions. Look for a helmet that offers durability in a lightweight design. The best dual sport helmets will also feature comfortable interior padding that prevents the helmet from moving during trail rides.
Off-road riding is intense and can be quite physically draining, so it is also important to find a breathable helmet. Good ventilation and airflow will make all the difference when you take your motorcycle on the trails. Look for helmets that feature removable and washable liners and moisture-wicking interior materials.
Review of the Best Dual Sport Helmets
To help you find the best option for a new dual sport helmet, we have reviewed five of the best dual sport helmets on the market today.
Best Overall: Scorpion EXO-AT950 Dual Sport Helmet
Durability and Protection: Dual-density EPS advanced multi-layer EPS provides a superior level of energy displacement during impacts.
Visibility: Ever-clear anti-fog face shield and a ‘SpeedView’ drop-down internal sun visor ensure the user can see clearly in all light conditions.
Comfort, Ventilation, and Airflow: Air intake vents on the top of the helmet force cool air in, while exhaust vents are located in several spots on the helmet to help move hot and moist air out. KwikWick II anti-microbial interior liner and pads keep the user cool and dry in warm weather and comfortable in colder riding conditions.
Exterior Design: It is also available in four popular colors, including an eye-catching matte sand shade.
Weight: Constructed from an advanced LG polycarbonate shell, which is engineered to balance strength and weight. The result is a dual sport helmet that offers impressive protection and a total weight of the only 3.77lbs.
Ellip-Tec ratchet system keeps shield held securely against the eye-port
Anti-microbial interior liner and cheek pads keep the helmet fresh
Flip-up chin bar can be lowered and raised with ease
Backed by a 5-year warranty
Removable sun visor
Goggles are sold separately
Can be somewhat loud when the sun visor is used during high-speed rides
Review: This is the perfect helmet for those looking for a safe dual sport helmet that will not fog up. It is a great all-weather helmet, as dual mouth vents act as defrosters to ensure the lens will not fog up in hot or cold temperatures. The vents also come in handy when riding in wet weather conditions.
Bottom Line: The Scorpion EXO-AT950 features a sleek design that finds the perfect balance between style and function. It is an excellent all-around dual sport helmet.
Runner Up: O'Neal Sierra II Dual Sport Helmet
Durability and Protection: The exterior shell uses durable ABS material, which offers an appropriate amount of protection for the wearer during both on and off-road riding situations.
Visibility: The built-in face shield features a crystal-clear lens with full UV protection. Vents located near the front of the helmet prevent less fog.
Comfort, Ventilation, and Airflow: A removable and washable, air channeled comfort liner ensures the helmet will remain breathable and fresh, even after years of use. A padded chin strap with a double-D safety lock ensures the helmet remains in place during all riding conditions.
Exterior Design: The helmet is available in either matte black or white, and it features a sleek, modern-looking design. The O’Neal branding on the side of the helmet is subtle and helps give the product a high-end appearance.
Weight: The ABS material offers an incredible level of impact resistance while ensuring the helmet is not overly heavy. A medium-sized helmet weighs in at about 3.5lbs, which is light enough that it will not cause neck strain during long-distance rides.
Affordable price point
Removable and washable liner makes it easy to keep the helmet in top condition
Eye-catching exterior design makes the helmet look like a higher-end model
Available in six different sizes, which makes it easier to find the perfect fit
Adjustable sun visor reduces lens glare
Slightly wide profile, which can lead to noise issues at high speeds
Sizing is slightly smaller than standard North American sizes, which means it is important to consult the sizing chart before buying
Review: This is the perfect dual sport helmet for those that want to ensure they have clear visibility during summer rides. A height-adjustable shield helps reduce glare, and it also features a drop-down tinted shield for those extra-bright days. Buyers will also appreciate the removable interior liner, which helps extend the life of the helmet. Overall, it is an excellent dual sport helmet that is available at a reasonable price point.
Bottom Line: This is an incredibly comfortable dual sport helmet. Air vents make sure the helmet is well-ventilated and will not cause the wearer to overheat during lengthy rides, so if you are looking for a safe and comfortable dual sport helmet, this is a great option.
Best Dual Sport Helmet for the Money: 1Storm HGXP - 14A Dual Sport Helmet
Durability and Protection: An ABS exterior shell and a combination of multi-density EPS materials protect the rider from impacts. The helmet even exceeds DOT safety standards. A quick-release buckle holds the helmet in place without making it difficult to remove.
Visibility: Buyers can choose between three shield colors, ensuring they have the perfect tint for their needs. Airflow vents prevent lens fog.
Comfort, Ventilation, and Airflow: A heavily cushioned interior ensures a comfortable fit. A removable and washable interior liner makes sure users can keep the interior clean and comfortable for a longer time than would be possible with a non-removable liner.
Exterior Design: The helmet features a stylish and aerodynamic design, which looks great and helps cut down on wind resistance, keeping the volume lower during high-speed on-road rides. Buyers can choose between 11 eye-catching colors and patterns.
Weight: ABS shell material is lightweight but still exceeds DOT standards for impact resistance and overall safety.
Available in 11 color options, which makes it easy to match the helmet to your motorcycle and riding apparel
Mirrored lens option is perfect for bright conditions, such as rides at sunrise and sunset
Interior padding ensures a snug and comfortable fit
Affordable price point
Available in six different sizes
Exterior finish is susceptible to scratching
The lens can become foggy in cold weather conditions
Review: What stood out to us with this helmet is how well ventilated it is. Top, front and back vents increase airflow and make sure the wearer is comfortable in all temperatures. Buyers will like the appearance and color options; however, those planning to ride in cold conditions could be put off by its susceptibility to fogging.
Bottom Line: This is a great dual sport helmet available at a more than reasonable price point. Buyers will enjoy the comfortable fit, ventilation, and clear visibility.
The Quietest Dual Sport Helmet: Shoei Hornet X2 Navigate Dual Sport Helmet
Durability and Protection: Features an Advanced Integrated Matrix Plus Multi Fiber (AIM+) shell. Impact-resistant EPS interior padding protects key areas around the wearer’s head and offers an incredible level of impact absorption.
Visibility: CNS-2 face shield system offers a distortion-free view and allows the user to have full visibility in all driving conditions.
Comfort, Ventilation, and Airflow: The dual-layer, multi-density EPS liner allows the helmet to have a more compact profile, without compromising comfort or ventilation. Air is also pushed into the helmet’s upper air intake vent by the shape of the visor, which increases interior air circulation and makes sure the user is comfortable.
Exterior Design: Features a compact and aerodynamic design, which reduces wind resistance and makes sure the helmet is extremely quiet at all riding speeds.
Weight: The Hornet X2 is for long rides, so it is smaller than most helmets on the market.
Aerodynamic and compact design ensures the helmet is extremely quiet, even when used at high speeds
Max-Dry System keeps the liner dry by absorbing sweat and moisture from the user’s breath
V-460 Visor is crystal-clear and gives the user a full field of vision
Visor can be removed without tools
Exhaust vents are positioned all around the helmet, which keeps the interior temperature comfortable
While the helmet offers excellent performance, it is expensive
Chinstrap can be difficult to attach, especially when wearing gloves
Review: This helmet’s reduced profile keeps it quiet during high-speed rides while also reducing the overall weight, making. it more comfortable for the wearer. It is a great option for those that are looking for something a little smaller and lighter. It's also practical as the helmet’s unique QR-N base plate system allows the user to remove the face shield quickly and easily without completely removing the visor.
Bottom Line: This is a great helmet for those that value safety above all else. It is incredibly durable and features unique safety features, such as an emergency quick-release system, which allows emergency personnel to remove the helmet quickly in emergencies.
Best Dual Sport Helmet Under $200: Fly Racing Dirt Trekker Dual Sport Helmet
Durability and Protection: Advanced poly-alloy shell gives the helmet a high-strength exterior that offers impressive durability. The dual-density EPS liner helps protect the wearer by offering impact absorption at the most vulnerable points.
Visibility: Numerous air vents prevent fogging while a sun visor helps cut down on the amount of glare the wearer will experience. The face shield can be positioned to the wearer’s liking, which helps with visibility.
Comfort, Ventilation, and Airflow: Removable and washable ‘CoolMax’ comfort liner and cheek pads hold the helmet in a comfortable position and make sure you can easily keep the interior clean and fresh.
Exterior Design: The exterior has a classic design, which looks stylish and sleek. The helmet is available in four classic colors and also features 3M reflective stickers for added safety.
Weight: The durable poly-alloy shell ensures the helmet meets DOT and ECE approval, while still keeping the overall weight down. A large helmet weighs in at a modest 3.85lbs, which is light enough that it will not cause any serious discomfort during longer rides.
A high-quality helmet available at an affordable price
16 adjustable air vents keep the wearer cool and the face shield fog-free
Comes with detachable side plates, which can be used when the peak is removed
Face shield is equipped with a locking system to prevent unwanted movement
Removable and washable liner
Can create a significant amount of noise when the wearer angles their head down
Interior padding is a little stiff and takes some time to break-in
Review: This helmet is all about comfort, visibility, and affordability. The helmet features an impressive total of 16 vents (8 intakes and another 8 exhaust). The vents ensure constant air circulation and airflow, which keeps the wearer’s head cool. If you are on a budget and you enjoy taking rides on hot, sunny days, this could be the ideal choice for you.
Bottom Line: This helmet is surprisingly well built, especially given its low price point. You get a practical dual-sport option that is comfortable to wear in all riding conditions. With solid visibility and a comfortable interior, you will not regret this option, especially when you consider the price.
What Is A Dual Sport Helmet And Why A Dual Sport Helmet?
Dual sport helmets are a mix between an off-road helmet and a full-face, on-road helmet. With their large visor and lower chin bar, they have a similar exterior styling to a dirt bike helmet; however, they offer more interior padding and a stronger exterior shell to make them suitable for on-road motorcycle riding.
What Does Dual Sport Mean?
Dual sport generally refers to the practice of taking the same bike on pavement and off-road. It is a type of riding that is for adventurous types that want the best of both worlds. Those that want the thrills of off-road riding and the practicality of long-distance rides on paved roads will choose dual sport-specific bikes, helmets, and other equipment.
Dual Sport Helmet Advantages
There are many advantages to using a dual-sport helmet, including:
The visor. A dual-sport helmet has a motocross-style video which is better for shielding the sun. This feature is great for when you’re on the pavement or the trail.
Versatility. One of the reasons to invest in a dual-sport helmet is that they’re versatile. You can wear them whether you’re riding on or off-road and know that you’re protected.
Eye protection. Dual-sport helmets usually have a built-in shield that protects your eyes, whether you’re off-road or on the highway. Some off-road helmets don’t offer this level of protection, so you have to also invest in a good pair of goggles.
How Does a Dual Sport Helmet Compare?
Here are some ways in which a dual-sport helmet compares to other popular types of helmets:
Dual Sport Helmet vs. Full Face
The main difference between the two types of helmets is the peak/visor. A dual sport helmet features a motocross-style visor, which offers a more aggressive look and shields the sun more effectively. Dual sport helmets usually have wider face shields, which gives the wearer a wider field of vision. You can also usually remove the face shield on a dual-sport helmet, which is useful for those who prefer to use off-roading goggles.
Dual Sport Helmet vs. Street Helmet
Dual sport helmets are versatile, which is why you can usually remove the face shield. Often, they will also feature removable sun visors, which are useful when the rider is taking their motorcycle off-road.
On the other hand, street helmets are designed purely for on-road riding conditions, so they tend to be quieter and have better weather protection.
Dual Sport Helmet vs. Dirt Bike Helmet
The main difference between the two types of helmets is eye protection. Where dual sport helmets usually feature a built-in face shield, dirt bike helmets are usually left open so the user can pair the helmet with their preferred pair of goggles. It is worth noting that most dual-sport helmets have removable face shields, which means, if you would prefer, you can take the lens out and use your goggles.
Because dual sport helmets have a more enclosed design, they also tend to be quieter than dirt bike helmets.
If you are getting into dual sport riding and would like the versatility that a dual sport helmet offers, any of the options we reviewed above would make an excellent choice. Just make sure that you consult the manufacturer’s sizing guide and choose a helmet that fits you properly. A helmet that fits correctly is always safer and more comfortable than one that does not.
People Also Ask
Why Do Dual Sport Helmets Have a Visor?
Dual sport helmets feature a visor because dual sport riders need to have a helmet they can use in all types of riding conditions. Some people also remove the face shield to use their dual sport helmet with a pair of goggles, which means they need a visor to reduce sun glare. Unlike street helmets, sun protection is not built into the interior of the face shield.
Are Dual Sport and Adventure Riding the Same?
Dual sport and adventure riding is similar, but not quite the same. Both involve combining on and off-road riding, but adventure bikes are not designed to withstand as much off-road riding as dual sportbikes. Adventure riding is more on-road than off-road, where the dual-sport is an even mix.
How Should a Dual Sport Helmet Fit?
It should fit the same way as other helmets, which means it should be snug and stay in position without causing the wearer serious discomfort or pain. The helmet should not move when you quickly turn your head.
How do I Clean a Dual Sport Helmet?
If the helmet has a removable liner, simply take it out and wash it on its own using a regular washing machine setting. You can clean the lens with a typical lens cleaner and scrub the helmet's exterior using any mild soap and warm water.