Best Motorcycle Half Helmets of 2020 – Complete Guide

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Half-helmets are the perfect choice for any motorcycle rider who likes to feel the wind on their face and the sun on their skin. Choosing the best half helmet can be tricky.

There are a lot of options out there, like a hybrid modular helmet type, and it’s important to know the right things to look for.

Our Top Picks for Best Motorcycle Half Helmets

  • Lightweight, durable
  • TriMax composite
  • Convenient pockets
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  • Quick shield change
  • DOT approved
  • UV protection
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  • Best for the Money
  • Classic
  • Lightweight
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Comparison of the Best Motorcycle Half Helmets

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Ultra lightweight construction while adhering to tough DOT standards
  • Shell is made of TriMax - Kevlar, Carbon, and Fiberglass blend
  • Features convenient speaker pockets that make it easy to use
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  • Sun shield system is tool-less and quick to change
  • The design maintains the DOT standards
  • Sun shield has a UV400 rating, providing 100% UV protection
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  • Best for the Money
  • Simple, yet rugged, good looks for classic styles
  • Made of advanced polycarbonate composite for lightweight construction
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  • Lightest Motorcycle Half Helmet
  • Extremely comfortable, removable microfiber liner
  • Comes in two different sizes to ensure a perfect fit
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  • Best Carbon Fiber Motorcycle Half Helmet
  • Exceeds the DOT Safety Standards FMVSS 218
  • Adjustable chin strap to prevent uncomfortable pinching
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  • Best Low Profile Motorcycle Half Helmet
  • Features lateral impact protection and is DOT approved
  • Low outer profile while providing maximum protection
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  • Best Bluetooth Motorcycle Half Helmet
  • Bluetooth integration is easy to use and comfortable
  • Made of fiberglass and is aerodynamic with a low profile
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How Should a Motorcycle Half Helmet Fit?

All helmets should fit snugly without too much play or wiggle room. The helmet should also not be so tight in the cheek pads or head that it causes pain or pinching.

How Does a Half Helmet Sit on a Person's Head When Riding a Motorcycle?

The helmet should fit with no space between the head and the helmet. It should sit firmly without shifting around too much. It’s hard to say how high the helmet will sit because this depends on the design and helmet type. Some will have a higher head shape and may appear to sit high on the head. But, as long as the inside fits properly, that’s fine.

When Would I Use a Motorcycle Half Helmet?

Because it doesn’t provide any face protection, a half-face helmet is not suitable for all types of riding. For example, you should never wear a half helmet for trail riding or a day at the track. That said, there are some cases when people prefer a half helmet to anything else. They are especially popular amongst the cruising and scooting crowd. 

Casual Riding

If you don’t ride all that often and you stay off the highway, a half helmet is an appropriate choice. Half helmets don’t offer the face protection you should have for higher speeds. That said, if you keep it slow, a half helmet does the trick.

Commuting

If you don’t ride on any high-speed motorways, commuting is a great application for a half helmet. Traffic is generally slow-moving, and the open-face design gives you a good view of what’s going on around you.

Cruising

Cruising is a style of riding that’s slow and deliberate. Think driving down a country road on a warm fall day. Because the point of cruising is to take your time and enjoy the ride, a half helmet is a suitable choice.

Quick Take - Best Motorcycle Half Helmets

Hoping to cut to the chase? Below are the three best motorcycle half helmets:

  1. Bell Pit Boss Helmet
  2. GMax GM65
  3. HJC IS-Cruiser Helmet

Review of the Best Motorcycle Half Helmets

Here are some of the best motorcycle half helmets on the market today:

PROS

  • 5-year warranty
  • Antimicrobial microfiber liner
  • Speed Dial system to adjust for the ideal fit
  • Integrated speaker pockets to add an aftermarket communication device
  • Drop-down sunshade to protect against the sun and removable neck curtain for cold-weather riding

CONS

  • The chin strap is thin
  • No face coverage or protection

Type of Helmet: Street riding, cruising

Materials Used: TriMatrix composite shell made of Kevlar, carbon, and fiberglass

Brand: Bell

Type: Half

Certifications: DOT

Clasp type: D-ring

Weight: 2.44 lbs.

What Types of Activities is the Bell Pit Boss Helmet Best For?

The Pit Boss is best for slow speeds. If you’re looking for a simple helmet for your commute or a slow cruise through the country, this one is a good choice.

Safety Features of Bell Pit Boss Helmet

  1. The DOT safety rating means that this helmet will adequately protect your head in the event of a crash.

  2. The adjustable fit system makes sure that the helmet stays in place and that the wind doesn’t shift it. This is a common issue with half helmets.

What Are the Components of the Bell Pit Boss Helmet?

  1. Drop-down sunshade. The easy-to-use integrated sunshade protects against UVA and UVB rays.

  2. Removable neck curtain. Easily keeps your neck protected when riding in cold or wet weather, but is easy to remove.

  3. Speed-dial adjustable fit. Tighten or loosen the fit as needed using a simple dial to make sure you get a proper fit.

Runner-up:
GMax GM65 Specs

PROS

  • Clear shield also included
  • Removable cooling comfort liner
  • Retractable hard coated sun shield
  • Dual-density EPS for a low-profile fit
  • Removable snap-in rear neck curtain

CONS

  • Sizing is small
  • No face protection

Type of Helmet: Cruising

Materials Used: Thermo-plastic poly-alloy outer shell

Brand: GMax

Type: Half

Certifications: DOT

Clasp type: Double D-ring

Weight: 2.11 lbs

What Types of Activities is the GMax GM65 Best For?

Again, this is a half-helmet, so it’s suitable for cruising and casual street riding. It shouldn't be used at high speeds. The removable neck curtain helps keep you warm and dry in cold or wet weather.

Safety Features of GMax GM65

  1. The dual-density EPS foam provides a low-profile fit and provides adequate head protection. A double D-ring chin strap holds it firmly in place.

  2. The visibility is excellent. A drop-down visor helps maintain a clear view, even in harsh sunlight.

What Are the Components of the GMax GM65?

  1. Sun shield. This helmet has a pull-down sun shield that’s easy to use. It includes both a clear and tinted sun shield. The tool-less quick-change system makes it easy to swap one out for the other.

  2. Liner and neck curtain. The removable CoolMax comfort liner keeps you comfortable no matter what the weather. Plus, it includes a neck curtain for extra protection on cold or wet days.

  3. Padding. Dual-density EPS provides DOT-approved safety while keeping a low profile.

Best for the Money:
HJC IS-Cruiser Helmet Specs

PROS

  • Ultra-lightweight
  • Integrated drop-down visor
  • Comfortable moisture-wicking liner
  • Simple design with no frills and fuss
  • Designed for superior fit and comfort using advanced CAD technology

CONS

  • High profile
  • Sizing runs small

Type of Helmet: Cruiser

Materials Used: Lightweight advanced polycarbonate composite shell

Brand: HJC

Type: Half

Certifications: DOT

Clasp type: Nylon strap D-ring

Weight: 2.64 lbs.

What Types of Activities is the HJC IS-Cruiser Helmet Best For?

This HJC helmet is another great option for cruising. It’s exceptionally lightweight and easy to wear for long rides. Plus, the moisture-wicking lining helps keep you cool in the hot weather. It’s a simple design that gets the job done without any frills.

Safety Features of HJC IS-Cruiser Helmet

  1. The helmet was designed using advanced CAD technology. It delivers a superior fit for comfortable protection.

  2. The integrated sun shield pulls down easily. It protects against harsh sunlight and wind. This helps the rider keep their eyes safely on the road.

What Are the Components of the HJC IS-Cruiser Helmet?

  1. Padding. The removable Nylex interior wicks away moisture. It's removable, washable, and anti-bacterial. This makes it easy to keep the helmet feeling and smelling fresh.

  2. Sunshield. An integrated sun-shield pulls down using simple tabs. It deploys easily, even when wearing riding gloves.

  3. Lightweight. The lightweight material prevents unnecessary stress on the neck when riding.

Lightest Motorcycle Half Helmet:
Voss 888CF Specs

Voss 888CF Genuine Carbon Fiber DOT Half Helmet with Drop Down Sun Lens and Metal Quick Release - XS - Gloss Carbon

PROS

  • Ultra-lightweight
  • Two shell sizes available
  • Integrated sun lens for convenience
  • Deep-fitting shell for a low-profile look
  • Easy-to-use ratchet micro-metal quick release chin strap

CONS

  • No face protection
  • Sun visor may not fit well in smaller-sized helmets

Type of Helmet: Cruiser

Materials Used: Handwoven carbon fiber composite outer shell

Brand: Voss

Type: Half

Certifications: DOT

Clasp type: Ratchet micro-metal quick release

Weight: 2 lbs.

What Types of Activities is the Voss 888CF Best For?

Like all half helmets, this one is suitable for commuting and cruising. Because it’s so lightweight and has an integrated sun visor, it’s a good choice for cruising, too. With two shell sizes available, you can make sure you get the best fit.

Safety Features of Voss 888CF

  1. The extra-strength metal release chin strap is easy to use and holds the helmet securely in place.

  2. The carbon fiber outer shell provides proper head protection for touring and cruising.

What Are the Components of the Voss 888CF?

  1. Drop-down sun lens. The integrated sun lens is easy to engage in. An extra clear lens is also included.

  2. Padding. The plush microfiber liner is comfortable, even for long rides. It wicks away moisture and helps you stay cool. Plus, you can remove it and wash it to keep the inside of the helmet looking and smelling fresh.

  3. Deep-fitting shell. The shell sits lower on the head, avoiding the mushroom look that is common with this helmet style.

Best Carbon Fiber Motorcycle Half Helmet:
Daytona Skull Cap Half Shell Helmet Specs

Daytona Helmets Carbon Fiber Slim Line Skull Cap Half Shell Helmet (X-Large) with Head Wrap and Draw String Bag

PROS

  • Adjustable chin strap position
  • Comfortable contoured shape
  • 90-day money-back guarantee
  • Low-profile design for a stylish look
  • Fully lined with a custom formed interior

CONS

  • No face protection
  • Ear loops slip out of adjustment

Type of Helmet: Cruising

Materials Used: Carbon fiber outer shell

Brand: Daytona

Type: Half

Certifications: DOT

Clasp type: Quick release chin strap

Weight: 1.42 lbs.

What Types of Activities is the Daytona Skull Cap Half Shell Helmet Best For?

This is one of the lightest DOT approved helmets available. It’s good for casual street riding and commuting. The Daytona Skull Cap Half Shell is also suitable for cruising or touring. Because it’s so lightweight, it’s easy to wear for long periods. Plus, you can’t go wrong with a 90-day money guarantee.

Safety Features of Daytona Skull Cap Half Shell Helmet

  1. The real carbon fiber shell comes in a wide range of sizes to ensure a good fit.

  2. An adjustable chin strap holds the helmet secure and keeps the rider comfortable.

  3. The contoured shape prevents the helmet from digging into the back of the neck. It also helps keep it positioned so that the wind doesn’t cause lift.

What Are the Components of the Daytona Skull Cap Half Shell Helmet?

  1. Adjustable chin strap. Rather than traditional D-rings, this helmet uses a quick-release chin strap. You can also adjust the ear loops to ensure a proper fit.

  2. Lining. Moisture-wicking internal lining keeps you cool.

  3. Ultra-lightweight. At under 1.5 lbs., this is one of the lightest helmets on the market.

Best Low-Profile Motorcycle Half Helmet:
Bell Scout Air Helmet Specs

PROS

  • 5-year warranty
  • Two visors included
  • 5 shell sizes to choose from
  • 5 EPS sizes to ensure a perfect fit
  • Lightweight with lateral impact protection

CONS

  • Poor airflow
  • Fit runs small

Type of Helmet: Cruising

Materials Used: Composite Tri-Matrix outer shell

Brand: Bell

Type: Half

Certifications: DOT

Clasp type: D-rings

Weight: 2 lbs.

What Types of Activities is the Bell Scout Air Helmet Best For?

This is another lightweight half helmet that’s great for commuters and street riding. The included visor makes this a good choice for cruising. Plus, the included visors come in handy when touring and riding through different lights and weather.

Safety Features of Bell Scout Air Helmet

  1. The lightweight composite tri-matrix shell construction provides strong impact protection.

  2. This helmet is available in five shell sizes to make sure you get the right fit.

  3. Two peak visors are included to provide eye protection when needed.

What Are the Components of the Bell Scout Air Helmet?

  1. Visors. Two visors are included so you can add eye coverage when needed.

  2. Padding. The removable, washable liner keeps you comfortable and the helmet smelling and feeling fresh.

  3. Multiple shell sizes. Each size includes corresponding EPS protection. That means you get the same level of protection, no matter what size you choose.

Best Bluetooth Motorcycle Half Helmet:
Sena Cavalry Helmet Specs

PROS

  • Bluetooth supports up to 4 riders
  • Removable aerodynamic, low profile visor
  • Advanced noise control and wind reduction
  • Bluetooth 4.1 has a working distance of up to ½ mile
  • Includes 2 ear pads, 2 ear plates, and a charging cable

CONS

  • Sizing runs big
  • Earpads need frequent adjustment

Type of Helmet: Cruiser

Materials Used: Fiberglass composite outer shell

Brand: Sena

Type: Hald

Certifications: DOT

Clasp type: D-rings

Weight: 2.24 lbs.

What Types of Activities is the Sena Cavalry Helmet Best For?

Like all half helmets, the Sena Cavalry is ideal for commuting and casual street riding. What makes this one special, though, is the Bluetooth integration. This makes it a clear choice for touring and cruising, especially with a group.

Safety Features of Sena Cavalry Helmet

  1. The onboard Bluetooth features offer hands-free operation.

  2. There are two available shell sizes so you can be sure to get a proper fit.

  3. An aerodynamic low-profile visor is removable. It’s there when you need it and easily out of the way when you don’t.

What Are the Components of the Sena Cavalry Helmet?

  1. Integrated Bluetooth. The wires and speakers are all in the brim. No need to worry about adjusting wires or a microphone. Use the system as a 4-way intercom, listen to music, or sync to a Bluetooth device.

  2. Included accessories. This helmet comes with 2 ear pads, 2 ear plates, and a charging cable.

  3. Noise control. The helmet features advanced noise control and wind reduction. This ensures a quieter ride and clearer communication.

Perks of Motorcycle Half Helmets

Although half helmets aren’t ideal for every situation, they do have some perks that some motorcyclists are drawn to. These include:

Wider Field of Vision

Since nothing is covering the front of the face, half helmets provide a wide view. For commuters, this is useful to check peripheral vision in traffic. Having a wide field of vision is especially nice for cruising. When you’re going for a leisurely drive down a country road, you want to be able to take in the whole scene.

Open to Air

Another reason people like half helmets is that they can feel the wind and sun on their faces.

This is a great experience when cruising. It helps you experience the world around you better than you could if you were wearing a full-face helmet.

Lightweight

Half helmets are some of the lightest helmets on the market. This makes them very comfortable to wear. If you’re planning a long cruising tour through backroads, a lightweight helmet is a good choice.

Motorcycle Helmets Full Face vs Half - Comparison Overview

There are a lot of significant differences between a full face and a half helmet. If you’re trying to decide which is best for you, here are some of the main things to consider.

Protection

Full-face helmets are the safest type of motorcycle helmets available. They protect the head, face, and jaw. Half helmets only protect the top, back, and sides of the head. If you’re a casual rider or if you spend your time riding a cruiser on scenic drives, a half helmet might provide enough protection. But for high-speed riding on highways or the track, a full-face helmet is the safest option.

Ventilation

Full-face helmets can be very hot if they do not have a proper ventilation system. Even if they do, a half-face helmet is significantly cooler and allows more air to flow.

Weight

Half helmets are the lightest of all helmet styles. Full face helmets are much heavier, though they aren’t the heaviest type of helmet. Modular helmets usually weigh the most. This is because, besides covering the whole head, they have the hardware to lift the chin bar and visor.

Conclusion

Half helmets aren’t meant for every riding situation, but they do have their place. If you’re a casual rider or prefer long, slow drives to take in the scenery on a cruiser, a half helmet might be a good option.

People Also Ask

If you’re trying to figure out if a half helmet is right for you, you probably have a lot of questions. Here are some of the most common things that people wonder about when researching half helmets.

Are Half Motorcycle Helmets Safe?

Half motorcycle helmets are not the safest option. If your biggest concern is safety, a full-face helmet is a way to go. That said, half helmets do protect the top, back, and sides of your head. Remember, any helmet is better than no helmet. 

Are Half Helmets DOT Approved?

Yes, they are. But DOT approval is not as difficult to get as Snell approval. Snell performs more rigorous testing which is much harder to pass. No half helmets are Snell approved.

What Size is 03 In a Half Shell Motorcycle Helmet?

That depends on the manufacturer. Each manufacturer has its sizing system. The best way to make sure you’re getting the right size is to use a tailor’s tape measure. Place it around the widest part of your head. This is typically right about the eyebrows. Once you know this, you can find the right size using any brand’s sizing chart.

How is a Woman's Half Helmet for Motorcycle Supposed to Look?

All half helmets look similar. They sit on the top of the head and stop roughly above the eyebrow. Some people think that certain styles make the rider look like they have a “mushroom head.” This is one reason why low-profile helmets are popular.

How to Attach Goggles to Motorcycle Half Helmet

Some clips work to attach goggles to a half helmet. That said, your best bet is to get a pair that you can wear under the helmet. Clipping it to the helmet can make it difficult to get the goggles off and on. Plus, you don’t want to do anything that can interfere with your concentration while riding.

How Safe Are Half Shell Motorcycle Helmets?

Half shell motorcycles are safer than wearing no helmet at all. But, they don’t provide a lot of protection. They only cover a small part of the head and leave the face and jaw open. In an accident, a half shell helmet leaves the rider very exposed.

What Are Half Helmets Called?

Half helmets are often called half shells or jockey helmets. Sometimes, they are lumped into the category of open face helmets. But, this term this mostly applies to ¾ helmets that only leave the chin exposed.

What Are Motorcycle Half Helmets Made Of?

It depends on the manufacturer. The outer shells of half helmets are made from the same materials as full-face helmets. But, this varies from one brand to the next. Some common materials are carbon fiber and polycarbonate. Composites made of Kevlar, carbon, and fiberglass are also popular.