The best commuter cycling helmets

Get a head start over the other city cyclists.

A woman wearing one of the best commuter cycling helmets against a brick wall

by Myles Warwood |
Updated on

When commuting on your bike, you might want something different to a road cycling helmet if it's through a city. Of course, you can use whichever helmet you already have, but for those long travels to and from work, you might want to think about investing in one of the best commuter cycling helmets.

The best commuter cycling helmets at a glance

• Best commuter cycling helmet: Giro Camden MIPS Bike Helmet - View on eBay
• Best sporty commuter cycling helmet: POC Omne Air Bike Helmet - View on Amazon
• Best commuter cycling helmet with non-MIPS protection: KASK Moebius WG11 Urban Helmet - View on Halfords

Like choosing your bike, finding the right helmet for you can be a tricky task. Commuter helmets look very similar to regular road bike helmets; they offer protection and, generally speaking, provide less ventilation. This is because the consensus over commuting is that you'll be going at a much more leisurely pace, rather than someone who would be riding their road bike for fitness, for example.

There also might be a bit more safety tech crammed into your commuter helmet. Let's go through that now.

Built-in protection

Helmet manufacturers have started developing how their helmets work, which goes beyond the external shell; the technology inside the crash structure of the helmet has come on leaps and bounds in recent years. This is just on the outside of the helmet – inside the helmet, protection has changed too.

Many manufacturers have adopted the Multi-directional Impact Protection System, also known as MIPS. This is a patented protection system against the rotational forces which can occur during an incident.

Some manufacturers have taken on their version of this impact protection system and developed one to work with their helmets. If they have, we will make sure to explain it if we come across it.

If you want to add a little extra security and safety to your commute, you could always add an action camera to your helmet - think of them as a dash cam for bikes.

Ventilation

This can be a personal preference, whether you want a bit more coverage for your head or a bit more air flowing through – it's a seasonal thing, too.

If you're commuting more in the summer, you might want something with more ventilation to keep you cool. Conversely, if you're riding year-round, you might want something with a little less ventilation to help keep you warmer in Winter and keep the rain off your head when it inevitably falls.

Do I have to pay more for more excellent safety?

The general rule of thumb is yes. Just like an electric bike costing £2,000 will be better than a £500 option, the more you pay, the better the helmet. While there is no legal requirement, nor is it compulsory for you to wear a helmet to ride a bike in the UK, there are some safety standards to which helmets must adhere and here's what you should look out for.

Helmets sold in the UK must comply with Europe's General Product Safety Regulations (GPSR), adopted by the British Standards Institution (BSI) in 2005. The GPSR Standard for bike helmets is EN 1078, and the BSI Standard is BS EN 1078. BS EN 1078 is the standard most common for helmets in the UK and is generally displayed somewhere on the packaging or helmet itself. You can tell if your helmet complies with these standards if they show either of these symbols:

We believe you should always purchase the safest helmet you can afford - after all, it may save your life one day.

SHOP: The best commuter cycling helmets

Please note: All prices are correct at the time of writing. Prices, stock and deals are subject to change without notice.

Best commuter cycling helmet

Giro Camden Mips Urban Cycling HelmeteBay
Price: £100 (was £199.99)

www.ebay.co.uk

Made for the city, the Giro Camden helmet comes equipped with MIPS technology; Giro has taken its road cycling helmet technology and rolled it into this sleek-looking urban commuter cycling helmet.

A large red panel on the back of the helmet glows for increased visibility, and the Roc Loc Air System means that you can adjust the ventilation that comes into your helmet by opening and closing vents on the fly.

Pros

  • MIPS Equipped
  • Integrated rear light
  • Adjustable air vents (Roc Loc)

Cons

  • Slightly bulkier than your usual helmet

Best sporty commuter cycling helmet

POC Omne Air Bike HelmetAmazon
Price: $86.45

Before we get into the helmet, let's quickly talk about POC's version of MIPS, Shear Pad Inside (SPIN) - which this Omne helmet has. This patent-pending rotational impact protection system reduces the effects of an oblique fall by limiting the amount of force transmitted to the head and brain. Using an innovative and unique pad technology to keep you safe, you'll be protected from unexpected falls and give you confidence in your bike.

The Omne Air is more of a racier helmet for faster or further commutes. With plenty of ventilation to keep you cool in the warmer weather, the helmet is also lightweight making it more comfortable to wear and great for the weekly commute and weekend fast ride.

Pros

  • SPIN technology
  • Lightweight
  • 360-degree size adjustment

Cons

  • Maybe too much ventilation for slower, rainier commutes

Best commuter cycling helmet with non-MIPS protection

KASK Moebius WG11 Urban HelmetHalfords

KASK has been making beautiful helmets for the professional peloton for years, their Protone is one of the best helmets around when it comes to comfort, style and protection. The brand has taken that knowledge and trickled it down to the commuter helmets.

No MIPs (Multi-Directional Impact Protection System) on this helmet, but the technology in it has passed the WG11 test, which is an internal protocol carried out by KASK to protect the rider’s head during rotational impacts. So, it covers the same standards as a MIPS device.

Pros

  • Front and rear air vents
  • Scratch-resistant shell
  • Detachable peak

Cons

  • No MIPS

Best commuter cycling helmet for features

While expensive, this helmet offers some trick options to help keep you safe and be seen on the road while also providing good protection. At 580g, it's not that light, but that's because of the built-in lights, which, on the back, can display messages, symbols or patterns.

Pros

  • 1,000 lumens of light
  • Well-respected brand
  • Impact-resistant EPS foam liner and ABS shell

Cons

  • Slightly on the heavy side
  • One size fit

Best commuter cycling helmet for ventilation

Cycle Store Cannondale Dynam Mips Road HelmetCycle Store
Price: £126 (was £150)

www.cyclestore.co.uk

Although this helmet is one that's strictly for commuting, it makes our list because it has a style that can suit different styles of riding - from road bike riding to commuter. Cannondale are a brand that are renowned for their great ventilation inside their helmets - and this one is no different. The integration of MIPS air within the padding further enhances the airflow, with added benefit of easy removal for washing. So, for individuals looking for a more dynamic commuting experience, the Cannondale Dynam proves to be an excellent option.

Pros

  • PolyRail supports structural integrity and increased ventilation
  • ErgoFit+ rubber moulded dial
  • Two temple intakes for max airflow

Cons

  • Limited ponytail space

Best commuter cycling helmet

Nutcase Vio-Kit Unisex Adult HelmetAmazon
Price: $149.99
Alternative retailers
Walmart$142.49View offer

This commuter cycling helmet is a versatile one - made for urban and adventure riders alike. Arguably the best feature of the Vio is the 360 LED light system. With a unique head badge design that serves as both a front headlamp emitting 200 LED lumens and a side and rear red-orange light band that produces 65 LED lumens. This means the Vio can be seen from over 500 feet away. Plus, this helmet has the highest standards of safety - as provided by the MIPS protection system. And, with the Fidlock magnetic buckle, you can make sure your helmet fits perfectly.

Pros

  • Great ventilation
  • Plenty of built-in lights
  • Built-in extra bright headlight

Cons

  • Visor isn't the best quality

The best commuter cycling helmets: FAQs

Is it better to have a visor on a bike helmet?

Whether or not to have a visor on a cycling helmet is up to your own personal preference. Having an accessory on your cycling helmet, like a visor, can come with a few benefits, like protecting your eyes from sunlight or rain, and stop debris and dirt from getting in your face. Alternatively, some cyclists find visors incredibly distracting, and they create additional wind resistance which can affect your aerodynamics.

How often should I replace my bike helmet?

Even the bestcycling helmets need to be replaced once in a while, it's recommended that they're changed every three to five years. Over time factors like UV exposure, sweat and normal wear and tear can degrade the helmet's materials and compromise its ability to protect your head in the event of an accident.

If you (and your helmet) have been in a crash, no matter how big or small, you must replace it as the impact can weaken its structure.

The best thing to do is just inspect your helmet for signs of damage, including cracks, dents or frayed straps, and replace it if you notice any scratches or defects. This is so you can ride your bike with the highest levels of safety in mind.

How can I make my bike helmet more comfortable?

Wearing your helmet correctly is the best way to make it feel more comfortable. Here a few ways to check you're wearing it right.

Use a mirror

Your helmet should fit comfortably but snugly, on your head. The front of your helmet should cover most of your forehead.

Utilise the chin strap

The chin strap is there for a reason - use it! The strap should be tight enough that you struggle to fit your finger between the strap and your chin. It's also essential that the V on the side of the straps should sit below your ears.

Helmet position

Your cycling helmet should sit level on your head so that it doesn't move more than an inch in any direction.

Ventilation

Proper ventilation is crucial when cycling, specifically for sunny days. Helmets with ample ventilation will increase comfort by keeping your head cool.

Myles Warwood was a Commercial Content Writer for What's The Best, Parkers and CAR. His areas of expertise include cycling, fitness tech and hot hatches.

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