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The Best Half & Open Face Helmets You Can Buy [2023 Edition]


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Open-face helmets are popular options for riders who want increased airflow, unobstructed views, and moderate protection. Unlike full-face helmets, they won’t offer all-around protection and will leave areas of the face and skull vulnerable in the event of an accident, however, the majority of models are designed with your safety in mind.

Even so, we’ve put together a list of our favorites, separating the wheat from the chaff, with a goal of matching you with the best open-faced helmet for your needs.

But how do we decide what makes the list and what doesn’t? Well, a good open-face helmet will offer the best level of protection possible. It should also offer distraction free-riding without any annoying whistles or loose hardware.

And it shouldn’t pinch or hurt anyone wearing it! Of course, different budgets can afford different levels of quality, but we always ensure that our selections offer the best return for your investment, whether you’re spending a hundred dollars or a thousand.

So without further ado, let’s look at the best open-face helmets you can buy this year!

Biltwell Bonanza

Biltwell Bonanza Open Face Helmet Side View

Price: $99.95
Buy: Revzilla | Amazon

The Biltwell Bonanza is a cheap open-face helmet that offers DOT-approved protection with a price tag that literally anyone can afford. It’s a no-frills open-face lid that ticks the right boxes and features a few nice features to elevate it above the really cheap models. If budget is your primary concern, this is the helmet for you. It just happens to offer decent protection too.

So why do we recommend it? Because if you’re going to buy a cheap open-face, you might as well buy one from a reputable manufacturer that knows how to make a great value-for-money product. Biltwell is a name that we trust, and even these cheaper helmets are made to a respectable standard. The shell, for example, is made from a tough molded ABS material and paired with a custom-shaped EPS inner shell. It even has a hand-stitched inner liner with Lycra paneling.

For a product with such a low price tag, you get a good return on your investment. The Bonanza is comfortable to wear, looks cool, and performs its primary function well enough. It has plenty of positive reviews that support those claims. But even if you’re left disappointed by it, it only cost a hundred dollars, so you can’t really complain!

HJC IS-5 Helmet

HJC IS-5 Helmet in Metal Flake BlackPrice: $119.99 – $129.99

Buy: RevZilla | Amazon

The HJC IS-5 features a simple, old-school open-face helmet design devoid of any frills or fancies. This is an excellent choice if you’re looking for an affordable half-face helmet that provides decent protection. It looks stunning in this Metal Flake Black colorway, and there are multiple other color schemes to choose from if this isn’t to your liking. 

HJC has used a lightweight polycarbonate composite shell for the IS-5 and added a drop-down sun-visor. The interior lining is made from the company’s SuperCool moisture absorbing, anti-bacterial lining, ensuring you’ll stay comfortable even on those hot summer days. The cheek pads and liner can also be removed and cleaned if necessary. 

There are three shell sizes available, each offering two helmet sizes. The HJC IS-5 is DOT-approved and can be worn on North American roads.

Bell Custom 500 Helmet

Bell Custom 500 Helmet Side View

Price: $125.95
Buy: Revzilla | Amazon

If you’re looking for a lightweight and inexpensive retro-themed half-face helmet, then the Bel Custom 500 has long been an obvious choice. It’s smart, stylish, comfortable, and well-made—all for an affordable price tag.

The latest version of the legendary Bell Custom 500 has a number of new improvements over its already successful predecessors. It now features a new headform for a closer and more comfortable fit. The new shell sits lower on your head. And thanks to a selection of shell and EPS sizes, it’s easier to get a better fit than ever before. Still, it’s worth mentioning that those with larger and rounder heads might find the Custom 500 line to be too uncomfortable, and tight in all the wrong places.

However, if you’ve got a narrower oval head, the Custom 500 should fit like a glove. The helmet includes a strong multi-density EPS liner, a padded strap with a stainless steel D-ring closure, a leather D-ring pull tab, and a five-year warranty. Plus, this helmet comes in four different color options: black, matte black, white, and silver flake.

Bell Mag 9 Sena Helmet

Bell Mag 9 Sena Helmet Side View

Review: In-depth review
Price: $189.95
Buy: Revzilla | Amazon

Next up, we have another Bell model. This time, it’s the Bell Mag 9 Sena helmet. The Mag 9 has been on the market for quite a few years now, and it’s always receiving great reviews. Not only is it a strong, secure, and comfortable open-face helmet, but it also features bold styling and the ability to accommodate a Sena SMH 10 Bluetooth Stereo Headset and Intercom device.

The Mag 9 features a tough but lightweight polycarbonate ABS shell, a choice of visor and shield options, a unique design that sets it apart from the crowd. The helmet can be worn with or without the visor, and with or without the face shield too. On the inside, it boasts a practical drop-down sun shield, contoured cheek pads, an antibacterial microfiber liner, and comfortable airflow thanks to the use of velocity flow vents.

Why most riders recommend this helmet is the fact that it accommodates Sena’s communication technology. It saves the hassle of having to adapt a helmet to use third-party equipment or pay inflated prices for a helmet that can only use a company’s own proprietary system. As you can guess by the price tag, the Sena SMH10 has to be purchased separately. However, the Bell Mag 9 is a cool and inexpensive helmet even for riders who aren’t looking for Bluetooth tech.

Scorpion EXO-CT220 HelmetScorpion EXO-CT220 in matte black

Price: $159.95
Buy: Revzilla | Amazon

Scorpion is well known for being the king of producing gear that returns excellent value for what they’re worth, and the EXO-CT220 is no different. For just $159.95, you get a helmet that offers jaw and cheek protection better than several other open-face helmets, as well as comes with two different styles of visors.

The drop-down sun visor lets you ride with your eyes protected and the wind in your face, and the full face visor replaces the sun peak and has rubber catch points on the jaw and cheek guard area so that it doesn’t slip out if you go down.

Inside the helmet is a KwikWick 2 anti-microbial lining that wicks away moisture keeping you cool and comfortable. The cheek pads have also been designed to accommodate eyeglasses. Lastly, the helmet features emergency-release cheek guards and has a 5-year warranty.

Schuberth M1 Pro

Schuberth M1 Pro Open Face Helmet Side View

Review: In-depth review
Price: $499.00
Buy: Revzilla | Amazon

The Schuberth M1 Pro is a premium open-face helmet. As Schuberth is a German company, you can rest assured that no feature was left untested in the development of this helmet. It has been wind-tunnel tested, aerodynamically sculpted, and designed to provide a luxury fit at a mid-range price point.

The shell is constructed using Schubert’s Direct Fiber Processing technique, an innovative process that uses glass fiber and resin with a heated mold to create a strong but lightweight shell. It features a tough and secure inner shell, and a high-quality and allergen-free removable antibacterial liner. The M1 Pro has good airflow thanks to a rear vent but without too much noise thanks to the helmet’s optimized aero acoustics.

Other cool features included a visor peak, an integrated sun shield, and the option to upgrade to a Pinlock-ready face shield. It does have space to accommodate Schuberth’s own proprietary microphone and audio system (SC1M) but it’s not universal. If it could use third-party Bluetooth technology and come with a Pinlock shield as standard, this helmet would be almost perfect.

Shoei J-Cruise II

Shoei J-Cruise II Open-Face Helmet Side View

Review: In-depth review
Price: $579.99
Buy: Revzilla | Amazon

At the premium end of the open-face helmet spectrum, we have the Shoei J-Cruise. The most up-to-date model, the J-Cruise II, is one of the most advanced open-face helmets on the market. Using Advanced Integrated Matrix technology, the shell is compact and lightweight without compromising its overall strength. It also uses a multi-piece EPS liner to assist cooling whilst offering optimum protection.

The inside of the J-Cruise II is made up of a 3D Max-Dry washable interior liner and cheek pads made using a five-layer foam construction. The Pinlock- ready face shield is made with a scratch-resistant coating with a wide, cured construction for increased peripheral vision. The helmet also uses an inner sun visor that blocks up to 99% of harmful UV rays.

It’s a comfortable helmet and one of the best on the market. Riders love the fact that it’s compatible with Shoei and Sena’s SRL Bluetooth Headset, and because it comes with an industry-leading seven-year warranty. Available in a range of shell sizes and color options, if you’re looking for a premium open-faced helmet, start your search here.

Arai Ram-X

Arai Ram-X Open-Face Helmet Side View


Price: $719.95
Buy: Revzilla | Amazon

If money is no object, then the Arai Ram-X is worth looking at. Yes, it is expensive for an open-face helmet but it is DOT and SNELL certified, packs some of the most advanced technology in the segment, and will give you the best protection possible from an open-face lid. They call this one a premium open-face touring helmet, and for good reason.

Built around a Z-compound enriched Super Fiber Laminate shell, the Arai Ram-X is both tough and lightweight.  Inside, the helmet boasts multiple-foam interiors, removable and replaceable cheek pads, and a practical VAS-Z Pro Shade sun shield. Ventilation is provided by Arai’s celebrated Corsair X ventilation system, complemented with side cowl exhausts for optimized airflow.

Being a  premium option, Arai uses more advanced construction and safety methods, such as a MIPS system. Arai is one of the most reliable names in the business with years of experience making quality helmets,  they do know what they’re doing. No matter which way you look at it, the Arai Ram-X is an advanced helmet that offers a premium riding experience to anyone who wears one.

Bell Pit Boss

Bell Pit Boss

Price: $139.95
Buy: Revzilla | Amazon

If you absolutely need to have a half helmet, then Bell has you covered. The preferred skid-lid of many a cruiser rider, the Pit Boss has been around in one form or another for decades, as it is one of the original shapes that Bell started to make back in the 1960s. Fret not that this helmet is made out of the 1960s materials, however.

This lid is made out of what Bell labels as TriMatrix material: Fiberglass, carbon fiber, and Kevlar. It has a flip-down sun visor hidden behind the peak, and even includes speaker pockets in the ear guards so you can fit a comms device to the helmet.

Even better, in terms of ergonomics, Bell’s SpeedDial system lets you put the helmet on slightly loose, and then twist the dial to tighten it snug to your head, making sure that it fits perfectly every time. If it gets a little cold, a neck curtain comes with the helmet that fits easily into a pocket or backpack and attaches in seconds.



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