There are 2 ways to approach shopping for womens motorcycle helmets.
The easy way, and the hard way.
The hard way makes you feel like a frustrated three-year-old, seconds away from a spectacular public tantrum.
You try on a dozen female motorcycle helmets while the salesman grins, and offers useless advice. All the helmets seem the same.
And after trying on so many, now you look like you slept on a park bench.
At this point, you just pick the prettiest helmet, so you can get the hell out of there.
That’s the hard way of buying a helmet.
The easy way’s much smarter, and doesn’t involve rolling around on the floor kicking and screaming in frustration, while your man goes over to talk to the Parts guy and pretends he doesn’t know you.
The smart approach involves going into the bike shop with a clear idea of what you’re looking for. It makes the process of choosing the right helmet much faster, and even relatively painless.
A good helmet’s possibly the most important part of your on-road armor. It’s usually fairly expensive, too. So it’s essential to get this right.
What to Look for in Motorcycle Helmets for Women
When it comes to women’s motorcycle helmets, there are 4 main things your helmet needs to do for you. It must:
1. Be Comfortable
A helmet should cradle your head and be comfortable. It should fit snugly, and not waggle around if you shake your head. But if your eyes feel like they’re about to pop out, it’s too tight.
And sure, it might loosen up over time. But by then, your brain will have dribbled out of your ears. Get one that fits right from the start.
2. Reduce Noise
A good helmet helps cut down on wind noise. This is good news for your long-term hearing. And in the short term, it means you’ll just hear some minor background wind rushing – way more comfortable than riding with a chorus of demons screaming in your ears.
3. Be Road Legal
Plenty of female motorcycle helmets are beautiful – but not road-legal. If it won’t protect your head, you may as well just wear a hat. The helmet should be certified to your local safety standards, or it won’t offer your precious brain an ounce of protection.
4. Be Affordable
Buy the best helmet you can afford. Try the cheaper ones on, by all means. But I’ve had cheap female motorcycle helmets and pricier ones, and the more expensive ones are better. They’re more comfortable, quieter, and have often have cool features (like extra air vents and pop down sunglasses).
The Quick & Dirty Guide to Womens Motorcycle Helmets
After you’ve thought about these key questions, it’s time to focus on your personal needs and preferences. There are three main kinds of female motorcycle helmets, and they each offer something different.
Open Face Helmet (also called a Half Helmet)
Key feature: no visor – your face is exposed.
- Often the lightest kind of helmet
- More comfortable in warm weather
- Worth considering if other helmets make you feel panicky or ‘closed in’
- Offers a wider field of vision
- Can be the cheapest option
- Some gorgeous retro designs are available – sparkles, colours, you name it
- It’s much easier to get sun- and wind-burned
- If you fall off the bike, your face has no protection
- You’ll need to protect your eyes from the wind
- Watering eyes and rain will mean mascara streaks
- Generally noisier as the wind gets in around your ears
Full Face Helmet
Key feature: Adjustable visor you can wear open or closed.
- The visor offers protection for your skin and eyes
- Noise reduction is fair to good
- Your face is covered in case of an accident
- A wide price range is available
- Tinted visors can be fitted to reduce glare (but may not be legal in your country – check first)
- Can make you feel more ‘closed in’
- Heavier than an open face helmet
- Restricts your field of vision a little more
- Can make your head look and feel gigantic
- Watch out for horror designs that look like someone threw up on you in 1987
Flip Top Helmet
Key feature: The whole front of the helmet opens up.
- The most comfortable and convenient helmet if you wear glasses
- You can switch between the freedom of an open face helmet, and full face protection
- Noise reduction is excellent
- Generally the heaviest kind of helmet – there’s more material involved
- Often the most expensive
- It’s easy to bump into things when your head takes up this much room
Now You Know the Fundamentals of Womens Motorcycle Helmets
Think about which features matter to you most, and start by trying on helmets in that category…
- If you get claustrophobic, try the open face helmets first
- If your skin burns easily, start with the full face helmets (and get a tinted visor)
- If you wear glasses, open up the front of a flip top helmet, and get ready for a miracle. You can put this helmet on without even taking off your glasses. (This helmet design changed my life).
When you’ve thought about your needs and preferences, you have a practical starting point.
You don’t waste time on female motorcycle helmets that won’t work for you. Why bother trying on 1,000 awful helmets, when you can narrow it down to a well-chosen handful?
Do you find it hard to choose from all the women’s motorcycle helmets out there?
Photo credits: Vadim Guzhva & bds & Anna Omelchenko @ Canstockphoto.com