In order to get the perfect helmet, you must know what attributes you are looking for. One of the most significant shifts in mountain bike helmet design is the amount of head coverage real estate. Only a few years ago, reducing weight was the ultimate goal for most riders (and the big focus of manufacturers), so thin and open XC designs were the rage. Still today, when you’re covering a lot of ground and aren’t tackling anything too sketchy, airflow and a feathery feel wins out over absolute protection.

EPS

This stands for expanded polystyrene and it’s at the core of every helmet. It’s lightweight, cheap and, like a crumple zone in your car, compresses during an impact to absorb the energy.

MIPS

The Multi-directional Impact Protection System uses a second internal plastic liner, close to the scalp, that can slide over the inner shell by a few millimetres at the moment of impact. This helps reduce rotational brain injuries from glancing impacts. MIPS adds cost, takes up space inside the helmet (which impacts on sizing) and usually restricts airflow.

Padding

Padding thickness and density has a significant effect on sweat absorption as well as overall comfort. The helmets with thicker internal padding may run a little hotter than those with minimal, narrow strips, but are less likely to dribble sweat.

These are the main components of a helmet and the adjustable features of them that would allow you to find what suits you best.

According to switchbacktravel.com, the Giro, Chronicle All-mountain/XC is the number one mountain biking helmet. The following are the factors taken into consideration;

Category: All-mountain/XC
Weight: 13.1 oz.
Vents: 14
What we like: Safety, comfort, and performance at a great price.
What we don’t: Small step down in liner quality.

Giro’s Chronicle is priced at only $100, a steal of a deal for such a quality helmet.