The 10 Best Mountain Bike Helmets Under $100 (Improve Your Safety on a Budget!)

Five mountain bikers standing over their bikes enjoying the view while wearing mountain bike helmets for under $100.

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These are the best mountain bike helmets for under $100 worth your attention, including standard and full-face ones.

I asked my MTB friends for recommendations, did in-depth research, and read hundreds of reviews to save you time. I evaluated features like price, weight, ventilation, design, popularity, and more.

Below, you will also learn how to choose a mountain bike helmet, about safety features, and much more.

Let’s dive in!

What Are the Best Mountain Bike Helmets for Under $100?

The best mountain bike helmets for under $100 meet safety standards required by law (learn more), are lightweight, well-ventilated, and fit your head shape.

Mountain bike helmets under $100 differ from more expensive ones by higher weight and worse ventilation. Full-face helmets (and those with a removable chin protector) are rare in this price range.

All helmets on this list meet the required safety standards like CPSC certification. They mainly differ in the other features (design, weight, ventilation, etc.).

The safety of expensive and cheap MTB helmets is comparable! (Source)

Bell Soquel MIPS mountain bike helmet from multiple angles.
Bell Soquel MIPS

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Smith Optics Convoy MIPS mountain bike helmet from multiple angles.
Smith Optics Convoy MIPS

Also available at,

Read More

Bell Sanction full-face mountain bike helmet from multiple angles.
Bell Sanction

Also available at

Read More

Skip to the comparison table…

Bell Soquel MIPS (Best Budget Mountain Bike Helmet for Under $100)

Bell Soquel MIPS mountain bike helmet from multiple angles.
Bell Soquel MIPS

Main Features

  • Weight: 0.79 lb (360 g)
  • Extra safety feature: MIPS (learn more)
  • Well ventilated
  • Highly affordable

Sizes Available

  • Universal size: 20.9-23.6 in (53-60 cm)

Although the Bell Soquel MIPS is not the cheapest helmet on this list, I selected it as the best budget for several reasons.

It has an excellent ventilation system and channels that allow better airflow, reducing sweating in hot weather.

The MIPS technology reduces rotational forces during an impact, further contributing to your protection.

You will also appreciate the extended protection of the back of your head. And it has an adjustable ratchet strap closure system for easy size adjustment.

Its biggest disadvantage is limited color and size selection.

Smith Optics Convoy MIPS (Best Mountain Bike Helmet for Under $100 Overall)

Smith Optics Convoy MIPS mountain bike helmet from multiple angles.
Smith Optics Convoy MIPS

Main Features

  • Weight: 0.72 lb (325 g)
  • Extra safety feature: MIPS (learn more)
  • Available in plenty of colors
  • Well-ventilated
  • Removable inner padding
  • The retention system can be moved up and down

Sizes Available

  • S 20-21.8 in (51-55 cm)
  • M 21.8-23.3 in (55-59 cm)
  • L 23.3-24.8 in (59-63 cm)

The Smith Optics Convoy MIPS is the best mountain bike helmet for under $100 because:

It’s available in multiple attractive colors so that, so you can match it with the rest of your kit.

It features MIPS and an extended rear for improved protection.

It’s lightweight, so you won’t experience neck pain, and the rear dial closure system can be moved up and down, leading to a comfortable fit.

The inner padding is removable, so you can replace it after a season or two or wash it during the season.

And finally, it’s reasonably priced.

Also available at,, and

Specialized Camber

Specialized Camber mountain bike helmet from multiple angles.
Specialized Camber

Main Features

  • Weight: 0.82 lb (370 g)
  • Extra safety feature: MIPS (learn more)
  • Unique design
  • Available in multiple colors
  • Compatible with ANGi sensor

Sizes Available

  • XS 19.3-20.8 in (49-53 cm)
  • S 20-22 in (51-56 cm)
  • M 21.8-23.3 in (55-59 cm)
  • L 22.8-24.5 in (58-62 cm)
  • XL 23.5-24.8 (60-63 cm)

As always, I’ll be honest with you. When I first saw this helmet, I didn’t like it.

But the more I looked at it, the more I appreciated its originality and uniqueness. It will definitely make you stand out from the crowd.

In addition, it will give you ample protection when mountain biking, even in technical terrain.

Of course, it has MIPS, and you can also attach an ANGi sensor to it, which will notify your emergency contact via a phone app in the event of a fall.

Even though it is Specialized, its price is very reasonable.

Camber is not perfect, though. The visor is not adjustable, and due to its design, it doesn’t provide effective protection against the sun.

Also available at and

Bontrager Solstice MIPS

Bontrager Solstice MIPS mountain bike helmet from multiple angles.
Bontrager Solstice MIPS

Main Features

  • Weight: 0.83 lb (375 g)
  • Extra safety feature: MIPS (learn more)
  • Versatile helmet for multiple disciplines
  • Magnetic buckle
  • Removable visor allowing 2 positions
  • Crash Replacement Guarantee

Sizes Available

  • S/M 20-22.8 in (51-58 cm)
  • M/L 21.7-24 in (55-61 cm)

Whether you use Solstice on trails, dirt roads, or in a city for commuting, it won’t disappoint you.

You will get efficient sun protection thanks to the visor, which has two positions. You can also remove it when you don’t need it and use this helmet for road cycling.

The magnetic buckle is more convenient than the plastic one on most helmets. You have to try and see!

Except for its versatility, Solstice is also practical. You can wash its pads to avoid the unpleasant smell and keep everything clean.

And thanks to the crash replacement guarantee, you will get a free replacement if you crash during the first year of ownership.

So, what are its downsides?

It’s slightly heavier than similar helmets and has a relatively old-school design.

Also available at


OUWOR MTB Helmet from multiple angles.

Main Features

  • Weight: n/a
  • Extra safety feature: n/a
  • Available in multiple colors
  • Removable visor and inner pads
  • Carry bag included
  • Well-ventilated when the visor is off

Sizes Available

  • M 21.3-22.8 in (54-58 cm)
  • L 22-24 in (56-61 cm)

OUWOR MTB helmet surprises with many of its features. First, I love its color combinations. But that’s subjective.

It’s pretty versatile because you can use it for mountain biking and once you remove the visor, also for road biking.

Removing the sun visor also brings another benefit. It opens the large air vents in the front that will allow excellent airflow.

The only major disadvantage is a lack of MIPS or a similar safety system. But I wouldn’t even expect it for this price.

O’Neal Trail Finder

O'Neal Trail Finder mountain bike helmet from multiple angles.
O’Neal Trail Finder

Main Features

  • Weight: 0.84 lb (380 g)
  • Extra safety feature: n/a
  • Adjustable and removable visor
  • Good ventilation

Sizes Available

  • S 20-21.8 in (51-55 cm)
  • M 21.8-23.3 in (55-59 cm)
  • L 23.3-24.8 in (59-63 cm)

The Trail Finder helmet from O’Neal is on the heavier side of the spectrum, but its weight shouldn’t discourage you from considering it.

It has an adjustable and detachable visor, providing a decent level of adjustability.

And multiple owners confirmed good ventilation that you will appreciate, especially in hot weather.

It’s a shame that Trail Finder has no MIPS and is not available in more color options. Instead, you can only choose from a few.

Giro Fixture MIPS

Giro Fixture mountain bike helmet from multiple angles.
Giro Fixture

Main Features

  • Weight: 0.71 lb (320 g)
  • Extra safety feature: MIPS (learn more)
  • Highly affordable
  • The visor is not adjustable

Sizes Available

  • Universal adult 21.3-24 in (54-61 cm)
  • Universal X-Large 22.8-25.6 in (58-65 cm)

Giro Fixture MIPS belongs among the most affordable MTB helmets under $100 with MIPS.

It offers everything you expect from an MTB helmet – great protection (MIPS), decent ventilation and fit, and low weight.

So, what’s the catch?

First, the sun visor is not adjustable. Second, the retention system requires a little more force than other helmets. And third, the plastic shell is not extended to the edges, so the foam can damage easily.

Also available at and

Bell Sanction

Bell Sanction full-face mountain bike helmet from multiple angles.
Bell Sanction

Main Features

  • Weight: 1.87 lb (850 g)
  • Extra safety feature: n/a
  • Lightweight
  • Adjustable visor

Sizes Available

  • XS 19.3-19.7 in (49-50 cm)
  • S 20.5-21.3 in (52-54 cm)
  • M 21.6-22.4 in (55-57 cm)
  • L 22.8-23.6 in (58-60 cm)

Although Bell Sanction is slightly above the $100 mark, I selected it as the best because of Bell’s reputation.

They manufacture all helmet types, from those for F1 to motorbikes and many more.

Sanction has a minimalistic but functional design. It’s also decently ventilated, but you won’t avoid overheating in hot weather (as in most full-face helmets).

You can adjust its visor for effective sun (and branches) protection. But I don’t recommend removing it completely.

It’s a shame Sanction doesn’t have a removable chin protector, but none of the full-face MTB helmets in this list has.

And as you can see from the available sizes, Sanction is not suitable for people with large heads.

Also available at,, and

O’Neal Sonus Deft

O'Neal Sonus Deft full-face mountain bike helmet from multiple angles.
O’Neal Sonus Deft

Main Features

  • Weight: 2.31 lb (1050 g)
  • Extra safety feature: n/a
  • Adjustable visor
  • Magnetic buckle
  • Reasonably priced

Sizes Available

  • S (56 cm)
  • M (58 cm)
  • L (60 cm)
  • XL (62)

O’Neal Sonus Deft is a full-face MTB helmet suitable for those tackling technical terrain.

It doesn’t have a detachable chin protector like most low-end helmets, but you can adjust its visor.

Although it’s only available in limited color options, those available look pretty cool. What do you think?

I want to highlight the magnetic buckle for quick, easy, and convenient fastening.

Sonus Deft is slightly heavier than its direct competitors (Sanction and Rayce).

Remember, O’Neal Sonus Deft runs small. Choose a larger size if you are between sizes!

Fly Racing Rayce

Fly Racing Rayce full-face mountain bike helmet from multiple angles.
Fly Racing Rayce

Main Features

  • Weight: 2.23 lb (1010 g)
  • Extra safety feature: n/a
  • Available in multiple colors
  • Adjustable visor
  • Removable pads

Sizes Available

  • XS 20.5-21.3 in (53-54cm)
  • S 21.3-22 in (55-56cm)
  • M 22-23 in (57-58cm)
  • L 23-23.8 in (59-60cm)
  • XL 24-24.5 in (61-62cm)

Rayce is a practical full-face mountain bike helmet. However, as Fly Racing states, you can use it for other sports too (including jet skiing).

Anyway, back to cycling. The visor is, of course, adjustable, so it will provide you with sun protection when needed.

What I like more is the possibility of removing the liner and cheek pads. You can also wash them to keep your helmet clean and avoid an unpleasant smell.

Rayce also offers decent ventilation thanks to strategically placed air vents. But I don’t recommend spending too much time wearing it in the direct sun during summer.

Also available at and

Road Bike HelmetsWeightSafety FeatureVT Safety RatingBuy
Bell Soquel MIPS0.79 lb
360 g
MIPSn/aCheck Price
Smith Optics Convoy MIPS0.72 lb
325 g
MIPSn/aCheck Price
Specialized Camber0.82 lb
370 g
MIPS5*Check Price
Bontrager Solstice MIPS0.83 lb
375 g
MIPS3*Check Price
OUWOR MTB Helmetn/aNon/aCheck Price
O'Neal Trail Finder0.84 lb
380 g
Non/aCheck Price
Giro Fixture MIPS0.71 lb
320 g
MIPS4*Check Price
Bell Sanction1.87 lb
850 g
No5*Check Price
O'Neal Sonus Deft2.23 lb
1010 g
Non/aCheck Price
Fly Racing Rayce2.31 lb
1050 g
Non/aCheck Price
List of the best mountain bike helmets with the info about their weight, extra safety features, Virginia Tech safety rating, and price range.
The weight of all helmets is for the M size unless stated otherwise.
VT safety rating source: Virginia Tech

My Verdict

Here are my three favorite helmets from this article:

  1. The best mountain bike helmet under $100 overall is the Smith Optics Convoy MIPS (also available at This is because of the many available colors, MIPS, great ventilation, and excellent price-value ratio.
  2. The best budget mountain bike helmet under $100 is the Bell Soquel MIPS. It’s highly affordable, features MIPS, and is proven.
  3. The best full-face mountain bike helmet under $100 is the Bell Sanction (also available at It provides full-face protection in an affordable package.

When choosing an MTB helmet for under $100, consider whether it has MIPS, its design, ventilation, weight, and available sizes.

Continue reading my buying guide if you want to learn more.

How to Choose a Mountain Bike Helmet?

Before you purchase a new mountain bike helmet, make sure you take into consideration the following…


There are 3 basic types of mountain bike helmets. I will talk about the first two – standard and full-face helmets.

Types of mountain bike helmets (standard, full-face, dirt jump)
MTB helmets types

Standard MTB helmets look like road bike helmets but also feature a visor to protect your face against branches, dirt, and sun. Additionally, they extend the protection of your nape. Finally, they provide better ventilation and are lighter than full-face MTB helmets. These features make them suitable for casual riding and terrain without a high risk of falling.

Full-face MTB helmets have a chin protector and extend the protection around the entire head. However, this results in worse ventilation and higher weight. Some full-face helmets have a removable chin protector, so you can use them as a standard MTB helmet, but they are more expensive. They are ideal for highly technical terrain with a high risk of falling.

Size, Fit & Adjustability

Buying a mountain bike helmet that fits can be tricky. It’s always better to try it in person. If you can’t try it, the question is:

How to choose the right size?
Every bike helmet manufacturer has slightly different sizing. It’s given as the circumference of the head in inches or cm. Use a soft tailor tape measure to measure yours.

How do I know the helmet fits?
When you put a helmet on, it has to feel ‘just right.’ You shouldn’t feel any pressure points.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also recommends the following:

  • Two finger-width should be between your eyebrow and the helmet.
  • The side straps should form a “V” shape under and slightly in front of your ears.
  • The buckle should be centered under your chin, and it should be tight enough so you don’t snug 1 or 2 fingers underneath it.

Modern bike helmets have adjustable side straps, a chin strap, and a dial fit. You can adjust them so the helmet won’t be too loose or tight.

How to wear a bike helmet: Petr Minarik wearing a bike helmet view from the front left, front, and rear
How to wear a bike helmet?


The helmet’s weight may not seem important, but it will affect your riding comfort. Heavy helmets can cause neck pain and are not suitable for long rides. Lighter helmets are more comfortable.

Surprisingly, cheap MTB helmets (for under $100) are often lighter than higher-end helmets. This is because they may not have additional safety features like MIPS or a chin protector that increase the overall weight of the helmet.

The following table shows the weights of the selected mountain bike helmets under $100.

This chart shows the weights of the best mountain bike helmets under $100.
Weight of Mountain Bike Helmets Under $100


Ventilation is an important feature, especially during the hot summer months. You don’t want your head to overheat during your adventures.

Remember that a higher number of air vents doesn’t mean better ventilation. The helmet design (and air channels) is more important because it determines the airflow from the front to the rear of your head.

As I mentioned above, a full-face helmet provides worse ventilation, so think twice about whether you need it and in what conditions you will ride.


Every bike helmet sold in the USA must meet the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) standard.

There is the so-called EN 1079 standard in Europe, AS/NZS 2063 in Australia and New Zealand, etc.

The purpose of the certifications is to verify that the helmet meets certain safety and protection requirements.

All mountain bike helmets in this selection are CPSC-certified.

The interesting thing is that according to Virginia Tech mountain bike helmet ratings, cheap helmets can be as safe as expensive ones.

The question is whether you should pay a premium for extra safety features. You will learn more about them below.

Extra Safety Features: MIPS, WaveCel, etc.

Bicycle helmets come with extra safety features. The most well-known is MIPS. But there are more like WaveCel, Kali, Leatt, 6D, KinetiCore, SPIN, etc.

These systems reduce the rotational and/or linear forces during an impact, lowering the strain level in your brain and the risk of a brain injury.

I summarized the pros and cons of the most common safety systems in the following table. You can learn more about them in my article about MIPS, WaveCel, etc.

MIPS• Reduces rotational forces• Adds about 0.88-1.59oz. (25-45g) to the bike helmet*
• Does not reduce linear forces
WaveCel• Reduces rotational forces
• Reduces linear forces
• Adds about 1.76oz. (50g) to the bike helmet
• WaveCell technology is used on Bontrager helmets only
• Bontrager helmets with WaveCell are more expensive on average than helmets with MIPS or SPIN
SPIN**• Reduces rotational forces
• Reduces linear forces
• SPIN technology is used on POC helmets only
Comparison of the pros & cons of the most common bicycle helmets safety technologies
*This estimation is based on the same size and model of a helmet with and without MIPS
**SPIN technology is gradually phased out since MIPS and SPIN joined forces in 2021.

Why Should You Wear a Helmet?

According to this study, the number of injuries is reduced by an average of 60% when wearing a bicycle helmet.

Unfortunately, according to this 2012 study, only 29% of adults and 42% of children wore a helmet when riding a bike.

Although the second stat will probably be based mostly on cases on the roads, mountain biking can be more dangerous.

This is because, unlike road cycling, it takes place in technical terrain with a higher chance of falling or crashing into trees, rocks, etc.

I wear a helmet whenever I sit on a bike. It doesn’t matter if I ride 60 miles trip or to a local grocery store.

Did you know that 57% of bicyclists killed in the USA in 2020 were not wearing helmets? Helmet use was unknown for 25%. (Source)

Let’s take a look at the previous statement in a chart. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words, right?

The number of dead bicyclist had a growing trend in all categories (no helmet use, helmet use, unknown) in the USA between 2010 and 2020.
Number of bicyclist deaths by helmet use in the USA (2010-2020) | Data source:

I also interpolated the data with trend curves. The trend is growing for all categories. Yet, the ‘helmet use’ category grows the slowest. In 2015-2018, it even declined.

What is the conclusion here? A bike helmet is important, and it can save your life. And as the following video states, “helmet has always been a good idea.”

Danish Road Safety Council / Helmet has always been a good idea
Danish commercial promoting wearing helmets

Bike Helmets FAQ

This post is regularly updated to provide the most up-to-date product tips. If you find a product that is not up to date, please, contact me.

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