Let’s face it,if you really want to enjoy riding an ATV, you need to get yourself a great helmet. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. It’s not cool to not wear helmets anymore.
Despite being built for high performance, ATVs are notoriously unstable and in case of a fall, you don’t want to be caught with a crappy helmet, or worse – with no helmet at all.
With all the news of ATV-related crashes and deaths, some people think it’s a great idea to ride an ATV with no helmet or one that looks cool, but provides little in the way of protection.
It boggles my mind.
And with as much fun as riding an ATV can be, it’s also quite dangerous and you’ll only be doing yourself a disservice by putting yourself at risk without the proper head gear.
There’s a saying that goes: “If you’ve got a $10 head, buy a $10 helmet.”
The simple fact is this – your head is one part of your body that requires a great deal of protection while riding an ATV. Of all the individual pieces of protective gear you should own, the helmet is the single most important piece.
Crashes with head injuries have a higher fatality rate as compared to injuries to other body parts so you seriously don’t want to be playing games when it comes to protecting your head (or your life).
That being said, you don’t have to break the bank to get the best ATV helmet either. For a price below $300, you can get one of the best ATV helmets your money can buy – The Fox V2 Preme Helmet.
We’ll talk more about it a little later, but first let’s talk about a few things you want to keep in mind when you are considering buying an ATV helmet.
A Couple Things To Know Before Buying an ATV helmet
First, and foremost:
(i) Whatever you do, don’t buy an ATV helmet second hand
It might sound tempting, but the discounted price could come at a high premium. You don’t know if the helmet has ever been in a crash, and although unlikely, the helmet could have been reconstructed to look new.
ATV helmets are usually made to endure one impact. And one impact alone. Once it’s been in one crash, all bets, DOT and ECE certifications, are off. Some crashes might even damage the integrity of the helmet without leaving any marks.
When you buy an ATV helmet second hand, there’s no guaranteed way for you to tell if the ATV helmet has been damaged in any way, and you definitely don’t want to find out the hard way!
(ii) Look for DOT and ECE R 22.05 certification badges
DOT simply stands for US Department of Transportation and the DOT standard is a certification in line with the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) #218. It basically means that the helmet you are looking at has been certified to provide at least 105 degrees of peripheral vision on either side from the center, and passed impact and puncture testing.
On the other hand, ECE stands for Economic Commission for Europe standard R 22.05. It’s the equivalent of the European version of the US DOT certification. Its testing is slightly more rigorous than DOT and is recognized in over 50 countries.
If you’re looking at a helmet and you cannot find at least a DOT certification, put that helmet back down, but if the helmet has both a DOT certification and an ECE certification, it’s a good sign you’re on the right track!
Forget what you’ve heard about size not mattering.
Of course it matters.
…but fit matters more when it comes to picking an ATV helmet. If you really want to find a helmet that fits you perfectly then check out my other post that explains how to measure you head for the perfect helmet fit.
There really is no point to getting a helmet that’s not in your size or doesn’t fit you perfectly. It shouldn’t be too tight, or too loose. There should be no rattle room whatsoever.
Your helmet should fit snug.
A few simple tips for identifying if a helmet fits you perfectly are:
- If you don’t have to part the helmet slightly while you’re trying to put it on, it’s a bigger size than you need.
- After putting it on, turn your head left and right. Your head should turn with the helmet. If, on the other hand, the helmet turns slightly in a way that begins to affect your vision, it is too big.
- If the helmet doesn’t permit even one finger in around your cheek area, it’s probably too tight for you.
- Also, with the helmet on, turn your head quickly from left to right a few times and then move your head up and down. If the helmet moves separately for your head, it’s larger than your head needs and you should try a size down.
Something to note is that different manufacturers make their helmets with different head shapes and shell sizes in mind, so if the Large and medium sizes of a helmet don’t fit you perfectly, check a different manufacturer.
(iv) On Road or Off Road
You need to make sure you’re choosing the right type of helmet for your purposes. For on road and inner city riding, you might be better served by a full face helmet. On the other hand, if you’re blazing a trail in the woods, you should go for an off road helmet because full face helmets are heavier and will cause you a lot of strain after wearing it for a long period of time.
As a general rule, the more air vents a helmet has, the better. Helmets are supposed to protect you, but a helmet that isn’t well ventilated will do you more harm than good. You really don’t want to ever end up starving for fresh air when you put on an off road helmet, so the general rule is the more air vents, the better.
Full Face Vs. Open Face Helmets
Now you might be wondering, “If the ultimate goal is protection, why do some people go for an open face helmet instead of a full face helmet?”
To be honest, I don’t quite understand their reasons.
A full face helmet is designed to give you the highest level of protection that money can buy. It covers your face, the top and back of your head completely.
On the other hand, open face helmets mainly cover the top of your head, and some parts of the back of your head, and that’s it. Just like the name suggests, your face is left open to damage from crashes, accidental bumps with your handle bars, flying insects and pretty much anything that can come in contact with your face while riding an ATV.
Luckily, open face helmets are slightly less popular these days than they were in the ‘70s (which is where they should have stayed).
The only major drawbacks of the full face helmets are that they are heavy and not as ventilated, which is why when you want to ride off road in an ATV, your only option should be an off road helmet.
Off road helmets give you that balance between full protection and ventilation, and many of them are lightweight so you can pretty much drive for as long as you’d like.
My favorite helmet below $300 is the Fox V2 Preme Helmet.
First off, it’s produced by motocross industry giant, Fox Racing. With over a half-century of experience, it should be ample clear that when it comes to the helmet and protective gear game, Fox Racing is no greenhorn.
Fox receives heavy input from professional racers when it comes to the design and manufacturing of their racing gear, and to be honest, their Fox V2 Preme Helmet is another product that has few real competitors.
It builds on the success of its predecessor, the Fox V1 Helmet, and comes packed with a lot of amazing features that at a price just below $300, it’s a bargain.
While the Fox V1 Helmet featured an injected polycarbonate structure, V2 goes a step further, incorporating fiberglass instead which allows for a more protective, lighter helmet.
The Fox V2 Preme Helmet is also more ventilated with 10 inflow vents and 4 exhaust vents, in contrast to 7 inflow vents and 4 exhaust vents in the V1 helmets. In the Fox V3 helmets, the number of inflow vents goes up a little further to 14 and the shell is made of a mix of carbon fiber, kevlar and fiberglass, making it better than the V2, while also dropping a few ounces, becoming slightly lighter. There’s also that Magnetic Visor Release System in V3 helmets that makes it easy to take off the visor when needed and reattach it. Also, it comes off automatically in event of a crash.
The V3 is obviously better and more advanced, however, the Fox V2 Preme helmet is an amazing value, and a fantastic helmet.
Features of the Fox V2 Preme Helmet
Here are a couple things to expect when you get the Fox V2 Preme helmet:
- Intermediate Oval shape – this is the most common head shape in US. Chances are, you have an intermediate oval head shape and if you do, the Fox V2 Preme helmet is going to be a perfect fit.
- Bendable Peak – it’s made of fiberglass and flexible, so in case you ever are involved in a crash and slam it against a hard surface, it won’t break.
- Light Weight – at 3.09lbs, the Fox V2 Preme helmet is one of the lightest helmets ever made. You’re going to be glad you chose to go for it instead of other heavier helmets when you’re riding for a couple hours and still have no headaches or neck pain.
- Fiberglass Construction – The V2 goes a step further than its predecessor in this department. Fox Racing replaced the injected polycarbonate in the Fox V1 helmets with fiberglass for the Fox V2 Preme helmet. This offers added protection, while also making the helmet lighter.
- 3 Shell Sizes and 4 EPS sizes – Fox Racing really wants you to find your size with the Fox V2 Preme Helmet. By making it in 3 shell sizes and having 4 EPS sizes, Fox Racing has made the V2 literally adjustable to fit your head, regardless of how big or small it is.
- Durability – owing to the fiberglass composition of the shell, the Fox V2 Preme helmet might be lightweight, but it’s tough as nails. And its dual certification by DOT and ECE only further prove that it is indeed a durable helmet. Which is always a plus in any true ATV rider’s book.
- Exceeded DOT and ECE standards – Fox Racing really spared no expense with the Fox V2 Preme helmet. This helmet is so tough that it not only is certified by DOT and ECE, but it actually exceeded their standards. Translation – This is the kind of helmet any smart ATV rider should have on when going for a ride.
- 10 intake and 4 exhaust vents – every true ATV rider knows how important ventilation is. The Fox V2 Preme helmet steps slightly above V1 in terms of ventilation. With this helmet, you get 10 vents bringing air into the helmet and 4 vents taking air out. This allows this helmet to remain cool on those hot days when you’re out blazing a trail on your ATV.
- Dual Density EPS protection lining – EPS basically stands for expanded polystyrene, a form of styrofoam used to reduce the impact of crashes in helmets. Generally the more dense the foam, the more protection it offers and the Fox V2 Preme helmet gives you just that with its dual density EPS protection lining.
Overall, it’s safe to say that the Fox V2 Preme helmet is top of the line when it comes to ATV helmets. Fox Racing also took riders tastes and fashion trends into account when coming up with the eye-catching designs for this helmet. Trust me, the V2 Preme looks so cool you’d want to wear it around a lot.
It’s obvious that when you ride an ATV, you want to be as safe as possible while looking good at the same time!
Thankfully, the Fox V2 Preme helmet comes in various sizes so pretty much anyone can get it. There are 6 different sizes, ranging from extra small (XS) to extra2XL. Regardless of how big or small your head is, you stand a very high chance of finding your perfect fit. And when it comes to helmets, fit is crucial.
This Fox V2 helmet obviously packs a punch, yet, despite all it brings to the table, it’s relatively cheap. For $299.95 you can get your very own Fox V2 Preme helmet, and get all the protection your head deserves. And that’s not even the best part.
The crazy awesome colors of this helmet will put a smile on any ATV rider’s face. It has four color variants – 2 of which are yellow, one with red markings and the other with black, white, and red. The bright colors obviously make you easier to spot, while at the same time attracting more than a few eyeballs. Fox Racing has also made matching outfits, which you can get along with the helmet.
Getting a Fox V2 Preme helmet, in my honest opinion, is a no brainer. It’s packed with all the features required to keep you safe as you go for a ride on your ATV or compete professionally and there’s an added bonus – you get to look rad while you’re doing it! You can check out the most competitive prices for this helmet on Amazon by clicking here.