Included in this guide:
The best commuter helmets will keep you safe on busy roads, protect your head in the event of a crash, while also getting you to your destination without overheating. As an added bonus, they come in a variety of styles so you can find one that you actually like wearing too.
Cycle commuting isn't always a high-speed affair, but if you're pedalling one of the best commuter bikes on busy roads alongside motorists, then a good quality commuter helmet can offer some peace of mind if you fear for your safety. For one thing, it can make you more visible to other road users (either via inbuilt lights or a vivid colourway) and crucially, it can protect your head in the unfortunate event of a crash.
While a traditional road or mountain bike helmet will serve a purpose, your commute is likely to require different properties than a club run or trail ride, and you might prefer to look like you're part of the active travel movement than out on a training ride. That's why the best commuter helmets offer maximum comfort with a more subtle aesthetic, without sacrificing safety.
If you are on a budget or keen to save some money, we also have a cheap bike helmets guide that rounds up the best value helmets and some unmissable deals.
Scroll down to find the best commuter helmets available to buy today, or head to the bottom for advice on how to choose the best commuter helmet.
Best commuter helmets
A scratch-resistant urban cycling helmet with a detachable peak
Weight: 413g | Size: M, L | RRP: $tbc / £89.00
The brand new Kask Moebius helmet is a stylish lid that provides really good airflow to keep your head feeling cool on hot days. It has a removeable peak that does a great job of shielding your eyes from the sun, as well as debris and rain, but is also comfortable to wear with a cycling cap, if you'd rather make more of a statement.
Although it's not the lightest helmet listed here, it's a solid contender for an all-round urban helmet that will feel supremely comfortable day in and day out. Its ergonomic fit, alongside the soft and dense interior padding, sits atop your noggin without making itself known too much.
Overall it looks good, offers sufficient coverage, and is surprisingly airy despite only having three vents in total.
Abus Urban-I 3.0
An all-round urban helmet with a built-in LED tail light
Weight: 250g | Size: S, M, L, XL | RRP: $tbc / £84.99
The Abus Urban-I 3.0 is the third generation of the German brand's most popular commuter helmet. Designed with safety at the forefront, the Urban-I 3.0 provides excellent coverage at the front and back of the head, and features an integrated LED tail light for added visibility at night.
This is a really nice addition, as it adds an extra layer of safety when sharing busy roads with motorists after dark, and having the light situated at the back of your head makes it even more likely to be seen. However we'd still recommend running a good quality rear light on your bike, as the helmet's light isn't quite bright enough to be relied upon solely. Check out our roundup of the best bike lights to help you choose.
A 3D-printed helmet custom made for your exact head shape
Weight: 344g (our review model) | Size: Custom | RRP: £299.00
HEXR is the world's first tailor-made 3D-printed helmet that's custom built for your specific head shape and size. You either have your head scanned in person at the London HQ, or you can use an app to make a scan of your own head. The scan is then used to map out the exact shape needed for the interior of the helmet, and the rest is built around it.
What results is a one-of-a-kind lid that fits your head like a glove, offering unparalleled comfort. What's more, it comes with lots of green benefits: it's made from castor bean oil, which is a renewable resource, and because all HEXR helmets are made to order, there isn't any surplus stockpiled in a warehouse collecting dust. And once you're done with it, you can return it to be recycled.
It requires a bit of an investment, but it's easy to see the benefits.
A more versatile helmet that can double up as a commuter and road lid
Weight: 261g | Size: S, M, L | RRP: £130.00 / €134.00 / $199.00
The third iteration of Kask's popular Mojito, the Mojito³ saw an updated aesthetic, more ventilation points and increased safety features. The Mojito range is technically a road helmet, however, as Kask's most affordable performance road option, it can double up as a commuter lid as well, mitigating the need to own more than one.
The previous Up'N'Down retention system has been replaced by the brand's Octo Fit system, which offers refined vertical and horizontal adjustment. This means you can fully fine-tune the fit to your head. Inside you'll find a one-piece internal padding made from Kask's exclusive Blue Tech nylon, which wicks away moisture and feels really soft to the touch.
Lots of air vents mean you'll stay fresh and cool even on the hottest days, while it can be paired with a winter cap when the temperatures drop, making it an excellent option for those wanting one lid to rule them all.
Giro Camden MIPS
Advanced commuter helmet from Giro
Weight: 355g | Size: S, M, L | RRP: $190.00 / £179.99
Subtle in appearance but structured with exceptional safety in mind, the Camden has generous coverage around the lower aft skull area. It also features the patented Swedish MIPS liner technology to reduce rotational forces if you suffer an awkwardly-angled head strike.
All these features have allowed Giro to achieve the new Speed e-bike safety standard rating for its Camden, which is now the gold standard for the best commuter helmets.
With ten ventilation ports, the Camden will keep you cool on those warm midday commuting routes and its fit is seamless, thanks to Giro’s Roc Loc system. For those dawn and dusk rides, there is an integrated rear light too.
Bell Annex MIPS
The all-weather option
Weight: 350g | Size: S, M, L | RRP: $125.00 / £114.99
An excellent all-weather commuter helmet, the Bell Annex MIPS is outstandingly adjustable.
It tallies a very generous number of vents, fifteen in total, which you can selectively cover in cold conditions. Bell’s Slider function allows you to cover vents when they aren’t needed, which makes the Annex the best commuter helmet for those frosty mornings or chilly evenings, especially if you are riding at speed.
The Annex’s inherent impact safety is excellent, thanks to the presence of a MIPS liner. There is a light-clip at the rear of the helmet, to increase your visibility to other road users when required, although at this price, an integrated light would not have gone amiss.
A modest soft visor adds additional eye protection, to guard your vision against sun glare or light rain.
Bern Hudson MIPS
Superb design and highly functional
Weight: 350g | Size: S, M, L | RRP: $119.99 / £109.99
Bern is a privately owned helmet company which has been perfecting street-inspired riding gear for the last decade and a half.
With its Hudson MIPS, Bern manages to combine form and function, in a mid-priced commuter helmet. The Hudson’s shell is polycarbonate and its structure has generous ventilation ducting, with 13 vents in total.
Protecting you in the case of an impact, is EPS absorbing foam and the acclaimed MIPS liner system. An integrated rear light makes any Hudson MIPS wearer highly visible in low-light conditions and overall helmet comfort is enhanced by a turn dial, to set fit tension.
True to its stylish street-gear roots, the Hudson MIPS has a soft peak visor which is removable.
Weight: 400g | Size: M, M/L, L | RRP: $69.99 / £54.99
This German helmet might not have the hipster styling of some other commuter options, but it boasts impressive specification at a very keen price.
With 13 air vents, the Hyban ensures great thermal comfort in warm riding conditions. It also has a compact visor peak, to shield your eyes from early morning or late afternoon sun glare.
An integrated rear light and some vivid colour options ensure that Hyban wearers are always visible to other road users on their commute. Although not a candidate for any style awards, there is little faulting the safety specification and overall design merit of this Abus commuter helmet.
Kali Protectives Saha
A stylish urban commuter helmet
Weight: 475g | Size: S/M, L/XL | RRP: $60.00 / £tbc
For commuters who value sustainability and style, this is the helmet for you. The Kali Protectives Saha is made from recycled materials, without the use of solvents. This renewable approach does not ignore safety, with the Saha featuring industry standardised EPS foam to absorb any impact.
There are two options, the Saha, and the Saha Luxe which comes at a $15 premium. With its denim finish and minimalist visor, the Saha Luxe looks like a classic commuter headwear accessory and will carry favour with those who want a helmet that blends with their casual wear.
Airflow management is via eleven vents, sure to keep you cool even on a hot day, whilst waiting for that traffic light to turn green.
When style matters
Weight: 410g | Size: S, M, L | RRP: $89.00 / £81.95
If you desire a stylish commuter helmet with graphic designs to express your individuality, the Thousand’s Heritage is for you.
Thousand offers no less than 16 different colours and designs for its Heritage helmet range, mostly drawing inspiration from the 1950- and 1960s Vespa scooter movement. Beyond the inarguable style factor, there are credible ergonomics too. You won't have to fiddle with the securing mechanism, as it features a magnetic buckle, allowing for single-handed fastening.
Overall fit comfort is assisted by a simple dial fastening system and stylish microfibre straps keep the Thousand Heritage helmet in place. It has a comparatively low vent count, with only seven to facilitate airflow.
Thousand’s industrial designers have added a Pop-Lock system to the Heritage helmet, which allows you to pop open a circular port on the side, allowing a bike lock to thread through. Ideal for those moments when you wish to leave the helmet with your bike, instead of having it on a table, at a meeting.
The choice for those long distance commutes
Weight: 305g | Size: S, M, L | RRP: $250.00 / £199.00
Oakley is best known for making some of the best cycling sunglasses, but the Californian brand also markets a diverse collection of protection equipment and the ARO5, not designed specifically for the commuter, looks to fit the bill for those swinging a leg over a road bike each morning.
For commuters who are routing large distances to work, the ARO5 is a great choice. Its aerodynamic shape will save your energy on a long ride and a MIPS liner is there to protect you in a crash.
You would expect an Oakley helmet you have some excellent sunglass stowage features and the ARO5 obliges. There is an eyewear dock, facilitated by the brand's TX1 lace, ventilation ports at the front of the helmet.
Lazer Sport Compact
Single size value
Weight: 325g | Size: Unisize | RRP: $tbc / £29.99
The Lazer Sport Compact is a true value road riding helmet. It might lack the considered design of other dedicated commuter helmets, but there is no arguing with either its price or ventilation capability.
With 20 vents, this is a helmet which will keep you cool on even the most testing of summer days. Lazer Sport has also positioned its Compact with entry-level pricing, which makes its terrific value.
There is only a single size, though, which claims to be suitable for head sizes 54 to 61cm, and this could be an issue for riders who like a snug fit. Although you can select a generous spread of tension with the Compact's retention system, it will never feel quite as integrated and secure as an appropriately sized small, medium or large helmet.
How to choose the best commuter helmet
Most helmets use a similar EPS foam structure to absorb crash impact and protect your head from trauma. Where helmet technology has advanced is reducing the influence of rotational impacts.
Research shows most crashes see a rider impacting the road surface or pavement at an awkward angle. As your helmet deflects impact, it can trigger a sudden jerking of the head, applying unwanted rotational acceleration to the brain.
To prevent this, the MIPS-liner was developed and is now used as standard fitment by many helmet brands. How does it work? The MIPS system sits inside a helmet’s retention structure and allows for a small amount of slippage. During a crash, a MIPS-liner decelerates those forces that your helmet’s sudden change of position might apply to the head.
MIPS isn't the only option though, so look out for any option that has some form of built-in rotational impact protection.
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Commuters are typically in less need of many ventilation ports. While the speeds they ride are typically lower than road cyclists, the effort level is also usually lower, meaning less heat is generated.
Urban riders should consider the built environment they are routing through. Concrete and asphalt radiate heat throughout the day, so if you are a dedicated urban commuter, in a heavily built-up area, those summer rides could become a touch hotter than expected. If you live in a warmer area, then be sure to consider ventilation in your choice of helmet.
The same can be said for riders who live in colder countries or continue to commute during winter. If you are a committed poor-weather commuter, a helmet with more coverage and fewer ventilation ports will keep you warmer.
Most helmets are available in a selection of sizes, but while they are usually sized in small, medium, large, that isn't comparable across different brands. Fortunately, all brands offer some form of sizing chart. Using a fabric tape measure or a piece of string, measure the circumference of your head and be sure to compare this number against each brand's sizing chart before you buy.
The potential safety benefits of the best commuter helmets don't only come in the event of a crash. They can also help to keep you visible on the roads. If you often ride in dark conditions, look for a helmet with inbuilt lights, and be sure to check out our guide to the best bike lights for extra visibility.
Lance Branquinho is a Namibian born media professional, with 15-years of experience in technology and engineering journalism covering anything with wheels. Being from Namibia, he knows a good gravel road when he sees one, and he has raced some of Africa’s best-known mountain bike stage races, such as Wines2Wales and Berg&Bush.
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