Investing in a good helmet should be the first purchase for any ATV or UTV rider. Here are the 10 best ATV helmets money can buy.

I was young, screaming around the trails by my house on my Yamaha Banshee. I was sporting some sweet gear and the crown jewel was my Bell Helmets Moto 4 Ricky Johnson signature helmet – the coolest helmet ever (yes, I’m that old) and one of the best ATV helmets available at the time. I was riding along a trail that was converted rail line, so the ground was crushed rock. I didn’t see the washout until it was too late.

The accident was pretty bad. I had been pulled under the machine in the air and it landed on me, slamming me both into the ground and crushing me under the machine. I was bloodied, mangled and with parts of me that weren’t where they we supposed to be – BUT – I was alive. The helmet had done what it was supposed to do and took the brunt of the impacts to my head. My sweet skid lid was toast, but I lived to buy a new one.

Wear a helmet, plain and simple. It’ll save your life. The helmets available today are so advanced that you really can’t go wrong. Find one that fits right, is in your budget and have at it. Any helmet is better than no helmet, but here are the 10 best helmets money can buy.

1. Fly Racing Formula

Fly Racing spent several years working to develop what is one of the most advanced helmets ever created. The Formula mates a high-tech carbon shell with an all new interior liner with multiple EPS systems and RHEON Energy Cells that absorb low speed and rotational impacts better than any previous helmet design. Every aspect of the helmet is designed to keep you safe when things go as bad as they can get during an accident.

2. 6D - ATR-2

The newest helmet from 6D is one of the safest on the market with a new dual liner system that can actually be rebuilt by 6D in case of damage. It protects your head from multiple impacts from multiple angles, meaning that all the weird stuff that can happen during an accident won’t end up doing serious damage to your noodle. The outer shell is made from a new tri-composite material that increases the integrity of the shell while working to do less damage to your other bones in the event of an accident.

3. Arai Helmets VX-Pro 4

Arai has been around for a long time and makes some of the best ATV helmets, not to mention among the most comfortable, money can buy. The latest one, the VX-Pro 4, has more venting than any previous model. Many pro motocrossers trust Arai.

4. Shoei VFX-W

Shoei is well known for lightweight, well-vented and comfortable helmets that fit great. The VFX-W is no exception and that’s why it made our list of the best ATV helmets.

5. Bell Moto-9 Carbon Flex

The latest Bell Helmet, the Moto-9 Carbon Flex, is a great-fitting, lightweight masterpiece of safety gear technology. A carbon fiber matrix shell reduces weight and offers outstanding protection.

6. Troy Lee Designs SE4

Troy lee started off painting the helmets of the stars back in the 1980s. He went on to design his own line of gear and produce some of the best ATV helmets available. The fact that each lid is decked in an original TLD paint job ups the cool factor.

7. Fox Racing V3

Fox Racing, a storied brand of moto gear, started making helmets that matched its legendary gear in both style and quality. Many riders swear by them for fit and protection and the V3 looks like a winner.

8. Leatt Helmet

Created by the same doctor that developed the neck brace that has become standard equipment for motocrossers, Leatt Helmets have tons of protection in a package that weighs less than 4 pounds!

9. Just 1 J12 Carbon

Just 1 makes some very interesting gear that has been gaining some attention as of late for fit and function. The J12 helmet is made from a carbon composite outer shell and is designed to function perfectly with any neck brace available today. This makes these helmets very popular with riders who are looking for a helmet that fits their brace, something that some helmets just won’t do.

10. AGV AX-8 Evo Carbotech

AGV used fiberglass, carbon fiber and Kevlar to create a helmet that protects your head and weighs just 3.2 lbs – the AX-8 EXO Carbotech. An increased chin area adds additional protection and better fit.

What is the best helmet?

Helmets are constantly evolving and what was the best helmet a couple of years ago has been eclipsed by new innovations. One of the big things going on with the current crop of ATV and off-road helmets revolved around making them better at absorbing impacts from multiple directions. If you think about how a helmet takes a hit, the impact occurs and the force gets transmitted into the EPS foam liner. That initial impact is spread through the foam, but that immediately diminishes the helmet’s ability to absorb additional impacts. What does that do for your head? Well, it can lead to a concussion. The latest developments allow the helmet to take multiple hits from multiple directions, which is what happens during most accidents. The newest helmets are so good at doing this that the NFL and other sports where helmets are worn are now looking at ATV and motocross helmet manufacturers for developing safer helmets for other sports.

How much should I spend on a helmet?

The old adage is to buy the best helmet you can afford. This is an important thing to keep in mind. Buy the best you can afford, but buy – and wear – a helmet! The most expensive helmet on the market means nothing if you don’t wear it. The cheapest helmet is better than no helmet. If you do a lot of riding, a good helmet is a must. The best ATV helmet is the one on your head.

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