Some help in finding a UTV helmet you can live with for every budget
Comedian Ron White once had a joke about a guy who claimed he could withstand the wind from a category 5 hurricane. White’s punchline was, “It wasn’t THAT the wind was blowing, but rather WHAT the wind was blowing. If you get hit with a Volvo, it doesn’t matter how many sit-ups you can do.” It’s a funny bit, but also really quite true, and it has a bearing on whether or not you think wearing a UTV helmet is a good idea.
Some folks don’t think they need a UTV helmet. “It has a roll cage!” We hear that one a lot. Want to test this one out? Hop in your UTV, buckle your seatbelt and then try to flop around. You’ll find you move around quite a bit. You can smack your head on the roll cage, and what happens when something comes inside the cage, like say, a tree stump? It won’t matter that you have a roll cage if an oak tree comes flying into the cab. We’re sure someone wants to see you come back from your ride safe and sound, so let’s focus on finding the best UTV helmet that works for you.
Bell Qualifier DLX UTV
One of our favorite UTV helmets, the Bell Qualifier DLX is a full-face helmet with a Transitions Adaptive shield that tints itself in the sun. What makes the Bell so cool is the forced-air system setup the helmet is equipped with that allows you to easily set up the helmet for dust-free riding. The helmet has Bell’s Velocity Flow Ventilation system with its FlowAdjust Force-flow ventilation system. All you need is a hose and air pump system and you’re dust-free and cool. The helmet comes with a Velcro-attachable dust skirt. We’ve used ours in extreme cold as well and found it to be very helpful. The helmet is set up for using a communication system, too. It’s a comfortable helmet that will keep you safe, cool and free of dust, which can ruin a ride. If you drive your UTV in dusty conditions, this is the UTV helmet for you.
Fly Racing Formula
We overheard someone arguing at our local dealership that if you’re in a UTV, if you wear a helmet it doesn’t have to be “good one.” On the contrary, if you like to go fast (and who doesn’t?) you have more reason to wear a top-tier helmet in a UTV. We’re fond of the Fly Formula helmets with the RHEON impact system. They’re lightweight, cool and fit great. The important thing here is that your head is protected from impacts from multiple directions, and that’s key to a UTV helmet. Smacking your head on the dirt sucks, but dirt does tend to give a little. Smack your head on a steel roll cage at an odd angle. Yeah, that doesn’t sound like something we’d be down for, and you wouldn’t much care for it either. The newest UTV helmets have liners designed for multiple impact points and extreme safety. Yes, they cost more, but if you’re spending upwards of $20,000 on a UTV, why not spend the extra on your helmet so you can enjoy it?
At the very least, consider open face UTV helmets. There are some fun variations, and you can enjoy some retro-styled skid lids, like this one from Daytona. One of the things that is especially cool about this helmet is, it is available for those with either a very small head, or a very large head, something that isn’t always the case with helmets in lower price ranges. These are also the lowest profile, open-face UTV helmets that have true DOT certification.
Most open-face UTV helmets are actually motorcycle helmets, targeted more at folks riding touring bikes. These lids actually work great for UTVs, however, as they have excellent ventilation and they have outstanding safety ratings. Arai is one of the bigger names in serious helmets, and the Ram-X is about as serious as it gets in open-face helmets. There are flip-down face shields and plenty of ventilation from the RAM system. One of the cool things Arai did was lower the center of gravity on the helmet so it fits lower on your head. That is one of those things that some don’t like with open-faced helmets. They don’t have the contact/coverage to the facial area, so the design gets more support higher on the head, making them feel top heavy. Not a problem with the Arai.
Fox racing V1 Youth
The littlest passengers need a UTV helmet, and you can get them some really sweet-looking helmets at reasonable prices. The Fox Racing V1 Youth has all the safety recommendations met, so you can feel more at ease. The best part of the Fox helmets is, they’re cool. We don’t just mean, ventilation, either. The Fox helmets look cool, which will make your kid want to wear one, especially if they see mom and dad doing it.
Legally, do you need to wear a helmet when driving a UTV?
Aside from the whole less-likely-to-be-injured thing, there are some other bonuses to wearing a UTV helmet. You have better options for keeping dust, sand, mud and rain out of your eyes, nose and mouth. From the legal standpoint, it depends on where you’re at. Some states, riding areas and/or local ordinances require wearing a helmet, too. This is especially true for kids, as some places may say adults can go without a lid, but kids need to have them. It sets a good example, too, for the kids that you wear one.
Personally, we don’t ride without UTV helmets. The staff here at ATV.com have all seen, first hand, how helmets save lives. Several of us are here today simply because we were wearing a helmet. It sure beats the alternative.
Intercom compatibility – an added bonus
Everyone likes to chat, especially when you’re out on the trail. UTVs can be nice, quiet places to cruise along, like in a model like a Polaris Ranger, or Yamaha Wolverine, but the turbo-powered sport models can be a little louder and harder to hear each other. Rugged Radios makes sweet intercom systems that work with your UTV helmet to allow you to hear each other and speak without shouting.
You can also tie in your phone so you can take calls if need be, but it’s always better to pull over to chat on the phone. We got to try out this system in Nevada when we took a family adventure in the Honda Talon-4. It is definitely worth it for families who ride together!
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