Best Bike Helmets of 2022

Explore the great outdoors on two wheels with the safest bike helmets from Consumer Reports’ tests

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A CR technician testing bike helmets/
Peter Anzalone, who formerly oversaw bike helmet testing at CR, in the testing lab.
Photo: Brian Finke

Your bike is a great option for all kinds of getting around: commuting to work, exploring a new trail, cruising around town, or prepping for a century tour or bikepacking trip. But whether you’re headed for a long or short ride, you shouldn’t forget to wear a helmet to help protect yourself.

Bike riding has been on the rise. Because of the pandemic, a lot of people set out on two wheels for the first time in at least a year, according to survey data from the group PeopleForBikes. But cycling injuries have risen along with the number of cyclists on the road. And whether you take a tumble while out on a trail or you’re involved in an incident with a vehicle, a helmet can significantly reduce your risk of head injury or death. In fact, in 21 states and the District of Columbia, kids are required to wear bike helmets, according to the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute. And many cities and towns have other mandates for kids and even adults requiring helmets.

Consumer Reports tests help identify the best bike helmets that will help you ride safely. All of the helmets in our ratings are rigorously evaluated in the lab by our expert testers.

To test how well a helmet will absorb an impact, it’s strapped onto a head form and dropped from a little more than 2 meters in the air onto a steel anvil—at a speed of about 14 mph. This test is done four times to evaluate the impact absorption at different positions on the helmet. It simulates what would happen if a cyclist fell and hit his or her head on the front, the side, the rear, or the crown.

Our testers evaluate ventilation by wearing each helmet model in front of a ducted airflow, created by a fan blowing air through a wind-concentration fixture. And they examine the features, versatility, and ease of use of all the buckles and adjustments.

Remember, if you’ve fallen and hit your head while wearing a helmet, it’s time to get a new one.

Below are some of our top picks for adults (separated into road/mountain style and urban/skate style) and kids, in alphabetical order. Members can access our full ratings of more than 60 bike helmets for adults and over 20 bike helmets for kids.

We also note below which of these picks come with Multi-directional Impact Protection System (MIPS), Low Density Layer, Rotexx, Spin, or WaveCel, all of which are liners designed to reduce the risk of a concussion.

Best Bike Helmets for Adults (Road/Mountain)

CR’s top-rated bike helmet gets top marks for impact absorption and ease of use, and earns a Very Good rating for ventilation. It features WaveCel technology, comes in five sizes, and has reflective aspects for greater visibility in low light. There’s a crash replacement program in case you damage your helmet in an accident within the first year of ownership.

This CR Best Buy is one of the best helmets CR has ever tested. It gets top marks for impact absorption and earns an Excellent rating for ventilation, which means you’ll stay cool during long rides. It also features MIPS technology.

This relatively lightweight helmet is our top-rated mountain biking helmet. It earns an Excellent rating for impact absorption and comes with anti-concussive technology known as Low Density Layer. There’s a dial to make it easier to adjust the fit and reflective features to improve nighttime visibility. It also comes with a detachable visor.

This inexpensive helmet earns Excellent ratings for impact absorption and ease of use, and a Very Good score for ventilation. It’s relatively light and comes with MIPS technology.

Best Bike Helmets for Adults (Skate-Style/Urban)

This helmet earns an Excellent rating for impact absorption and ease of use. It’s available in three sizes and includes additional padding, a dial, and adjustable retention straps to help you find the right fit. It has surprisingly good ventilation for a helmet of this style, earning a Very Good rating. It comes with a 1-year warranty, and its reasonable price makes it a CR Best Buy.

This helmet earns Excellent ratings for impact absorption and ease of use, and it comes with MIPS technology. It’s on the heavier side and gets a Very Good score for ventilation, which is pretty impressive for a helmet this style. It comes in two sizes and has a convenient magnetic buckle and built-in LED lights.

Best Bike Helmets for Kids

This CR Best Buy gets top marks for impact absorption, ventilation, and ease of use. It has an easy-to-adjust strap for its retention system, a pinch prevention system, and a convenient magnetic buckle. It comes with a 1-year warranty.

This helmet gets top marks for impact absorption and comes with a 1-year warranty. Its low price and impressive performance make it a CR Best Buy. A dial makes it easy to adjust the fit, and reflective stickers improve nighttime visibility. Plus, a bonus for parents: The padding is washable.

This moderately priced helmet gets top marks for ease of use, and a Very Good rating for impact absorption and ventilation. It’s relatively light, and has reflective features for greater visibility in low light.

This helmet earns an Excellent rating for impact absorption, and Very Good scores for ventilation, ease of use, and fit adjustments. It comes in two sizes and is on the lighter side. It includes SPIN technology to mitigate rotational impacts.


Head shot image of CRO Health editor Kevin Loria

Kevin Loria

I'm a science journalist who writes about health for Consumer Reports. I'm interested in finding the ways that people can transform their health for the better and in calling out the systems, companies, and policies that expose patients to unnecessary harm. As a dad, I spend most of my free time trying to keep up with a toddler, but I also enjoy exploring the outdoors whenever possible. Follow me on Twitter (@kevloria).