The 8 Best Commuter Bike Helmets of 2020
Make sure you get to the office safely
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Bike commuters have different needs in a helmet than say road cyclists or mountain bikers. For commuting, you want a helmet that doesn’t scream “I wear Lycra!” in the way a traditional bike helmet does. Instead, commuter bike helmets should be stylish, low profile for easy storage off the bike, offer plenty of ventilation in addition to protection, and not break the bank in terms of affordability. And many urban bike helmets today add additional high and low tech features that help you safely or more easily navigate busy city streets on your way to and from work. Here are some of our favorite bike commuter helmets, perfect for a variety of situations.
Best Overall: POC Crane MIPS
As crash impacts don’t always happen straight on, POC’s popular Crane commuter helmet now comes with MIPS (Multi-Directional Impact Protection System) that works to reduce the rotational forces to your brain in the case of side-on impacts. Added protection comes in the form of a dual-density EPS foam liner that protects against both high and low energy impacts, with an extra tough outer shell to cut down on the possibility of dents. The interior of the Crane is treated with Polygiene, an antimicrobial agent that fights off the bacteria that cause odor. The helmet is generously ventilated so you don’t overheat. The lightweight helmet weighs 420 grams and comes with an adjustment system that helps you dial in the perfect fit.
Best Style: Nutcase Metroride
Protect your noggin and have a little fun at the same time. Filled with EPS foam, the commuter bike helmet is designed to disperse energy on impact. A dial fit system enables a custom fit and makes for easily taking the helmet on and off. An additional three custom pads help you to customize the fit even further. A magnetic helmet strap closure is easy to connect with one hand, while the under chin strap is covered with soft padding so as not to irritate your skin. Two large vents keep your head cool and the internal foam pads are moisture wicking to get rid of any sweat build up. Available in a variety of patterns and colors (we like the classic stripes), the Metroride Helmet comes with a snap-in visor and reflective straps for enhanced visibility.
Best for E-bike Commuters: Giro Camden MIPS
The low profile shape and urban sleek look of the Camden MIPS helmet make it perfect for city riding. Giro’s Roc Loc Air system hugs the back of your head and reduces the tendency of your helmet to shift forward or backward while delivering a snug, comfortable fit. Unlike most systems, the design provides adjustable tension that is independent of the helmet straps. Plush, antimicrobial padding on the inside of the helmet offers extra comfort while wicking away sweat and cutting down on the stink factor.
An integrated rear light makes the entire back of the helmet glow red so that you are better seen in traffic no matter the time of day. Four large vents can be adjusted on the fly to increase or decrease airflow. The Camden MIPS is also equipped with Multi-Directional Impact Protection System, which can redirect energy and provide more protection on side impacts, and it is certified to the new Speed E-Bike standard NTA 8776 for the latest in head protection technology.
Best Budget: Critical Cycles CM-1
This classic skate design helmet comes in three different sizes with two sets of interchangeable pads so you can achieve a fit tailor made to your head. Ten strategically placed vents keep you cool on hot commutes. An ABS plastic outer shell covers a thick layer of EPS foam to ensure your safety on impact — the CM-1 passed all the rigorous US CPSC Safety Standard tests without a problem. The interior padding not only feels comfortable against your head, but actively works to wick away sweat and cut down on the bacteria buildup that causes a helmet to smell bad after lots of wear. The result is that you stay dry and your skin irritation-free. The commuter bike helmet comes in a variety of matte colors to match your bike or personality.
Best for Heavy Traffic: Lumos Helmet
When you are riding in and out of traffic on busy streets, every little step towards letting drivers know your intentions goes a long way. The Lumos Helmet features integrated LED lights that indicate when you plan to turn right or left, as well as when you are stopping — 10 white LEDs on the front of the helmet with 38 red LEDs and 11 orange LEDs at the back helmet for turn signal and stopping indication. As you slow down, the red lights glow a solid red to make it clear you are getting ready to stop.
Via a wireless remote control on your handlebars, tap the corresponding turn button to activate the appropriate LEDs on the back, front and side of the helmet. The rechargeable battery lasts around six hours on flashing mode and three on solid mode. This high tech bike helmet fits most head sizes 54 to 61cm comfortably.
Best for Packability: Closca Helmet
Traditional bike helmets can be bulky and not exactly fashionable. The Closca Helmet solves both problems via a system of collapsible rings that allow the helmet to be folded flat for easy transport and storage. Subtle, hidden air vents help keep you cool on your commute, interchangeable visors can be combined with your daily looks, and a rear adjustment system ensures a comfortable fit. When folded, the helmet becomes as compact as a book, reducing the volume by 50 percent.
The Closca Helmet weighs from 250 grams to 290 grams depending on size. The helmet stays locked when on your head so it won’t collapse without notice. Closca has implemented Near Field Communication (NFC) into the helmet so you can connect it to your smartphone, and with it, register important information, from personal user data to an emergency contact. By just tapping your smartphone to the helmet, you can immediately call your registered emergency contact, and send them location data in the case of an accident.
You can even embed your Citibike information in your smartphone and, instead of carrying your Citibike card, use your Closca Helmet to pick up a public Citibike. Closca also created a variety of accessories for the helmet to change things up for different seasons and different looks, such as the wool hat liner for winter riding and different color visors to create a whole new look.
Best for Night Riding: Torch T2
The Torch T2 bike helmet features ten integrated LED lights that project onto shatterproof polycarbonate lenses at both the front and rear of the helmet. The five front white lights and five red rear lights deliver 360-degree visibility while you are on the road and at a higher vantage point than traditional bike lights so that drivers can better see you.
Rechargeable batteries deliver up to six hours of run time on steady or 36 hours on flash mode and recharge in just 1.5 hours. The helmet provides lightweight protection at 13 ounces while offering long-term durability at the same time. Eight air vents with interior channeling keep you cool on those summertime commutes. A dial-adjust fit system and two sets of removable padding let you customize the helmet to fit your head for sizes between 54 and 61 centimeters. The T2 comes in a variety of fun colors to match your style.
Best for Women: Bern Parker MIPS
Low profile and lightweight thanks to a liquid foam construction, the Parker MIPS delivers safety and style in a single package. Bern’s signature flip visor is removable for either style or weather reasons. The Parker MIPS uses a Boa 360 dial-adjustment system to deliver a custom fit and ensure the helmet stays in place on your head without ever slipping. It also extends to cover the back of your head, providing greater coverage and greater protection than traditional cycling helmets. And additional Multi-Directional Impact Protection System (MIPS) is designed to protect against injury to the brain caused by rotational impacts.