Are full face helmets uncomfortable? Some riders feel more restricted in a full-face motorcycle helmet. A full coverage helmet can also be extremely hot and restrict air flow to the face in extremely hot and humid riding conditions. Full face helmets can also be heavier than an open face helmet but with many of the modern high-tech materials the higher-end full face helmets are becoming quite light.
But while some motorcyclists may find full face helmets to be uncomfortable the benefits far outweigh any disadvantages.
While full coverage or integral style full-face motorcycle helmets can be more uncomfortable in extremely hot weather an open face or half helmet can be quite uncomfortable in cold weather or in the rain or in conditions where there is a lot of road debris or insects. A full face helmet not only provides protection from the cold but also from the impact of many types of objects that may be thrown up from the road or that are in the air like bugs or even birds.
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The most crucial factor in whether a motorcycle helmet is comfortable or not is it’s fit. A full-face helmet that fits well can be quite comfortable to wear even for long distances over many hours of riding.
Many of the new full-face models are quite light as they are made from composite materials including Kevlar and Carbon Fiber. Sophisticated ventilation systems keep the helmets much cooler than full face helmets in the past. However, in extremely hot weather, especially at slow speeds nothing is better than just opening the face shield to get maximum airflow like an open face helmet.
A properly fitted helmet is the best thing you can do to make sure it is comfortable. One of the key areas you want to look out for is the forehead region as a pressure point in the forehead will for certain make the helmet uncomfortable.
Finding a helmet that fits correctly can be time consuming depending on the shape of your head some people can wear where a wide variety of helmets and be perfectly comfortable while others require a special fit to find something comfortable. Many manufacturers have different shaped liners for different markets, some more round some more oval the best way to research this is to talk to and knowledgeable salesperson at a local shop or get on to some of the helmet manufacturers websites.
Arai which one of the first manufacturers to offer a choice in interior shapes to fit a wide variety of motorcyclists, but now many manufacturers do this. Arai offers a round oval and long oval interior fit. Recently I was in Bangkok Thailand in looking at a large display of AGV helmets and noticed they all had yellow labels on the face shield clearly identifying helmets as “Asian fit”.
Helmets will break in so if your helmet is just a little tight and uncomfortable it will be fine once you use the helmet for a month or so, but it can’t be too tight, and you don’t want to get into a situation where you’re trying to cut some foam out or compressed it to remove any high spots in pressure points on your head.
A motorcycle helmet should fit quite snugly but be pain free without any obvious pressure points. The helmet should not rotate easily on your head you certainly don’t want it wobbling while you’re riding in the event of an accident a loose helmet is much more likely to come off. A helmet that is too snug may be a bit uncomfortable, but a helmet that is too loose is dangerous in you should not wear it. Take the time to find a helmet that fits you correctly, one that has a snug fit, but is comfortable to wear.
So, while some riders find full-face helmets uncomfortable their benefits far outweigh any minor inconveniences and with modern new full-face helmets the comfort level keeps getting better each year.
Some Popular Questions and Answers: Are Full Face Helmets Uncomfortable?
Why Do Some People Find Full Face Helmets Uncomfortable or Comfortable?
One of the major reasons is they do not spend enough time researching and trying on helmets to find the correct size and fit for their own head.
Are Cheaper Full Face Helmets Uncomfortable?
Inexpensive full-face helmets may be more uncomfortable due to the fact that not much money has been invested into developing the helmet for the best fit. Also, and even more importantly better quality, more expensive helmets tend to have more plush comfort padding and liners made from more expensive and comfortable materials
Why Does the Liner Shape Affect Many Riders’ Belief That Full Face Helmets Are Uncomfortable?
Many motorcyclists do not realize that motorcycle helmets come not only in different shell sizes but in different EPS liner shapes as well. For example, there are helmet manufacturers that make size things specifically for intermediate or long oval heads. They say these are the most common shapes that people have.
The sizing varies between one manufacturer and another and between the areas of the world where the helmets are produced and sold primarily. If the rider spent a little bit more time finding a helmet that best fits their own individual head shape a lot less people with find the full-face helmets are uncomfortable.
Michael’s Summary and Conclusion
I have an unusual circumstance in that I have worn hundreds of helmets during my life. At any one time, I usually have between 5 and 7 that I use during any season of the year. Because of my profession, I’m in a fortunate position to be able to have many different helmets so that I can have specific helmets for a specific type of riding for which it is best suited. All the helmets are AGV. Currently, I have two full-face Street helmets, one that I keep in the US and one that is in Asia. I have two full-face helmets that I use for road racing that are both in the US.
These helmets have a smaller shell in a tighter fit than the helmets that are used for Street riding. They don’t have to be super comfortable for all-day riding as I’m only in the helmet for 20 to 30 minutes at a time. For racing or track days I much prefer a snug fit to keep the helmet from buffering or moving around at speed and having the added security that the helmet is unlikely to come off in the event of an accident.
This is also the reason I prefer helmets that have traditional double D rings instead of quick-release buckles. I have six full-face off-road helmets, all AGV AX 8 and AX 9 models, I keep two in the US and two in Asia. Since off-road helmets tend to get dirty and sweaty and need to be cleaned more often, I tend to double up, so I always have one fresh one ready to go co-ed anytime.
I also have an AGV AX 9 adventure touring helmet, which I bought specifically for use in Ukraine where I wondered about a helmet that I could use both on and off-road and in inclement weather. This turned out to be one of my best purchase decisions as the helmet is amazingly comfortable like a high-end Street helmet but lightweight like a premium off-road helmet the Shields seals well avoiding the need for using goggles in the Sun is quite nice to have.
This is a great all-around helmet and the fact it is super comfortable makes a perfect. The application I was looking for. Now I am curious if the new AGV motocross helmets are as comfortable as this new AGV AX-9 adventure touring helmet is.
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