Can You Wear A Motorcycle Helmet With Glasses? Or No?

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When it comes to eyewear and helmets, they do not seem to jive well. People either look very good in it, or the eyewear just looks completely out of place with the helmet. But then again, can you wear a motorcycle helmet with glasses? Is it legal?

You can wear a motorcycle helmet with glasses. Some helmets accommodate glasses, while certain eyewear shapes work better with motorcycle helmets. You can also wear contact lenses, goggles, or visors.

In this post, let’s explore how you can make your experiences of putting glasses and motorcycle helmets together as good as possible.

Why Do People Wear Motorcycle Helmets With Glasses?

I wear eyeglasses with my helmet, usually sunglasses, to protect my eyes from bright lights. While it can be a bit cumbersome at times, I am willing to endure it for a more comfortable ride.

Me aside, other riders put on their glasses with their helmets while riding bikes for many reasons:

Vision Correction

Probably one of the most popular reasons is that many riders simply need prescription glasses to correct their vision. Some of us are not blessed with perfect eyesight and may have issues like:

  • Myopia (nearsightedness),
  • Hyperopia (farsightedness),
  • Astigmatism, or
  • Presbyopia.

For these folks, glasses are necessary and must be worn at all times, even while riding. Without them, they may be unable to see the road, read signs, or react to obstacles or potholes in time. 

Protection From Elements

This is another popular reason to protect the eyes from the elements. These could include:

  • Sunlight,
  • Dirt,
  • Bugs, or
  • Dry air.

If you think about it, unless you have some sort of face shield or visor with your helmet, your face and eyes are exposed directly to the environment. 

Can You Wear A Motorcycle Helmet With Glasses? - agvsport.com
Glasses are a excellent in protecting your eyes.

Direct sunlight may be too bright, and cause you discomfort. You also risk catching dirt and debris on your eyes, especially if you have vehicles in front of you. You can also blow dry air into your eyes directly when you ride. 

Eyewear can provide protection against these, which makes it truly popular with riders.

Better Night Vision

If you ride at night, you will know what I mean here. Glares from vehicle headlights and streetlights can be blinding, especially after rain. Some eyewear is designed to help with these issues, usually with anti-reflective coatings.

Some riders also wear prescription glasses customized to work better under low-light conditions, which helps them ride motorbikes at night.

Style

Many of us grew up watching traffic police officers with their big bikes, helmets, and aviator glasses. To some of us, that may look cool, and when we get motorbikes, it is natural that we want to do the same. 

Those on open-face or half-helmets may prefer to wear aviators, but those on full-face helmets may prefer regular sunglasses:

Can You Wear A Motorcycle Helmet With Glasses?

In short, you can. There should be no specific rules in US traffic laws that ban you from wearing glasses while wearing motorcycle helmets. 

In fact, take a look at the official safety book from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), US Department of Transportation. You will notice that NHTSA actually advises you to wear proper glasses to protect your eyes:

“Choose good quality goggles, glasses with plastic or safety lenses, or a helmet equipped with a face shield. Goggles, glasses, and face shields should be scratch-free, shatterproof, and well-ventilated to prevent fog buildup.”

Plus, think about this: If wearing glasses with helmets is not allowed, then what are the traffic cops doing, riding around wearing their aviator sunglasses?

Tips To Wear Eyeglasses With Helmets

Now that we know we can wear glasses with our motorcycle helmets, let’s look at some tips on how to make the experience better. 

These are from what I observed from other riders, and also from my own experience riding bikes for over 50 years:

Certain Glasses Fit Helmets Better

One of the biggest pains of wearing eyeglasses with motorcycle helmets is comfort. Most helmets aim to fit snuggly to your head to protect it during accidents, which means there’s little space for everything else. 

And there you go, trying to fit your glasses into the tight space. 

What usually happens is that riders force the temples of their eyeglasses through the paddings. This can be uncomfortable, as you may feel pressure on the sides of your head. The temple tips may also not sit well with your ears, causing pain. 

Generally, the thicker and harder the eyewear temples and tips, the harder they fit into your helmet. Consider getting eyewear with thinner and more flexible temples and tips; they conform better to your helmet paddings, giving you more comfortable wear.

Find Full Face Helmets That Accommodates Eyeglasses 

I mostly wear full-face helmets, and one pain of wearing glasses with full-face helmets is trying to jam my glasses into them. It can be uncomfortable, too, especially over long rides. 

However, more and more helmets today are better suited for eyeglasses. These helmets usually create a channel within the paddings, so your eyewear temple and tips have a space to slide in and sit. 

It makes the experience of putting on eyeglasses easier and more comfortable. 

These helmets may mention that they support glasses on their boxes or on the helmet itself. My KYT TT Course, for example, shows this on the helmet itself:

Can You Wear A Motorcycle Helmet With Glasses? - glasses-friendly helmets
Some helmets accommodate glasses better.

Modular Helmets May Work Well

Another issue with trying to put on glasses with full face helmets is it can also be harder to try to push the eyeglasses into your helmet. This is especially a problem if your full-face helmet has a smaller face opening. 

Modular helmets may make it easier for you to wear your glasses. Simply open the chin bar up, and you will have more space to try to fit your glasses in.

Modular helmets also usually come with more creature comforts, which means many are likely to have eyeglasses channels, making it even easier for you to put your glasses on. 

Workarounds If You Don’t Want To Wear Eyeglasses With Helmets

One thing I always get wrong when wearing glasses with my helmet is the order. 

Generally, you put on your helmet first before wearing your glasses. Then, when you take off your helmet, your glasses come off first, and then the helmet. I frequently got the order wrong.

If you have the same issue yourself, perhaps you may hate wearing glasses with your helmets. In this case, are there workarounds?

Integrated Sun Visors

If you mainly wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from bright lights, you may be able to replace your sunglasses with integrated sun visors. 

These helmets have sun visors that you can deploy or remove by simply pushing or pulling a lever on the side of your helmet. Once deployed, the function is just like sunglasses, shading and cooling your eyes from bright sun. 

In fact, I think they can do a better job with sunglasses since they cover more areas, your eyes are even better protected from the sun, and even your peripheral vision. 

One example would be the AGV Numo Evo ST. This modular helmet has interior sun visors that slide up and down and are not part of your face shield:

Can You Wear A Motorcycle Helmet With Glasses - AGV Numo ST

AGV Numo Evo ST: Buy on
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Transition/Photochromic Visors

Suppose you already have a helmet that you enjoy wearing and do not want to get another with integrated sun visors. In this case, consider upgrading the face shield with photochromic visors. 

These visors turn dark or transparent, depending on the amount of light shone on them. This means on a bright afternoon, your visors turn dark, shading your eyes. In the evenings, the visors become transparent, to allow more lights to come through to your eyes.

Many motorcycle helmet makers offer photochromic visors, although you may be more likely to see this offered with more premium brands such as AGV, Shoei, or Arai. 

Contact Lenses

If you are trying not to wear prescription glasses with your motorcycle helmets, then your next best option would be to turn to contact lenses.

Contact lenses correct your vision without requiring you to wear eyeglasses. You also would not need to jam your eyeglasses into your helmets and risk damaging them.

Can You Wear A Motorcycle Helmet With Glasses? Yes.

In this article, we discussed the question of can you wear a motorcycle helmet with glasses. The answer is yes; there is no law banning it. We also looked at some ways to make the experience more comfortable.

If you prefer not to wear eyeglasses with your motorcycle helmets, we also look at some workarounds you can try. 

The key here is this: do whatever suits you—wearing eyeglasses with motorcycle helmets is a rather personal decision, and you should do what you like with it. 

Hope the ideas here help. If you would like to, consider checking out some other related articles:

Michael’s Summary and Conclusion

Information for this article was partially sourced and researched from the following authoritative government, educational, corporate, and non-profit organizations:

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About the Author:

Michael Parrotte started his career in the motorcycle industry by importing AGV Helmets into the North American market. He was then appointed the Vice President of AGV Helmets America. In total, he worked with AGV Helmets for 25 years. He has also served as a consultant for KBC Helmets, Vemar Helmets, Suomy Helmets, Marushin Helmets, KYT Helmets, and Sparx Helmets.

In 1985, he founded AGV Sports Group, Inc. with AGV Helmets in Valenza, Italy. For over 38 years now, the company has quietly delivered some of the best protective gear for motorcyclists in the world.

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