Best Winter Bike Helmets: Ensuring Warmth and Safety

Icy wind biting at your ears? Check out our expert recommendations for the best winter bike helmets. Safety & comfort in one! 🚴❄️

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Cyclist Standing In The Snow With Helmet On

Have you ever considered how the icy winds and snowy trails might call for special head protection?

Winter cycling presents challenges; having the right helmet can make all the difference. Drawing from frosty rides and feedback from cold-weather cyclists, this guide dives deep into the best winter bike helmets.

Whether you’re looking for thermal insulation, fog-resistant visors, or maximum comfort during those frigid rides, you’re on the right path.

Let’s take a look!

In A Rush? Here Are Our Top Winter Cycling Helmets

Best Overall
Safest Helmet
Best Fit
  • Versatile and convertible design
  • Durable and protective construction
  • Adjustable fit and removable earmuffs
  • MIPS technology for extra safety
  • Multi-sport and all-season capability
  • EZ-Fit system for easy adjustment
  • Comfortable fit
  • Thermostat Control Adjustable Venting
  • Brushed fleece liner and removable ear pads
Best Overall
  • Versatile and convertible design
  • Durable and protective construction
  • Adjustable fit and removable earmuffs
Safest Helmet
  • MIPS technology for extra safety
  • Multi-sport and all-season capability
  • EZ-Fit system for easy adjustment
Best Fit
  • Comfortable fit
  • Thermostat Control Adjustable Venting
  • Brushed fleece liner and removable ear pads

Reviews of the Best Winter Bike Helmets on The Market Today

Best Overall

Retrospec Traverse H1 Convertible Bike Helmet

Pros:
  • Versatile and convertible design
  • Durable and protective construction
  • Adjustable fit and removable earmuffs
Cons:
  • A little heavy
  • No visor
  • No MIPS
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Suppose you’re looking for a versatile helmet to protect your head in different situations. In that case, you’ll want to check out the Retrospec Traverse H1 Convertible Bike Helmet.

This helmet is designed for skiing and cycling, with a simple lining switch. It has a durable ABS shell and a shock-absorbent EPS foam interior that can reduce the impact of a collision.

It also has 10 vents to keep your head cool and comfortable and an adjustable dial to customize the fit.

To compensate for no visor or face covering, it comes with a goggle clip to keep your eyewear attached and removable plush earmuffs for warmth and protection. However, some riders found the clip to be too rigid. 

One thing that we don’t like about this helmet is that it doesn’t have MIPS technology, which is a system that reduces rotational forces on the brain in case of an angled impact.

This helmet weighs 19 ounces, a little heavier (due to the extra padding) than other winter bike helmets in this roundup. This might feel a bit bulky when used as a bike helmet.

Overall, the Retrospec helmet is an excellent option for anyone who wants a versatile and protective helmet that can be used for different outdoor activities. However, if you’re looking for a helmet with MIPS technology or a visor, you might want to look elsewhere.

Orange Retrospec Traverse H1 helmet vents
Retrospec Traverse H1 helmet vents
Safest Helmet

Bern Macon 2.0 MIPS Helmet

Pros:
  • MIPS technology for extra safety
  • Multi-sport and all-season capability
  • EZ-Fit system for easy adjustment
Cons:
  • No visor or face protection
  • No cold protection for ears
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The Bern Macon 2.0 MIPS Helmet is a high-quality helmet perfect for cyclists who want to stay safe and comfortable while riding.

This helmet is designed with MIPS technology. This can help prevent concussions and brain injuries, common in cycling accidents.

There are 12 vents to keep the air moving, but not too many to make you cold. What keeps you warm is a ribbed EPS liner. The liner can be easily converted into a summer bike helmet by swapping out the liner.

However, this winter bike helmet doesn’t have a visor or full-face coverage. It includes a removable goggle clip that can secure your goggles or sunglasses when you’re not wearing them.

It’s versatile, so you can use this helmet for recreational cycling, skating, and snow sports. It weighs 13.3 ounces, which is nice and light.

This helmet has a sleek and stylish design that suits any outfit and personality. It looks very serious in black, but there are great colorways. The kind of helmet that draws compliments on when you’re out with friends 😎.

Another minor issue is that the helmet might run a bit small for some people, so you should measure your head circumference before ordering.

While this is the most expensive helmet in the roundup, the Bern helmet is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a stylish and functional one. It’s perfect for cyclists who want to stay safe and comfortable while riding in any weather conditions.

Inside of a Bern Macon 2.0 MIPS Helmet
Inside of a Bern Macon 2.0 MIPS Helmet
Best Fit

Giro Timberwolf Cycling Helmet

Pros:
  • Comfortable fit
  • Thermostat Control Adjustable Venting
  • Brushed fleece liner and removable ear pads
Cons:
  • No visor or face shield
  • No MIPS
  • No color options
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The Giro is designed for mountain biking, commuting, and fat bikepacking in extreme temperatures. It has a sleek and rugged look, with a matte black color and a polyurethane bumper coating that helps to protect the EPS liner.

The helmet also has Thermostat Control Adjustable Venting that lets you customize airflow instantly with a button. The brushed fleece liner and removable ear pads offer extra coverage and warmth, making it an ideal choice for cold-weather cycling.

There is no face shield or visor, but it’s goggle-compatible.

This helmet meets or exceeds all the cycling helmet safety standards. The helmet weighs about 13.5 ounces for a small, which is light for a cold-weather helmet.

The In Form Fit System lets you make the helmet a perfect fit for your head. This is done by adjusting the vertical position and tension.

Similar to the Retrospec, this helmet is not equipped with MIPS technology. Some other Giro helmets, such as the Montaro MIPS II or the Tyrant Spherical, have this feature. However, they are more expensive and less insulated than the Timberwolf.

Another thing that we don’t like is that the helmet only comes in matte black, which might not appeal to riders who prefer more colorful or stylish options.

ILM Bike Helmet with Removable Visor & Earmuffs

Pros:
  • Removable visor and earmuffs
  • Compatible with glasses and goggles
  • Meets or exceeds safety standards
Cons:
  • Heavy
  • Limited color option
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The ILM helmet is designed to meet or exceed CPSC, ASTM, and CE safety standards, providing powerful protection to ensure your safety. The ABS shell and high-density EPS provide excellent protection.

The removable earmuffs combine comfort and warmth, making this helmet perfect for winter cycling. The removable visor can effectively block dust and gravel and protect your eyes. Additionally, wearing glasses does not affect the use of this visor. Replaceable visors can also be purchased.

It’s a versatile helmet that can be used in all seasons. It’s been listed as suitable for cycling, skateboarding, e-biking, skiing and scootering.

However, this helmet has some drawbacks you should know before buying it. 
One of the drawbacks is that the helmet is relatively heavy compared to other helmets on the market. Your noggin’ will feel tired after a long ride. Additionally, there are only three colorways available.

What To Look For When Choosing A Cold Weather Bike Helmet

Let’s look at winter biking helmet specs to ensure your safety during your cycling routine in cold weather.

Helmet Materials

No matter what season you’re using your helmet, it must have safe materials. The materials used to make a safe helmet aren’t actually that expensive.

The outer shell is usually made of plastic; the inner foam is often called EPS. EPS is light, durable, and inexpensive – the same stuff used to make picnic coolers.

But don’t worry, it’s a higher grade of that same material!

MIPS

What can make a helmet more expensive is the addition of MIPS. MIPS stands for the Multi-Directional Impact Protection System. MIPS helps to reduce the rotational forces of some impacts. 

Some experts say that MIPS can help riders avoid significant brain injuries.

Ventilation

When it comes to winter riding, you certainly don’t need as much ventilation, but you still need some.

Even in the cold, you’re going to produce some sweat. But you also don’t want a lot of cold air making you freeze your butt off!

Some helmets come with covers that can be placed over the vents to reduce airflow on cold days.

So, What Is Going to Keep Me Warm?

Your next question would be, what type of winter biking gear will keep me warm?

For winter bike helmets, some kind of inner lining is desirable. If it’s removable, it’s better so you can wash it and use the same helmet in summer as well. 

Fleece is an excellent and cozy addition to a liner that will keep you warm.

Because ears are a particularly cold part of your body, look for winter bike helmets that offer earmuff attachments or ear flaps. Again, it’s best if these are removable.

Man Cycling In Heavy Snow

Visor and Face Protection

A visor isn’t as important in winter, but there is still sun that you may need to block. It also helps with the wind.

Full-face coverage is great if you go hardcore and cycle in extremely cold temperatures. I don’t need it, but I don’t cycle much once it goes below freezing!

Most winter bike helmets don’t come with a full face covering. Look instead for a place to put your own goggles. Consider wearing a cycling balaclava for extra warmth.

Here are some tips and tricks on ways to ride in the snow:

Weight

Winter biking gear often means heavier equipment. Watch out for overly heavy winter bike helmets. They will be uncomfortable and cause neck pain on long rides.

Since we are looking at winter bike helmets, the weights may be slightly higher than standard helmets. This is due to additional padding and fewer vents.

What Does It Look Like?

For some riders, style is important. You’ll notice that most winter bike helmets have a sort of heavy, military look to them. That is generally because of the fewer vent holes. They also tend to be less aerodynamic. 

Look for helmets with bright colors and cool patterns to brighten things up.

How Does It Fit? 

A good-fitting helmet is worth its weight in gold. First, you need to get the right size for you. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on choosing the right size for your head size.

Once you’ve got the helmet, you’ll want to make adjustments. This sometimes means moving small foamy tabs around to match your head shape. This process is a bit of a pain, but once it fits your head, you’re good to go.

Some helmets have a dial that lets you simply turn your way to a perfect fit. If you need additional information on helmets, check out our guide on choosing a bike helmet.

Price

It’s not a great idea to skimp on a bike helmet. That said, even the cheapest helmet will be better than nothing. And price doesn’t always guarantee it is the safest.

With winter bike helmets, prices range from $50 to $150. Of course, there are always some obscenely expensive ones 🤑.

Check out this guide for more information on preparing for cold-weather cycling.

Two mountain bikers resting outdoors in the snow

Other FAQs

Why is a winter-specific bike helmet important for cyclists?

A winter-specific bike helmet is designed to offer added insulation and protection against cold weather elements, ensuring riders stay warm and safe.

Cold temperatures can reduce the efficacy of regular helmets, making winter versions a necessity for serious cyclists.

How do I maintain and care for my winter bike helmet?

After each ride, wipe your helmet down with a damp cloth to remove salt, sweat, and road grime. Store it in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.

If it has removable linings or ear pads, wash them periodically to keep the helmet fresh and hygienic.

How often should I replace my winter bike helmet?

Generally, helmets should be replaced every 3-5 years or immediately after a crash, even if there’s no visible damage. The protective materials can degrade over time, compromising the helmet’s effectiveness.

Final Thoughts

I’d put my hard-earned money on the Retrospec Traverse H1 Convertible Bike Helmet for the following reasons:

  • The product has made a serious effort to keep your head warm
  • An adjustable dial for fitting
  • Comes in great colors and patterns
  •  All while keeping its price pretty low!

The only serious downsides are its weight and the omission of MIPS. 

The jury’s still out on how much of a benefit MIPS is, but it may be an added feature on this helmet in the future.

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