Best XC MTB Helmet – Review and Buying Guide

XC cycling is nothing similar to road bike rides. You have to upgrade your cycling gear to outdo the other competitive riders in the Cross Country (XC) races.

All kinds of XC MTB races including the Olympics, Eliminators, and Marathons races are designed to test your credibility as a rider. You have to display your cycling skills by completing the terrain before all the other competitors. You cannot compromise on safety.

In XC cycling, the riders have to go through diverse, uneven, and unexpected terrains. As the name cross country indicates, you will have to ride through forests, fire-wood trails, grassy lands, twisted paths, hilly tracks, and much more. A cross country MTB helmet is a must as it provides safety against head injuries, provides good aerodynamics to move faster, and nice ventilation during the whole uphill struggle.

Best XC MTB Helmets Overview

IMAGE PRODUCT DETAILS
Best Overall Best Overall Giro Aether Spherical Adult Road Bike Helmet
  • Weight: 1 pounds
  • Size : Small (51-55 cm)
  • Recommend For : Cycling
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Highly Recommended Highly Recommended POC Octal X Spin Helmet
  • Weight: 1.7 pounds
  • Size : Small
  • Recommend For : Cycling
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Most Attractive Most Attractive SCOTT Arx Plus Helmet
  • Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Size : Small
  • Recommend For : Cycling
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Editors Choice Editors Choice Smith Convoy Mips Helmet
  • Weight: 0.7 pounds
  • Size : X-Small
  • Recommend For : Cycling
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Best Seller Best Seller Rudy Project Spectrum Helmet
  • Size : Large
  • Recommend For : Cycling
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More Durable More Durable Giro Syntax MIPS Helmet
  • Weight: 0.6 pounds
  • Size : Small (51-55 cm)
  • Recommend For : Cycling
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ABUS GameChanger Helmet
  • Weight: 2 pounds
  • Size : Small
  • Recommend For : Cycling
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Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Kask Protone Off Road Helmet
  • Weight: 0.47 pounds
  • Size : Small
  • Recommend For : Cycling
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Buying Guide To Choose Right Helmet for XC

What to Look For While Choosing XC MTB Helmet
Buying Guide: Best XC Helmet

8 Best XC MTB Helmets Review

best xc mtb helmet - Featured Image
Featured Image: Best XC MTB Helmet

Here I have brought to you the best XC MTB helmets that will help you through the tough grind on the biking road. Scroll down to find out.

1. Giro Aether Spherical Adult Helmet

Specifications

  • Weight: 1 pounds
  • Size: Small (51-55 cm)
  • Recommend For: Cycling

The Giro Aether Spherical Adult Road Bike Helmet will make you shine as it has all that an MTB rider will ever dream of. It has got the style, strength, weight, and structure that will make your XC MTB experience less problematic and more fun.

Giro has one of the most renowned and best-selling sports products that are trusted worldwide. The Giro Aether has the perfect combination of one of the best technologies out there. The outer body of the helmet is made up of six pieces of polycarbonate material.

Polycarbonate is a strong, light, and durable material with impact-resistant properties. The outer shell has six pieces so that when the rider has an intense impact the helmet doesn’t shatter. Below the tough shell, there is progressive layering that cushions the head properly.

The dual-layer contains a layer of EPS and EPP foam, these two layers give you impact protection against high-speed and low-speed impacts, respectively. The nanobeads technology and 21 wind tunnel ventilation give it top-notch breathability and safety.

It has the combination of the two best safety technologies, the spherical technology and MIPS. Spherical technology allows ventilation and safety as the two layers can slide and on impact move to reduce the effect.

The MIPS stands for Multidirectional Impact Protection System. It is one of the best safety systems to protect the cross country MTB rider from severe brain injury. The MIPS is placed between the polycarbonate and EPS layer to reduce the friction which is produced as a result of a collision.

What I Like?

  • Six-piece polycarbonate shell
  • Spherical technology
  • Aura reinforcement arc
  • Roc Loc 5+ Air

What I Don’t Like?

  • Expensive

Why I Recommended Giro Aether Spherical Bike Helmet

The Giro Aether Spherical Adult Road Bike Helmet has 21 wind tunnel vents that allow the air to flow through the helmet. This will keep your head cool through the intense XC MTB track. It has a Roc Loc 5+ Air fit system that allows you to adjust the fitting of your helmet with the help of a dial at the back of your helmet. The Aura reinforcement arc prevents the helmet from shattering, in case of a strong impact. It is available in more than 16 different colors, so riders can freely choose one for XC MTB races.

If you’re a downhill MTB rider then you should go through downhill helmets review.


2. POC Octal X Spin Helmet

Specifications

  • Weight: 1.7 pounds
  • Size: Small
  • Recommend For: Cycling

The POC Octal X Spin Helmet is the best MTB helmet for XC races and trails. It has the best protection, style, and ventilation system that will help MTB riders along the XC paths. The 0.77 kg helmet has a tough outer shell made up of polycarbonate plastic.

The material gives the helmet the toughness and strength to endure any impact. It is lightweight, so you can wear the helmet all day long without noticing it. It has a CPSC certificate which means it fulfills the safety criteria of the US.

The Octal X Spin has Aramid bridge technology which makes the Octal X Spin Helmet more safe and comfortable than the Octal Helmets by POC. The tough polycarbonate shell gives you protection and the aramid fiber inside it gives cushioning to the rider’s head.

The mold-in structure of the helmet binds the outer tough shell with the inner aramid and EPS lining. The aramid fiber forms a bridge between the outer layer and the high protection inner EPS lining.

Whenever you will get an impact force the helmet will spread the force and the risk of brain injury will reduce. It has one of the best POC impact protection technologies known as SPIN technology.

The helmet contains silicone padding along the whole helmet helps it to reduce the rotational forces produced upon impact. It also has large heat dissipation properties, so the rider’s head will remain cool on the XC terrain.

What I Like?

  • SPIN Technology
  • Large POC ventilation port
  • Aramid Bridge technology
  • Warranty

What I Don’t Like?

  • Expensive

Why I Recommended POC Spin Bike Helmet

The POC Octal X Spin Helmet is the best MTB helmet to accompany XC MTB riders. It has large vents for high ventilation, so you will not feel any kind of uncomfortable moisture. It has an easy-to-adjust fitting system that will help you secure your head properly. The Octal X Spin is available in three different colors that are Uranium Black, Hydrogen White, and Furfural Blue. The POC Octal X spin comes with a one-year warranty.


3. SCOTT Arx Plus Helmet

Specifications

  • Weight: 1.4 pound
  • Size: Small
  • Recommend For: Cycling

The SCOTT Arx Plus Helmet truly deserves to be on the best XC MTB helmet list. If you are in search of a durable, high-performance, comfortable, and affordable helmet with high protection features, then the SCOTT Arx Plus is the best MTB helmet for XC trails.

Due to its amazing features and pocket-friendly price, it is one of the best-selling MTB helmets for XC. The Arx Plus Helmet by SCOTT has a dimensions length of 10 inches, a width of 13 inches, and a height of 8 inches.

The SCOTT Arx Plus Helmet for adults has a cool design and weighs around 1.4 pounds. It is a Unisex helmet, so you can select any color you want without worrying about the size.

High-quality materials are used in the construction of the Arx Plus which gives it longevity. The outer shell is made up of polycarbonate material which is a light and tough plastic material that will prevent you from experiencing weight while riding.

Inside the resistant shell, the helmet has two layers for protection. One is the foam layer made up of Expanded polystyrene which is a lightweight martial art made up of ball-like microstructures. It protects the head when you encounter a crash.

The second is the MIPS Protection system which is a multi-directional impact protection system that will reduce the force experienced due to the rotational forces produced at the time of the crash.

What I Like?

  • Inner expanded polystyrene material
  • MIPS Safety system
  • Trickle-down technology
  • MRAS 3 fit adjustment

What I Don’t Like?

  • Smaller fit

Why I Recommended SCOTT Arx Plus Helmet

The SCOTT Arx Plus Helmet has multiple ports for ventilation and allows proper air movement. The helmet also has trickle-down technology which provides the Arx plus extra protection. It helps the helmet to disperse the force between the EPS and MIPS layers. The Arx Plus has an MRAS 3 as the fitting system. The dial at the back can be adjusted to provide you with a snug feel. It is available in 9 different colors.


4. Smith Convoy Mips Helmet

Specifications

  • Weight: 0.7 pounds
  • Size: X-Small
  • Recommend For: Cycling

The Smith Convoy Mips Helmet is a bang for your bucks as it provides the rider with high performance, comfort, safety, and durability at a surprisingly affordable price.

The MTB Helmets that are introduced by Smith are suitable for XC sports and will protect the rider from injury and have the best aerodynamic design.

The classy MTB helmet has a dimension of 12.6 inches in length, 9.84 inches in width, and 7.48 inches in height.

The Smith Convoy Mips Helmet is the best XC MTB Helmet as it has the best fitting system along with a MIPS safety system. It has an in-mold shell construction. The upper layer is made up of polycarbonate plastic.

It is suitable for smooth trail rides and mountain biking. It weighs around 0.3 kg and is one of the lightest MTB helmets for adults. The Smith Convoy MIPS helmet is a unisex helmet that you can use without worrying about gender distinction.

It has 20 vents that allow maximum airflow, keeping your head cool and dry. The vents also contribute to the aerodynamic structure of the helmet. The fitting system allows the user to adjust it in different directions.

The Vapor Fit system helps the helmet to move for 5 cm, so you can rotate it in all four directions to get the perfect fit that you need. It has a structure for a visor integrated into the helmet, but you will need to buy it separately as the helmet does not come with one.

What I Like?

  • Vapor fit system
  • Adjustment in all directions
  • 21 air vents
  • Air Evac Ventilation

What I Don’t Like?

  • Single-layer lining

Why I Recommended Smith Convoy MIPS Helmet

The Smith Convoy Mips Helmet has a MIPS safety system that will help you protect your head from rotational forces. It has an AirEvac Ventilation system that will help you in the dissipation of heat and moisture, so your vision is not affected due to a blur visor. This will reduce the chances of accidents on the XC roads. It comes with a CPSC certification which means it fulfills the criteria for providing safety to the riders in the US.


5. Rudy Project Spectrum Helmet

Specifications

  • Size: Large
  • Recommend For: Cycling

The Rudy Project Spectrum Helmet provides ultimate protection, light coverage, a super adjustable fitting system, multiple color options, and much more.

The Rudy Project helmet manufacturer has upgraded the performance of their MTB helmets, so you can freely use the Spectrum helmets range for XC races.

It will keep you safe, whether you are riding through smooth roads or uneven hilly trails.

The Spectrum Helmet By Rudy Project has dimensions of 12 inches in length, 10 inches in width, and 14 inches in height. The outer shell has nothing exceptional to offer. The helmet has the same polycarbonate plastic material, similar to the other high-end brands out there. The Spectrum helmet is super light in weight with a weight of 0.5 lbs. to give you exceptional light and comfortable feel.

The Rudy Project Spectrum Helmet has three layers of Expanded Polystyrene foam lining inside the shell. These layers are light and airy. The microfibre ball-like structure spreads the force over the whole structure, so you cannot feel the impactful force.

It has no rotational safety, but it has a 360-degree retention system, thanks to the RS10 retention system provided by the manufacturers. It encloses the whole head of the rider to prevent any kind of severe injury.

What I Like?

  • Triple EPS layer
  • 360-degree closure
  • RS 10 Retention system
  • 15 Large ventilation port

What I Don’t Like?

  • No Rotational Safety

Why I Recommended Rudy Project Spectrum Helmet

The Rudy Project Spectrum Helmet has large ports for ventilation and airframe bands are integrated to give maximum air circulation that will reduce sweating and keep the head cool. It has large ports that are 15 in number to give it lightweight, ventilation, and aerodynamic stability. It has a fastex buckle system with an adjustable knob at the rear side of the helmet to give you a nice fitted feel. The mesh net will act as a bug stop. It prevents the small insects that are likely to get inside the helmet on the wild terrains.

If you’re looking for a full face helmet, have a look at my detailed review about full face helmets


6. Giro Syntax MIPS Helmet

Specifications

  • Weight: 0.6 pounds
  • Size: Small (51-55 cm)
  • Recommend For: Cycling

There are many ultimate XC MTB Helmets manufactured by Giro. The high-quality material and impeccable performance of the MTB helmets by Giro make it obvious to add more than one Giro helmet to the top 10 list of the best XC MTB helmets.

It has dimensions of 12 inches in length, 10 inches in width, and 6 inches in height. The Giro Syntax weighs around 0.6 lbs. and is made up of polycarbonate plastic giving it a light and strong build.

Giro has introduced the Giro Syntax MIPS Helmet as an affordable alternative to its high-end MTB helmets. The robust outer structure has an amazing aerodynamic design and in-mold construction. So, the impact-proof structure is connected to the safety-providing foam lining.

The aerodynamic design will help you in moving forward easily without experiencing air drag. This will make you ride effortlessly and easily, resulting in fast speed in the XC races.

The Giro Syntax MIPS helmet has a MIPS safety layer inside the outer body. It is a foam layer that will protect your head from rotational forces and prevent serious head injury.

It has 25 vents that work collectively as wind tunnels to allow a systematic air movement continuously inside the syntax helmet. So, you can wear it all day long without experiencing any uncomfortable feeling due to sweating during the intense riding on the XC trails.

What I Like?

  • Rotational safety
  • Snug-fitting
  • 25 wind tunnels
  • Roc Loc 5 fit system

What I Don’t Like?

  • No spherical technology

Why I Recommended Giro Syntax MIPS Helmet

The Giro Syntax MIPS helmet is the best XC MTB helmet at such an affordable price. It comes with a Roc Loc Fitting system that can help you alter the vertical fitting of the helmet. It has a specialized structure to help you integrate a visor into the helmet for eye protection. The Aura bridge will help the riders to bind the EPS layer with the MIPS system more tightly making the internal structure more durable. It is available in five different color combinations giving you more options to choose from.


7. ABUS GameChanger Helmet

Specifications

  • Weight: 2 pounds
  • Size: Small
  • Recommend For: Cycling

The ABUS GameChanger Helmet is one of the best XC MTB Helmets out there. It can be a true game-changer that will enhance your XC mountain biking performance with the help of the blend of amazing technologies that improves its structure and performance heavily.

The ABUS has introduced a range of best helmets with exceptional ventilation, Air forced technology and vibrant color combinations.

It is the best option for you if you are looking for a compact, heavy, and fitted MTB helmet for XC races.

ABUS GameChanger Helmet is a compact cross country MTB helmet that has an outer shell made up of a blend of materials. So, it is slightly heavy as compared to the polycarbonate helmets.

The Abus GameChanger helmet has a multi-position design that makes it similar in all directions. This helps with the aerodynamic properties even if you are in a tilted position while making quick turns. The resistance of air that prevents the rider from moving quickly is canceled out with the help of the specially designed structure.

The in-mold construction holds multiple shell-like structures that help the helmet to spread out the force exerted on it upon an accident. It also has an amazing Forced Air Cooling Technology, there are air vents that are designed to make passage for air.

The air is forced inside the helmet and circulates to keep the internal temperature of the helmet as low as possible. It will make your head feel comfortable and will keep it sweat-free.

What I Like?

  • Blend material
  • Aerodynamic properties even when tilted
  • Zoom Ace
  • Forced Air Cooling

What I Don’t Like?

  • No Rotational Safety

Why I Recommended ABUS GameChanger Helmet

The ABUS GameChanger Helmet is the best compact XC MTB Helmet for bike riders. The zoom Ace system helps you in adjusting the fitting of the helmet. Due to its specialized shape, you can wear it even if you are wearing a ponytail. The FlowStraps have the best working, minimal design to keep the GameChanger Helmet in perfect position. It has the perfect combination of innovation, comfort, and safety.

Read a detailed comparison of full face and open face helmets


8. Kask Protone Off Road Helmet

Specifications

  • Weight: 0.47 pounds
  • Size: Small
  • Recommend For: Cycling

The Kask Protone Off-Road Helmet is truly one of the best hand-made XC MTB helmets. It is designed under keen supervision by combining all of the best technologies out there. It is suitable to be used for mountain biking and off-road biking.

The outer layer is a tough material that will help the riders by providing strength and impact protection. The polycarbonate shell has an in-mold construction with an open-cell design. So, the parts of the shell are combined to provide the riders with a structure that distributes the impact force.

The Kask Protone Off-Road Helmet is different from other XC helmets for MTB riders as it has an additional plastic layer beneath the outer polycarbonate layer. This sublayer will give you protection against impact and will keep the head safe even if the outer layer shatters. It is known for minimal air drag, so you can ride on the trails without experiencing resisting force that could lower your speed.

You may also be interested to read about best gravel helmets

The Kask Protone has internal padding made up of CoolMax fabric. The internal foam can be removed and is washable. This foam will not only protect your brain from injury, absorb sweat, and help in dissipating heat.

It has large gaps that act as airports for ventilation. The air flows through these vents acting as a cooling fan. It has a lightweight structure that weighs around 0.4 pounds.

What I Like?

  • High heat dissipation
  • Less air drag
  • Open-cell design
  • Dual polycarbonate layer

What I Don’t Like?

  • Relatively expensive but worth the price

Why I Recommended Kask Protone Off Road Helmet

The Kask Protone Off-Road Helmet is one of my personal favorites, you can surely opt for it to accompany you along XC trails if you are willing to pay some extra bucks for getting a high-performance XC MTB helmet. The helmet has a wind tunnel that will help in the circulation of air through the helmet. The Kask Protone has an Octo retention system that will help in keeping the helmet in position. It is specially designed to have a shape similar to the skull, so you don’t have to worry about fitting.

What to Look For While Choosing XC MTB Helmet

Now, that you know what are the best XC MTB helmets? And why is it important to have one while riding on XC terrains? It is time to get familiar with some criteria that a high-performance helmet must meet. You will have to make sure that the MTB helmet that you are selecting to accompany you on the rough roads can bear the conditions.

Here I have some of the must-have properties for the best XC MTB helmet. Scroll down to find out.

What to Look For While Choosing XC MTB Helmet
Buying Guide: Best XC Helmet

Material of XC Helmet

It should be the topmost priority of a rider as it determines the helmet’s strength, durability, and determining the weight. Many XC MTB helmets are made up of polycarbonate plastic. It is one of the best for MTB helmets as it is tough, durable, and light in weight. It also has an impact on reducing properties. So, the rider will not experience any force when encountering an accident.

Helmet Ventilation System

Ventilation system of the helmet keeps the head cool and makes the sweat produce dry easily. There are ports or tunnels inside the helmet that allow airflow. The air movement will help you in lowering the temperature inside the helmet.

Impact Protection of a Helmet

It is the main job of a helmet. The padding inside the tough outer shell will keep your head and brain safe, even if you experience an impactful force as a result of a crash. The safety systems like MIPS, SPIN, and Spherical technology will protect you against force. It also keeps the head safe when the helmet shatters into pieces.

Helmet Weight

It might not seem important but it also plays a crucial role. In XC races you will have to complete long trails quickly. If you are wearing a heavy helmet you are more likely to get tired easily.

The Aerodynamic Design

of the helmet keeps you unaffected by the resistance and drag force that tends to reduce your speed. You will move forward quickly and effortlessly with a helmet with an aerodynamic design.

Comfort Level of Cross Country Helmet

is provided with foam and internal cushioning. Most of the top-end brands have an EPS foam layer that consists of microfiber structures. The EPS foam layer cushions your head. It makes you feel comfortable inside the tough outer shell.

FAQs about Cross Country Bike Helmet

Can you wear any MTB helmets for XC Biking?

Yes, you can wear mountain biking helmets for Xc biking. There are not a large variety of XC helmets out there. Riders can wear an MTB helmet that has an amazing ventilation system, proper fitting, exceptional safety system, and cushioning. Skipping wearing a helmet can make you prone to fatal or retarding head injuries. Several MTB helmets can keep you safe on uneven, muddy, and wild trails.

Why do MTB helmets have visors?

The visor is crucial for mountain bikers. During MTB races you have to go through grassy lands, forests, dusty roads, and hilly trails. There is a lot of dust, insects, plantations, and many more unexpected things that you can encounter on the roads. A visor will keep your eyes safe and will help you keep going, no matter what hits you. A tough helmet and visor is your best friend on the road. An integrated visor will prevent sweat from blurring your eyes.

Concluding XC Helmets Review

I hope that now you know the significance of wearing an MTB helmet for XC racing. You will have to face severe consequences if you will skip or compromise on the quality of the XC MTB helmet. A high-quality helmet will provide you with comfort, airflow, durability, protection, and safety against brain injuries.

Here are some of our top picks for the best XC MTB Helmets.

  • The Giro Aether Spherical Adult Road Bike Helmet is the best XC MTB helmet that has an In-mold structure, wind tunnel vents for ventilation, a six-piece polycarbonate shell for impact protection, MIPS System, Spherical technology, and Aura reinforcement arc.
  • The POC Octal X Spin Helmet is one of top XC MTB helmets that has SPIN Technology, a large POC ventilation port, EPS inner-layer, Aramid Bridge technology, high heat dissipation, and one year warranty.
  • The SCOTT Arx Plus Helmet has a tough polycarbonate material, an inner expanded polystyrene material, a MIPS Safety system, Trickle-down technology, an integrated visor, and MRAS 3 fit system.

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