Whether you are looking to ride on the street, off-road, or both, adventure helmets are an ideal option. But which of these helmets performs the best, and what features do you get in the real world?
Adventure helmets are first and foremost designed for versatility. After all, what’s not to like about riding off-road, on the streets, or a mix of both with only one helmet?
But since these helmets offer so much, where does this leave them in terms of performance on the road? This question is why we gave all the quality brand helmets to our test riders to try them out on the road with our measuring instruments
This means we have measured their noise, ventilation, and more. So let’s see how our contenders performed, and let’s see which one gets to take home first prize as our top adventure helmet.
We attached a white monitor to our rider’s handlebars showing the helmet’s inside temperature to test these helmets. In addition, we placed a thermometer between the EPS and the interior liner to test the interior temperature.
We also attached a decibel meter showing the noise level in the helmet from a microphone that was placed near our rider’s ear. And finally, we attached a cell phone showing the day’s airspeed on the helmet from a bike-mounted meter.
Lastly, we have the rider’s speed and the outside temperature on the dash. We conducted our tests at 130 kilometers per hour on long stretches of highway.
Best Adventure Helmets By Brand
Table of Contents
First of all, let’s look at how these helmets are constructed since this has such a large effect on weight, safety, and performance.
Materials & Shell Sizes
For this section, we look at two points. The first point we looked at was what material the outer shell is made from. Then, we divided everything into three options increasing in quality: polycarbonate fiberglass and carbon fiber.
The second point we look at for material is the number of shell sizes available in the helmet. Again, this is often overlooked, but that is important.
The more shell sizes a helmet has, the more compact around the head and safer it is. In addition, a helmet with a compact outer shell also looks better.
Now let’s take a look at the results from the material part. First of all, we see the Aria Tour X4 taking the lead with an excellent score of 4.5 stars.
The Aria Tour X4 owes its excellent score to the no fewer than 5 shell sizes available.
Shoei Hornet ADV also does a little bit better than the rest because the helmet comes in four shell sizes, which is also excellent.
The two helmets that did disappoint us were the Nolan N70-2X and the Scorpion ADX-2. These helmets only scored 2.5 stars on material because the helmets are made of polycarbonate and are available in only two shell sizes.
We also see that the helmets are fairly evenly matched, so let’s see what these scores mean for weight.
The lighter the helmet, the more stars it earns in our weight metrics. To make a good comparison for the weight, we weigh all helmets in a size medium. So let’s take a look at the results.
The Klim Krios Pro takes the lead in this section with a weight of only 1300 grams. With this special lightweight helmet, the Klim gets a well-deserved score of 5 stars.
If we look further, we see that the AGV AX9, the Airoh Commande, and the AGV perform very well and score 4 stars for their lightweight.
The helmets that disappointed us in this section are the Nolan N70-2X and the Scorpion ADX-2.
Both helmets weighed a lot heavier than the average and only scored two stars on the weight score.
On the visor scores, we look at all kinds of properties of the visor. Examples are whether the helmet is or isn’t painlessly prepared. If the pin lock lens is standard included in the box, even better if it’s a max vision pin lock.
In addition, we also look at the visor mechanism. Is this a simple lever, or does it have an advanced spring mechanism?
Furthermore, we want to know if the helmet comes with an integrated sun visor, what the field of view is like, if a dark visor is included for free, or any other accessories?
The Schuberth E1 is at the top in this section with a score of 4.5 stars, whereas the Bell MX-9 adventure can be found at the bottom, with an average score of only 2.
We also see that in this section, everyone is fairly evenly matched.
We measured the sound during our road test with a decibel meter mounted on our bike. Our rider rode long straight on the highway for each helmet.
We have taken the average decibel score from these measurements, which were all made at a wind speed between 115 and 130 kilometers per hour.
A one-decibel difference seems negligible at a first impression. Still, every decibel difference can be heard with these kinds of values, so every decibel does matter and is audible.
We also use the score metrics that we have developed, especially for our noise isolation test. The lower the number of decibels, the quieter the helmet is, and the higher the number of stars the helmet scores.
According to our metrics, a score below 98 decibels gives the ultimate score of 5 stars. So now let’s see how our contenders did for the noise.
The Klim Krios Pro stands out in this section with an average result of 98 decibels on the decibel meter.
This score makes the Klim Krios Pro not only the quietest adventure helmet but earns a place in the top 10 of the quietest helmets we have ever measured to date.
Are you curious which other helmets are in the top 10? Then view our extensive data review of the top 10 quietest helmets?
What is also striking is that the AGV AX9, the Icon Variant Pro, and the Bell MX-9 adventure didn’t do too well in this section, therefore only earning a moderate two stars.
To get the star rating for ventilation, we compare the temperature inside the helmet and the temperature outside.
A well-ventilating helmet efficiently removes heat and keeps the inside temperature the same as the outside.
If we put all competitors in a graph, we would see that the Klim Krios Pro, the Schuberth E1, the Aria Tour X4, and the Icon Variant Pro score 4 stars for ventilation.
The Klim Krios Pro and the icon are doing well in this section, with the inside temperature the same as the temperature outside.
Furthermore, we see that no one excels in ventilation, especially the Shoei Hornet ADV, the AGV AX9, and the Airoh Commander score really below average in this section.
The Airoh Commander particularly led us down with a difference of no less than 12 degrees.
Speaking of ventilation, this helmet is one of the worst ventilated helmets we have ever tested, disappointing.
This is the only subjective part of our road test, which we call comfort, which includes much more than comfort.
In this section, we assess the subjective criteria such as comfort, wind resistance, the view of the inner liner, the finishes, and the overall feel of the helmet.
These are criteria that are difficult to capture in hard data, and that is why for this part, we rely on the more than 15 years of experience that our test writer has to his name.
Our test writer has tested all of these helmets and can therefore compare the helmets like no other.
All our helmets come with removable, washable, and antibacterial liners, which makes sense, as these helmets are the best on the market.
The Schuberth E1 and the Icon Variant Pro lag slightly with 3.5 stars. We have the Klim Krios Pro, the Aria Tour X4, and the Shoei Hornet ADV standing out the most, with 4 stars each.
The Krios Pro’s liner was soft to the touch and very plush. The interior textures are Klim’s strong suit considering their gear experience, but the Shoei and Arai were also incredibly comfortable thanks to their soft fabrics. Aria foam springs for a supportive fit and Shoei high-quality finishing.
For our final category, we have features. First, we look for a range of indicators to tally up the scores, all based on what riders have asked us for over the years.
This means we are looking at communication system options, glasses, fit, peak options, liner customization, etc.
Overall we have a very interesting result since the Krios Pro drops off to two stars since the features included were more spares.
So instead, we have the Shoei, Arai, Nolan, Scorpion, and the Schubert taking the lead with three stars each.
Though these helmets offer a great level of touring level functions, the Aria Tour X4 brings the best features in our lineup.
It is very comfortable for glasses, but it comes with peel-away pads to let you get your ideal fit. There are even special foam springs in the cheek pads to ensure they don’t lose form over time.
Which Adventure Helmet Came Out On Top?
Since we’ve got all of our data collection, we can look at how our helmets compare to get an idea of the bigger picture. Overall we do see a great set of results from our helmets.
Before looking at our top performance, it’s important to mention the performance of the AGV AX9.
We were slightly disappointed by its performance out on the road as It was hot, noisy, and not very comfortable, even though it’s very light.
The Bell and the Aria also have a disappointing overall score. Our strongest performance out of the gate is the Klim Krios Pro, the Schuberth E1, and the Aria Tour X4, as the scores are all very close.
Value For Money
Before we move on to our final scores, let’s look at what happens when we factor in our helmet’s prices since each helmet offers you a different set of features and performances at different prices. Therefore, it is important to factor these into our rankings.
For example, if two helmets perform the same, but one of them has a lower price, it scores relatively better. That’s why we look at two variables to determine the value of money.
At the top, we see the Aria Tour X4 with an average of 3.6 stars. Next, we see the Scorpion ADX-2 with an average score of 2.9 stars. Then we see the Klim Krios Pro, which has the highest average star score of 3.9 stars.
The AGV AX9 comes in next with an average star rating of only 2.4. This means that the helmet is too expensive compared to the quality the helmet delivers.
2 Adventure Helmets To Avoid
To keep it exciting, we’ll start at the bottom. In 10th place, we find the Bell MX-9 Adventure that scored well or averaged on all parts.
In ninth place, we find the AGV AX9, which came out on top in the weight section but as one of the loudest helmets, we have ever measured.
We can now see which helmet came out as the best adventure helmet with all of our points given out.
Best Adventure Helmet Overall
In 8th place, we find the Airoh Commander that scores good on weight and the visor but lets us down in the ventilation component.
Next, we see the Nolan N70-2X in seventh place scoring weak on material, weight, and ventilation but strong in the visor and features section.
In 6th place is the Icon Variant Pro. This helmet was consistently strong in all areas, was nowhere the best, but was always competing only on ventilation and features.
Then our first helmet from the top 5, the Scorpion ADX-2. Again, this helmet scored strongly on its features and value for money.
We have the Shoei Hornet ADV that scored strongly in all areas except ventilation in fourth place. In third place, we have the Schuberth E1 with a nice score of 7.6. Finally, at a close second, we have the Aria Tour X4 at a score of 8.1.
This means that our best adventure helmet is the Klim Krios Pro pro, with an excellent score of 8.2. This makes it a strong performer on the road and a decent helmet in terms of value for money.
It was a close race though still coming in at the middle ground. We found these helmets have performed quite well on the road, with some even coming in with touring level noise isolation.
But in the end, the Klim Krios Pro is the rightful winner that scored consistently strong in all areas.
Read our full review of the Klim Krios Pro here
Where To Buy
We have chosen what we think are the best motorcycle helmet retailers, for you to choose from. They both ship worldwide but you may like to order from one or the other depending on your location.
One supplier might have a sale so it’s always best to visit both suppliers to see what deals are available.
|Brand||Revzilla||Sports Bike Gear|
|1. Klim Krios Pro||From $699||From £540|
|2. Aria Tour X4||Not Available||From £499|
|3. Schuberth E1||From $599||From £424|
|4. Shoei Hornet ADV||From $599||From £380|
|5. Scorpion ADX-2||Not Available||From £250|
|6. Icon Variant Pro||From $350||From £210|
|7. Nolan N70-2X||From $350||From £270|
|8. Airoh Commander||Not Available||Not Available|
|9. AGV AX9||From $624||From £259|
|10. Bell MX-9 Adventure||From $230||From £190|