10 Great Adventure Motorcycle Helmets

High-end to budget-friendly ADV protection

Buying a helmet for adventure riding is a big expense. You know you will live in them for days on end so you want to get the best helmet money can buy. Here are 10 ADV helmets we know are a good place to start.

Klim Krios

Klim has been in the off-road game for a couple of decades and it is an innovative company, to say the least.Courtesy of the manufacturer

The Krios (pronounced Cry-Ohs) features a large port which provides a wide field of vision so you can soak in the scenery. The fit is fairly true to size for a medium-to-oval-size head shape so it will be well suited to the majority of human skulls. It is crazy light at just over 3 pounds. Almost a 1/2 pound lighter than almost every other top-shelf version. There are massive vents on the chin, along the forehead and the exhaust ports in back. I haven't ridden with this particular helmet but the reports are that people are quite impressed.

Shoei Hornet X2

Hornet X2
The Hornet X2 is the direct competitor of the Arai XD4.Courtesy of the manufacturer

They both have similar features but the X2 has a more modern look that seems to appeal to many riders. I personally switch between this and the XD4 on a regular basis and it's hard to decide which is better because they both do a few things different. I like the look of the X2 and the fit is spot-on for someone who already likes the RF series helmets. It is a little heavier than most of these other ADV lids at 4 pounds but I have always been a fan of top-shelf helmets. Venting is decent, and it comes with recessed pockets for communication systems. Plus the visor is aerodynamically designed so it doesn't cause your head to pop up when wind gets under it. Overall, this is one of the top two helmets on this list.

Arai XD4

The XD4 is one of the original ADV-styled helmets and, as a result, Arai has had nearly a decade to perfect the design.Courtesy of the manufacturer

This latest version features Arai’s nifty peel-away cheek pad layers that allows you to custom fit the helmet exactly to the size and shape of your head. If more companies would follow suit, this would be huge for all of us. However, it is unique to Arai at the moment so don’t be scared off by the price tag. The XD4 has four large vents and a very traditional look. Arai helmets are the ultimate in rider safety so when it’s all said and done: How much is your brain worth? The XD4 is designed for riders with an intermediate oval head shape and they are one of the most comfortable helmets on the market. They are quiet and the graphic versions look amazing.

Suomy MX Tourer

MX Tourer
Yes, you read that right; Suomy has offered up an adventure helmet that looks and feels exactly as a Suomy helmet would.Courtesy of the manufacturer

First of all this lid tips the scales at just 2.7 pounds, which is crazy light. It has what is described as a Tricarboco carbon-Kevlar shell with an integrated drop-down sun shield. This is a premium helmet that comes in hundreds less than other top shelf brands. If you like the pointed, swooshing look of this lid, then know that the brand has an excellent reputation in the street rider community.

Scorpion EXO AT950 Battleflage

The coolest part of the AT950 is that this is a true modular ADV helmet design.Courtesy of the manufacturer

It might be the only one on the market, so when you consider its relative bargain price of less than $300, it is worth taking a look at. The EXO has a flip-down interior sun visor plus it weighs in a 3.8 pounds and has the requisite removable liner, an array of vents, and a look that makes it unique in a crowd of ADV helmet clones. The features list is impressive; changing the face shield requires no tools, another juicy tidbit that makes it even more appealing for an ADV rider. If anything, this helmet was a little noisy but overall quite comfortable.

Schuberth E1 Modular

E1 Modular
The only other modular helmet in this list is not even in the same level as the Schuberth.Courtesy of the manufacturer

This is a top-shelf helmet that carries a top-shelf price but, as always, you get what you pay for. Schuberth is as technologically advanced of a helmet design as you can ever hope to find—basically it is completely based on the proven C3 design with an ADV visor. The E1 has a host of features that includes an ultra-quiet design that is rated at 82 decibels at 60 mph, which is impressive. I’ve worn the C3 but not the E1, and I can tell you the helmet is very light at around 3 pounds but the quietness of the helmet is just awesome. There are many features that make it tailored toward the discerning rider with more than 8.5 liters of air per second through the vents, pre-fabbed positions for communication systems, and the easy-to-open modular front face. The visor has three lockable positions to make it easy to leave the visor open to one of three settings. Overall, the E1 is well worth the money.

AGV AX-8 Dual Sport Evo

AX-8 Dual Sport Evo
The AX-8 has been around for a while now and I've had plenty of experience with this lid.Courtesy of the manufacturer

While it is not my personal favorite, it receives high marks from most reviewers. What it is does well is offer a great-fitting ADV lid for a decent price. The features are decent including the large front vent, decent airflow, and the usual stuff like a removable liner and lightweight shell. My kids still prefer this helmet, but the one thing I didn’t like was the angular shape of the face shield. It interferes with your field of vision when you lift it all the way up and when you crack it open, the weird angle causes a bit of distortion. Other than that this is a great helmet for folks who just have to have an AGV lid.

Bell MX-9 Adventure MIPS

MX-9 Adventure MIPS
It was light at 3.5 pounds, and it looks very nice in person. Fit seemed to fudge to the large side of the equation but you can tailor the fit by buying the different size pads.Courtesy of the manufacturer

When the MX-9 was first introduced I was stoked to see the company produce this helmet. If you are on the fence with your sizing, choose the smaller version. The Bell MIPS foam is supposed to be the latest and greatest in impact protection technology, and with Bell as the driving force, it is sure to be good. Basically the theory behind MIPS is that a limited amount of slip between the layers of foam is integrated into the design. This reduces rotational forces on the rider's head that can occur in an impact.

Fly Trekker

This is one of the least expensive helmets on the list but it still is a decent lid for the price.Courtesy of the manufacturer

Recently redesigned, the Trekker is the latest Fly Racing crossover helmet. It has a seriously wild style that is appealing to riders who want to be a little different than the rest of the group. The folks at Fly went to great lengths to design an ADV helmet with a visor that completely slips up, out of the rider's field of vision. This is a direct testament to the company's heritage in the off-road market. It features 16 total vents, a removable liner, and receives high marks in consumer reviews.


Although the AFX is a bit more expensive than the Fly, it simply doesn't have the appeal to ADV riders that a company like Fly seems to have developed.Courtesy of the manufacturer

The AFX does have 17 vents and an integrated flip-down sun visor, but it looks a little dated. It ticks all the right boxes for a cheap ADV lid but it is marketed as a dual-sport helmet more than anything else. For that reason, it isn’t higher on the list, but it still makes the cut because AFX has been doing a fine job for many years and its quality control has been very good in that time frame. If you need a good, inexpensive helmet to complete your ADV equipment, then this is one to consider.

With these 10 helmets and some of the info provided here, you should have a great starting point as you search for your own adventure helmet. Just remember that you need to find one that fits your budget and needs. If you love Arai or Shoei, get the brand you’ve always been loyal to. If you’re a Suomy fan, get that one because it looks mean. If we can give one piece of solid advice here, it is this: Don’t cut corners when buying a helmet if you don’t have to. These are all solid choices but be sure to understand that in most cases you get what you pay for.