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alan katkich

alan katkich

Best Hot Weather Motorcycle Helmet: Don’t Lose Your Cool

Wearing a full face helmet has its pros and cons. The protection you are getting being the most important pro. Compared to skull caps or ¾  designs, nothing offers more protection than a full face. It’s actually your face that slams into the ground about 40% of the time on average in an accident. But as mentioned, with that added safety comes some drawbacks. One being that it sucks riding in hot weather with a lot of them. Helmet manufacturers understand this and have attempted to address this with some of their models. As always, at Moto Affliction we focus on reputable brands. If we wouldn’t put one of our family members in a helmet, it doesn’t make our list.

Adding more vents to keep helmets cool is a high wire act between comfort and safety. With more cavities for air flow, you risk compromising the helmet’s integrity for impact resistance. Lets face it, you wear a full face helmet for a reason. Added protection. If flowing more air is more important than safety then there are less expensive options out there to achieve that. So for the purpose of this review we will go ahead and assume safety is still important. As it should be. 

12 hours in a hot helmet in the Carolinas

In this article we will suggest a helmet in three categories. Low, mid and high price points. We will also suggest a runner up to the best in each category for your consideration. We rely on personal experience first and foremost. Market research and customer feedback fill in the gaps. We are confident that this list will address the needs of those looking to get a well ventilated and safe helmet for hot weather riding.

So kick back and have a read to see our picks for best hot weather motorcycle helmet.

Best Budget Helmet For Hot Weather

HJC i10

The HJC i10 punches well above its weight in many categories for its budget price. The ventilation of this helmet is the best in the budget class. Why? Well how does eight different intake and exhaust vents sound? You can not get much more vented than that. HJC calles their venting system ACS or Advanced Channeling Ventilation System. Starting in the front you get a brow vent. I’m a big fan of brow vents. They offer a nice breeze over the face that other vents don’t provide. HJC incorporated a chin vent that flows a ton of air. More so than the previous model, the CL-17. Despite removing the jawline vents from the old model, the i10 still flows a large amount of air from the chin bar. On the top of the helmet you get two chimney vents. They incorporate plastic sliders that are easy to open and close. Finally, at the back you are getting a large exhaust port underneath a spoiler. This will suck out heat and humidity at speed.

This helmet fits the most common head shape. Intermediate oval. 

Along with the i10’s excellent venting, you are still getting safety. It has the standard DOT rating but you also get SNELL 2020 along with that. This makes it track day ready! Almost unheard of from this price point.  

For that reason this is a definite winner in the budget category.

Runner up: Scorpion EXO-R710

  • Sub $200
  • Brow vent along with chin and chimney
  • Composite shell
  • DOT and SNELL rated
  • Intermediate oval head shape

Best Mid Priced Helmet For Hot Weather

AGV K3 SV

The best way to judge a helmet’s performance is to see how much you notice it while riding. With my time in the AGV K3 I didn’t notice it much at all. That to me is a good thing. Especially on super hot days which I had extensive time in with it. It cools very well. So well, that on the  hottest of days I never found myself moaning about the heat. I simply enjoyed the ride. 

The air through the chin vent flows a noticeable amount of air. My only gripe was with the slider being on the inside of the chin bar. On the top you have two large chimney vents with sliders. They do slide at an awkward angle that can make operation of them tricky. Along with the chimney vents is a massive air vent right at the top. This thing flows a ton of air. Out the back is a steel mesh exhaust vent that pulls the warm air out. 

The K3 manages its ventilation without a whole lot of noise. It’s not the quietest helmet on the market but for its air flow, it’s acceptable. Again I hardly noticed it. 

The shell suits the round oval head shape best . The K3 is DOT and ECE rated so it is very safe.

For the lack of suffering I experienced on repeated hot days, The K3 makes the best mid market hot weather helmet.

Runner up: Icon Airflight

  • Very large, MX style chin vent flows a ton of air
  • Two large chimney vents up top
  • Large exhaust vent in the rear
  • Cut away at the rear bottom of the helmet help release more trapped air
  • Long Oval head shape
  • DOT and ECE safety ratings

Related: How To Size A Motorcycle Helmet

Best Premium Helmet For Hot Weather

Shoei RF1400

This is Shoei’s long awaited predecessor to its very popular RF-1200. What’s new with the RF-1400? Well, for the purpose of this article, the venting is new. And it’s improved. Taking cues from Shoei’s GT Air, the RF-1400 flows a ton of air and improves upon the original GT Air and the RF-1200. How? Mainly through the large, almost scoop like vent on the crown. It’s big and easy to operate. Along with that vent you also get two chimney vents that flank alongside it. This increases the volume of air inside the lid which in turn helps push the hot air out. The chin vent is pretty standard overall but it is effective at putting some wind on your face. All in all you have six entry points channeled through three airways. Exhaust is handled through a static vent under the spoiler. Whereas the previous model could be closed, the RF-1400 stays open. Folks didn’t really like the clumsiness of the old vents open and close toggle. Most never knew which was which. Shoei said fine, we’ll just keep the damn thing open and we won’t have to listen to you complain. Good move I’d say because I’ve never felt the need to close an exhaust vent even in colder weather. 

Again, safety is not compromised here. Standard DOT along with SNELL 2020 certification.

This best fits the ever popular intermediate oval head shape. 

Runner up: Shoei GT Air 2

  • Improved ventilation over the original GT Air
  • Utilizes large “scoop” vent on top
  • 3 intake 6 exhaust vents move air efficiently 
  • Only carries a DOT rating making it the least certified of this review 
  • Suits the popular intermediate oval head shape.

Conclusion 

All of these helmets do an effective job of walking the line between hot weather comfort and safety. No matter your budget you will find a helmet that will keep you cooler in the heat. I for one find ventilation very high on my list when shopping for a helmet. If you  enjoy long, full day rides, you understand how heat can be fatiguing. 

If good ventilation is one of  your must haves for your next helmet, use our list.

See if any of these will fit your head and your budget. Then head out there and enjoy your ride in comfort. 

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