THERE'S an almost overwhelming amount of helmets out there - from countless brands, at different prices, in different styles and with varying functions. It’s safe to say that it can sometimes be hard to cut though the noise to find the right one for you. Some people are loyal to a particular brand, some are drawn to graphics and colour options, some want a specific shape and style of helmet, while some people want to pick their next lid based on price, which is where we come in. This list of 10 helmets under £250 isn’t in any specific order, but includes lids from many major brands, with the cheapest crash hat priced well under £100. If you’re in the market for a new helmet and your limit is £250, you’re in luck because there are plenty of great options available to you, with many boasting cool, useful, comfort and safety enhancing features like sun visors, spoilers, Pinlock visors, multi-composite shells and ventilation designed to keep you focused on your riding and not some irritation with your helmet.
10. Nexx XT1 Exos - £249.99
The Nexx XT1 Exos is a helmet with a wide panoramic field of view and a great set of features for the price, including a sun visor, anti-noise cheek pads and a wind curtain – which are ideal for touring. A removable Coolmax lining means the inside should stay fresh and the breath guard can also be removed. The Block’N’Seal system ensures the visor gets a really tight seal to keep out moisture and wind – which also helps makes the Exos quiet and comfortable. The Nexx XT1 Exos is available in a range of colours and it comes supplied with a pinlock insert.
9. Caberg Drift Carbon - £249.99
Is this the best value carbon helmet available right now? It cetainly looks like it and even though it manages to undercut carbon lids from the likes of Shark and Arai, it’s got a tri-composite shell made form a mix of fibreglass, Kevlar and carbon – which isn’t bad for less than £250. The Drift Carbon also comes with a sun visor and it’s performace in summer is aided by vents on the top of the helmet and at the chin, plus extraction vents at the rear to help air flow through the shell on hot days. An anti-fog insert also means that it won’t get fazed by poor condition, so the Drift Carbon is good to go no matter what the weather is like.
8. AGV K-5 Guy Martin 3Some - £249.99
The AGV K-5 is optimised to meet ECE 22.05 standards and is available in two different shell sizes. Made of carbon-fibre and fibreglass, it’s strong and weighs 1390g. It features a three-point ventilation system and removable interior plus has a small integrated spoiler that contributes to its sharp lines and aerodynamics. Ventilation is handled by two vents at the forehead, plus chin ventilation and an exhaust vent at the rear. And of course, there’s the paint scheme – featuring the Guy Martin skull design, plus the logos of all his personal sponsors. Fit and comfort are second to none thank to the K-5 shell having two variations of the medium size, medium-small and medium-large, meaning it’s possible to get a really tailored fit. As well as internal sizing, the outer shell comes in two different sizes which keeps the wind resistance to a minimum.
7. Shoei Qwest - £249.99
Shoei has redesigned the Qwest helmet from the 'ground up' with three main concepts in mind: comfort, weight and noise reduction which is why it has a weight of just 1400g (size medium) and is also 60% quieter than the Shoei Raid II (equivalent to 2.2db). This Qwest’s aim is to be the best touring helmet in the market. Shoei's development department was briefed to find the best balance between in a comfortable, light-weight and noise-cancelling design that would be a pleasure to wear and does not break the bank. Even though this is an entry-level Shoei, it’s comfortable thanks to detachable multi-layered cheek pads, and its shape and design is intended to minimize wind noise. The small spoiler at the rear also aids comfort and stability by reducing drag and uplift.
6. Arai Axces II - £249.99
The Axces II might be an entry-level Arai but it still offers the kind of superb fit, comfort and high quality construction you can expect to get from its top-level helmets. It’s got a super-fibre outer shell, a triple density inner shell and a soft, comfy and removable interior lining. Comfort is further handled by a chin vent and a top vent, with air allowed to exit the back of the helmet via an exhaust vent and lower side vents. The vent on the rear sits under the rear wing-shaped spoiler which is designed to reduce turbulence by directing air away from the back of the helmet.
5. Shark Skwal - £199.99
Shark’s Skwal has one eye-catching standout feature that gives it the edge over every other helmet here: it comes with built-in LEDs that give the wearer an additional level of visibility day or night. The LEDs, which can be set of contstant, flashing or left off, are neatly placed at the rear and front of the shell. Elsewhere, it comes with an anti-scratch visor, Maxvision pinlock and other features include an integrated sun visor, and a new ‘Autoseal’ system which creates a tight seal to keep wind and rain out.
4. Held Alcatar - £139.99
Adventure helmets are becoming increasingly popular on the road and the Held Alcatar proves that they don’t all have to command big price tags. Certified to ECE 22.05, the Alcatar is road legal in the UK. It’s got a large aperture to offer the user a wide field of vision and the visor is scratchproof. There’s also an integrated sun visor and plenty of venting to allow lots of air in during hot summer rides ,and the cheek pads are washable and removable for when it needs some TLC.
3. Icon Airmada - £174.99
Easily winning the award for the most eye-catching paintjob of the bunch, it’s the Icon Airmada. Under the detailed paintscheme is an injection moulded polycarbonate shell, which features adjustable chin and forehead vents to keep things cool. Inside, there’s a HydraDry moisture wicking interior, which is fully removable and washable. The Airmada also features a quick release shield change system to make it quick and easy to swap between visors.
2. Scorpion Exo-1200 - £199.99
The Scorpion Exo-1200 is a helmet with a five-layer fibreglass, aramid & poly-resin construction but what makes it unique are its quick-release air pump cheek pads. This helmet is equipped with Scorpion’s Airfit system, so the quick release cheeks pads can be pumped up to give the optimum fit when it comes to comfort, security and noise reduction. These cheek pads are also quick release, in the event of a crash trained medical personnel will be able to remove your helmet easily. The lining is moisture wicking too, when, combined with the ventilation system, means you'll be cool and comfortable come summer.
1. MT Helmets Thunder Axe - £69.99
The lowest priced helmet on this list comes with a Pinlock-ready visor and has a four star Sharp rating. It’s got vents in all the places you’d expect, plus a vibrant paintjob. The Thunder Axe is ideal for a sports rider, tourer or urban commuter looking for a great value helmet that’s got the safety credentials to match the bold graphics.