Bikes are now faster, and trails are more technical. Hence safety is of utmost importance. With the traditional full-face helmet weighing a ton, the convertible mountain bike helmet provides the perfect compromise. All thanks to its ability to be protective but without the heft of a full-face design. With the best convertible MTB helmet, you can now enjoy a 1000m climb without feeling claustrophobic.

Whether you are a beginner or a competitive biker, we’ve researched the best options in the convertible mountain bike scene. We’ll help you pick helmets that offer full-face protection and open-face ventilation. So, get ready to pedal up with optimum safety.

Best Convertible Mountain Bike Helmets Review

Specialized Gambit is a lightweight full-face helmet for enduro riding and aggressive trails. While it’s lightweight, its full ATSM certification confirms it’s a tough helmet. It also has tons of adjustments for all head shapes and sizes, and its polycarbonate reinforced shell keeps the weight down at 640 grams on the medium size.

The five unique pieces of EPS foam provide ample protection by absorbing energy. It integrates a multi-density foam liner to reduce any effect of rotational impact. Ventilation is excellent on the Gambit due to the massive vents on the chin bar. It also delivers quick adjustments that make it easy to feel snug and secure. All due to the Integrated Fit System (IFS). Hence, you won’t deal with forward slipping even on downhill drops.

Some other features to look forward to including a fixed visor which means you’ll never have to reposition it. We find that adjustable visors tend to get pushed down wherever we put them in the gear bag. The screws also tend to come loose.

The Gambit, however, lacks a soft rim around the bottom edge and the face opening. It does not also have foam or mesh around the mouth vent. Thus, it doesn’t feel claustrophobic. It gives you even more reason to take it on every ride.

The Smith Mainline features 21 venting ports. It’s our top choice for anyone looking for the best ventilation on a full-face helmet. The AirEvac ventilation system consists of narrow vents above the goggles interface line to draw hot air away from the goggles. It provides for easy breathing, and it will never overwhelm your senses. This helmet has 442 grams in its weight in a large size.

Mainline boasts exceptional build quality with MIPS rotational system and a Koroyd coverage for superior impact absorption. The design renders itself to a light full-face feel complemented by three sets of antibacterial-coated pads. It also features an adjustable visor and is fully ASTM F1952 Downhill certified.

The pads and straps on the Mainline are extremely comfortable and soft. It does not have an adjustable cradle but wearing it is super simple. A simple D-ring provides a secure closure to prevent wobbling and rotation. It feels comfortable when riding through turns because it’s light enough. The only thing we don’t like is that it feels loud inside the helmet on annoying DH terrain.

The Troy Lee Designs Stage MIPS ticks all the boxes of a good convertible mountain bike helmet. It’s DH-rated, MIPS-equipped, lightweight, has good ventilation, and is stylish. For a DH-rated helmet, this model weighs only 690 grams. It has a construction that protects you from high and low-speed impacts.

Other layers of protection come from the sturdy plastic with fiber mixed-in outer shell. This shell is not only durable but also heat-resistant. You get Multi-Directional Impact Protection (MIPS) which reduces trauma inside the helmet. One biker who crushed this helmet two days after buying it walked away with a fat dent on the helmet but without blacking out or sustaining any head injury.

TLD Stage is available in three sizes. Most people find it fits perfectly owing to the interchangeable pads of different densities that allow you to fine-tune its fit to the shape of your head. Once you get the right padding configuration, the TLD Stage sits comfortably and does not slip or cause uncomfortable pressure points. It’s perhaps the most comfortable convertible helmet.

Leatt MTB 4.0 V21 is another lightweight full-face convertible helmet. It has a rotational impact protection system and different polystyrene densities that provide superior energy absorption during a crash. It also comes with a sunglasses dock, a moisture-wicking anti-odor liner, and a three-position visor.

You’ll need to get a feel of the convertible aspect of this helmet a few times to do it fast. Nevertheless, it uses upper tabs and rear locks for removing the chin bar. It’s easier to unlock it than to put it back on. The helmet is super comfortable, as the cradle fits most heads. You can use the soft cheek pads for additional comfort and to prevent a claustrophobic feel.

When complete, the Leatt MTB 4.0 V21 is a bit weighty at 875 grams. However, it has lots of cooling aided by the minimal cushy pads on the inside. Besides, it has no hot spots, and you won’t experience annoying wobble or jiggle while riding downhill. Its open-face performance is also top-notch, as it’s light and stable.

With a rock-solid chin bar, open-face mode, and a DH rating, you’ll be hard-pressed to choose any other convertible helmet for the price.

The BELL Super Air R MIPS is designed for pedal-friendly and trail rides. Without the chin bar, you can take it for casual rides or convert it to a full-face mountain bike helmet for the trails. 

This model is light for all-day wear, but it will also be protective. It weighs 640 grams on the medium size. It features MIPS for trauma reduction and BELL’s spherical technology and ball & socket design to reduce rotational forces within the helmet.

The Super Air R MIPS is not DH-certified. Thus, it’s ideal for trail riders who need extra protection in a light package. The polycarbonate shell offers great protection since it sandwiches the EPS liners. It feels snug once you dial in on the Float Fit Adjuster on the cradle. It’s also breathable and comes with two sets of cheek pads for a custom fit.

BELL Super Air R MIPS comes with 18 vents and an extra four ports at its brow to push air from your forehead, guiding it over the head. The sweat guide design also comes in handy to pull away sweat from the brow, preventing it from dripping into your glasses or eyes.

Super Air works reasonably well as a convertible MTB helmet. The removable chin bar provides trail riding adaptability without breaking the bank. However, it does have some niggles since the access to the ears is not so great for wearing earbuds, and the lining can feel hard for some. Nonetheless, it’s the best full-face cross-country trail helmet.

Fox Rampage Pro Carbon MIPS is unapologetically a full-face downhill racing helmet. Its price matches the protection you get from the MIPS system. This helmet is built around standard expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam. It offers the best protection available while remaining lightweight.

This helmet also adds Varizorb EPS, a dual-density foam that helps to protect your head from a wide range of impact forces. The carbon fiber shell saves on weight. Inside, you have the MIPS lining to minimize head injuries. You’ll also like that the visor utilizes break-away bolts to make the visor break away and save your face from visor injury in a crash.

Fox Rampage Pro Carbon MIPS is snug but not uncomfortable. The thick padding comes out, so you can throw it in the washer. In addition, it breathes well, and the chin bar does not interfere with vision. You won’t feel your breath bouncing back. Plus, the D-ring provides secure wear, preventing wobble downhill.

Fox Rampage Pro Carbon MIPS is a top-of-the-line convertible MTB helmet. It’s a worthy investment for mountain bike athletes who want a dedicated helmet for DH races.

How to Pick a Convertible Mountain Bike Helmet

Convertible helmets are lightweight and protective and are what we call do-it-all helmets. The chin bar is usually detachable to provide open-face and full-face functionality. Still, they are not built equally, so it’s vital to consider their features before picking a convertible mountain bike helmet.

Safety Standards

Mountain bike helmet safety standards provide a point of reference for the rigorous testing that helmets go through. Mountain bikes use ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) to verify the quality and safety offered by the helmet. It’s best to consider a helmet that meets these standards.


There are a few materials to consider when getting into the nitty-gritty of protection. Polycarbonate shells are lightweight, tough, and durable. That’s why it’s the most used material in helmets’ outer shells. ABS is also commonly used since its sturdy and durable. However, it’s heavier than polycarbonate. Carbon fiber is mostly used on full-face mountain bike helmets for its full-protection capabilities.

As for the foam, look for EPS (Expanded Polystyrene) and EPP (Expanded PolyPropolyne) to dissipate energy from impact in high-speed crashes and absorb the impact from low-speed crashes.

Other protection features to look for are an inner lining and an anti-rotational system such as MIPS to reduce rotational movement on the head.


Internal cushioning provides comfort, stability, and heat management. Look for materials that offer skin comfort. Also, removable padding with different densities offers custom fits. Watch out for thick pads since they run hot.


An adjustment dial enables an adjustable fit. A good helmet provides even tightening all-around the helmet rather than just at the back. You can also look for tilt adjusters to change the helmet’s position.


Vents and ports are essential for increasing airflow around the head. You’ll want a helmet with an intake and exhaust system to prevent hot air retention. Vents also improve weight and look.


The visor keeps out the sun, mud, and crud from the eyes. There are adjustable and fixed-position visors. A good visor does not get in your field of vision and can block the sun when need be. Nevertheless, looking for visors with break-away features or flexible materials is important. This way, it will not work as a lever that can break your neck during a crash.

Why Choose a Convertible Mountain Bike Helmet?

A convertible helmet has a versatile design due to the removable chin bar. It adds convenience and comfort since you can customize it to meet your needs. Additionally, a convertible MTB helmet is more breathable than a full-face helmet. Therefore, it’s perfect for tough downhill and enduro mountain biking.

With exceptional airflow and low weight for a DH-certified helmet, the Specialized Gambit caters to frequent use.

Specialized Gambit looks futuristic and sleek. It meets the safety needs of the competitive mountain biker. You’ll love every benefit from the MIPS design with low weight on your head. That’s why it’s the ultimate enduro racing convertible helmet.

Honorable Mentions

Our research looked into the best convertible mountain bike helmets offering the ultimate safety protection and comfort features for their ride type. Nonetheless, we also found some models that deserve special mention since they fulfill the safety aspect, albeit with some snags in the comfort zone.

100% Aircraft 2 Helmet: This helmet is quiet and unobtrusive. However, we felt the chin strap padding to be a bit lacking since it does not provide a rounded secure fit once you clinch it. In addition, it lacks a quick-disconnect feature on the visor. Still, its Smartshock Rotational System minimizes the chance of a concussion in a crash.

Sweet Protection Arbitrator MIPS:  We love every safety aspect of the Sweet Protection Arbitrator. But at 1025 grams, its hefty weight in full-face mode discourages frequent use. It’s also a bit of a hassle to work the Occigrip dial. Once you get a feel of the dial system, it will take a minute to make the conversion.

POC Coron Air Spin: This helmet keeps up the breathability and comfort of a full-face enduro helmet. But without a removable chin guard, it limits adaptability for all-day wear. It’s also on the heavy side to amp safety, but if you’re looking for a super lightweight helmet. We’d advise you to check out our top options.

7iDP Bike-Helmets M1: This model does not feature MIPS. Although it has some safety features, it’s only a good choice for casual biking rather than competitive racing. Besides, it’s heavy for the age it’s designed for.

Troy Lee Designs D3 Fiberlite: The D3 is an absolute pick-me-up if you’re willing to ride with the visor up. This is because the visor takes away from your field of vision in other positions. The chin bar is also not minimal, so it’s another aspect that affects your vision. Nevertheless, it’s not a restricting helmet regarding weight and fit.

Cropped Oluwasegun

Loise Wambui is a freelancer and sub-editor, a graduate with a Bachelor of Arts (Economics) degree. Born in Beachwood, she has over 10 years of experience under her belt and is one of our top writers for all-around content. From sous vide cookers to stock pots, smartwatches, and even pet feeders. Loise has a keen eye for detail and spends a lot of her time providing expert recommendations in these areas for Top Ten Reviews. So, if you’re wondering which stock pot is best to whip a thanksgiving or whether a productivity tool can really help you improve your work quality, Loise is the one to ask. When not working, she loves reading, traveling, and trying out new recipes.

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