10 Best Womens Bike Helmets

Whether you’re commuting to work or school, leading family bike rides, or riding local trails for exercise, you need a bike helmet to protect your noggin! Women’s bike helmets are generally smaller and may have more feminine styling or color options. But realistically, a “bike helmet for women” is any bike helmet that fits a woman!

As your guinea pigs, we put top-selling women’s bike helmets to the test in search of helping you find the best helmet for your dollar. No one wants to wear an uncomfortable helmet that is impossible to adjust and a pain to wear – so we personally tested each one of these helmets for you!

Collage of six women wearing different styles of women bike helmets - commuter, mountain bike, and road.

To help you narrow down your options, we have broken down the helmets into three categories – commuter, road and mountain. While we further explain these categories below the chart, know that any of these options are suitable for the casual rider. If you’re also in the market for a bike, be sure to check out our 10 Best Women’s Bikes page!

Womens Helmet Why We Love It MIPS MSRP
Budget Friendly Helmets
Retrospec Lennon High End Style on a Budget No $29
Kali Chakra Solo Quality Build on a Budget No $45
Outdoor Master Gem Best Budget with MIPS Yes $60
Commuter Helmets
Thousand Heritage Retro Styling No $89
Thousand Chapter Rear Light for Better Visibility Yes $145
Nutcase Vio Adventure Exceptional Air Flow Yes $99
Nutcase Street Fun and Funky Designs Yes $79
Mountain and Road Bike Helmets
Giro Fixture (or Verce) Best Universal Fit and Ventilation (MTB) Yes $69
Giro Register MIPS Affordable MIPS option (Road) Yes $65
Smith Convoy Highly adjustable (MTB) Yes $80
Smith Signal Highly adjustable (Road) Yes $80
Helmets We DON'T Recommend
Giro Vasona Poor fit - too narrow and too shallow Yes $65
Schwinn Thrasher Much better helmets available near the same price No $24
SIZING NOTE: Helmets fit can vary widely from head to head.  Be sure to check additional fit notes about each helmet below.

Our Favorite Bike Helmets for Women

While there are hundreds of womens bike helmet options, our favorite helmets are aimed at the average woman bike rider. There are many expensive helmets that may technically be “better” that those we list here, but spending over $100 on a bike helmet isn’t necessary for the average woman rider.

Most womens bike helmets (and bike helmets for all genders) are categorized into three general riding styles – commuter, road, and mountain. Each category is designed with features for the specific needs of that type of riding. But for casual riders, a helmet from any category will work and usually just comes down to personal style preference.

  • Commuter helmets tend to be more stylish and fashionable. They often have lights on them to increase your visibility when riding in traffic or at night.
  • Road helmets are your traditional bike helmet styling. True road helmets are designed to be aerodynamic for speed.
  • Mountain bike helmets have more coverage along the sides and back, and tend to have longer visors for the unique style of crashes that can happen on mountain trails.

Remember: you don’t have to buy a helmet labeled specifically for women! Unisex helmets and mens helmets are the same as women’s helmets, they just have larger sizing ranges and different color options. If you are a woman with a larger head, you may not even fit in a “women’s” bike helmet!

WOMENS BIKE HELMETS – Details and Descriptions

BUDGET FRIENDLY HELMETS

Retrospec Lennon

High-end Style on a Budget

Retrospec lennon womens bike helmet

STANDOUT FEATURES: Dial-adjust internal cage, LED taillight with 3 different functions, sealed sweat-wicking pads

MSRP: $35
ONE SIZE: 54 – 61 cm
FIT: Slightly narrow (Kali Solo is wider)
CONSTRUCTION: Hardshell
BUCKLE: Standard
MIPS: No

Offering the look and feel of a high-end element, but without a high-end price, the Retrospec Lennon is a stylish helmet for those on a budget. Available in 5 modern, matte colors and with a wide 54-61 cm size range, the Lennon offers a broad range of fit and appeal.

The Lennon comes standard with an easy-to-use, dial-adjust cage, thick athletic wicking pads, and a built-in LED blinking light in the rear for added visibility. The thicker pads around the sides and front of the Lennon, however, do lead to a narrower fit as compared to other helmets on this list. The narrower fit is likely temporary as the pads are likely to compress with use.

The Lennon’s lower price tag, however, is reflected in its construction. Built with a less durable “hardshell” construction, versus high-end “in mold”, the Lennon won’t hold up over time as well as other helmets on this list (with the exception of the Schwinn).

While the functionality of the Lennon likely won’t be affected, the colored plastic “hardshell” of this Retrospec helmet is likely to warp and chip with time, eventually leaving the foam core of the helmet exposed. With more expensive helmets with “in mold” construction, the outer, colored, plastic portion of the helmet is embedded into the foam core and cannot break off.

Kali Chakra Solo

Highest Quality Build on a Budget

Woman wearing bright blue Kali Chakra Solo helmet

STANDOUT FEATURES: Durable, in-mold construction, dial-adjust internal cage, exceptional air vents on the interior of foam, lifetime crash replacement

MSRP: $55
SIZE: S/M (52 – 57 cm), L/XL (58 – 61 cm)
FIT: Average – wider than Retrospec Lennon, narrower than Giro Fixture
CONSTRUCTION: In mold
BUCKLE: Standard
MIPS: No

Providing exceptional quality without breaking the bank, the Kali Chakra Solo features exceptional ventilation, durable construction, and a great fit for its low price. While the Chakra doesn’t come with MIPS, its overall quality of build is on par with more expensive models on this list.

Build to last, the Chakra Solo’s in-mold construction is sure to keep the helmet looking good for years to come, while Kali’s lifetime crash replacement program almost guarantees it! If you crash while wearing the Chakra Solo, Kali will send you a replacement (just be sure to register the helmet).

If you happen to live in a hot climate, the Chakra Solo should absolutely be on your list due to its high level of ventilation. In addition to having 21 large vents, the Kali also has deep air channels in the helmet’s foam core, running between your head and the top of the helmet. Working in conjunction with the air vents, these channels allow for large amounts of air to quickly cool your head by flowing over your head and out the rear.

Outdoor Master Gem

Best Budget with MIPS

outdoor master gem womens bike helmet in ocean blue

STANDOUT FEATURES: MIPS safety technology, height-adjustable rear cage, sealed and moisture-wicking athletic pads, chin pad, lightweight construction

MSRP: $60
SIZES: Medium (55 – 58 cm), Large (59 – 61 cm)
FIT: Average width
BUCKLE: Standard
MIPS: Yes

There is a lot to love about the Outdoor Master Gem, especially when considering its budget-friendly price tag. In addition to MIPS technology, the Gem also offers a great fit with a height-adjust rear cage that allows you to lower or raise the placement of the bottom portion of the cage to ensure a proper fit.

The Gem also comes with two sets of sealed, moisture-wicking pads. Each pad set has a different thickness to allow for minor fit adjustments within the helmet. As a cherry on top, the Gem is available in 10 different colors.

Compared to the non-budget MTB style helmets on this list, such as the Giro Fixture or Verce, the Gem isn’t as well ventilated. While the Gem does have 24 air vents, the vents are not connected via recessed channels in the foam like they are in the Fixture and Verce. As a result, the Gem offers less airflow and is likely to be a bit more sweaty.

COMMUTER STYLE HELMETS

Thousand Heritage

Retro Styling, Vegan Leather Straps

Woman wearing Thousand Heritage helmet with her toddler who is also wearing a Thousand helmet

STANDOUT FEATURES: Dual certified for biking and skateboard use, vegan leather straps, dial-adjust fit system, free crash replacement policy, anti-theft policy

MSRP: $89
SIZE: Small (54 – 57 cm), Medium (57 – 59), Large (59 – 62)
FIT: Average width
BUCKLE: Fid-lock magnetic
MIPS: No

As the original Thousand helmet, the Thousand Heritage was one of the first bike helmets to prove that you don’t have to sacrifice fashion for function. If you’re hesitant to wear a helmet because helmets just aren’t cool, the Thousand Heritage is your perfect solution.

Offered in 12 different retro-inspired colors, this women’s bike helmet also features vegan leather straps and a Fid-lock magnetic buckle for an added touch of chic-factor.

From a functional perspective, we love the PopLock opening to lock up your helmet along with your bike. This small but genius feature can be a game changer for commuters who don’t want to carry their helmet with them all day. Thousand also has an anti-theft guarantee – if your helmet is stolen while locked, they will replace it for free!

Thousand Chapter

MIPS and Magnetic Rear Light

Woman wearing Thousand Chapter helmet in white with rose gold visor

STANDOUT FEATURES: Magnetic light for better visibility in traffic, locking side straps for less-frequent adjustments, dial-adjust fit system, free crash replacement policy, anti-theft policy

MSRP: $145
SIZE: Small (54 – 57 cm), Medium (57 – 59), Large (59 – 62)
FIT: Average width
BUCKLE: Fid-lock magnetic
MIPS: Yes

So if you’re a Thousand fan, why would you pay more for the Thousand Chapter? While there are certainly many small differences between the two, for us, it comes down to three things – personal style, traffic visibility, and MIPS.

Some women will simply prefer the color options and visual styling of the Chapter better. The Chapter also has a more premium or couture feel to it.

If you’re a true commuter, the magnetic light that attaches to the back of the helmet is a huge safety upgrade. MIPS is also a huge safety upgrade that is not available on the Heritage. If you’re not sure why MIPS is important, we explain that in detail below.

Like the Thousand Heritage, the Chapter also comes with a Pop-lock and anti-theft guarantee, as well as a free crash replacement policy.

Nutcase Vio Adventure

Best Ventilation for a Commuter Helmet

Woman wearing Nutcase Vio Adventure helmet while biking

STANDOUT FEATURES:  Large ventilation channels, removable visor, lock side strap sliders, dial-adjust fit system

MSRP: $99
SIZE: S/M (55 – 59 cm), L/XL (59 – 62 cm)
FIT: Average width
BUCKLE: Fid-lock magnetic
MIPS: Yes

Most commuter helmets have very little ventilation and can make your head quite sweaty, even when it’s not that warm outside. The Nutcase Vio Adventure wins the gold medal for airflow in a commuter helmet.

With three huge air channels running front to back, air can flow freely through the helmet, helping to keep that head cool and sweat to a minimum. Anti-microbial, sealed, sweat-wicking internal pads will also do that sweat-and-stink factor a favor.

If you’ll be commuting in lower light conditions, we highly-recommend splurging on the more expensive Vio ($149), which has lights on the front, rear, and sides of the helmet, and even features a flashing-lights mode.

Nutcase Street

Fun and Funky Designs

Woman wearing Nutcase Street bike helmet with peacock design

STANDOUT FEATURES: Dual-certified for biking and skateboard use, locking slide sliders for less-frequent adjustment, removable visor, dial-adjust fit system

MSRP: $79
SIZE: Small (52 – 56 cm), Medium (56 – 60 cm), Large (60 – 64 cm)
FIT: Very narrow, not a great fit for those on the higher end of the sizing range
BUCKLE: Fid-lock magnetic
MIPS: Yes

A woman’s bike helmet doesn’t get more fun and funky than a Nutcase Street! If you love showing your style in flashy, colorful patterns, Nutcase has plenty of unique designs to choose from. They also frequently add new designs to their line-up, so you may just end up with a few helmets in your garage. 🙂

Nutcase helmets are extremely well-made and durable. If you’re someone who tends to be rough on their stuff, a Nutcase Street might be the best option for you. All Street helmets feature MIPS and are also dual-certified for biking and skateboard use.

IMPORTANT SIZING NOTE: The Nutcase Street has a narrow oval shape. If you have an average-width head but are on the high end of the sizing range, the Street may not fit you. If you have a wide head, the Street probably won’t fit you at all.

For example, the Street medium has a size range of 56 cm – 60 cm. Our lady tester with a 59.5 cm head could not put the Street on her head because the sides were too narrow. On the other hand, the Thousand Chapter medium with a range of 57 cm – 59 cm fit on her head just fine, but was just a bit too tight front to back.

MOUNTAIN AND ROAD BIKE HELMETS

Giro Fixture (or Verce)

Best Universal Fit and Ventilation

Giro Fixture bike helmet worn by woman with her family on bikes

STANDOUT FEATURES: Great ventilation, fixed side straps don’t require adjusting, dial-adjust fit system

MSRP: $70
SIZE: Fixture Unisex (54 – 61 cm), Verce Womens (50 – 57 cm)
FIT: Fixture is slightly wide, Verce is more narrow/average
BUCKLE: Standard
MIPS: Yes

The Giro Fixture and Giro Verce are Giro’s entry-level price point MTB helmets. The two models are identical, except that the Fixture is unisex and the Verce is a women’s bike helmet. So what does this mean? The Fixture’s sizing range is made for larger heads, and is offered in less “feminine” colors.

Because the Fixture has a larger head circumference range (54 – 61 cm), it is also wider on the sides than the Verce (50 – 57 cm). So if you have a head circumference that’s in their overlapping range (54 – 57 cm), which should you choose? If your head is narrow, the Verce may be a better fit. If you have an average to wide head, the Fixture is likely to be more comfortable.

The Fixture and Verce also stand out from the pack for having outstanding ventilation. In addition to having 18 large vents, the vents are connected via recessed channels in the helmet’s foam core. These channels allow air to easily flow from the front of the helmet towards the back as you ride.

Smith Convoy

Highly Adjustable for a Snug Fit

Woman wearing Smith Convoy bike helmet while mountain biking

STANDOUT FEATURES: Super lightweight, highly-adjustable fit system, locking side strap sliders, softer and thicker interior padding than most women’s bike helmets

MSRP: $80
SIZES: Small (51 – 55 cm), Medium (55 – 59 cm), Large (59 – 62 cm)
FIT: Average width
BUCKLE: Standard
MIPS: Yes

We love both the Giro Fixture (Verce) and the Smith Convoy, and they are very similar helmets. So besides color options or brand-love, why might you choose the Smith Convoy over the Giro? Two reasons.

  1. The Smith Convoy’s rear dial adjust cage can be shifted up or down for a more precise fit. This allows you to place the cradle on the back of your head where it feels more comfortable and secure.
  2. The Smith Convoy is less deep than the Giro helmets. If you have an average to “shallow” head, the Giro helmets may sit too low on your forehead and obstruct your vision a little bit. The Smith tends to sit a little higher on the forehead.

Smith Signal

Highly Adjustable for a Snug Fit

Woman wearing Smith Signal road bike helmet

STANDOUT FEATURES: Super lightweight, highly-adjustable fit system, locking side strap sliders, softer and thicker interior padding than most women’s bike helmets

MSRP: $80
SIZES: Small (51 – 55 cm), Medium (55 – 59 cm), Large (59 – 62 cm)
FIT: Average width
BUCKLE: Standard
MIPS: Yes

The Smith Signal is identical to the Smith Convoy, except that it doesn’t have a visor and is available it different colors. Choosing between the Signal and Convoy is purely a matter of personal style preference.

Giro Register

Most Affordable MIPS Option (Road Styling)

Giro Register MIPS bike helmet side angle

STANDOUT FEATURES: 22 vents for superior ventilation, MIPS safety technology, dial-adjust internal cage

MSRP: $65
ONE SIZE: Universal Adult (54 – 61cm), Universal XL (58 – 65cm)
FIT: Shallow, chin straps too short for tall heads
BUCKLE: Standard
MIPS: Yes

The Giro Register has been one of the best selling adult helmets on the market for years, and for a good reason! With plenty of vents to keep you cool, an easy-to-use, dial-adjust internal cage, MIPS safety protection, as well as classic road bike styling, the Register packs a lot of punch in its lower price tag.

Although similar in style and construction to the women’s Giro Vasona (which we don’t recommend), the Register is wider and slightly deeper, which provided a much better fit for most of our testers.

Like the Vasona, however, the Register is still pretty shallow compared to the Giro Fixture. As a result, it wasn’t a great fit for those with taller heads. While the helmet fit circumference-wise on our testers with taller heads, the non-adjustable side straps were too short to allow for proper placement around the ears.

HELMETS WE DON’T RECOMMMEND

Giro Vasona

Poor fit, too narrow and too shallow

giro vasona womens bike helmet
  • MSRP:$65
  • SIZE: 50 – 57 cm
  • FIT: Vasona is very narrow and shallow
  • CONSTRUCTION: In-mold
  • BUCKLE: Standard
  • MIPS: Yes

The Giro Vasona is very well made and offers MIPS protection at a low price, but our testers found the fit and the sizing to be off. The helmet is very narrow and even our tester with a 54 cm head circumference found it to be too tight on the sides.

In addition to being too narrow, it is also very shallow fitting and looks and feels as if it is “perched” on top of the head. Even when dialed in for a tight fit, the Vasona never felt “seated” and would easily tilt front to back.

Schwinn Thrasher

Gets the job done, but is uncomfortable

schwinn thrasher womens bike helmet
  • MSRP: $25
  • SIZE: Youth (54 – 58 cm), Adult (58 – 62 cm)
  • FIT: Slightly narrow fit
  • CONSTRUCTION: Hardshell
  • BUCKLE: Standard
  • MIPS: No

If you are really tight on a budget, the Schwinn Thrasher does get the job done, but you won’t want to wear it for very long. It will protect your head and offers a decent fit, but all of our testers found it to be uncomfortable with time. If you only have $25 to spend, the Thrasher will work, but stretching your budget to get the $29 Retrospec Lennon is a much better choice in the long run.

One thing to take note of is the sizing of the Thrasher. When testing the Thrasher, we actually used the “Youth” size with the smaller 54-58 cm size range as compared to the larger 58-62 cm adult size. Besides the size of the helmets, the two models are the same and you shouldn’t hesitate to purchase the “youth” size even as an adult.

How to Choose the Best Womens Bike Helmet

What’s the secret to finding the best women’s bike helmet for your biking adventures?

Size – Head Circumference in King!

A bike helmet should fit snuggly on your head so that it stays in place in the event of a crash. To get a snug fit, you need to buy the right size helmet!

There is no universal sizing standard, so helmet sizing will depend on brand. A helmet’s size is a range of numbers, for example: 54 – 58 cm. This represents the range of head circumferences the helmet will fit.

There is a range because the helmet can be tightened to accommodate for head circumferences within that range. (More on that below!) Helmets labeled as women’s bike helmets tend to have smaller sizing ranges. Before you buy any helmet, measure your head circumference!

woman measuring her head circumference with a tape measure

However, your head shape also plays a huge role in helmet fit. The interior shape of a helmet is usually molded to fit “most heads”. However, some helmets are a better fit for wide heads or narrow heads. Depending on your head shape, you may not be a good fit for a helmet, even if your head circumference says you should.

For example, one of our lady testers has a head circumference of 59 cm. This falls within the range for both M and L Thousand helmets. But neither size is comfortable for her head shape. If the helmet you love doesn’t feel comfortable once you put it on, try another brand. Every brand has its own unique shape molds, so you may need to give a few different brands a try. (Or even different helmets within the same brand.)

In our list above, we have indicated if we found a helmet to be wider or more narrow than average. For example, the Nutcase Street is a particularly narrow helmet.

Womens Bike Helmets vs. Mens or Unisex

The only difference between men’s, unisex, and women’s bike helmets are the sizing and color options. If you find a men’s or unisex helmet that you like, don’t hesitate to get it. Just make sure that your head circumference falls in the sizing range.

Adjustability – Dial Adjust Fit System Is Ideal

Dial adjust on the back of a womens bike helmet

Every helmet on our Best Bike Helmets for Women list has a dial adjust fit system. A dial adjust has a knob at the back of the helmet that you tighten so that the helmet’s rear cage sits snuggly against the back of your head.

Some considerably more expensive helmets have “auto-fit” systems that automatically adjust to your head shape when you put them on.

Very cheap helmets might not have a true fit system at all. These helmets usually come with sets of interior pads that you can swap out to help you get the right fit. In general, we suggest avoiding helmets like this, especially since there are many cheap helmets that offer the vastly superior dial-adjust system for the same price.

Ventilation – Can You Keep Your Head from Getting Sweaty?

On a hot summer day, there’s not a whole lot you can do to prevent your beautiful mane from getting wet and sweaty underneath that bike helmet. However, there are certainly helmets that offer better ventilation than others.

Commuter Helmet vs. Mountain Bike Helmet Ventilation

Womens commuter helmet and womens mountain bike helmet side by side, showing how the mountain bike helmet has more vents

Commuter helmets generally have the fewest vents. This will keep your head warmer in the cool months if you’re a full-year commuter, but you could also just get a winter helmet cap to wear under your helmet when it’s cold.

If you live in place with a really hot summer climate, a road style or mountain bike helmet will have more vents and keep your head cooler.

What About My Ponytail?

As women ourselves, this has been one of our greatest frustrations with our bike helmets. The best solution is just to wear a low ponytail. We don’t ever wear low ponytails otherwise, but we adjust our hair just before putting on our helmets.

There are a few bike helmets for women that have a rear ponytail hole to allow you to wear a higher ponytail. The Nutcase Street is the only helmet on our list to have a dedicated ponytail hole.

While we love this in theory, we’ve found it difficult to position our ponytails in the right place on our heads so it lines up just right with the ponytail hole. It can also be a pain to thread your ponytail through the hole.

If your helmet doesn’t have a dedicated ponytail hole, you can also try threading your ponytail through the space between the bottom of your helmet shell and the top of the dial-adust knob, which is what our test rider did below. As an FYI, this won’t work with all helmets. Most helmets will need your hair down or in a low ponytail.

Woman wearing high ponytail threaded through the back of her bike helmet

Buckle – Is Magnetic Better?

Standard buckles are less expensive and keep the cost of a helmet down. They are the most common buckle on both cheap and expensive helmets.

Standard vs. Magnetic Buckle

Collage showing a standard buckle on a bike helmet vs a magnetic Fid-lock buckle.

Some higher-end helmets offer Fid-lock magnetic buckles. Magnetic buckles are a cool, “nice to have” feature, but certainly aren’t necessary for a women’s bike helmet, unless you really need to unbuckle your helmet with only one hand.

Magnetic buckles are most beneficial for kids as they make it less likely to pinch your child’s neck. It is highly unlikely you will ever pinch your own neck when buckling your own helmet.

MIPS – Do I Need It?

MIPS stands for multi-directional protection system and is an additional level of head and brain safety now commonly offered in many brands of bike helmets.

MIPS is a plastic layer on the inside of your helmet that is held in place by flexible, (usually) yellow anchors. Upon impact, these anchors allow the helmet to slightly rotate, which reduces the rotational forces of the impact on your head.

MIPS system inside a bike helmet

Helmets without MIPS are designed to help dissipate linear motion, while MIPS helmets also help dissipate the rotational motion from angled impacts.

According to the MIPS website, the brain is more sensitive to rotational impact, so protecting your brain from that rotational motion can help prevent brain injuries.

While MIPS is the most well-known “brain safety system” technology for helmets, some brands have developed their own technologies that can be argued to be just as good. Additionally, there are some experts that don’t believe MIPS is as helpful as it claims. Those opposing arguments are nicely summed up on helmets.org.

Many of the helmets on our Best Womens Bike Helmets list feature MIPS, but they will almost always be more expensive that helmets that don’t have MIPS.

10 Best Helmets for Kids: Our tried and true favorites over 12 years of testing helmets.

10 Best Helmets for Babies and Toddlers: Need a smaller size? Try our list for the littlest noggins.

Kids’ Helmet Sizes Guide: Don’t buy the wrong size helmet! Just follow our easy guide.

FTC Disclosure: Affiliate links are included in this review.  No monetary compensation was provided for this review, however, some of the reviewed product was supplied by the manufacturer or distributor to help facilitate this review. All opinions and images are that of Two Wheeling Tots LLC.  All content and images are copyrighted and should not be used or replicated in any way. View our Terms of Use.

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