Whether you’re a racing veteran or stepping on to the track for the first time, there’s one essential aspect you can’t afford to forget – your auto racing helmet.
The primary function of your helmet is protection. Racing drivers have their bodies strapped in very tightly into the vehicle, and during the race, the head/neck can whiplash and jerk around. Helmets protect the head in case of a crash, and they help to distribute the impact energy over a larger area. They prevent flying debris from harming the face and head. Racing drivers generally wear full-face helmets that protect the head, face, mouth, and chin.
Helmets adhere to strict safety standards. In the US, the Department of Transportation (DOT) imposes these regulations, and Snell also certifies them. FIA 8858 and 8860 are other related certifications.
It’s essential to choose the right helmet according to your head size and shape. Research the ratings and certifications so that you know exactly what you’re buying. While it’s wise to compare prices, that shouldn’t be the deciding factor. Look at accessories and attachments, maintenance, and servicing aspects.
Here are the best auto racing helmets.
The Best Auto Racing Helmet
Manufactured from lightweight, flame, and scratch-resistant fiberglass composite, this one is for the serious racer. It gives the big boys in its class a real run for the money. You’ll love the clean, sleek design and minimalist styling. The Kevlar chin strap and matte black exterior look classy. The padded interior has airflow venting to keep your head cool and visor seals to combat drafts. Snell approves all Conquer helmets for the major racing associations. It weighs 4.9lbs
If you are into motorcycles, you will surely like some of these cool vintage motorcycle helmets from our list.
Available in sizes ranging from small to 2X-Large, this is a versatile product ideal for all types of racing. Fire-resistant, moisture-wicking ACS (Advanced Channeling System), comfortable carbon interior with superb ventilation, this is an affordable option. It provides a good fit and is also aerodynamic. It weighs 4 lbs.
If you love Bell styling, and their signature open face helmets, this one’s for you. All-purpose, no-frills, lightweight, and classic shape are its calling card. Easy to wear and take off, it’s built to high standards and is the perfect choice for occasional racers on a budget. But that doesn’t mean they cut corners on safety and quality. You get all of Bell’s focus on quality and the reputation they’ve built since debuting in 1954.
The company has one of the best and most comprehensive head protection design and testing facilities in the world. Their design concept mimics the natural protective properties of the human brain while adding a superb layer of their manufacture. The extra layer of MIPS (a patented product) inside the helmet moves and provides additional protection from rotational forces.
You may also be interested in some of the best modular motorcycle helmets from our list. Check them out.
Available in Small to XX-Large sizes, this is the right choice for autocross, dirt-track, drag-racing, and more. This product is entirely race-ready, and you don’t have to go through a breaking-in period with this one.
The soft and plushy interior with cooling rear exhaust vent, composite fiberglass exterior in matte black, and HANS threaded inserts in the shell are primary features. Kevlar chin strap with D-ring closure, eye-port gaskets to block dust and flying debris contribute more functionality. You’ll also appreciate the 3mm thick optically correct, clear polycarbonate face shield that offers excellent protection.
The soft helmet storage bag that comes with this helmet makes it easy and convenient to transport and store the helmet. It weighs 4 lbs.
Super lightweight carbon composite shell and fire-retardant, removable and washable interior give versatile protection. This USA-made aerodynamic product has ear-muffs/ear-pads and chin bar with EPS foam and a hydration port. It’s the best technology value for the money in open-wheel, closed cockpit, or kart driving.
Exciting new features include chin bar aero lips in the shell and the ability to add new Tri-Tech Air system that allows you to run natural, forced air. The earmuffs and ear pads provide a more peaceful driving experience as they cut out external disturbances while enabling you to hear just what you need to hear.
The size range is wide enough and accommodates sizes X-Small to XX-Large. It weighs 4.88 lbs.
For those of you who prefer motorcycle races, we have prepared a list of the top motorcycle race helmets. Check them out.
Appropriate for the experienced rally racer, as well as novices, this helmet incorporates all of Conquer’s focus on safety and comfort. The lightweight, fiberglass shell prevents neck strain and fatigue during long hours of rallying.
The removable sun-visor is an excellent feature on this affordable product as it incorporates a tinted shade portion on the removable visor. This product comes with its drawstring storage bag and is Snell 2010 certified. Choose between matte black or gloss white. You’ll love the look and feel of this one. If you’re a DIY enthusiast, you’ll like Conquer’s extensive online knowledge database that packs assembly tips, product information, and maintenance advice. It weighs 4.85 lbs.
This helmet is the Big Daddy of racing helmets and can set you back a pretty penny. But it’s worth every dime – the Stilo ST5 GT Wide Carbon SA2015 Snell SA 2015 is the New Gen full-face helmet from Stilo is a premium product for serious racers. Stilo’s vision is top functionality, and it believes that everything that the driver needs should be a standard feature on their product, be it intercom, connections, earmuffs, or drinking system.
This helmet is for the closed cockpit drivers who need a larger eye-port and are willing to pay premium prices. It features a taller eye-port cutout, and the unique visor accommodates the larger opening of the eye-port. You won’t find wires or cables hanging outside the helmet because everything integrates seamlessly into the shell. It weighs 5.1 lbs.
For some modern and quality options, be sure to browse our guide to the best rated Bluetooth motorcycle helmets.
Designed especially for the novice racer, this is an excellent option for the young fledgling driver who enters through karting. You will be glad to protect your young driver with this model because it does everything that the standard helmet does. It has a Snell rating like adult helmets, is priced sensibly, and has a specific certification necessary for kids’ competitive motor-sports.
This helmet offers proper head protection and is an excellent way to introduce safety concepts to the young amateur racer who is just making her or his way into the field of auto racing. It weighs 5 lbs.
If you’re the occasional autocross enthusiast or prefer classic open face helmets, this one is for you. The overall size is quite big, and it is one of the most affordable race-rated helmets available in the market today. The large size may look a bit goofy, but it’s great when you need to wear glasses as they fit snugly into the open face. It’s a simple, no-frills design and fire-resistant construction that allows you to feel the thrill, excitement, and the free flow of air – which is why you’re here in the first place.
This helmet is also very durable and comes with its storage bag for convenience and portability. It weighs 4.5 lbs.
Rated Snell SA2015 Homologation, this is one of the lightest helmets available at this price point. Bell’s products are an excellent choice for versatile racers. The M.8 is the new generation in Bell’s famous M series design concept. This blueprint incorporates enhanced visibility, classic styling, and wide-ranging spectrum of features designed to cater to all kinds of auto racing.
Outstanding comfort, lightweight composite shell, plush, comfortable interior, excellent ventilation with adjustable air intake vents, and a convenient, large eye-opening make this helmet a superb buy for racers who wear glasses or need a wider-angle visual field. Available in sizes ranging from 2X Small to 4X Large, you get a choice of matte black or white.
If you’ve got a mid-oval-shaped head like a lot of people, this is a great pick. Lightweight, it features Arai’s trademark classy finish and is pegged at a reasonable price point in the scale of 8860 offerings. It is a respected brand among pro drivers in IMSA, Pirelli World Challenge, and F1. The large 10mm air intake vents have exhaust holes for extra airflow.
This helmet features new shield pivot hardware with a redesigned track slider for better aerodynamics and wider eye-ports to enhanced peripheral vision. The Arai patented carbon fiber weave provides a robust yet flexible shell that keeps weight and size well in control. Arai’s proprietary six series 3mm thick visor are not interchangeable with the GP5. The custom-fit cheek pads feature emergency release tabs for quick removal in an accident. It weighs 3lbs.
As the leading contender to the Conquer brand, RaceQuip features a wide range of products. The Pro15 is one of their most popular models. It is Snell SA2015 rated and uses an expanded polystyrene liner as the shell. The helmet has a distortion-free 3mm polycarbonate low fog shield with an aluminum pivot kit. The Kevlar chin strap, comfort-fit Nomexr interior, and tear-off posts that hand-ratchet to eight positions add safety and comfort.
Available in 8 different sizes, these helmets come in flat or glossy black, gloss steel or gloss white colors. If you’re looking for a top-class helmet that won’t break your budget, this one’s for you.
Rated Snell SA 2015, this helmet features a super lightweight, anti-scratch, flame-resistant, fiberglass composite shell construction, and fire-retardant interior. The airflow venting allows you to stay cool while the Kevlar chin strap and removable, washable cheek pads provide added safety and comfort. There is also a vented aerodynamic chin spoiler to smooth the flow of air.
The short visor with sunscreen is excellent to cut the glare of the race track and prevent dust and debris from entering. The microphone shield blocks outside noises, so you can focus entirely on the task. The company offers sound advice on sizing and how to pick the right one for your head size.
Though not such a well-known brand, Roux Helmets USA is a company that’s making waves among discerning racers, the company was founded in 2014 by veteran racers Juan Carlos Leroux and Toto Lassally. Their products incorporate revolutionary design and the most advanced safety features in racing today.
Their helmets feature the Release Equipped Safety system that has been specifically designed for racers, by racers, with safety as the #1 priority. In case of an emergency, the safety crew can easily and quickly remove the racer’s helmet, ensuring that there’s no pressure put on the neck. This particular helmet is the company’s flagship offering and features a unique water-cooling system to keep the head cool.
This Italian company has earned a name for itself for its high-quality steering wheels and race seats, along with a great selection of premium racing helmets. The carbon fiber shell surrounds a class-leading communications-ready setup that combines military-grade connections on the adjustable carbon fiber boom and noise-canceling microphone.
Understandably, all this doesn’t come cheap, but it’s fantastic value for money. All the inner elements on this helmet are removable, can be re-positioned, and are washable. The polystyrene fillers are breathable and provide superb ventilation. This helmet is available in six convenient sizes and functions well for rallying.