Latest Carbon Fibre Helmet Reviews
Best/Highest Rated Carbon Fibre Helmets
We add our own star rating to every helmet review - rating helmets out of five stars for Safety, Comfort, Noise, Features and Value. So, in this section you'll find all helmets that are available in carbon fibre versions ranked in order of best score
Are Carbon Fibre Helmets Better and Safer than other Helmets?
Carbon fibre helmets are not intrinsically better than composite or thermoplastic helmets, but overall, if we look at the data (below) they do tend to be a bit lighter and score better for helmet safety in SHARP safety tests. But then, they are more difficult and costly to fabricate which means most helmet brands will put them in their higher end helmets which you'd hope would offer more of the good stuff we look for in a helmet - i.e. comfort, features, safety and so on.
Across all carbon fibre helmets tested by SHARP, carbon lids were around 0.7 of a single star better protecting than an average polycarbonate helmet (remember SHARP scores helmets out of five stars) and they're about 200g lighter. But then they're an average of three times the price so you really have to pay for that extra performance. Are they worth it? That's entirely up to you...
Carbon Helmets for a Bluetooth Headset
65% of riders use some form of bluetooth headset while riding; listening to music or podcasts, using their GPS or chatting to mates on other bikes or on the phone. It's no surprise then that most carbon fibre helmets these days come with some way for you to mount a bluetooth headset on them.
It might just be some speaker pockets inside or there might be a compartment for the battery, controller and routing for the wiring. Either way, all these carbon helmets can take a bluetooth headset if you're wanting to fit one.
Are Carbon Fibre Helmets Worth it? Why use Carbon?
Carbon fibre is a composite material usually made up of a carbon fibre strands woven into a fabric and set in a resin - usually plastic.
The great thing about carbon fibre, as far as we're concerned, is that it looks cool when you make a crash helmet out of it. Oh, and it's very strong for its weight!
This last part is why helmet manufacturers have been keen to use carbon fibre in the construction of their top-end crash helmets for the last ten years. But it does have a downside.
That's because crash helmet shells need to have a certain amount of flex in them to try and absorb energy and stop it passing through to the brain. And carbon fibre is very strong and stiff so very resistant to flexing. Which can present a challenge to helmet makers.
Having said that, they mostly seem to have overcome this problem because, as you can see from our comparison of helmet shell material versus SHARP helmet safety score in the table further up the page, carbon fibre helmets overall perform very well. They seem to manage to be lighter, stronger and offer excellent shock-absorption qualities all at the same time.
That's probably because many helmets that use carbon fibre include it as part of a composite - often including layers of fibreglass, kevlar, plastic and other custom-designed materials working alongside carbon fibre. This allows helmet makers to tune the performance of the shell to give as close to the right set of characteristics they're looking for. Even many 'pure carbon' helmets on sale today are actually composites. Which is no surprise really because carbon fibre itself is a composite material.
Cheapest Carbon Fibre Helmets
Carbon Fibre Helmets with Integrated Bluetooth
OK, we've had a section of carbon fibre helmets that'll take a bluetooth set. But if you're after a more integrated approach where a helmet's been designed with compartments and pockets to seamlessly integrate with a brand's own bluetooth headset, then that's what you'll find below.
Of course, that means you'll have to buy a specific bluetooth kit to work with that helmet (and we'll detail which you'll need in the review) but they're mostly developed by well known bluetooth system manufacturers so many are pretty cutting-edge systems.
Carbon Fibre Helmet Manufacture
The way carbon fibre is made is by creating a carbon thread then weaving it into a fabric. Doing this gives it strength in two planes. This is then set into a binder - usually a thermoplastic resin (the stuff that thermoplastic helmets are made out of) - which gives it three dimensional strength. Using multiple layers together multiplies that strength further.
It's not quite so straightforward though because there are lots of different grades of thread quality, weaves and binders, all offering a multitude of material characteristics and available at exotic and startling price points!
For example, the Bell Pro Star race helmet, uses a special flatter, stronger carbon fibre called TeXtreme which partly accounts for it's higher price. Its sister helmet, the slightly cheaper Bell Race Star uses a 3K carbon fibre weave which is slightly bulkier and has a different finish.
Carbon Fibre Helmets with Sun Visors
3K & 6K Carbon Fibres
You'll often hear terms like 3K and 6K carbon fibre. This refers to the number of carbon fibre filaments in each carbon thread (or 'tow'). So 3K carbon fibre has 3000 filaments and is the 'workhorse' good all rounder type of carbon fibre, whereas the 6000 filament 6K carbon fibre and is slightly cheaper and with a thicker tow. These are then woven into different pattern sheets with the plain and twill weaves being most common for motorcycle helmets.
So, Should I Buy a Carbon Fibre Helmet?
Because carbon fibre is expensive to buy and fabricate, helmet makers tend to use it mostly in their top of the range helmets. And those helmets tend to have more care and attention and better quality materials lavished on them anyway - hence their better overall performance.
However, the fact of the matter is that if you were wanting to buy a safe and high performing crash helmet and are going to base your buying decision on helmet shell material alone, then - as you can see in the table higher up the page - you're probably best going for a carbon fibre full face helmet.
So there you go. Carbon fiber isn't just pretty, it's strong (and pricey) too. And it allows helmet manufacturers to make some great looking, great performing and lightweight motorcycle helmets to keep our heads safely cossetted doing what we love most.