There has been a long standing debate on which helmet type is the best choice for riders, Open face helmet or Full face Helmet. I personally believe that the type of bike riding you do, and the places that you will be riding your bike, help to determine whether you should be wearing an open face helmet or a full face helmet.
I believe that most bike riders could benefit from owning both types of head gear. Then they could make their choice according to the style of riding they would be doing that day.
The following are pros and cons of both helmet types so you can decide for yourself which one is best, safest, or right for you.
Open Face Helmet
- You can feel the wind in your face
- These helmets are cooler than full face helmets
- These helmets are lighter than full face helmets
- These helmets generally cost less than full face helmets
- You can smell the air around you
- You can hear the sounds of traffic, and nature
- You do not have any blind spots created by the helmet so you can see better wearing these helmets
- May not mess up your hair as much so women riders might prefer this style
- You do not get as much protection from wind, rain, or natural elements
- The helmet may not provide as much protection to your face if you slide down pavement.
- May not fit as snugly as a full face helmet
- Might move, or wobble
- The wind can often lift the helmet slightly and make it uncomfortable
Full Face Helmet
- The full face helmets do offer an extra amount of protection in a crash
- Less dirt and debris can be blown into your face
- These helmets fit more snugly
- Protection from rocks that might be thrown from under the tire of another vehicle
- Warmer to wear in the winter months
- Better jaw protection in the event of a crash
- May give you a better sense of modern style than the open face helmets do
- Your sight is limited by the presence of the helmet. Your peripheral vision is impaired while wearing these helmets. People often report that they feel like they have tunnel vision when wearing a full face helmet.
- You feel disconnected from the bike and the world around you
- Your noise reduction may be so great as to cause you to miss subtle sounds that might alert you to danger
- These helmets are hotter than open face helmets
- These helmets are heavier than open face helmets and may cause neck strain or neck injury due to the extra weight
- You cannot feel the wind in your face
- These helmets are more expensive than open face helmets
As long as you are wearing a helmet that meets all of the required safety regulations, and your helmet fits you properly, then the real decision about open face or full face boils down to personal preference.