Whether it’s just a cruise around the block or a cross-country tour, helmets can get heavy. They start to weigh on your shoulder and neck muscles and wear you out while you ride.
It’s no wonder that many riders look for the lightest motorcycle helmets they can find, myself included. These are the lightest I’ve found.
At just 2.99 pounds, the Scorpion EXO-R1 Air is one of the most comfortable helmets on the market, yet it provides a high level of protection with a carbon shell and EPS liner.
If you want an open-face helmet for comfort and convenience, the Shark S-Drak 2 weighs a mere 2.89 pounds and has versatile, removable components for riding in different kinds of weather.
Reviews of the Lightest Motorcycle Helmets
Scorpion EXO-R1 Air Carbon Helmet
The Scorpion EXO-R1 weighs just 2.99 pounds. This gives you agility regardless of your riding application. For example, it reduces fatigue on long rides and touring, but it’s also good for racing and sport riding since you can adjust yourself on the bike with better balance.
Of course, it’s still as safe—if not safer—as a heavier helmet because it’s made with a carbon-fiber shell. Plus, underneath, the multilayer EPS absorbs the energy from an impact for better protection. There are even emergency-release cheek pads that let EMTs take off the helmet without moving your neck, which increases the risk of permanent injury.
If there’s one problem with the EXO-R1, it’s that it can be a bit loud due to the thinner, lightweight shell. However, Scorpion minimizes this issue with an AirFit adjustment system that makes the cheek pads fit snugly but comfortably to your face as well as a chin curtain that cuts down on wind entering the bottom of the helmet.
- Multilayer EPS
- Emergency-release cheek pads
- AirFit inflation adjustment
- Aero chin curtain
- Removable antimicrobial interior
Shark S-Drak 2 Carbon Helmet
If you’re looking for an open-face helmet, you probably appreciate the lighter weight. In this case, the S-Drak 2 helmet and its carbon-fiber shell maximize this benefit. The helmet weighs just 2.89 pounds.
It’s also just one of my favorite open-face helmets overall. Although it doesn’t provide the safety of a true chin guard, there’s a removable face mask that adds comfort and wind-breaking for cooler temperatures.
Similarly, the retractable sun visor and optional peak give you versatility for different weather conditions and riding applications.
If you go with this helmet, just be sure to check the sizing guide. There are only two shell sizes, so getting the right fit can be a bit difficult.
- Comfortable open-face design
- Removable face mask
- Retractable sun visor
- Snap-on peak
- Only two shell sizes
- No chin protection
HJC RPHA 11 Pro Carbon Helmet
I’m a big fan of HJC, so I wasn’t surprised to find that they make one of the lightest motorcycle helmets on the market.
The RPHA 11 Pro weighs in at just 3.06 pounds.
The carbon-fiber shell is both lightweight and robust, providing a comfortable fit without compromising protection. Plus, the RPHA 11’s aerodynamic design minimizes drag, making highway speeds more comfortable and less noisy.
Another thing I really like is the ventilation system. It has adjustable forehead and chin vents combined with the rear exhaust vents to create optimal airflow, so it’s good for summer commuting. Similarly, the MultiCool interior wicks away sweat, which helps you cool off.
Finally, while I’m not a fan of carbon coloring myself, make sure to check out the other finish options of the RPHA 11 Pro. Aside from sleeker colors, there are some seriously cool graphic designs you can choose from to match your personal style.
- Tough protective shell
- Extensive ventilation
- Removable antibacterial MultiCool interior
- Graphic finish options
- Emergency-release cheek pads
- Awkward chin strap
Sedici Strada II Carbon Helmet
The Sedici Strada II is both lightweight and strong, weighing in at a mere 3.16 pounds. The carbon shell sits on a dual-density EPS liner that earns it DOT certification.
The main draw of the Strada II is that it’s a lightweight carbon model at a budget price. However, this does mean you cut costs in other places. Namely, the helmet has quite a bit of lift at high speeds, though it’s still surprisingly quiet, thanks to the removable chin skirt.
It’s pretty comfortable, too, with adjustable padding and cheek pads that are removable and washable, which helps keep them soft and fluffy. The ventilation increases comfort in hot temperatures as well and also helps reduce fogging.
- Dual-density EPS liner
- Great value
- Removable chin skirt
- Adjustable padding
- Removable, washable cheek pads
- Lift at high speeds
- Runs small
AGV Sportmodular Carbon Solid Helmet
AGV is known as a high-quality helmet brand, and the Sportmodular is one of its lightest models at just 3.2 pounds, especially given the convenient modular design.
The main reason to get this helmet, though, is safety. Not only is it made from carbon fiber, but it has a five-density EPS liner and comes in four sizes for a more exact fit. Plus, AGV meticulously designed the shell to dissipate the shock from impact away from the collar bone, all while being aerodynamic and agile.
The Sportmodular comes with other top-shelf features as well. These include antibacterial cheek pads, extensive ventilation, and a reversible crown pad you can reverse for warm or cool weather.
- Modular design
- Five-density EPS
- Safe, aerodynamic shell design
- Antibacterial cheek pads
- Extensive ventilation
- Reversible crown pad
- Top-shelf price
You probably noticed that every helmet on my list has a carbon-fiber shell. That’s because carbon fiber is the best material for constructing a lightweight helmet that still provides a high level of protection.
While carbon can drive up the price a bit, if your primary concern is helmet weight, I definitely recommend a carbon-fiber helmet.
Even though you’re cutting down on weight, you still want a helmet that’s safe and protective. Again, I highly recommend a carbon-fiber shell in that case. Additionally, make sure the helmet has an EPS liner that absorbs the shock from a potential impact.
Other important safety features you should look for:
- An emergency release that lets EMTs remove the helmet without moving your neck
- A wide field of vision that gives you a better view of vehicles on either side
- An adequate fit that’s snug on your head without causing discomfort
Aerodynamics and Lift
One big problem with light helmets is that they tend to lift up more than heavier helmets, especially at high speeds. This is uncomfortable and also dangerous since the helmet might not be positioned correctly in case of an accident.
I suggest looking for a lightweight helmet with an aerodynamic design. Not only will this cut down on lift, but it will improve your overall riding experience by making you more streamlined.
I’m a big fan of ventilation, regardless of helmet type. Just by adding a few vents to a helmet, you get better temperature regulation while minimizing fogging on the face shield.
Even better, I like a helmet with adjustable ventilation. This way, you can direct the airflow as needed to keep cool and reduce the internal humidity. You can even close it altogether if it’s getting too cold.
Thanks to improving technology, motorcycle helmets keep getting lighter while providing high levels of protection. My top recommendation is the Scorpion EXO-R1 Air Carbon Helmet. I also found the Shark S-Drak 2 Carbon Helmet to be a great open-face option.