Bicycle commuting is rarely a dangerous affair, but a good-quality commuter helmet is invaluable if you’re pedaling on busy roads with motorists. The best helmet offers good protection in case of a crash or fall and gets you to your destination without overheating. If you’re wondering how to pick a safe and stylish commuter cycling helmet for women, you came to the right place.
Here are four tips on how to choose a safe and stylish commuter cycling helmet:
- Find the right fit.
- Look at the safety features and certification.
- Go for comfort.
- Search for your ideal design.
The rest of this post will go into detail regarding these factors and also recommend a few of the safest and most stylish commuter helmets for women. Let’s dive in.
1. Find the Right Fit
Here’s the thing about helmets and other safety gear: If it doesn’t fit perfectly, it won’t protect you or function properly. An ill-fitting helmet can increase your chances of injury in case of a fall or crash. A helmet should fit snugly without pressing your pressure points and also stay in place when you shake your head up and down or side to side.
If you’ve adjusted the dials and harness and it still shakes when you move your head, it’s the wrong size. The same goes for any helmet that feels too tight and constricting.
To get the right fit, measure the circumference of your head. Wrap a measuring tape around the widest part of your head, usually about 2 cm (0.79 inches) above your eyebrows, and note the result. You can do this at home or visit a bike shop to get a professional fit.
That said, be aware that different helmet designs fit different head shapes, so it’s not all about size.
2. Look at the Safety Features and Certification
In case you don’t know already, cycling is responsible for the highest number of head injuries in the United States. So if you use a good helmet designed to take the force during impact, you can increase your chances of preventing such injuries.
For this reason, all helmets have to pass stringent tests with a focus on physical impact. The testing determines if a particular helmet is safe for cyclists and whether it’ll protect them in the event of a crash. In fact, there are ratings for this testing set by the US Consumer Products Safety Commission, and some helmets are better rated than others.
A big part of this is the added technology different brands use to ensure the helmet protects the person’s head from injury. The most common one is known as MIPS or multi-directional impact technology.
This technology came about when some developers realized that people involved in a bike accident fell at a certain angle. MIPS features a plastic liner inside the helmet designed to reduce the rotational forces with impact.
Some brands like Bontrager use WaveCel technology which absorbs and distributes the impact energy through the padding. This works like the airbag in a car to protect your head from injury.
Here are some top picks for safe commuter helmets while keeping it stylish:
Th Giro Register features MIPS Technology and has 22 vents for maximum air flow to keep your head cool. The helmet has a Quick Link removable visor for fast and easy installation and removal. In-Mold polycarbonate shell with EPS liner making it lighter and cooler than traditional helmets. The helmet comes in 6 colors on Amazon. You can increase your visibility by picking a white helmet or the Highlight Yellow color.
We love a helmet that can do it all and still look stylish. This POC Omne Air SPIN Cycling Helmet features POC’s SPIN pad technology to lessen the impact of a crash by making the helmet slide relative to the brain. Plus, thanks to the frontal zone ventilation and 360° adjustment system, the helmet is also quite comfortable. It has a wide variety of colors (15 colors on Amazon) to choose from, so you can be as stylish as you want.
The Kask Moebius is a super elegant but simple design offering excellent safety and comfort. The Moebius is designed for the commuter rider and is a helmet that stands up to hard use. It has a lightweight, scratch-resistant shell and has a front and rear vent for heat management. A detachable peak to protect the rider from sun and rain. This helmet comes in 10 colors.
This one ticks all the right boxes: It’s extremely lightweight yet strong and durable, protective, and visible on the road. The helmet has a whopping 32 vents, making for a comfortable, breezy ride to work even in the hottest weather.
It’s impressive in that it used in-molding construction and MIPS technology for impact protection without adding significantly to the helmet’s weight. If you’re looking for a helmet designed specifically for a woman’s head, this is the one. There are 10 color combinations on Amazon.
This helmet is tech-styled, so it looks like a mountain bike helmet, even though it’s not. It’s designed for daily commuting, thanks to the lightweight design, ventilation, and color. Further, the back of the helmet is extended to offer extra protection, making it suitable for mountain biking as well.
Although it’s a universal fit that works for most women, remember to check out the measurements before ordering.
Most helmets are either stylish or safe, but this Lumos Ultra Smart helmet strikes the perfect balance between both. It’s a helmet that you can connect your smartphone to the Lumos Companion app and customize the pattern of your helmet LEDs, adjust the brightness, and sync with Strava and Apple Health. The battery life is up to 10 hours and uses a Universal USB Type-C charging cable. There are 4 colors available and you have the option of purchasing the helmet with or without MIPS.
3. Go for Comfort
Comfort is key with a helmet because you won’t want to wear it if feels too loose or tight on your head. That said, comfort can mean different things to people. For some, it’s the feeling of freedom and lightness, as though you’re not wearing a helmet. Others may prefer a well-ventilated helmet, while a few may like more cushioning.
Whatever the case, a good commuter helmet should:
- Be snug and not move around your head
- Be well ventilated and keep your head cool
- Feel lightweight on your head
- Sit right above your eyebrows so it can protect your forehead without obstructing your vision
- Have some padding inside to absorb sweat and be a barrier between the outer shell and the head
4. Search for Your Ideal Design
The design of a helmet encapsulates everything from the material, how light it is, the padding inside, and (most importantly) the vents. All of these make a commuter helmet comfortable and safe. However, brands are getting more creative with designs to make helmets more stylish and practical.
For instance, the typical black or white helmet is now adorned with fluorescent colors with bright hues to make the helmet more visible in traffic. It’s fun to see helmets in all colors, from pink to silver to gold.
You also want to consider the chin strap in a helmet. Most of them are made from nylon or polypropylene, which can be uncomfortable when you’re hot and sweaty. A better alternative is microfiber because it’s absorbent and moisture-wicking.
Speaking of chin straps, you can choose between a magnetic or snap buckle. The magnetic one offers a quicker and easier opening and closing, especially when you need to do it with one hand.
Another current design feature is the inclusion of a visor. This helps keep the sun out of your eyes and increases your field of vision.
Choosing a safe and stylish commuter cycling helmet for women is about trying out different options. First, you have to know what you’re looking for in terms of design, feel, and size. Then, you get one that matches your criteria best.
Different designs fit different shapes better, so you may have to wear a few in the bike shop and get the perfect feel before you buy.
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