With 2020 already set to be among one of the hottest years so far, that means two things: great riding weather and that your helmet will need to keep you cool. So, we’ve gone out on our road test, measured our data, and we’ve brought you the best ventilating helmets for 2020.
Best Ventilating Helmets of 2020 Road Tested + Video
One of the last things you want when riding in nice weather is ending up with a poorly ventilated lid. Things get stuffy and claustrophobic, and if it gets too hot, it can even affect your driving. And besides, it is so much better to feel the breeze as you ride in the sun. So, rather than riding our bike and bringing you our opinions, we’ve measured the ventilation, the noise, and the airspeed to give you the facts.
Though often getting better ventilation means you lose out on noise isolation, we’ve limited our selection to helmets that give the best ventilation without sacrificing very much on noise. So, representing each major riding segment, we’ve got the Schuberth C4 Pro for modular helmets, Arai SZ-R VAS for open face lids, AGV X3000 for those looking to break out their vintage bikes, the Shoei NXR for sport touring, and the Shoei X-Spirit 3 and AGV Pista GP RR for sports helmets.
Road Test Setup
In case you’re unfamiliar with our road test setup, this is just a quick reminder. We measured the helmet’s internal temperature in degrees Celsius based on a thermometer placed near the helmet’s EPS. For the noise level, we used a decibel meter recording the noise level in the helmet from a microphone placed near our rider’s ear.
For the day’s airspeed in km//h, we mounted an anemometer to the bike, and, lastly, we performed our test at 130 km/h (80mph) on long stretches of highway.
Best Vented Modular Helmet
First, for modular helmets we’ve chosen the Schuberth C4 Pro Motorcycle Helmet. This is among one of the best modular helmets currently available alongside the Shoei Neotec 2 and the AGV Sportmodular.
With a recommended retail price of 600 Euros or 680 USD, the shell of the Schuberth C4 Pro helmet is made of fiberglass produced through Schuberth’s Direct Fiber Processing method to reduce weight and waste (though it is also available as the C4 Pro Carbon). The helmet comes with an intermediate to round head shape and in 3 outer shell sizes. The helmet weighs about 1620 grams, or 3lbs 9oz, which is average.
The vents can be found in the chin and the brow, and both are adjustable. The helmet comes pinlock prepared with the insert supplied in the box and an internal sun visor operated on the side.
The interior is a comfortable velvet material that is antibacterial, washable, and moisture wicking. The system is also fully prepared for the SC1 system with the speakers and microphone already included and the helmet uses a micrometric chin strap. Lastly, the Schuberth earned 3 stars from SHARP and stayed shut in 100% of tests and it is ECE 22.05 certified.
Schuberth C4 Pro Road Test
When we road tested the Schuberth C 4 Pro, it was a sunny summer day with the day’s airspeed at about 115-120 km/h. The exterior temperature was a very hot 31 degrees Celsius, or 87F, while the internal temperature was 30 C, or 86 F, which is a difference of 1 degree. For noise, we also measured an excellent result of 99 decibels, which is among one of the quietest helmets we’ve road tested so far.
Schuberth C4 Pro Champion Helmets Score
For material, the helmet earns 4 stars for its DFP outer shell and another 3 for its 1620 gram weight. The visor, since it comes with pinlock in the box, drop down visor, and easy to use mechanism, earns 4 stars and for noise it earned 5 for its excellent 99 dB. Lastly, for ventilation and comfort the helmet earns 5 stars since it was cooler than the outside and extremely comfortable.
So, overall the helmet earns 4 stars at 24 Euros/star. While the AGV Sport Modular and Shoei Neotec II did match the C4 Pro in terms of their strong ventilation performance, we still decided on the Schuberth since it has balanced its great ventilation with its excellent noise isolation.
Best Ventilating Open Face Helmet
For open face helmets, we have gone with the Arai SZ-R VAS from Japanese manufacturer Arai. This helmet comes at a recommended retail price of about 600 Euros, or 680 USD, and is made of Arai’s peripherally belted complex laminate construction to give it a strong outer shell. The jet helmet is manufactured in 3 outer shell sizes, has an intermediate oval head fit, and weighs about 1350 grams, or 2lbs 15 oz.
For ventilation, the helmet has taken inspiration from the Arai RX-7V racing helmet with 3 adjustable brow vents, 2 adjustable visor vents, 2 adjustable exhausts, 2 side exhausts, and one more under the neck. So, it’s no surprise why it’s one of the best ventilating. The helmet comes with a pinlock prepared VAS-V visor, though the insert is not in the box.
It also does not have a drop down sun visor like the Shoei J-Cruise 2, but it is ready for the Pro-Shade drop down visor system. The liner is removable, washable, and antibacterial and it can fit a communication system with cheek pad pockets. The Arai helmet also uses a double-D ring chin strap.
The helmet also is ECE 22.05 certified and has not been tested by SHARP since it is an open face helmet.
Arai SZ-R VAS Road Test
When we road tested the Arai SZR VAS, it was a cool day with the airspeed ranging from 110 km/h to about 130 km/h. The exterior temperature was about 7 degrees Celsius, or 44 F, while the interior was an incredible 6 degrees Celsius, or 43F, which is a great result for the helmet. For noise, since it is a jet helmet that, in addition to this, has strong ventilation, the Arai SZRVAS comes in at 107 dB.
Arai SZ-R VAS Champion Helmets Score
So, for material, the helmet earned 4 stars thanks to its complex laminate outer shell in 3 shell sizes and another 5 for its very light weight of 1350 grams. Since the visor only comes pinlock prepared, the Arai earns 3 stars while for ventilation it earns 5 since it was one-degree cooler. However, the helmet was loud as was expected with 107dB though it still only earned one star.
Finally, the Arai helmet earned 4 stars thanks to its comfortable liner. This means that this open face helmet from Arai will earn a total of 3.5 stars at 27 Euros/star, which isn’t a bad result.
Best Ventilating Retro Helmet
For retro helmets, we now come to the AGV X3000. We decided to include retro helmets as a category here since they’ve been growing increasingly popular with Arai and Shoei throwing their hats into the ring with the Arai Concept-X and the Shoei Glamster. Though they are also notorious for often underperforming. Nonetheless, the X3000 is here since it’s a strong ventilating helmet.
The AGV helmet comes at a recommended retail price of about 380 Euros (or 430 USD) and it has a fiberglass shell available in 3 shell sizes. The helmet weighs about 1350 grams, or 2lbs 15 oz, and has a long oval to intermediate oval head shape. The helmet comes with a large vent in the brow and an exhaust under the neck roll.
The visor has a great field of view, though it is not pinlock prepared. The liner is a suede material, which is removable and washable. The helmet also uses a double-D ring chin strap. Though not tested by SHARP yet, the helmet is ECE 22.05 certified.
AGV X3000 Road Test
When we road tested the AGV X 3000, it was another sunny day with the day’s airspeed ranging from 105 to 115 km/h. The exterior temperature was 25 degrees Celsius, or 77 Fahrenheit, while the strong ventilation in the helmet managed to keep the interior at the same level, which, though not as strong as the other helmets in our list, is excellent for a retro helmet with only 1 vent. For noise, the X-3000 also did well with 102 decibels inside.
AGV X3000 Champion Helmets Score
For material, the AGV earned 4 stars for its fiberglass shell in 3 shell sizes and another 5 for its excellent weight of 1350 grams. But, the helmet only earned 2 stars due to the non-pinlock prepared visor and complicated mechanism. Nonetheless, the AGV still earned 4 stars for ventilation for keeping the same temperature and another 3 for noise for its decent performance of 102dB.
Finally, the helmet earned 4 stars for comfort. So, the X3000 earns 3.5 stars overall at 17 Euros/star.
Best Ventilating Sport-Touring Helmet
Next, in the sport touring category, we have the Shoei NXR as offering the best ventilation. Though this is more on the sport side of sport-touring the helmet still lends itself well to the category. Though if you’re looking for something with a sun visor, the Shoei GT Air 2 still offers a decent level of ventilation being just one degree hotter than the outside.
The Shoei N X R is made from Shoei’s Advanced Integrate Matrix or AIM, comes in 4 outer shell sizes, and comes at a recommended retail price of about 430 Euros or 485 USD.
The Shoei helmet is also fairly lightweight with a weight of about 1300 grams, or about 2lbs 13 oz. Though it’s important to note that the DOT version of the helmet, known as the RF-1200, will be slightly different and will weigh a bit more. The helmet comes with adjustable vents in the chin, one in the forehead, two in the brow, and an exhaust out the back underneath the spoiler.
The visor is pinlock prepared with the insert in the box and the liner is removable, washable, anti-bacterial, has emergency quick release, and is prepared for a communication system.
The helmet uses a double D-ring retention system. Lastly, the NXR earned 4 of 5 stars from SHARP and is ECE 22.05 certified.
Shoei NXR Road Test
When we road tested the ShoeiNXR, it was a beautiful day with the wind speed ranging from 120-125 km/h. The exterior temperature was 24 degrees C, or 75 Fahrenheit, while the interior temperature was one degree less at 23 degrees C, or 73 F. The noise inside the helmet was about average at 103 dB, which isn’t all that bad.
Shoei NXR Champion Helmets Score
So, for material and weight, the helmet earns 4.5 stars for both thanks to its AIM composite shell in 4 shell sizes and great weight of 1300 grams. The visor was also excellent earning it 4 stars thanks to its great mechanism and the pinlock in the box, and though it dipped to 2.5 stars for its 103 dB noise level, the helmet came back for ventilation with 5 stars for being 1 degree cooler. Lastly, this was a comfortable helmet, earning it 4 stars.
Overall, this earns the NXR 4 stars at a budget friendly 19 Euros/star.
Best Ventilating Racing Helmets
Finally, we come to our sports helmets and we actually have a tie between the AGV Pista GP RR and the Shoei X-Spirit 3, so we’ll still be including both. While the Shark Race-R Pro GP and the Arai RX-7V did also get the same ventilation results, we went with the Shoei and AGV because they scored the highest overall.
Starting with the AGV Pista GPRR, it’s AGV’s top racing helmet used by Valentino Rossi that’ll be coming at a recommended retail price of about 1250 Euros, or 1400 USD. It’s fully made of carbon fiber, comes in 4 outer shell sizes, and weighs about 1500 grams, or 3lbs 4oz. For ventilation, the helmet comes with stoppered brow vents, an adjustable chin vent, and a large exhaust underneath the spoiler.
The visor locks in place and is pinlock and tear off prepared with both supplied in the box and the liner is adjustable, removable, washable, anti-bacterial, has quick release, uses a titanium double D-ring chin strap, and it has a hydration hose. The AGV Pista GP R also earned 5 stars from SHARP, and the GP RR is ECE, DOT, and FIM racing homologated.
AGV Pista GP RR Road Test
When we road tested the AGV PistaGPRR, it was a great summer day with the wind speed at a comfortable 115-120 km/h. The day’s temperature was about 20 degrees C, or 68 Fahrenheit, while the interior was about 21 C, or 70 Fahrenheit, so a on degree difference.
However, we performed our test on an upright bike, so you can expect the ventilation to be even better on a sport bike. Which also goes for the Shoei XSpirit 3. For noise, the Pista GP RR was a noisy 107 dB, but that’s not what the helmet was really designed for.
AGV Pista GP RR Champion Helmets Score
For material, the helmet earned 5 stars for its great carbon fiber shell in 4 sizes, while for weight it earned 4.5 stars for the 1500-gram weight. The fully pinlock and tear off equipped visor earns 5 stars and it was also easy to use, and the same goes for its great aerodynamics, while the same interior and exterior temperature earns another 4 stars for the GP RR’s ventilation. Finally, for comfort the helmet earns another 4.5 stars for the adjustable liner.
So, this brings the helmet’s rating to 5 stars at 45 Euros/star.
Shoei X-Spirit 3 Specs
With the Shoei X-Spirit III we get a very similar story to the Pista. It’s A top helmet with top features and ventilation. The helmet comes at a recommended retail price of about 640 Euros, or 720 USD. The helmet is made of Shoei’s AIM+ (Advanced Integrated Matrix), comes in 4 outer shell sizes, and weighs about 1350 grams, or 2lbs 15oz.
Though, like the NXR, the DOT version of the X-Spirit 3, the X14, will be heavier.
For ventilation, the helmet comes with vents in the chin, a large forehead vent, and there’re two more vents in the brow, and there are exhausts out the back under the spoiler. The visor is pinlock and tear off prepared with additional vortex generators on either side to improve the aerodynamic stability of the helmet.
The liner is anti-bacterial, removable, washable, has quick release, uses a double D-ring chin strap, and can fit a comms system. The X-Spirit 3 earned 5 stars from SHARP like the AGV and is ECE 22.05 certified.
Shoei X-Spirit 3 Road Test
When we road tested the X-Spirit 3, we had the same great weather as for the Pista GP RR. So, the wind speed was around 115 km/h and the day’s temperature was around 21 degrees C, or 70 Fahrenheit, and it was the same in the helmet. For noise, we measured a surprisingly normal 103 dB, which is pretty good for a race helmet.
Shoei X-Spirit 3 Champion Helmets Ranking
For material, the helmet earned 4.5 stars thanks to its AIM+ shell and 4 shell sizes, and another 5 stars for its great weight of 1350 grams. Since it had a high-quality visor with all the extras like the pinlock insert, tear off pins, and an excellent mechanism, the visor earned 5 stars and another 5 for its great aerodynamics.
The ventilation on the helmet earned 4 stars since it was the same temperature as the outside, but you can again expect it to do better once you’re in a more sport position. Finally, the helmet earned a great 5 stars for its very comfortable liner. This brings the helmet to 5 stars like the AGV, with a value for money of 25 Euros / star.
For the modular helmet segment, the Schuberth C4 Pro definitely came out on top in terms of ventilation and noise, but the AGV Sportmodular and Shoei Neotec 2 are close behind. Additionally, the Sportmodular also comes with a unique reversible liner for cold and hot weather.
Looking at open face helmets, the main feature setting the SZ-R VAS apart was, in fact, its ventilation. Though if you want the added convenience of an integrated sun visor, the Shoei J-Cruise 2 and Schuberth M1 Pro are still the way to go.
For retro helmets, the X3000 still stands out as one of the top helmets in the category, even with brand new competition from the Arai Concept-X and the Shoei Glamster. It came out with top marks for ventilation, and though the visor is not pinlock prepared, the liner still makes the helmet unique.
Next up, looking at the sport-touring category the NXR clearly has the best ventilation but, because of its sport focus, does fall short in noise isolation, which is where the competition like the AGV K6, HJC RPHA 70, and even the Shoei GT Air 2 are able to gain some ground.
Lastly, in the sport helmet category, we had a lot of competition in terms of ventilation, but it was the AGV and the Shoei that come out on top thanks to their unique combination of light weight and their aerodynamics. Though, to repeat once more, you can still expect the ventilation to be even better once on a sport bike.
If you’d like to purchase any of these helmets, don’t forget to check out ChampionHelmets.com where we have our lowest price guarantee and plenty of bundle deals including free additional visors and discounted comms. Systems.
So, there we have it, our top ventilating helmets for 2020 are the:
Spanning a broad range of categories we’ve tested, measured, and given you the facts on multiple helmets that will help you keep a cool head when riding in the summer and the hot weather that also won’t let you down in other aspects of their performance.
If you’d like to learn more about the helmets we tested here, make sure to subscribe and check out our YouTube channel where we have our Best Ventilating Helmets of 2020 Guide alongside or individual helmet road tests and reviews.