Low Profile Bike Helmets for 2021

If we wanted to keep a low profile, we would be trying not to be noticed. We would be keeping our head down and our nose clean, and generally just trying to blend in with the crowd.

However, when it comes to low profile helmets the meaning is not quite the same, and, in fact, the end result would most likely be that when wearing a low profile helmet we would actually be more noticeable.

Bradley Wiggins wearing Giro helmet.
Photo by Simon Connellan on Unsplash

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When looking for a low profile helmet, you want a helmet that will fit your head like a glove. A helmet that fits so snugly that it looks like it was painted onto your head. A head and helmet combo that has been fused together as one, a second skin.

Ultimately, you are trying to avoid a helmet that makes you look like Super Mario or a mushroom head.

This then turns your low profile helmet into a high profile talking piece as everyone looks to admire your choice of headgear.

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Low Profile Bike Helmets Comparison Table

On Mobile Devices, drag Table left to see more, if necessary.

Brand/Image Size Range # Vents Certification Weight
Kask Rapido
52 – 62 cm
20.5″ – 24.4″
24 CE, CPSC,
220 gram
7.8 oz
POC Omne Air Spin
50 – 61 cm
19.7″ – 24″
305 gram
10.8 oz
Oakley ARO5 MIPS
52 – 62 cm
20.5” – 24.4”
CPSC, EN-1078,
300 grams
10.5 oz
55 – 62 cm
21.6″ – 24.4″
ASTM F1492
Smith Express MIPS
51 – 63 cm
20” – 25″
13 CE, CPSC Not
Bern FL-1 Pave MIPS
52 – 62 cm
20.5” – 24.4”
18 CE, CPSC 288 grams
10.2 oz
Kask Protone
50 – 62 cm
19.7″ – 24.4″
20 CE, CPSC,
220 gram
7.8 oz
Giro Vanquish MIPS
52 – 62.5 cm
20.5″ – 24.5″
350 gram
12.3 oz

As can be seen, all of the helmets are CPSC certified, as well as having the CE Mark, the European standard for bicycle helmets, while many also carry the certification for Australia/New Zealand.

Five of the eight helmets chosen have the MIPS (Multi-Directional Impact Protection System) installed, which reduces rotational motion and redirects rotational energy in the case of an impact or accident. The MIPS liner will slightly rotate on impact thus reducing the risk of concussion and protecting against brain injury.

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+++1. Kask Rapido Road Cycling Helmet
+++2. POC Omne Air Spin Helmet
+++3. Oakley ARO5 MIPS Cycling Helmet
+++4. Nutcase VIO MIPS LED helmet
+++5. Smith Express MIPS Helmet
+++6. Bern FL-1 Pave MIPS Helmet
+++7. Kask Protone Helmet
+++8. Giro Vanquish MIPS Helmet

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1. Kask Rapido Road Cycling Helmet

I mentioned above that low profile helmets will cost more, but there’s one exception to that rule – the Kask Rapido.

Here you can have not only a beautiful helmet from an internationally renowned brand, but it also looks great and fits like a low profile helmet should, all for less than $100.

Kask Rapido Road Cycling Helmet

The Kask Rapido helmet is available on Amazon.

The Rapido is made with a polycarbonate shell using ‘in-mold’ technology to join the outer shell with the inner EPS (expanded polystyrene) liner for better shock absorption.

Twenty four air vents provide a cool air-flow on the hottest of days.

Utilizing Kask’s ‘Up n Down’ fit system, the Rapido will hug your head like a second skin. Using the rubberized dial or by squeezing the adjuster at the rear of the helmet, you can adjust the fit both horizontally and vertically for a perfect fit. The inner padding is completely removable and washable.

Available in 2 sizes ranging from 52 cm (20¹⁵/₃₂″) to 62 cm (24¹³/₃₂″), with up to ten colors to choose from. The Medium size weighs in at a lightweight 220g!

Main Features Summary:

  • Polycarbonate shell with ‘in-mold’ technology
  • EPS lining
  • 24 air vents
  • Up n Down fitting system
  • Removable and washable padding
  • CE-EN-1078, CPSC-1203, AS/NZS-2063 Certified
  • Weighs 220g (Medium size)

With the same sleek appearance as Kask’s top range helmets, an unbelievable price point, as well as CPSC-1203, EN-1078, and AS/NZS-2063 certification, the Kask Rapido is a value-packed lightweight helmet that is hard to overlook.

Link to How to Know Your Helmet Size.
Link to our KASK helmet size chart.

Take a look at the video below to see how low profile it really is.

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2. POC Omne Air Spin Helmet

POC are reknowned for their quality helmets, so it’s not surprising that they can match quality with style. The POC Omne Air Spin helmet has that great head-hugging characteristic that only a low profile helmet can have.

The Omne Air includes POC’s patent pending SPIN (Shearing Pad INside) system, which provides protection against angled impacts, but there’s also a multi-density EPS liner to add further protection for your head in case of an accident.

POC Omne Air Spin Helmet

The POC Omne Air Spin Helmet is available from several vendors.

The slim style of this helmet keeps the weight down making your commute a much more pleasant start to your day. Well positioned air vents provide the perfect air flow from front to rear keeping your head cool and comfortable.

Main Features Summary:

  • Polycarbonate shell
  • Optimal-density EPS lining
  • SPIN head protection
  • Adequate Ventilation
  • 360° adjustable fit system
  • For commute or road riding
  • Sleek and stylish
  • CPSC, EN-1078, AS/NZS:2063 certified

The POC Omne Air Spin helmet is available in several colors and 3 sizes, but to ensure you have the perfect fit, POC’s fit system can be adjusted 360° for an all-round snug fit.

Link to How to Know Your Helmet Size.

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3. Oakley ARO5 MIPS Cycling Helmet

What a great looking helmet from a brand that has been around forever, or possibly longer. The Oakley ARO5 MIPS cycling helmet is one of those helmets that envelopes your head rather than sits on it. So, whether you plan on making a sprint to the finish line or a dash to the office, you’re sure to turn heads wherever you are.

When you put this helmet on your head, you’ll notice how well it fits, that is until you adjust the the BOA® 360 fit system to fine tune the fit, you will then know this is the one you’ve been looking for. The BOA® 360 fit system also adjusts the height of the helmet on your head which gives that head-hugging look and feel.

Oakley ARO5 MIPS Cycling Helmet

The Oakley ARO5 MIPS Cycling helmet is available on Amazon.

The Oakley ARO5 cycling helmet has integrated MIPS (Multi-Directional Impact Protection) to protect your head by dispersing and transferring energy away from your head in impact situations. To keep your head comfortable while cycling, you have X-Static® Padding with silver thread to stop bacterial growth and reduce odors. The helmet also comes with a second set of X-Static® pads.

Weighing in at around 300 grams, the sturdy polycarbonate shell with EPS (Expanded PolyStyrene) liner features an integrated eyewear dock to stash your sunnies all the while keeping them within reach.

Main Features Summary:

  • Polycarbonate construction
  • EPS foam liner
  • Integrated MIPS
  • BOA® 360 fit system
  • Optimized Ventilation
  • X-Static® Anti-microbial padding
  • Sunglasses dock
  • Ponytail friendly
  • CPSC 1203, EN-1078 and ANZ2063 Certified

Available in 4 sizes, and available in a variety of exciting colors.

Small 52-56cm | 20.5″-22″
Medium 54-58cm | 21.2″-22.8″
Large 56-60cm | 22″-23.6″
X-Large 58-62cm | 22.8″-24.4″

Link to How to Know Your Helmet Size.

Courtesy Oakley on Youtube

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4. Nutcase VIO MIPS LED helmet

Nutcase helmets are one of the few bicycle helmet manufacturers that have shed the mold of what we are expected to accept as the standard ‘look’ for bike helmets. This is, of course, good news for those of us that would prefer something with a distinctive low profile look.

The Nutcase VIO helmet not only looks great, but comes with the latest in safety by way of built-in MIPS to protect against rotational forces from angled impacts. The patented Exo-skeleton shell frame provides more durability, and the Duo-density EPS foam rounds off the comfort and safety for your head.

Nutcase VIO MIPS LED helmet

The Nutcase VIO MIPS LED helmet is available from several vendors.

Built-in LED lighting around the sides and back of the helmet, along with a built-in front headlamp adds to your safety by increasing your visibility at night and in low light situations. (2 hours charge time, 3 hours run time, and 3 different light modes).

Main Features Summary:

  • Exo-skeleton construction
  • Duo-density EPS foam lining
  • MIPS head protection
  • Large Air Vents
  • Fidlock® magnetic buckle
  • Xstatic® anti-microbial pads
  • Adjustable spin dial fit system
  • Removable visor

Available in 6 brilliant, modern colors and 2 sizes ranging from 55cm to 62cm, it’s easy to see why the Nutcase Vio MIPS LED helmet is so popular.

Link to How to Know Your Helmet Size.

Courtesy lifeCYCLE Magazine on Youtube.

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5. Smith Express MIPS Helmet

The Smith Express MIPS helmet is a great choice for your daily commute or just for recreational cycling. Smith Optics has a reputation for making good quality, safety focused helmets at a reasonable price.

The Smith Express comes with a rear LED light that pops in and pops out as necessary for safer rides in low light conditions. The integrated MIPS protects you from rotational forces in the event of accidents.

Smith Express MIPS Helmet

The Smith Express MIPS Helmet is available from several vendors.

The polymer shell with in-mold construction provides a lightweight yet durable shell with 13 air vents for your comfort and safety. The dial at the rear of the helmet can be easily adjusted for the ultimate customized fit.

Main Features Summary:

  • Polymer shell with in-mold construction
  • MIPS Brain Protection System
  • Adjustable rear dial fit system
  • 13 Air Vents
  • Removable visor
  • Reflective chin strap
  • Removable rear light
  • CPSC and EN-1078 certified

The Smith Express MIPS helmet is available in 4 colors and 3 sizes, and is fully certified for the United States and European markets.

Link to How to Know Your Helmet Size.

Courtesy Smith – Pursue Your Thrill on Youtube

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6. Bern FL-1 Pave MIPS Helmet

Bern is another helmet manufacturer with some nice modern designs. The Bern FL-1 Pave helmet is just one of those great low profile designs from Bern.

Made from a durable polycarbonate shell with an EPS foam lining, the in-mold construction process keeps the helmet lightweight while maintaining strength. This MIPS equipped helmet will protect your brain from rotational forces in certain crash situations.

Bern FL-1 Pave MIPS Helmet

The Bern FL-1 Pave MIPS Helmet is available from several vendors.

Sporting Bern’s signature soft visor for sun protection, and with a whopping 18 vents to keep your head feeling fresh, not to forget the Boa 360 Fit system to ensure a perfect fit, you can concentrate on your ride completely confident that your head is protected.

The non-MIPS FL-1 Pave is available in five colors, but the MIPS version is only available in two colors, black or red. The MIPS version is also compatible with the PDW/Bern USB light which plugs in to the rear of the helmet and is sold separately.

Main Features Summary:

  • Polycarbonate shell with in-mold EPS foam
  • MIPS brain protection
  • 18 Air Vents
  • Boa 360 Fit system
  • Removable USB rear light (sold separately)
  • Lightweight
  • CPSC and EN-1078 certified

A neat looking helmet that is suitable for your daily commute or weekend recreational cycling. Oh, just in case you were wondering, FL stands for ‘Feather Light’.

Link to How to Know Your Helmet Size.

Courtesy Angus Williams on Youtube

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7. Kask Protone Helmet

The Kask Protone helmet would have to be one of the sleekest, low profile helmets that money can buy. Sadly, it requires more money than most people would be willing to spend on a bicycle helmet, but there’s no harm in taking a look anyway.

Kask Protone Helmet

The Kask Protone Helmet is available on Amazon.

Handcrafted in Italy, the Protone claims to have the lowest drag resistance to any other ventilated helmet. That’s important if you’re a pro-cyclist.

On the inside, there is 3D DRY padding along with Coolmax® Fiber which is removable and washable. The inner padding is also treated with an anti-bacterial and anti-microbial Sanitized® process.

The Octo Fit adjustment system allows you to make adjustments using the rubberized micro-dial. You can make adjustments both vertically and laterally to obtain the perfect fit on any shaped head.

The Protone has been wind tunnel tested for amazing aerodynamics.

Main Features Summary:

  • In-mold Polycarbonate shell
  • Incredibly Aerodynamic
  • 3D DRY Padding
  • Coolmax® Fiber padding
  • Octo Fit adjustment system
  • Eco-leather Chinstrap
  • CPSC-1203, EN-1078, and AS/NZS-2063 certified.

Available in 3 sizes ranging from 50cm (19¹¹/₁₆″) to 62cm (24¹³/₃₂″), a vast color range is also available of somewhere between 19 to 25 different color variants. It is also CPSC-1203, EN-1078 and AS/NZS-2063 certified.

Link to How to Know Your Helmet Size.
Link to our KASK helmet size chart.

Check it out in the video below, and start saving your pennies.

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8. Giro Vanquish MIPS Helmet

The Giro Vanquish MIPS helmet is an extremely neat helmet. A very snug fitting, low profile helmet, but it may not be for everyone.

It is what is often called an Aero or Triathlon helmet, but to me, it’s not as spacey as some of the Aero helmets I have seen. Not only that but the price tag will also deter some people.

Giro Vanquish MIPS Helmet

The Giro Vanquish MIPS Helmet is available on Amazon.

The Vanquish is not for your average home to work commuter, probably more suited to time trials or triathlons.

While it has the standard polycarbonate shell with EPS inner lining, the advanced technology that has gone into making it lighter and more durable, like ‘progressive layering’, ‘four-piece interlocking shell’, ‘TransformAir technology’, ‘roc loc 5 MIPS integration‘, and so much more, helps to justify the end price and overall value.

Main Features Summary:

  • In-mold construction
  • Progressive layering
  • Integrated MIPS
  • Roc Loc 5 Air MIPS fit system
  • Wind Tunnel ventilation system
  • Anti-microbial padding
  • Magnetic Vivid Shield by Zeiss
  • Eyewear compatible
  • Ponytail friendly

Available in 3 sizes ranging from 52 cm (20½”) to 62.5cm (24½”), and six different colors. Even though no safety certification is mentioned, I’m sure that the Giro Vanquish meets the relevant Safety Standards for all countries where it is sold, as are all Giro bicycle helmets.

Even if you’re not planning on riding time trials, but just want to reduce headwind in your cycling exercise regime, an aerodynamic helmet like this could be just what you need.

Link to How to Know Your Helmet Size.
Link to our GIRO helmet size chart.

Check out the video below to see it in action.

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