Please note that many of the links on our site are affiliate links. These are denoted with an *.  By clicking on them, Femme Cyclist gets a small commission on any sale.

7 Best Women’s Road Bike Helmets & How To Choose!

A good helmet is arguably the most important piece of cycling equipment you can own. It keeps your brain safe!

That’s why we’ve rounded up a list of women’s road bike helmets that have gone the extra mile in terms of safety features. Most of these lids include MIPS and several boast extra safety features like memory foam padding, propriety retention systems, and one of these even has a sensor that will alert your loved ones if you crash.

woman wearing a white kask cycling helmet

Of course, safety isn’t all we look for in a good women’s road bike helmet. They should be lightweight, well ventilated, comfortable, and offer a good fit.

As women, we also believe that a helmet should look good! We’ve picked helmets that offer feminine designs, low profiles, and a wide variety of colors.

Here are our seven favorites in a wide range of price points and profiles so you should be able to find exactly what you’re looking for.

August 2023: Updated to add the Lazer Strada Kineticore.


Best Overall

Yeah, these helmets aren’t cheap, but neither is a traumatic brain injury. If you like to ride a bunch and are ready to shell out cash for a top of the line, helmet, these are the lids for you. If you’re not, keep scrolling on down.

HelmetWhat We LovePrice
1POC Ventral MIPSCrash worthy, superior ventilation$300
2Bontrager XXXWaveCel technology$300
3Giro Aries SphericalHighest rating by Virginia Tech$300
4Smith Trace MIPSHighly aerodynamic$250
5Lazer Z1 MIPSIncredibly comfortable, rear light$209

POC Ventral MIPS

poc ventral mips helmet in lavender

POC makes our favorite mountain bike helmets and they make our favorite road helmets as well. Why?

The construction and safety of their lids are second to none. If you are serious about cycling and serious about your safety, the POC Ventral MIPS is a no brainer (pun totally intended).

There are several women in our community who have had serious crashes in this helmet. In all cases, the helmet performed admirably, preventing head trauma and providing peace of mind about future incidents.

In addition to safety, the Ventral also excels in comfort and fit. It’s lightweight and hardly noticeable during rides. The ventilation system is highly effective, keeping our heads cool, even in warmer weather.

It’s also aerodynamic which makes it a good choice for racers as well as ladies who just want to look fast.

The only con is that the white helmet comes with white straps. Not the best combo–they are virtually impossible to keep looking clean. The other colors come with black straps.

Read Review: POC Ventral MIPS

Price & Where To Buy:

Bontrager WaveCel Helmets (Specter and XXX)

bontrager specter womens bike helmet

Like the Koroyd on the Smith helmets (below), the Bontrager Specter and Bontrager XXX helmets use a honeycomb style sheet that is inserted into the helmet and which helps absorb impact.

Whether or not you buy into the WaveCel hype, the helmets have high safety ratings in independent tests, making them a good choice if you’re looking for one of the safer lids around.

Both helmets are super comfy, have good ventilation, and work well with a ponytail (always important for us ladies).

The only drawback is that both helmets are slightly heavier than a lot of top performing helmets.

Read Our Review: Bontrager Wave Cel Helmets

Price & Where To Buy:

Giro Aries Spherical

giro aries spherical road bike helmet

The Giro Aries Spherical helmet is notable for being rated #1 in the Virginia Tech study. It has a unique “ball and socket” design (i.e. it has two separate layers of helmet that use MIPS technology to help protect against rotational impact.)

That means you can rest assured that it’s safe, but how does it FEEL?

First off, at 270 grams, it’s LIGHT. That, along with the superior ventilation, makes you forget you’re wearing a helmet at all.

For women with long hair, you’ll also be relived to know that their is no liner for hair to snag on AND there’s enough space above the fit dial to pull a pony thru.

The only complaint we have with the Giro Aries Spherical is that the glasses port doesn’t work well. Sunglasses bounce around and it’s hard to stash them.

Read Review: Giro Aries Spherical

Price & Where To Buy:

Smith Trace MIPS Helmet

smith trace helmet

The Smith Trace comes in a bunch of color options and it’s simply a GREAT helmet. In fact, we know more folks who use this helmet on the road and swear by it then other any other lid on this list.

No, it’s not cheap, but it does come with a long list of features that provides good bang for your buck. Extras include sunglass channels and honeycomb vent coverage to keep out bugs.

We know several people who have had a crash in this helmet, to good outcomes. That is thanks in large part to the extended rear-of-head coverage and Smith’s proprietary Koroyd construction.

Finally, if you’re a racer (or you just like to go fast), the Trace is highly aerodynamic. In a wind tunnel study, the Giro Trace did significantly better than many of its competitors.

The one thing of note is that, like other Smith helmets we’ve tested, the Trace can be difficult for women with long hair. The MIPS liner tends to snag.

Read Review: Smith Trace

Price & Where To Buy:

Lazer Z1 MIPS

lazer z1 mips helmet

Women who love Lazer helmets, LOVE them. This is likely do the excellent fit, low profile, and lots of ventilation.

The Lazer Z1 MIPS is comfortable in everywhere. It doesn’t cause any weird pressure points, the straps won’t irritate you skin, and there’s enough room for women with lots of hair.

Like most of the helmets here, the Z1 has MIPS technology. It also has T-pro protection that offers additional protection in the temple area of the head.

One really unique feature of the helmet is the option to use it with a rear LED light. But that’s an additional add-on; would be nice if the helmet came with it included given the already high price.

Read Review: Lazer M1 MIPS

Price & Where To Buy:

Best Budget Helmets

Whether you are brand new to cycling or are simply on a budget, these more affordable picks will go easy on your wallet and perform well on the bike.

HelmetWhat We LovePrice
1Lazer Strada KineticoreHigh safety rating on a budget$110
2Giro Seyen MIPSSlim buckle$130
3Specialized Propero III with ANGiANGi alert system$130

Lazer Strada Kineticore

lazer strada kineticore helmet

The Lazer Strada Kineticore offers top of the line safety at a more approachable price point. The helmet has earned a prestigious 5 star Virginia Tech safety rating (that’s the highest you can get), and includes the same Kineticore Technology that is included on more expensive Lazer helmets.

Unlike many “budget” helmets, it’s extremely lightweight. At 240 grams, it can compete with helmets twice it’s price.

And it also has good ventilation. With 21 vents, it feels significantly cooler than some other highly rated helmets with fancy technology we have tested.

The few cons we discovered had to do with fit. It fits a tad high on the head, making it appear less sleek. Additionally, the unique ScrollSys adjustment system, though innovative, might not be everyone’s cup of tea, especially if one has a preference for the boa closure system.

Read Review: Lazer Strada Kineticore

Price & Where To Buy:

Giro Seyen MIPS

giro seyen mips women's road bike helmet

The Giro Seyen isn’t anything fancy but it gets the job done. Actually scratch that– the color schemes are a bit fancy.

The Seyen has MIPS technology, 25 air vents, adjustable ROC LOC retention system, and a slim buckle that won’t rub your chin raw. Basically, all the stuff you want, and nothing you don’t.

It has a slim profile so you won’t feel too dorky, and is lightweight so you won’t even feel it there.

The only bummer, once again, has to come down to hair. The entire Seyen sits rather high upon the head, and there is no room for a pony tail between the boa system and the helmet. You will have to rock the braids or a very low pony in this helmet. 

Read Our Review: Giro Seyen MIPS

Price & Where To Buy:

Specialized Propero III with ANGi

specialized-propero-iii-angi-mips

If you enjoy riding alone, or in rural areas, the Specialized Propero might be for you. The helmet includes Specialized’s ANGi technology. If you’re hurt in a crash, ANGi alerts your emergency contacts that you’ve crashed and sends them your location.

That’s not the only safety feature. The Propero also has reflective decals for low-light conditions and includes MIPS technology.

On the lighter side of things, we appreciate the helmet’s “HairPort” that provides space for a ponytail. (Yes, please).

The straps have a splitter that makes adjustments dummy-proof and keeps straps laying flat, and it comes with a clip-on visor. (The only one on this list that does).

Read Review: Specialized Propero III

Price & Where To Buy:


Comparison Chart: Road Bike Helmets for Women

Not sure which helmet is best for you? This comparison chart might help you narrow it down.

HelmetMIPS?Weight# Air VentsManufacturer's WarrantyVisor?Women's Specific?
Giro Saga MIPSYes240 g221 yearNoYes
Smith Trace MIPSYes283 g182 yearsNoNo
Kask ProtoneNo230 g20limited lifetimeNoNo
Giro Seyen MIPSYes251 yearNoYes
Specialized Propero III with ANGiYes265 g2 yearsYesNo
Bontrager SpecterNo341 g141 yearNoNo
Bontrager XXXNo325 g1 yearNoNo
POC Ventral MIPSNo245 g151 yearNoNo
Lazer Z1 MIPSYes275 g311 yearNoNo
Specialized Align II MIPSYes348 g2 yearsNoNo
Giro Aires SphericalYes270 g241 yearNoNo
Lazer Strada KineticoreNo290 g211 yearNoNo

What To Look For In A Road Bike Helmet

Not sure how to choose a bicycle helmet? Here are some of the things you should consider before buying.

Weight

The lighter a helmet is, the more comfortable it’s going to be for long days in the saddle. This might not matter much to you if you’re new to riding and just want a good, safe lid. If, however, you’re doing century rides or other all-day rides, you might want to consider the weight of a helmet before buying.

bontrager helmet review

Safety and MIPS

All helmets for sale in the U.S. have met the standards set by the meet standards set forth by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), and are “safe.” That said, these standards are pretty minimal and don’t consider things like repeated impact or rotational impact.

Some helmet manufacturers will also pay to have their helmets tested by the SNELL Foundation. While the standards are pretty similar to those set by the CPSC, the SNELL certification is a indicator that the helmet has high quality control, and continues to meet the initial standards over time.

You’ll also notice that many helmets are now offered with MIPS technology. MIPS stands for “multi-directional impact protection system.” Essentially, it’s an additional liner inside the helmet that provides a low-friction layer and helps protect your brain in the event of a rotational impact.

Giro Seyen Inside

If you look closely, you’ll notice the Giro Seyen helmet above has a thin plastic MIPS liner between the helmet and the pads.

Although the jury is still out on the effectiveness of MIPS, we think there’s enough evidence that it works, that we highly recommend choosing a helmet with MIPS. It adds minimal weight and cost, and provides additional peice of mind.

The only thing worth noting, is that for women with long hair, a MIPS liner can snag your hair. Not ideal, but again, probably worth the additional safety.

Also consider that there are other similar technologies coming on the market, like the Spin technology on the POC helmets. Just because a helmet doesn’t have MIPS doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have a similar safety feature.

You may also want to take a look at the Virginia Tech helmet ratings. The university has a helmet lab in which they test helmets. They have tested most of the helmets that we’ve included here.

Fit

How safe a helmet is also depends on how well it actually fits on your head. Good fit also improves comfort.

The best way to know if a helmet will fit, is to measure your head circumference. Measure around your forehead, right above your eyebrows. You can then compare that measurement, to the size chart for the particular helmet you are considering.

We like helmets that have a Roc Loc fit system. This is a small dial at the rear of the helmet that tightens or loosens the helmet so it’s nice and snug on your head.

Giro Seyen Head shot back

Ventilation

For most riders, ventilation should be a serious consideration. The better ventilated a helmet is, the less sweaty your head will get and the more comfortable you will be especially on hot days.

helmet with ponytail

Pay attention not only to the number of ventilation holes, but also to their size and placement. The larger the holes and better distrubuted they are, the cooler the helmet will be.

You might also want to flip the helmet over and look at the inside. The helmets with the best ventilation won’t just have vent holes, they will also have airflow channels on the helmet interior.

Sunglass Storage

Do you NEED sunglass storage on your helmet? Probably not.

Do you want it? Perhaps. If you ride your bicycle a lot, and want somewhere to store your glasses while riding without stuffing them in a pocket to get scratched, you might want to look for a helmet that offers a secure location for your helmet when their off your eyes.

Even More Bike Helmets!

About The Reviewers And How We Tested

The helmets listed here were picked after reviewing feedback from our community and researching safety reports from Virginia Tech. Then, we tested helmets by going about our normal lives–i.e. riding our bikes lots and lots!

Stacy Smith was the primary reviewer. Stacy is the founder of Sascy Cycling, and her mission is to encourage women to love their body and focus on what it can do, not what it looks like. 

Kristen Bonkoski also assisted in research and testing. Kristen is the founder and owner of Femme Cyclist. Kristen is a certified USA Cycling coach, and she runs Rascal Rides, a website about biking with kids.

7 thoughts on “7 Best Women’s Road Bike Helmets & How To Choose!”

  1. Hey Rosa.
    They are all ugly so your head stays pretty! Your looks when you’re riding or looks when you’re done riding ~ which matters must?!

    Reply
  2. LOL!!! I am glad I am not the only one Rosa and M. Andersson – that thinks these racing helmets are ugly. I like that M. Andersson called it a “insect head”. I always call them alien heads- hahahah. But I get that they are more aerodynamic and help a person to ride faster- and thank you to Kristen for explaining why we want each feature in a racing helmet- it all makes sense. For those of you who may be looking for something cute for a leisure ride and do not need a helmet for racing and all the reasons stated in the article- Nut Case has some cute helmets. https://nutcasehelmets.com/collections/sale?gclid=CjwKCAiA0KmPBhBqEiwAJqKK45jX0maQbCgvVntBxXkurdtmDD2k0JE8uZmlDmEZtOxKy1aCCqbQWxoCa2kQAvD_BwE

    They may even sell racing helmets now.
    Thanks for the article.

    Reply
  3. I wish they made a smaller helmet than 50 cm for adults with tiny heads. I wear like a toddler size lol I especially don’t want unicorns or anything that looks like I’m in primary school lol. Yes I want my one and only brain protected but with that size they won’t protect me on a race bike. Just saying…

    Reply

Leave a Comment