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Lightest road cycling helmets 2024 — invest in a lightweight bike lid for comfort and sweat reduction

The best lightweight cycling helmets won't weigh you down, whether you're racing or commuting. Here are our top picks

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As well as providing some protection, you want a road cycling helmet to be light, comfortable, well-ventilated and stable; in a perfect world, you shouldn’t even notice it’s there. We've logged thousands of road miles in all weathers to find out which of the lightest cycling helmets have the best comfort, ventilation and overall wearability. Below you'll find our top picks, more highly rated recommendations and some bonus handy advice about lightweight lids. 

You can get a fairly decent cycling helmet for £30, but if you want a helmet that’s so light and comfortable you’ll forget it’s there, or you want the latest aerodynamic designs, then you’ll have to pay a bit more.

When it comes to cycling helmets, paying more will often get you less, and that can be a good thing. In general, the more you pay, the lighter a helmet is. Manufacturers use built-in reinforcing skeletons and lightweight components to reduce helmet weight, inevitably increasing the cost. 

High-performance cycling helmets offer significant advantages, such as reduced weight and improved ventilation, which are things you'll be grateful for on longer rides. They are also likely to feature better adjustment systems and more careful attention to shaping, meaning these cycling helmets often provide a better fit too. 

Many cycling helmets now also feature MIPS (Multi-directional Impact Protection System) which is claimed to help reduce the severity of certain types of injuries if you crash but does increase the weight of the helmet slightly. There are a few brands with their own systems that are supposed to perform similar jobs, such as Kask's WG11. 

How we review cycling helmets 

In reviewing helmets we don't actually rate helmets on the level of protection they offer, for two reasons. First, we simply don't have the resources to do impact-absorption tests to determine how much load a helmet transmits to your head in the event of a crash. More importantly, helmets have to meet national and international standards to be sold at all, so every helmet here has passed those tests. The test report section of our reviews does make note of the safety standard(s) the manufacturer says their helmet meets. It's worth checking out the annual Virginia Tech bicycle helmet ratings, that give helmets a star rating based off numerous impact assessment tests, if you want to find out how leading helmets perform in lab conditions. 

Our cycling helmet reviews evaluate how the helmet performs in terms of comfort, weight, ventilation, ease of adjustment, price and all-round wearability. We believe that this comprehensive evaluation provides valuable insights into what a helmet is like to wear regularly, across different riding styles and weather conditions.

Why you can trust us

All the helmets featured here scored 4 out of 5 stars or more overall from our reviewers, indicating very good or excellent quality according to our reviewers' opinions. 

With being a road cycling website as you may have guessed, this guide recommends various types of helmets that you would consider wearing on the road (and perhaps off it), whether that's for commuting, training, road racing or general riding for fun.

The aim is to present what we genuinely believe are the best lightweight cycling helmets out there right now. While we can make a small commission if you click on a link and buy something on this page, quite a few of the recommendations here afford us no opportunity to take that commission. Our priority is recommending what's best for you, not what's best for us. 

Our reviewers are experienced cyclists, as are those of us who put together these buyer's guides, ensuring that our recommendations are based on first-hand experiences. From safety standards to ventilation systems, retention mechanisms, aerodynamic designs, and all aspects related to cycling helmets, we're well-equipped to guide you to our top picks. 

It's worth noting that like our guide to the lightest road bikes, this guide isn't intended as a round-up of the very lightest helmets in existence, more the lightest we've reviewed that received high scores. We have reviewed helmets as light as 175g, namely Limar's Ultralight+, but that's since been discontinued. The latest road helmets have tended to come in slightly heavier in recent years due to the introduction of impact protection systems like MIPs; but the general consensus from the industry and consumer appears to be that the extra few grams is worth it at the time of writing. 

Now, onto our recommendations! 

The best lightweight road cycling helmets: our top picks

Kask Protone Icon Helmet

Kask Protone Icon helmet

Best lightweight road cycling helmet overall
Buy now for £171.99 from Wiggle
Superb ventilation
Extremely comfortable
Impressive build quality
Octofit+ adjuster feels less robust than some

Kask's Protone Icon Helmet is a superb road helmet that's light, airy and comfortable with reviewer Shaun writing, "what I can say is that the Icon is the airiest and most comfortable helmet I've ever used, in 35 years of cycling. At 223g it's also possibly the lightest – I barely noticed it."

The Protone Icon is an evolution of the Protone helmet and like its predecessor, the shell uses seamless technology to join the upper and lower parts for a sleek aesthetic. Structurally, the Protone Icon employs what Kask calls an 'innovative inner strengthening frame', which theoretically affords greater mechanical strength and Kask has used its own in-house Kask WG11 test.

The Protone Icon is available in three sizes: S (50-56cm), M (52-58cm), and L (59-62cm) and it comes in a choice of no fewer than 10 colours, including matt and gloss effects.

Lazer Genesis Helmet

Lazer Genesis Helmet

Lightest road cycling helmet
Buy now for £109.99 from Freewheel

Lazer's Genesis has evolved from a mid-range helmet into a lightweight, breathable lid that performs well on hot days and during races. The ventilation is among the best that we've tried and it works brilliantly when climbing at threshold. The fit is very comfortable and the Rollsys retention system works well to spread pressure. 

Lazer's latest version of the Genesis cycling helmet sees it go on a diet, losing 65g and quite a bit of material too. Vents have increased in size and number, from 19 up to 22, but the Rollsys retention system is unchanged and still works very well. If you hate a heavy lid and want to feel as small a load on your head and neck as possible, this is the helmet to go for.

To be clear: this is a new Lazer Genesis that's lighter than both the original Genesis of a few years ago and Lazer's previous top-end helmet, the Z1. We weighed our size medium at 210g (Lazer claims the small is 195g) and you can get the MIPs version - that our reviewer said he'd upgrade to - for a 10g weight penalty. 

HJC Furion 2.0 Road Cycling Helmet

HJC Furion 2.0 Road Cycling Helmet

Best aero lightweight road cycling helmet
Buy now for £104.9 from Start Fitness
Selfit mechanism is great
Looks fast and race ready
Light for an aero helmet
Ventilation not great in hot weather

The HJC Furion 2.0 Semi-Aero Helmet is, as the name suggests, a 'semi-aero' road helmet that has a degree of ventilation. Weighing in at 218g on the scales of truth, it's very light for an aero helmet, but if it's great ventilation you're after though, reviewer Ed says, "Unfortunately on the hottest days it's really only semi-ventilated too, but for more usual UK weather this a good, light and very comfy option". 

The Furion 2.0 features a Selfit securing mechanism which is an automatic self-adjusting fitting system so that once the helmet fit is set, it doesn't require further adjustment, even when your head is moving during a ride. Ed referred to this technology as "genius" saying that "it keeps the helmet constantly sat on your head correctly without any loose wobble, but also you don't feel like it is trying to tear your scalp off." 

Kask Sintesi helmet

Kask Sintesi helmet

Best budget lightweight road cycling helmet
Buy now for £67.49 from The Bike Factory
Very stable
Decent airflow
Light for the money
Loads of colour choices

Kask's Sintesi helmet is an excellent lid at a great price. It's light, comfortable, looks good, and is suitable for all styles of riding, from urban commuting and road cycling to gravel. At just 237g this helmet is in the weight territory of performance road helmets rather than the often beefier commuter lids.

As well as meeting the usual standards, the Sintesi has also passed Kask's own WG11 Rotational Impact test, its alternative to Mips, and it includes a number of useful features. It has 13 generous vents which effectively channel air and the interior padding has an antibacterial treatment, which should enhance its lifespan, but a replacement pad kit is also available.

It also comes in 11 different colours ensuring there's one to suit your preference. 

Met Trenta 3K Carbon Mips

Met Trenta 3K Carbon Mips

Best money-no-object lightweight road cycling helmet
Buy now for £290 from Sigma Sports
Mips rotational protection

The Met Trenta 3K Carbon Mips is an excellent lid. It's light, cool and comfortable, if not cheap... The Trenta 3K Carbon is Met's top-of-the-range lid and it's this particular model that was worn by Team UAE Emirates and Tadej Pogacar at this year's Tour de France, balancing aerodynamics for the flat stages and ventilation on the hilly stages.

Aesthetically it's very similar to the previous model but it has been updated with rotational protection. It's impressive that Met has achieved the addition of Mips without making the helmet noticeably heavier weighing in at 223g - 3g heavier than previously. 

This new version appears to sacrifice none of this ventilation by using the airiest and lightest Mips Air Node system and Met has also minimised the amount of the head that'll be in contact with the helmet to help with keeping you cooler as you ride. Only 30 per cent will be in contact apparently, which, according to Met, allows the other 70 per cent to benefit from the optimised airflow passing through the internal cavity.

The best of the rest: more of our top lightweight road cycling helmet recommendations

Rudy Project Egos helmet

Rudy Project Egos helmet

Buy now for £145.99 from Trade Inn
Sits low above your head
Good airflow
Bug net included
No ratchet when undoing the retention system

Rudy's Project Egos helmet is a comfortable, well-vented helmet that shows lots of attention to detail with features such as the under-ear straps, magnetic chin clasp and bug mesh - and the price isn't stupid either. 

Inside the helmet is what Rudy Project calls a dual-density inner shell.  The lighter grey section is softer than the main EPS – expanded polystyrene – part of the shell, and according to Rudy, this softer material provides greater absorption of energy in the event of a crash. With 23 vents it's an airy helmet, but in addition to having a large number of vents, the vents are also well positioned.

Regarding safety, the EGOS passes the European CE/EN 1078 and the US CPSC 12.03 standards. The helmet doesn't feature Mips or similar technology, but Rudy says it does its own in-house rotational impact test, which has a pass or fail criteria. The EGOS is available in three sizes, which is fairly typical of most helmet brands. And you get a choice of four colours: blue, black, white and cosmic blue.

Poc Omne Lite

Poc Omne Lite

Buy now for £107.99 from Wiggle
Lightweight, airy feel
Top notch ventilation
Price – especially considering it's non-Mips

Poc's Omne Lite is an evolution of the Omne helmet, made lighter and with added airflow and the Omne variations are Poc's least expensive helmets. 

The lid is based around a lightweight EPS liner, with a minimal polycarbonate shell to provide structural strength while keeping the weight as low as possible, all conforming to EN, CPSC, AS/NZS certifications, though it does not have Mips.

Poc says it's optimised ventilation and airflow by adding extra exhaust vents at the back of the helmet. In total, there are 12 ventilation holes opening up to the five channels that run on the inside in the EPS liner. The combination of the holes and channels works really well; the ventilation is top notch on this helmet.

Specialized S-Works Prevail II Vent

Specialized S-Works Prevail II Vent

Buy now for £79.99 from Certini
Extra ventilation makes this a great option for hot weather
Very comfortable
Looks good
5-star protection
The straps could anchor closer to the head

Specialized's S-Works Prevail II Vent ANGi helmet is a lightweight and well-ventilated option that comes with a MIPS safety system and an optional crash detection sensor, £39.99, which, when linked to a smartphone, can tell your emergency contacts that you're in need of help.

The Prevail helmet has long been a popular helmet with performance-focused cyclists because it's comfortable, well ventilated and seriously lightweight. This version retains everything that was good about original but has a much lower profile. It not only looks better but offers better ventilation and sweat management as well as reducing the wind noise of the original..

The Prevail II Vent features large vents – including a 'Mega Mouthport' across the front – along with deep internal channels and sizeable exhaust ports at the rear. The whole system does an excellent job of moving air across your head to keep you feeling cool and (at least relatively) sweat-free. This is one of the best-vented helmets out there, and the incorporation of MIPS makes no difference to that.

Trek Velocis Mips Road Bike Helmet

Trek Velocis Mips Road Bike Helmet

Buy now for £229.99 from Sprockets Cycles
Great ventilation
Good looking – like a Ferrari
Mips Air system is very subtle and comfortable
Straps are unnecessarily long

The Trek Velocis Mips helmet is excellent, impressively light at 235g, with good ventilation and a very comfortable Mips system. It comes with striking looks too and reviewer George thinks that the front of this helmet is reminiscent of a Ferrari 458. 

Trek's tagline for the Velocis Mips helmet is 'Cool is fast', because this helmet is designed for both aerodynamics and ventilation. While we can't test the fast claims, the 'cool' element is impressive. Trek has used computational fluid dynamic (CFD) modelling and windtunnel testing to optimise airflow for the helmet, which seems to have done wonders.

The helmet tightens with a 360-degree Boa system and tester George said, "having used a lot of high-end helmets over the years I would say this is the most comfortable, both in terms of ventilation and fit". 

Met Manta Mips Aero Road helmet

Met Manta Mips Aero Road helmet

Buy now for £173.95 from Fawkes Cycles
Aero gains (claimed)
Mips tech
Decent ventilation
Quite light
Helmet brow quite visible

The Met Manta Mips Aero Road helmet offers a good blend of aero performance and ventilation while integrating Mips protection nicely. It's a good all-round helmet with a strong leaning towards fast club riders and racers interested in aero performance.

Tester Leon writes: “Out on the road I've found the new Manta Mips to be fast (well, fast-feeling) compared to my usual airy and lightweight climber's helmet – a Kask Valegro at the moment – and surprisingly airy too."

He also adds, "The MIPS technology has been nicely integrated, and the safety benefit of that – which no one hopes to ever have to test – puts you in the best position possible if you do have a spill."

Abus AirBreaker helmet

Abus AirBreaker helmet

Buy now for £111.99 from Swinnerton Cycles
Cool and lightweight
Top-end performance

The Abus AirBreaker is an excellent cycling helmet that provides loads of ventilation in a lightweight and low profile package. The AirBreaker's venting is its best feature. It's an in-mould design (meaning that the outer shell is permanently connected to the expanded polystyrene inner) with what Abus calls ActiCage structural reinforcement – essentially a plastic framework within the EPS, the idea being that you can have big vents without the helmet's safety being compromised. Many other brands do something similar.

The AirBreaker's overall shape is the same as that of Abus's GameChanger aero lid. Aero helmets tend to be heavier than most others and ventilation is usually compromised, hence the introduction of the AirBreaker. Our medium sized test model hit the scales at just 214g and it has a similar level of ventilation to the Abus Aventor.

How to choose from the best lightweight road cycling helmets

How much should a road bike helmet weigh?

The lightest modern cycling helmets come in at around 200g, which is light enough that you will barely notice your helmet is there if it's fastened correctly. Achieving very low weights while still meeting standards isn’t easy, though, and involves the use of high-tech materials and very careful design. Specialized’s 219g Prevail, for example, is internally reinforced with an aramid skeleton. Other super-light helmets have minimal, pared-down adjustment systems, necessitating the use of light but strong plastics, and featherweight webbing straps, none of which comes cheap.

Do lightweight helmets sacrifice ventilation?

The materials that allow a cycling helmet to be light also allow better ventilation, because they make it possible to increase the size of the vents and internal channels. Quite simply, there’s less helmet there, so there’s more room for air to flow.

In some helmets the cradle that fits around your head lifts the body of the helmet away from your scalp, further improving ventilation. That has been an important feature of the latest generation of aerodynamic helmets.

Are lightweight helmets as safe as traditional ones?

Yes, lightweight helmets undergo the same rigorous safety testing as traditional helmets to meet or exceed industry standards. All cycling helmets have to meet national and international standards to be sold at all, so every helmet here has passed those tests. 

Lightweight helmets may use innovative design features to maintain safety while reducing weight.

Are lightweight cycling helmets comfortable?

The days of foam pads resting on your head and making it sweaty are long gone. Many modern performance cycling helmets have cradles that lightly wrap your whole head, spreading the already-low weight over a large area and leaving plenty of bare scalp for sweat.

Helmet shapes have improved too, and the almost-universal use of some sort of dial adjuster to fine-tune the fit means these helmets can be easily tweaked; a lot less hassle than picking the right thickness of pads out of the box.

Emily is our track and road racing specialist, having represented Great Britain at the World and European Track Championships. With a National Title up her sleeve, Emily has just completed her Master’s in Sports Psychology at Loughborough University where she raced for Elite Development Team, Loughborough Lightning.

Emily is our go-to for all things training and when not riding or racing bikes, you can find her online shopping or booking flights…the rest of the office is now considering painting their nails to see if that’s the secret to going fast…