Touring connotes long days in the saddle, and that means long days with your head inside your helmet. Fit, then, is going to be of utmost importance when it comes to selecting a touring helmet. A helmet that gives you a hot spot might not be a huge deal when you’re only wearing it for 45 minutes. Over the course of days, though, like an annoying travel companion, an ill-fitting helmet will grow to be a thing you loathe.

Traveling to a brick and mortar store to try helmets on is the best thing you can do, and if that’s not possible then finding an online retailer with a generous return policy is the next best way to go. When you try a helmet on, keep it on for a while too. Minor annoyances that grow large over time can take a while to show themselves.

Anyway, here we scratch the surface with eight touring helmets we’ve either sampled or that come highly recommended from our friends. (Some of our favorites are modulars, or flip-front helmets, but those will be covered in a separate article.)


Bell Qualifier DLX $149.95 – $249.95

Bell Qualifier DLX

The DLX packs a lot of the features from Bell’s more expensive Stars into a ridiculously inexpensive lid – ridiculously inexpensive mostly because it comes standard with a Transitions faceshield, which sells separately for around $130 if you’re lucky enough to wear a brand that even offers one. When you’re riding all day and half the night, nothing’s more convenient than not having to change faceshields all the time. Among most of the features you expect, the Qualifier also comes rigged for Sena and Cardo Bluetooth stereo headset and intercom systems, with integrated speaker pockets. If the DLX fit, you must admit.

Shop for the Bell Qualifier DLX here


AGV Veloce S (Sole Luna graphic shown) $389 – $399

AGV Veloce S

This Italian stallion melds features from AGV’s Pista track helmets with touring functionality. Big airflow from a track-developed ventilation system doesn’t interfere with a quiet, comfortable ride. Four sizes of the carbon/aramid/fiberglass shell keep it compact and aero. The quick-release face shield is fitted with a swivel mechanism which provides a perfect seal with the shell, a Pinlock lens is included, the interior is, of course, plush and removable – and the Valentino link is unmistakable. Unless you just want a solid color.

Shop for the AGV Veloce S here


HJC RPHA 70 ST (Grandal graphics shown) approx. $410

HJC RPHA 70 ST

HJC is a Korean manufacturer that’s been in the skidlid business for 47 years, and every time we stick our head in one lately, we’re pleasantly surprised by a level of fit, materials, and lightness that belies the price point. This one’s lightweight carbon fiber/ carbon-glass hybrid fabric shell takes on an intermediate oval shape (Arai’s most popular in North America), and aims to “bridge the gap between sport riding and touring.” It comes with an anti-fog internal sunshield and an antifog insert.

Shop for the HJC RPHA 70 ST here


Shark Spartan $369 – $450

Shark Spartan

If you like Citroëns, foie gras, and baguettes, you’ll also dig Shark’s line of helmets Francais. The Spartan gets great reviews for its lightness and smooth-running aerodynamic shape. “Large ram-air intake vents located on the chin bar and crest channel cool air in while hot air gets expelled out via the venturi created by the twin spoiler design. Your vision will be clear thanks to the MaxVision anti-fog system. Your hearing will be acute since Shark takes a full-system approach to sound damping. Your neck will not strain since the Spartan is both lightweight and volumetrically optimized for drag reduction.”

Shop for the Shark Spartan here


Scorpion EXO-ST1400 Carbon (Antrim graphic shown) $429.95

Scorpion EXO-ST1400 Carbon

Scorpion makes pretty nice helmets in that midprice range, too. In addition to its light and aero-sculpted carbon shell, the EXO comes with all kinds of features including an internal sun visor and Pinlock insert, as well as at least one thing you won’t find anywhere else: the “AirFit cheek pad inflation system allows you to obtain a personalized fit by pumping the air inflation ball located at the chin bar or near the rear of the helmet. To release the air, simply push the quick-air release. AirFit makes it easy to create a truly tailored helmet fit.”

Shop for the Scorpion EXO-ST1400 Carbon here


Schuberth R2 (Traction graphic shown) $419 – $569

Schuberth R2

You know how the Germans are. This one’s got “perfected aerodynamics for high-speed stability” and is constructed using an innovative proprietary method called Direct Fiber Processing (DFP), yielding a shell of superior strength that is no thicker in any one area than it needs to be. Inside, we’re inherently antibacterial, washable, and fast-drying, with a seamless headliner and integrated spectacle channel. Further, the R2 is ready to accept the plug-and-play SCHUBERTH SC1-System (sold separately), with integrated antennae, pre-installed speakers and microphone. Pretty cool, really.

Shop for the Schuberth R2 here


Shoei GT-Air 2 (Conjure graphics shown), $599

Shoei GT-Air 2

Shoei and Arai are the two premium Japanese-built helmets widely available in the US, and both brands enjoy impeccable reputations for quality and comfort. While Arai offers a bunch of different shapes, Shoei somehow provides many of us an outstandingly comfortable fit with its typical longish-oval shell shape. The new GT-Air 2 is SHOEI’s premiere full-face touring helmet. It features “a lengthened internal sun shield for optimal sun-glare protection, an all-new ‘first position’ shield opening for advanced ventilation and defogging, enhanced aerodynamics and noise-reduction technology, and the ability to seamlessly integrate with the all-new SENA SRL2 Communication System.”

Shop for the Shoei GT-Air 2 here


Arai Quantum-X and Signet-X  $680 – $830

 

Arai’s touring-oriented helmets are some of the nicest places you’ll ever find in which to shove your head.  The Signet fits best onto long, narrow skulls, whilst the  Quantum’s new Peripherally Belted Super Complex Laminate Construction shell is more receptive of rounder heads. At Arai, they’re all about the fit, and a good fit reaps rewards in all areas of helmet performance including safety. Both helmets are  highly evolved products with great ventilation, excellent shield mechanisms (Pinlock antifog shield included), and a vast selection of colors and designs.


 

El Craneo, anyone?

Shop for the Arai Quantum and Signet here


We are committed to finding, researching, and recommending the best products. We earn commissions from purchases you make using the retail links in our product reviews. Learn more about how this works.