About composite fiber crash helmets

HJCs PIM or Premium Integrated Matrix shows the complexity of some modern day composite helmets

What’s a composite motorcycle helmet?

Motorcycle crash helmets are made in a wide variety of materials – but often they’re created using a mixture of different materials laid down in layers to form what’s called a composite helmet shell.

This one shows the layers that go to make up the Nexx X.B 100

Technically, when you get more than one material involved, it becomes a composite fiber helmet: the helmet is made from a composite, or mix, of materials to create a new material that has the best characteristics from all its component parts.

As an aside, that does of course mean that fiberglass, carbon fiber and lots of other materials are technically composites. In these cases either glass fibers or woven carbon fibers are mixed with a resin (usually epoxy or polyester) to produce a new material.

Don’t worry, that’s as deep as I’m going to go!

Usually, though, if it’s not plastic (thermoplastic or polycarbonate), fiberglass or carbon fiber, and includes more than one of these materials, helmet makers will sell it as a composite helmet.

Are composite crash helmets any good?

Short answer – yep, they’re great.

Longer answer – composite fiber helmets are some of the best motorbike helmets on the market. They’re usually constructed from a combination of fiberglass, carbon fiber sheets or aramid (Kevlar).

Helmet ShellAvg SHARP safety score (Max 5)Avg weight Lbs (Kg)
Carbon4.253.0 (1.36)
Composite3.763.2 (1.46)
Fiberglass3.63.3 (1.49)
Polycarb/thermoplastic3.33.46 (1.57)
Full Face3.63.24 (1.47)
Modular/flip3.353.75 (1.7)

As you can see from the table, carbon fiber helmets are generally the best – the lightest and safest around if you look at SHARP testing stats. But composite fiber helmets are close behind, ranking next highest in terms of both weight and impact resistance.

Across all the helmets tested by SHARP, composite fiber helmets score 3.76 out of 5 for safety with an average weight of 3.2lbs (1.46Kg). That makes composite helmets the second best for safety and weight, but they’re also the second most expensive type of helmet.

Should I buy a composite crash helmet?

Yes – composite fiber crash helmets can be great and some manufacturers like Arai, Nexx and X-Lite specialise in making helmets from composite materials.

But like any helmet, there’s good ones and bad ones. So use the following links to find the best composite fiber helmets on the market today:

Check out all our composite fiber motorcycle helmets.

Or visit our Smart Filter pages, choose composite and whatever other helmet features you’re interested in.

Alternatively, view our top 10 Safest Helmets, Budget Helmets, Flip-up and Modular Helmets, Full Face Helmets, or top 10 All Helmets sections.


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