Whether your-off road riding is fast and furious, or paced but punchy it is crucial to keep your head protected with an appropriate helmet. There is a vast amount of country side, trails and terrain to explore but you can never be too sure where the road will take you. It's important to protect yourself whatever your technical ability by choosing a helmet according to your ride. A helmet with vents is advisable to allow hot air to escape preventing overheating whilst half way up a climb, or during warmer seasons. Most off-road helmets are made to be extremely durable and tough but there are still a few things to consider when choosing your helmet.
1) Discipline specific: Are you intending on bouncing off rocks and plummeting downhill or pootling along a trail and climbing uphill to take in some views. You don't want to feel like your head is cooking in a pot wearing a helmet not for its intended use.
2) Ventilation: Do you require it during any specific seasons, do you need more or less ventilation and holes.
3) The Size/fit: Padding can be quite bulky or barely there so when trying helmets on it is crucial to make sure you have the right size despite the padding, padding you can add more of or take away, but a helmet that almost swivels around your skull isn't fixable or useful upon any impact.
4) Comfort/Padding: Does it fit securely, once you have the right shell size there should be slight movement but feel snug with room for your head to expand comfortably. Is the padding too thick or not thick enough, this can alter the feel so make sure it truly fits.
Once you know what style of protection you need, it'll be a simple process of trying out for size, thinking about the key points and exploring which brands suit you best. Brands can also vary in design functions and materials used, so if one doesn't suit, don't give up, put it back and try again. You don't have to choose by price or be put off by it either. Narrow your choices down wisely and think about how your riding will progress with the helmet and make sure it does the job you need it to. If you just require a casual helmet for daily commuting or weekend adventures through the woods, there is a range of leisure helmets that cross the board between road and off road helmets focussing more on visibility, protection and more head coverage. They will usually come with a visor to keep sun rays and rain away as much as possible. Brands usually cater for all riders and will cover your needs wherever you're heading.