It’s not unusual to see a motorcycle rider wearing a helmet with a price tag somewhat near the bike. There’s no room for debate whether helmets are necessary or not. You should, and you must wear one. But which one?
Which helmet is better: open face or full face? The answer depends on quite a few factors. The confusion that new bike riders have while choosing between open face vs. full face helmets is never-ending.
It’s because of some lack of knowledge about both the bike and the helmet. We’re going to help you get rid of that confusion.
Before we talk about the differences between these helmets, let’s first talk about some basic features that a helmet is supposed to have. These features combined have one major goal: to save your head.
But why is this more important to know before knowing the differences? Because you need to have solid ground knowledge first.
Core Parts of a Helmet
A helmet from 20 years ago will look quite different from a helmet made in a recent year.
There has been much improvement in this sector in terms of helmet testing and technical development. But the main goal of this gear remains the same through the passage of time. The core parts of a helmet are;
Be it a full or open face helmet; a visor is a must. It is the part that protects your eyes and face from impact and dust.
Different helmets have various types of airflow inlet and outlet mechanisms. Some helmets are good at cooling, while others, not much.
It all depends upon the style, position, and number of airflow openings on a helmet. The foam plays a significant role too. Some foams can cool down efficiently, and they can be good cooling pads.
- Cover Shell
The final cover of a helmet is made from various materials. Plastic, metal, steel, and carbon fiber are some of the commonly known ones. The main task of the cover is to take in all the hits and spread them throughout the shell.
In the event of a hit, this part is the one that breaks first. There are more parts under this layer, and it is willingly designed to break first by putting it in the outermost part.
Since it’s stiff, it’s able to get some good amount of pressure until it cracks and spreads tension onto the inner components.
- Padding liner
Right below the outer shell is the padded liner. As the outer shell gets hit, it pushes its way into this padding foam. The foam’s main task is to absorb the impact coming from the shell, and by doing so, saves the rider’s head to a greater extent.
The foam is usually removable to make it easy to clean from time to time. It can be single or double layered, but that’s not important. What’s important to know is how much impact it can absorb without impacting the rider’s head.
We’ve seen some basic stuff about a helmet. Now let’s talk about the differences between open and full-face helmets.
Differences between open face vs. full-face helmets
Knowing the differences will make some stuff clear to you at most. What you should wear is determined by only you. You have to sacrifice certain features when choosing one of the helmets inevitably.
With that in mind, let’s dive into the differences;
Open face helmets easily win here. You can show your face, wear sunglasses or talk to people in style with an open face helmet. These are not possible with a closed or full-face helmet.
Full-face helmets only let you open a part of them to show your face while you talk to other people. Some people like it, and some don’t. But you’ve got less room to show your personal style or face cover gear with a full-face helmet.
A full-face helmet is heavy, especially if it’s made of steel or other metals. Carbon fiber helmets are, however, relatively lightweight. But since not everyone can afford them, they’re used much less than metal helmets.
What comfort points do you get with an open face helmet? Since they cover only a part of your face, you can easily scratch your face. You’ll sweat less because of more airflow. Taking it out is easy and quick.
Almost everything about it is super comfy. If you like comfort while on a ride, having a full-face helmet might give you a hard time. Choosing an open face might be a better option and if you need safety, get some extra face cover gears.
Suppose you’re on the highway riding at full speed. Suddenly, there’s a crash. A half-faced helmet that doesn’t cover your chin, ears, and two sides of your head.
What happens? Those parts get hit, and since the head is a soft, sensitive part of the body, a hit like this can immediately result in brain failure.
Under other conditions, what if you were wearing a full-face helmet? How’d the impact be? Surely, it’s hard to tell how and where the most impact would be without knowing about the helmet’s material composition.
Considering the composition of the helmet is good, the impact would be much lower.
Full face helmets keep the head in a tight hold. This hold doesn’t loosen up easily like the open face helmets, and only if the padding has enough absorbing power, the rider may be completely safe from any injuries to the head.
So, which helmet is better: open face or full face? Shouldn’t this be less confusing for you now than it was previously?
You know some information about both open-face and full-face helmets now. However, choosing one shouldn’t be entirely dependent upon personal preference.
Consider your ride style and safety before finalizing a choice. Once you have gotten that part down, open face vs. full face debate becomes less necessary.