A Pick of the Best Carbon Fibre Helmets for Motor Racing

If you’re an avid racer or track day enthusiast you always pursue those top speeds, so it’s very important to invest in your safety. Choosing the right helmet and proper equipment is pretty much mandatory. With that in mind, it’s important to figure out what helmets are actually worth your time and money, so here are some of the best carbon fibre options on the market.

Measuring and Fitting Your Helmet

It’s crucial to perform the right measurements when you buy a racing helmet, especially if you purchase it online. Use a fabric measuring tape and start measuring around the forehead. The idea here is that you want your tape to be level and above the eyebrows. Remember every manufacturer has their own type of sizing.

Please see our Helmet size blog for more information;

https://www.trackandperformance.com/2020/12/06/helmet-size-guide/

Visors

Every full face helmet will come with a fitted visor. These can be clear or tinted. Visors help eliminate the glare or severe brightness coming from the sun and protect the face from the wind and debris. Visors also help to improve the contrast when there’s a low-light condition. Full face helmets with visors are mandatory at all tracks if your driving open top and soft top cars. However Open face helmets (with no visor) are suitable for tin top or hardtop use.

HANS Posts

It’s mandatory to have a HANS device if you are competing in hill climbs, sprints, rallying or circuit races. So make sure you purchase a helmet that have their own HANS posts fitted as you’ll have to comply with the rules.

Aerodynamics

When buying a racing helmet, the main focus for it is to protect your head and face. However you can add spoilers to aid in the aerodynamics for use with single seaters. There’s many different shapes and sizes of spoilers to choose from. It’s always a good idea to buy the same brand racing helmet and spoiler that way you know they’ll be a perfect fit. The best option would be to choose a helmet with one already fitted that way you know you’re buying the correct helmet for the class your racing in.

Ventilation

Since you’re wearing the helmet for quite some time, you do need proper ventilation. The airflow needs to be very good, so try to keep that in mind. It’s a good idea to purchase a helmet that has adjustable vents. These will either restrict the airflow or provide you with more airflow, based on your needs. Custom ability is key here, so you need to take your time and choose the right helmet for the desired usage.

Intercom

If you’re racing and have a team at your disposal in the pits, you also want to have some sort of communication system to stay in touch with your team. A quality intercom system is not cheap, but the fact that you can maintain communication with your team is more important.

Safety Standards

The world of racing helmet safety standards can be a bit blurry for some people. It is a must that your helmet complies with the Snell and FIA requirements if you’re racing. Track day operators are a bit more lenient if its out of date or not approved they will let you go out at their discretion. However its a good idea to buy a Snell/FIA approved helmet for trackday use as its your only protection against serious head and facial injuries.

The FIA recognises the following helmet standards:

Below is a list from the FIA’s technical list No.25 that recognises all the current helmet standards.

Standard UsedValidityTo be used with FHRTo be used without FHR
FIA 8860-2018No ExpiryYesYes
FIA 8860-2018 ABPNo ExpiryYesYes
FIA 8860-2010Not Valid After 31.12.2028YesYes
FIA 8860-2010 & Snell SA2010Not Valid After 31.12.2028YesYes
FIA8860-2004Not Valid After 31.12.2020YesYes
FIA 8859-2015No ExpiryYesYes
Snell SA2020 & FIA 8859-2015No ExpiryYesYes
Snell SA2015 & FIA 8859-2015No ExpiryYesYes
Snell SA2010 & FIA 8858-2002Not Valid After 31.12.2023YesYes
Snell SA2010 & FIA 8858-2010Not Valid After 31.12.2023YesYes
Snell SAH2010 & FIA8858-2010Not Valid After 31.12.2023YesYes
Snell SA2010Not Valid After 31.12.2023NoYes
Snell SAH 2010Not Valid After 31.12.2023NoYes
Snell SA2015Not Valid After 31.12.2023NoYes

Helmet Material

This Blogs all about carbon fibre helmets. Its beautiful to look at, lightweight and extremely strong. However the most common helmet material is GRP. All composite helmets use either carbon, Kevlar or fiberglass materials. Fiberglass helmets are not as durable when compared to the other materials. They are less expensive, so that’s something to take into consideration. Carbon is great because it’s strong and dependable and extremely light which means less pressure on your head and neck over a long period of time. If you have a crash there is also less weight and force been put on your head, neck and shoulders. This is something that really makes a difference.

Stilo ST5 F Carbon 8860 Helmet

One of the main advantages brought by the Stilo ST5F Carbon 8860 Helmet is that its a smaller design compared to other helmets which means you sit lower in the car and have more room to turn your head. It’s also very light. A small shell weighs 1300±30g and a large shell weighs 1400±30g . You can lock your visor and have a front and side drinking system. The fact that it has ear area customization and microphone mouth distance adjustments also make it stand out of the crowd. This is recommended for someone that wants a FIA certified racing helmet that’s light and sophisticated. FIA 8860-2010 & Snell SA2015 Approved. Price £1863.64 ($2513.16)

Arai GP-6RC Helmet

The Arai GP-6RC helmet uses weave carbon, it’s extremely easy to customise and adapt, and at the same time it has both rear and front ventilation. With the Arai GP-6RC helmet you are also getting a PED set for aerodynamics, not to mention the visor has great aperture and a powerful locking level. The cheek pads can be removed and washed, so you can keep the inside smelling fresh for longer. The helmet is widely used in F1, GP2, A1 etc. The warranty is up to 5 years, and the unit itself is very well tested against any type of shock. FIA 8860-2010 & Snell SA2015 Approved. Price £2699.99 ($3640.99)

Bell HP7 Full Face Carbon Helmet

The Bell HP7 Full Face carbon helmet comes with a DSAF visor and a very powerful ventilation system. On top of that, it’s fully made out of military-grade carbon fibre. In addition, it has factory-fitted HANS posts to comply with the latest industry regulations. To make things even better, the interior is very ergonomic, and you will find yourself racing without any issues. It’s a very powerful, dependable and reliable helmet known for its efficiency and its impenetrable visor seal. If you need a reliable helmet for racing, then this is by far one of the best options on the market. FIA 8860-2010 & Snell SA2015 Approved. Price £2695.00 ($3634.00)

Sparco Prime RF-9W Supercarbon Helmet

The Sparco Prime RF-9W Supercarbon is made from a pre-impregnated carbon fibre and Kevlar. That delivers a lot of resistance and durability. The helmet comes with very thick padding that helps cushion your head better than other helmets. Not only that, you have a new fastening method that brings in a very good fit every time. It comes in 6 different sizes, and you also have the extraordinary carbon colouring. You can remove the interior linings to wash and clean, then they can be re-fitted with ease all the time. FIA 8860-2010 & Snell SA2015 Approved. Price £2,076.52 ($2800.23)

Bell Mag 9 Carbon Rally Helmet with Built in Intercom

The Bell Mag 9 Carbon Rally Helmet is a unique design. Installed is an excellent intercom system from the Bell factory. You are still getting the utmost protection and comfort even for an open face helmet. The unit has built-in ear protection, as well as ultra-thin speakers. You even get a noise cancelling microphone with the entire package. The helmet itself has a matt carbon shell finish. It has a very sleek design and you even get an integrated visor peak. The patented half chin bar with its own anechoic chamber makes it easier for you to stay in touch with your team. Recommended for tin top use use. FIA 8859-2015 & Snell SA2015 Approved. Price £975.00 ($1314.18)

Simpson Carbon Devil Ray Touring Helmet

The Simpson Carbon Devil Ray Touring Helmet has one hell of a name. This helmet has a factory clear shield installed. You get radio communication support, frontal head restraint ready, not to mention there’s very good ventilation and multiple sizes to choose from. It’s a versatile helmet that comes with a very affordable price. So if you are interested in a quality helmet that won’t cost a ton of money, this can be a good option. FIA 8859-2015 & Snell SA2015 Approved. Price £895.73 ($1207.91)

Bell RS7 Pro Helmet in Carbon

The Bell RS7 Pro Helmet in Carbon is fantastic if you’re looking for something durable, reliable but also quite different, this can be a good option. The helmet has a lightweight carbon composite shell. It also has the Bell proprietary moulding system, which is designed with comfort and quality in mind. It has a double screen anti-fog shield as well as a rubber gasket seal. Simply put, you get to drive properly without any concerns, while also looking stylish and having all the functionality you need. FIA 8859-2015 and Snell SA2020 approved. Price £1200.00 ($1618.22)

Conclusion

With so many different carbon fibre racing helmets, it can be very difficult to figure out which one ticks all the boxes and delivers the ultimate value for your hard earned cash. Sticking to a specific budget is always a good idea, but at the same time you do want to have a list with all the desired features. On top of that, having a racing helmet that’s fully certified by the FIA and SNELL will help you sleep better at night knowing your head is protected by a certified body . Don’t hesitate to take your time and even try these helmets on for size to see which one delivers the utmost desirability. At the end of the day, it’s quality that matters the most, and it will help you more than you might imagine!

Posted by Aaron Scott