The Best Modular/Flip-Up Helmets You Can Buy [Updated Q1 2021]
Modular helmets have long been the go-to choice for tourers, commuters, riding instructors, and those who value versatility and practicality along with protection and comfort. Popping up the chin bar is great when you’re stopped and need a breath of fresh air, or want to have a quick conversation with a fellow road user.
And despite what people say, the modular nature of these helmets does not decrease their protection ability. With so many products on the market, here’s a list of some of the best modular helmets you can buy.
But before we look at them, here’s how we made our choices.
A good helmet must meet certain criteria. Most importantly, it has to be safe. It also has to offer a good return for your investment. Lastly, it needs to have earned a good amount of favorable reviews from a broad spectrum of riders.
If a helmet can meet those demands, it’s worthy of our recommendation. Here are our favorites!
The Schuberth C4 Pro is an updated version of the already celebrated C4. It’s a tough and durable modular helmet that features a DFP (Direct Fiber Processing) glass fiber shell, with an innovative sectional EPS foam liner, that’s DOT-certified and performs well on the SHARP test.
On the inside, the helmet uses ShinyTex antibacterial liner that provides a comfortable and secure fit, with an integrated channel to accommodate the arms of eyeglasses. The ventilation on the C4 Pro is very good, thanks to multi-channel vents that provide serious airflow without introducing any unnecessary road noise.
It features an intuitive flip-up system, with an extra-wide viewport and anti-fog face shield. It also accommodates Schuberth’s proprietary intercom system, which can be purchased separately.
The Schuberth C4 Pro could be one of the best modular helmets ever made if it was a little lighter. For some riders, the weight of this helmet is a turn-off. However, if you can tolerate the heavier weight in exchange for tough protection, advanced engineering, and top technology, then give this one a go.
AGV’s Sportmodular Carbon helmet is a great helmet for those looking for a lightweight flip-up lid made from advanced materials. It’s a carbon fiber helmet with a carbon chin bar, formed into a shape that’s designed to minimize impact energy and protect the skull and collarbone simultaneously.
There’s a 5-density EPS liner under the carbon shell, with a wide range of interior comfort options. These include eyeglass-friendly, pressure-free cheek pads, crown pads, and a removable nose guard and wind protector. Ventilation is provided by AGV’s Integrated Ventilation System (IVS) which uses innovative input vents and exhaust extractors to provide optimum airflow.
The flip-up portion uses an advanced lock system that prevents accidental openings. The face shield is a Max-Vision Pinlock anti-fog shield, which also features a smart lock system too. Other notable features include an internal sun shield and a titanium double-D retention system.
Depending on your head shape, the Sportmodular can either be a hit or a miss. If you’ve got a narrow-shaped head, you may experience increased noise volume—and that’s not ideal. However, if you’ve got a rounder head, the fit will be great and the noise egress will be at a minimum.
The HJC RPHA 90S is a stylish modular helmet that’s lightweight and tough. It uses many of the same components and features found on the brand’s top-tier racing helmet, the RPHA 11 Pro, but at a more accessible price point. Using HJC’s advanced P.I.M (Premium Integrated Matrix Plus) technology, a carbon fiber, and carbon-glass hybrid, and an eyeglass-friendly EPS, the HJC RPHA 90 S is a safe bet for a wide range of riders.
Inside, the helmet features a MultiCool interior, with antibacterial, moisture-wicking, quick-dry fabric. This interior liner has also been designed to keep noise to a minimum—though it’s still not the quietest of helmets in our opinion. Still, if you can put up with the noise, you’ve got a comfortable, well-ventilated, and secure helmet.
The wide eye port offers improved peripheral vision, and the chin bar has an innovative one-touch open and close locking system that can be opened one-handed, and with gloves on. The standard visor is an anti-scratch, anti-fog Pinlock faces shield.
It’s worth noting that the RPHA 90S also accommodates SMART HJC 10B or 20B Bluetooth communicators.
LS2 make high-quality helmets at affordable prices, and their Valiant modular helmet was a resounding success when it was first launched. Now, we have the second generation of that celebrated model: the Valiant II. Built from an innovative Kinetic Polymer Alloy (KPA) composite shell and EPS liner, it’s lightweight, strong, and affordable.
On the inside, the Valiant II uses a high-tech comfort liner with moisture-wicking fabrics, and thermo-formed padding. The thermo-formed pads boost comfort and breathability while providing a close fit. A series of intakes and exhaust ports allow for optimized airflow, but without introducing any excess noise. It’s quite a quiet helmet, even at high speed.
The flip-up section uses a metal latch on the chin bar to prevent unexpected openings, and it also has an open-function that keeps the helmet open when required too. Other cool features include a built-in drop-down sun shield and Pinlock-ready face shields.
If you’re looking for an affordable DOT-certified flip-up helmet that offers a comfortable and quiet experience at an affordable price, this is worth looking at.
Nolan’s N100-5 is a sleek DOT and ECE-approved flip-up helmet that has been getting some great reviews lately. Made from a polycarbonate shell, the N100-5 is a surprisingly light and compact modular helmet. It feels high-quality, and if you’re looking for value for money, you’re going to get it with this helmet.
The outer layer is tough and strong, and the inside comfortable and secure. It uses a removable and washable Clima Comfort liner, with single-block cheek pads. Ventilation is great too. Nolan has installed the N100-5 with an advanced ventilation system with Air-booster technology for comfortable airflow. And unlike many modular helmets, the Nolan N100-5 is actually quite quiet.
Other features include a wide face shield, a dual-action chin guard opening system, and a UV400 drop-down sun shield.
The downsides with the Nolan N100-5 include the fact that it’s only available with two shell sizes and the fact that you can only use Nolan’s own communication hardware with it. Nolan’s devices are great, but if you add the price of their N-Com B901 onto this helmet’s asking price, it makes it quite an expensive lid.
Shoei’s Neotec 2 is a premium modular helmet that can go toe-to-toe with industry mainstays such as the Schuberth C4 Pro. They’re the same price and close in quality, but the Shoei would come out on top in a direct comparison.
The Neotec 2 uses an aerodynamic shell design that’s reinforced with dual-layer EPS layers. Sculpted with an intermediate oval shape, this Shoei should comfortably fit most riders without a fuss. It features a 3D shaped and eyeglass-friendly comfort liner with pads that have been ergonomically shaped for optimized safety, fit, and comfort.
It’s a quiet helmet, as much as modular helmets can be, but it isn’t as quiet as it could be. However, Shoei has mentioned that it’s traded silence in exchange for airflow. Thanks to the use of intakes and exhausts, and Shoei’s Vortex Generator, ventilation is not a problem.
It’s not without its negative points though. The Neotec’s ratchet strap can be uncomfortable, and there’s no shortage of reviews mentioning that it can cut into your neck, with little room for adjustment. Apart from that, it’s one of the best modular helmets on the market.
When you think of Bell Helmets you might not immediately think of a modular helmet, but they do make them! The SRT uses Bell’s incredible experience in making sports-focused helmets and deploys it in a smart touring-friendly flip-up with an affordable price tag. Built around a lightweight composite shell, the Bell SRT has many premium features that make it worthy of this list.
Aside from the SRT’s practical flip-up chin bar mechanism, the exterior boasts a wide Panovision face shield with class one optics. Unfortunately, the shield could do with more detents for a varied ride experience, but that’s a small gripe. However, if you’re riding in hot climates it could be a deal-breaker. The regular ventilation is fairly good, but being able to keep the shield open in a few more different positions would really help.
On the inside, the SRT features a removable and washable antibacterial liner, eye-wear compatible padding, a drop-down sun shield, and recessed EPS speaker pockets that can accommodate a wide range of third party communication devices.
Not only is this helmet DOT-certified, but it also comes with a five-year warranty too.
When it comes to touring apparel, the folks at Klim know what they’re talking about. The TK1200 was already an impressive modular helmet, but it has been revamped with a new carbon shell. Using a hot-molded and vacuum-sealed pre-impregnated carbon fiber construction method, Klim’s helmet is incredibly light and strong.
To keep things light, the TK1200 bucks another trend by doing away with a drop-down sun shield on the inside. Instead, it uses a transition visor that adapts to the UV level. It keeps the sun out, but it doesn’t prevent cooling winds from giving you plenty of ventilation.
Using intelligent vents and exhausts, airflow is optimized, but it doesn’t interrupt your ride with outrageous noise levels either. Klim uses an innovative Aero Acoustics system to keep distracting noise to the bare minimum.
Other practical features include a breakaway chin guard mechanism, comfortable molded interior padding, and a quick-release buckle. Sadly though, the Klim TK1200 Karbon is only available in one shell size, which is a little disappointing. But if it fits your head properly, you can’t go wrong with this advanced modular helmet.