For many, the feeling of wearing an open-face helmet and the liberating sensation that brings is an essential part of riding. However, there are limitations to an open-face helmet, including the very real chance of something impacting your face.
So some form of visor is a tangible benefit when wearing one. However, that can then reduce the feeling of open-air that drove the choice to an open-face in the first place.
One style of helmet that seeks to address this is the commuter style, or Jet, helmet, so-called due to their resemblance to fighter-pilot helmets.
A completely open-face helmet, these use a visor that covers the face completely down to the chin and offers a huge field of vision and the ability to enjoy some open-face-style riding while keeping insects and debris out of the face. Great for a combination of cool and calm riding.
The great view, excellent sound-carrying capabilities and that protection to the face make them very popular with commuters and urban riders, particularly on the Continent; you can see hordes of maxi-scooters or small bikes whizzing around the centre of Rome, Madrid or Paris with suited commuters heading off to work, in their work clothes with a jet helmet on and their briefcase strapped to the back.
Related: Best open face motorcycle helmets
When it comes to safety ratings, all motorcycle helmets on sale in the UK, including those here, must conform to the standard ECE22.05 and while many full-face and flip-front helmets will have been tested and rated by SHARP, the UK government testing house, open-face helmets are not tested, so you will need to make your choice on the manufacturer, style and fit.
The latter is as important on a jet helmet as it is on any other kind – it should be snug and not move around once done up but should still be comfortable.
Here is a selection of jet-style helmets.
This helmet from LS2 is great value at less than £50 and comes with a huge optically correct main visor that can be rotated upwards. The chin strap is padded and fastens with a microbuckle strap and there are also air vents on the top of the head to ensure airflow across the top as well as around the chin and neck. The shell is formed in polycarbonate and the interior is removable and washable.
AGV K5 Soleluna
This open-face Jet version of AGVu2019s sporty K5 is available in plain white or black or this Valentino Rossi Misano replica livery for a racier feel (though a £20 higher pricetag). The carbon/fibreglass shell is available in two sizes with a further four sizes of three-density liner to offer seven size options in total.
In addition to the airflow from the open visor, it has three front vents and two rear extractors, with a large main and secondary sun visor. The main visor closes with a magnetic catch for ease of use in the urban jungle and is ready for an anti-fog insert.
Schuberth M1 Pro
The Schuberth P1 Pro is another premium lid from the manufacturer and not only is it designed for optimum airflow around the chin, but it also features a vent mounted on the top of the head for airflow across the top to the rear through a specially designed channel within the interior.
The huge main visor sits away from the face for a feeling of openness and is ready for an anti-fog insert and there is also a drop-down sun visor for those bright commutes. It also comes with speakers and microphone for a communications system pre-installed.
The Flyon uses a shell with a composite-fibre construction and a moulded liner with removable centre pad, cheek pads and strap cover so they can be washed. The enormous visor is ready for a Pinlock Max Vision anti-fog insert and is equipped with a locking mechanism to prevent unwanted opening.
There is a drop-down internal sun visor for bright rides and there are two vents atop the helmet, to create cooling airflow through to the exhaust at the rear. The Flyon is ready for Caberg’s Just Speak Bluetooth comms system.
Scorpion Exo City
This stylish jet helmet from Scorpion has been tested in the wind tunnel, according to the manufacturer so should be both quiet and comfortable to wear. It uses a wide, deep main spoiler and the composite polycarbonate shell comes in two sizes to ensure there is a good fit for everyone.
The liner is Scorpion’s KwikWick version, which is hypoallergenic and removable for washing while there is provision for spectacles within the liner. The helmet fastens with a microbuckle chinstrap and there is a drop-down sun visor as well.
According to Shoei, the J-Cruise uses all the features from the manufactureru2019s range in an open-face Jet style. The shell, formed in organic and multi-composite fibres, is available in three sizes while the interior uses removable cheek and centre pads for cleaning.
The main visor has mountings for a Pinlock anti-fog insert and there are air inlets on the brow with exhaust vents at the rear to create cooling through-flow of air. Different sized cheek and centre pads are available to tailor the fit and there is a drop-down sun visor.
The SHARK Citycruiser is very similar to the companyu2019s EVOJet, the latter a full flip-front. The Citycruiser has long side pieces that help offer protection to the chin and the deep main visor extends down to allow airflow while giving a huge field of vision.
The airflow is further enhanced with two inlets at the front and a rear extractor and there is a drop-down sun visor and the helmet is prepared for SHARK’s Sharktooth intercom and communications system.
Formed in polycarbonate, the N21u2019s shell comes in two sizes to offer a good fit for riders and has a pleasingly classic design. The overall look is streamlined and smooth, giving it a contemporary feel though there are also several retro finishes available.
It uses a wide main visor with an internal drop-down sun visor for sunny days though there are no vents on the top of the helmet. It uses ClimaComfort interior padding and there is a helmet lock ring to secure the lid to the bike when not in use.