Whether you’re karting for fun or participating in the Karting World Championship, you’ll need a karting helmet. Many of you have asked me to write about what go-kart helmets I think are the best for someone new to the sport. So, that’s what we’ll be doing today.
You’ll have to wear a full-face helmet to be allowed on the track. While any model from any brand will work, I’ve compiled a list of helmets that are great when you’re starting out. Every helmet I mention below is certified by safety committees like Snell and DOT.
But, picking the best go-kart helmet is not as easy as it sounds, especially for a beginner. So, I’ve gathered a few factors you should consider when buying your first karting helmet.
How to Choose the Perfect Go Kart Helmets for Beginners
Before I go on with each factor you’ll need to consider, it’s worth noting that you don’t actually require a “karting” helmet when go-karting. I’ve been racing at my local league using a motorcycle helmet for several races, which is much cheaper than most go-kart helmets. So, you can always buy any kind of full-face helmet and use that when racing.
That said, to get the best go-kart helmet, you’ll have to consider these aspects.
Just like any other piece of karting gear, helmets must be very durable. After all, they’re the ones that will protect your head at all times. If you’d ask me, I wouldn’t love flying out of my kart during a crash without a helmet.
That’s why you’ll need to buy one made from durable materials. While you won’t need a carbon fiber one early on (and neither will your bank account), a fiberglass helmet will do just fine. Some polycarbonate helmets, like the Bell one I mentioned below, will do the trick.
From my experience, a comfortable helmet will often lead to better times on the track. Nobody wants a hot, plastic dome around their head while racing at 50mph.
That’s why you should look for three main things in a helmet: enough padding, ventilation, and the correct size. Bonus points if it has removable padding. If your helmet doesn’t have any ventilation, it’ll become foggy, which will make racing even more dangerous than it already is.
Also, make sure that the helmet you’re buying is the right size. Always try it on before you finalize your order since the sizing is different between brands.
When you’re starting out, whether you’re racing in a league or just renting out karts every Sunday, a go-kart helmet will set you back $150-$250. Anything lower than that won’t be up to par or have safety certificates.
You’ll also need to remember that well-known names in the karting industry, like Bell and Arai, will be more expensive. That doesn’t mean that they’re overpriced; it’s just that their helmets are usually top-tier.
Having a helmet that shows your character from the get-go of your career is not necessary, but it’s an excellent way to establish yourself at your local track. As a minimalist, I don’t like fancy colors and designs on my helmet, but I love seeing them racing around the track.
Getting a fancy helmet will make you stand out from the crowd on and off the track. And, it’s a great way to start a conversation with other drivers, making the whole karting experience even more fun.
My Top Picks for Go Kart Helmets for Beginners
As I said above, picking the best go-kart helmet for a beginner is complicated and subjective. While the helmets I mention below are amongst the best entry-level ones, you’ll have to try them out before you actually buy them.
Without further ado, let’s check my top picks for the best go-kart helmets for beginners.
Best Go Kart Helmet for Beginners: RaceQuip PRO 20
I’ve praised RaceQuip several times because their products are cheap and reliable. As stated in my original karting helmet review, the PRO 20 is one of the best go-kart helmets on the market. It doesn’t have any features to write home about, but it’s an excellent choice for its price.
While it has a few ventilation issues, all other aspects are great. The outer shell is made from polycarbonate, a durable plastic, while the interior is made from Nomex. The helmet also allows for a great field of view, which is necessary when you’re racing, while it also has removable cheek pads for optimal comfort.
Runner-Up Go Kart Helmet for Beginners: Zamp RZ-59
If you don’t like the PRO 20, then the Zamp RZ-59 should do the trick for you. The two helmets are pretty similar, with Zamp’s one having a slight advantage in some aspects, like the durability and the ventilation.
The RZ-59 is made of a fiberglass composite, which is pretty durable and lightweight. What stands out is the helmet’s ventilation; its system is one of the best I’ve seen at this price point since it has several vents all over the outer shell.
I was also lucky enough to meet a fellow racer at my local track who owns this model. They told me that you should be careful with the sizing; buying a size larger than what you usually wear is best.
Best Premium Go Kart Helmet for Beginners: Bell Qualifier DLX MIPS
I couldn’t have a list of karting helmets without mentioning Bell, even though the Qualifier is a bit more expensive than most other entry-level helmets. Most tracks you visit around the world will probably have a Bell helmet hanging around somewhere.
The best thing about the Qualifier is the MIPS system. Without getting too scientific, it disperses the energy during a crash, thus preventing you from suffering any severe injuries. And while it may not be made from the most durable materials, the helmet has great ventilation. Plus, it comes in several designs for any of you who feel fancier than me.
Best Affordable Go Kart Helmet for Beginners: Typhoon Helmets Full Face Racing Helmet
If Bell’s helmet seemed too expensive for you, you’d be happy to find out that Typhoon’s helmet will set you back almost $100 less. There’s really not much going on with this helmet; it’s just a fantastic piece of karting equipment.
The Typhoon helmet is made from a fiberglass composite, like the Zamp RZ-59. But, the former is a bit lighter than Zamp’s helmet, making it the most lightweight helmet on this list. Apart from that, it has a great ventilation system and comes with a Snell2020 certificate, like most helmets I mention.
Most Durable Go Kart Helmet for Beginners: Conquer Full Face Auto Racing Helmet
Conquer is a well-known name in the karting helmet market, and this helmet is another one of its masterpieces. On top of that, it costs much less than most other Conquer helmets, and it comes with a Snell2020 certificate.
While it has great ventilation and is made from a fiberglass composite, heavier than the helmets I’ve listed. But, this undoubtedly adds to its durability since it’s the most durable helmet I have found at this price point. Plus, it comes with removable cheek pads on the interior for that much-needed additional comfort.
Best-Looking Go Kart Helmet for Beginners: LS2 Rapid Street Helmet
Finishing off this list, I decided to go all-out with the most beautiful and affordable helmet for beginners I could find. The LS2 Rapid was the best candidate for this spot since it comes in a wide range of fancy designs and costs much less than every other helmet on this list.
But, it’s not the most durable out there. While it’s great for beginners, it’s made from an ABS composite, which is less sturdy than polycarbonate. Also, it only comes with a DOT certificate, which might not be enough for some tracks or leagues.
Still, I think that it’s amongst the best helmets for beginners since it’s a great way to show your character and stay safe on the track while not breaking the bank.
And that’s everything about karting helmets for beginners. Remember that a motorcycle helmet will be enough if you don’t want to spend money on a go-kart helmet. But, spending a couple of hundred bucks on a helmet like the RaceQuip PRO 20 or the Conquer Full Face Auto Racing Helmet is definitely worth it.
Stay tuned for more articles just like this one!
FAQs for Go Kart Helmets for Beginners
How Do I Choose a Go-Kart Helmet?
If you’re a beginner, you should pick a durable helmet that fits your head. You should also look for helmets made from reputable brands, like Bell, Arai, Conquer, or RaceQuip.