After checking out some of the best go-kart helmets for beginners, I thought it’d be a great idea to see what you can get if your budget is more lenient. Go-kart helmets under $500 are a great option for professionals or enthusiasts looking for more premium gear.
At the $500 mark, you should land yourself a good deal with enough features, durability, and the necessary certifications for any championship. Below, I’ve included the 6 best options currently on the market that cost between $300-$500.
If I had to choose one karting helmet to be the best within that price range, it’d have to be the Shoei RF-SR, a motorcycle helmet. You could also go for any helmet from Bell that’s under $500.
But, choosing the best go-kart helmet for under $500 isn’t an easy feat. You’ll have to know what to look for at that price range and what options you should avoid. With that, let’s check out some of these factors.
How to Choose the Perfect Go Kart Helmets Under $500
Most go-kart helmets within the $300-$500 price range are good enough for professional racing. So, with that in mind, there are four factors that you should mainly look out for.
Any helmet you bring on the track should be certified by the Snell Memorial Foundation for your safety. But, regarding professional races, you won’t even be allowed to race if your helmet isn’t certified.
And, since you’d probably not like to make a $500 investment on a helmet yearly, make sure to get one with the most recent certification (2020). Thankfully, as I’ve mentioned before, you can also wear motorcycle helmets on the track. So, your helmet could have the M2020 sticker instead of the K2020 or SA2020.
If you’d like to see the whole list of Snell-certified helmets or find out how the sticker looks, check out its official website.
Unlike go-kart helmets for beginners, the materials used in pricier helmets should be the best. So, if a helmet you like is made from a polycarbonate or ABS shell, you should look for something sturdier.
The best material for go-kart helmets is carbon fiber or a composite from a well-known karting gear brand. Any karting helmet below $500 that’s made from carbon fiber is an excellent deal, while most will feature a fiber composite outer shell.
In a professional racing setting, ventilation is a crucial factor that can win or lose you a race. If your helmet gets really hot inside, you’ll start sweating profusely and won’t be able to breathe properly. In turn, you won’t focus on your racecraft, and you’re putting yourself at risk, especially if you’re wearing glasses, which will start fogging up.
That’s why you should look for helmets that have great ventilation systems. As long as the helmet has enough holes on the front and back, it should guarantee you get adequate air inside.
When spending $500 on a helmet, you should get one from the most reliable brands. Unlike karting helmets for beginners, you’ll be able to find a selection of karting helmets from the most reputable brands when you’re within the $300-$500 range.
Most professional karting racers agree that any helmet from Bell, Arai and Conquer will be great. I’d also add my two favorite brands: Zamp and RaceQuip. Also, motorcycle helmet brands like HJC and Shoei should have an array of reliable helmets you can use for karting.
My Top Picks for Go Kart Helmets Under $500
Most helmets that cost close to $500 will be amazing picks. But, before you make any purchase, I’d highly suggest you try out your preferred piece. It would not be great if you got a helmet that doesn’t fit you well or isn’t comfortable enough.
That said, I’ve saved you the hassle of finding the best go-kart helmets under $500. Here are my top picks.
Best Overall Go Kart Helmet Under $500: Shoei RF-SR
If you own a bike, you’ll already know about Shoei. One of the brand’s entry-level models, the RF-SR, is one of the best karting helmets I could find. You could even wear it when riding your motorcycle to the track.
The helmet’s outer shell is made from a fiber composite, allowing it to be very lightweight and sturdy simultaneously. Its ventilation is one of the greatest I’ve seen, while it’s also supposedly aerodynamically built to reduce drag.
It also has some neat features, like a removable interior, which you can wash after each race, and a quick release system, which will be helpful if you ever get into a crash or your kart flips.
Runner-Up Go Kart Helmet Under $500: Typhoon Carbon Fiber Helmet
While Typhoon isn’t that well-known for its mid-range helmets, this carbon fiber one is pretty affordable for what it offers. If you want a slightly cheaper version of the Shoei RF-SR and are willing to give up some extra comfort, this helmet is for you.
It’s the only helmet I could find that’s made from carbon fiber and costs less than $500. As I mentioned above, carbon fiber is the most durable outer shell material, but it usually costs a fortune. So, Typhoon’s helmet is an excellent deal.
Even though its durable outer shell is the main star, the helmet comes with a pretty good ventilation system. But, it’s not as great as the RF-SR’s.
Best Value Go Kart Helmet Under $500: Zamp RZ-62
If you don’t want to go up to the $500 mark but would still like some premium features, the Zamp RZ-62 is your best choice. It combines the RF-SR’s great design with the affordability of the Typhoon helmet. And it’s the only helmet on this list that has a set of beautiful designs.
There’s nothing that makes the RZ-62 stand out compared to the rest of the helmets under $500. It’s made from a durable fiber composite, is lightweight, and has an excellent ventilation system. The real star is its price, which is much lower than what similar helmets cost, and its unique designs, which are amongst the most beautiful ones I’ve seen.
Best-Ventilated Go Kart Helmet Under $500: RaceQuip Top Air PRO20
It wouldn’t be a list of my top picks without the RaceQuip PRO20. This time around, I’ve included the modified version of the original PRO20, which adds a round hose on the top for the best ventilation. Another version also comes with a hose on the side of the helmet.
That said, in terms of its durability, the PRO20 isn’t the best at this price point. It’s made from a fiber composite, like most helmets on the list. But it’s the exact same model that sells for much less; it’s just been modified with the hose attachment. Though, this added feature does give it the best ventilation system.
Best Premium Bell Go Kart Helmet Under $500: Bell Racing K.1 PRO
It’s finally time for the Bell karting helmets, which are amongst the best on the market. Starting with the K.1 Pro, I find this to be a great helmet but slightly worse compared to the Shoei RF-SR. That’s because the latter’s features and ventilation system are much better.
Still, the K.1 Pro is made from a fiber composite, which is one of the best since it’s made from Bell. It also has a few nice features, like a chin strap, an aerodynamic build, and a pretty good ventilation system. All this comes with a small caveat; it’s the most expensive helmet on this list.
Best Affordable Bell Go Kart Helmet Under $500: Bell Racing K.1 SPORT
Rounding off this list is the Bell K.1 Sport. It’s somewhat different from the K.1 Pro, but most of their aspects are identical. The Sport version could be considered a watered-down Pro while also costing relatively less.
The K.1 Sport is made from a composite, like the Pro. Their main differences are their ventilation systems and their design. The Sport version is a bit less aerodynamically-built, while its ventilation is simpler than the Pro.
If you’d ask me, spending a bit less to lose these features, which won’t have a huge effect on the competitive side of karting, would be a no-brainer.
And that was everything about go-kart helmets under $500. While there are several choices out there, I think the ones I mentioned above will be the best for all professional karting racers. That said, always remember to try out a helmet before you buy it.
Stay tuned for more articles just like this one!
FAQs for Go Kart Helmets Under $500
How Much Does a Go Kart Helmet Weigh?
Most go-kart helmets weigh around 4 pounds. Carbon fiber helmets weigh the least, but they also cost much more.