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Bell Sixer MIPS ReviewBest Open Face Mountain Bike Helmet Review

Best All Around Open Face Helmet

  • Coverage 90% 90%
  • Safety Tech 80% 80%
  • Weight 60% 60%
  • Ventilation 80% 80%
  • Features 70% 70%

Category: All-Mountain

Weight: 411g

Vents: 26

Price: $150.00

What We Like: The tried and true features of the Super 3 in an updated package

What We Don’t: Average weight and pricing

The Bell Super 3 mountain bike helmet was a longtime favorite helmet amongst mountain bikers, made by one of the helmet industry’s most well-known players. So when Bell dropped the Super 3 name and replaced it with the Bell Sixer MIPS, everyone took note. Of course, the Bell Sixer MIPS lives up to its predecessor’s name and then some.

Compare to Similar Products

See Our Best Open Face Mountain Bike Helmet Review HERE!

POC Tectal Race Spin

  • Coverage 90% 90%
  • Safety Tech 90% 90%
  • Weight 80% 80%
  • Ventilation 100% 100%
  • Features 90% 90%

Pros

Innovative

Well Ventilated

Great Coverage

Cons

Price Tag

Category: All-Mountain/XC

Weight: 354g

Vents: 15

6D ATB-1T EVO

  • Coverage 100% 100%
  • Safety Tech 100% 100%
  • Weight 50% 50%
  • Ventilation 70% 70%
  • Features 90% 90%

Pros

Innovative Safety Technology

Best in Class Coverage

Cons

Hot and Heavy

Category: All-Mountain

Weight: 484g

Vents: 15

Troy Lee Designs A2 MIPS

  • Coverage 90% 90%
  • Safety Tech 80% 80%
  • Weight 80% 80%
  • Ventilation 90% 90%
  • Features 70% 70%

Pros

Well Ventilated

Great Coverage

Great Looks.

Cons

Limited Visor Adjustability

Category: All-Mountain/XC

Weight: 377g

Vents: 13

Smith Forefront 2 MIPS

  • Coverage 90% 90%
  • Safety Tech 90% 90%
  • Weight 100% 100%
  • Ventilation 60% 60%
  • Features 100% 100%

Pros

Very Lightweight

Comfortable Fit

Innovative Safety Technology

Cons

Sub-par Ventilation

Expensive

Category: All-Mountain/XC

Weight: 340g

Vents: 20

Kali Interceptor

  • Coverage 90% 90%
  • Safety Tech 100% 100%
  • Weight 80% 80%
  • Ventilation 100% 100%
  • Features 60% 60%

Pros

Insane Safety Tech

Great Ventilation

Cons

Subpar Visor

Slightly Less Coverage than Other Top Picks

Only Available in Two Sizes

Category: All-Mountain/XC

Weight: 388g

Vents: 18

Leatt DBX 3.0 All Mountain

  • Coverage 80% 80%
  • Safety Tech 100% 100%
  • Weight 80% 80%
  • Ventilation 80% 80%
  • Features 100% 100%

Pros

Epic Safety Innovation

Lightweight

Well Ventilated

Cons

Not quite as much Coverage as our other Top Picks

Category: All-Mountain

Weight: 360g

Vents: 18

Kali Protectives Maya 2.0

  • Coverage 80% 80%
  • Safety Tech 90% 90%
  • Weight 90% 90%
  • Ventilation 70% 70%
  • Features 40% 40%

Pros

Premium Helmet Protection with a budget Helmet Price Tag

Cons

Two-handed Retention System

Category: All-Mountain

Weight: 360g

Vents: 12

Giro Chronicle

  • Coverage 70% 70%
  • Safety Tech 70% 70%
  • Weight 80% 80%
  • Ventilation 60% 60%
  • Features 60% 60%

Pros

All of the Features of a Top of the Line Helmet at half the Price.

Cons

Warmer than average, not the greatest helmet liner.

Category: All-Mountain/XC

Weight: 371g

Vents: 14

Bell Sixer MIPS

  • Coverage 90% 90%
  • Safety Tech 80% 80%
  • Weight 60% 60%
  • Ventilation 80% 80%
  • Features 70% 70%

Pros

The tried and true features of the Super 3 in an updated package

Cons

Average Weight and Pricing

Category: All-Mountain

Weight: 411g

Vents: 26

Smith Session MIPS

  • Coverage 70% 70%
  • Safety Tech 80% 80%
  • Weight 70% 70%
  • Ventilation 90% 90%
  • Features 60% 60%

Pros

Great Ventilation

Cons

Price to Performance

Chin Strap

Category:  All-Mountain/XC

Weight: 377g

Vents: 15 vents

Giro Montaro MIPS

  • Coverage 60% 60%
  • Safety Tech 80% 80%
  • Weight 70% 70%
  • Ventilation 90% 90%
  • Features 90% 90%

Pros

Decent Coverage

MIPS Tech

Well-Ventilated

Cons

Not as good of a value as the Giro Chronicle, and not on par with our Top Picks

Category: All-Mountain/XC

Weight: 369g

Vents: 16

Coverage, Weight, and Ventilation

When it comes to coverage, Bell has you covered across their entire range of helmets, and the Sixer MIPS is no exception. The Bell Sixer MIPS comes down fairly low on your forehead, over your temples, and on the back of your skull. In fact, the Bell Sixer’s coverage is among the best in our entire review.

While packing a helmet full of vents doesn’t automatically ensure that it will stay cool, the Bell Sixer’s 26 vents do just that. Furthermore, its great coverage over the brow might lead to some goggle or sunglass fogging, but perfectly placed vents above your eyes do a great job at keeping your eyewear fog free!

At 368g, the Bell Sixer’s weight is not as impressive as its ventilation, but it is certainly not what we would consider heavy, either.

Safety Tech

Like most of the high-end open face mountain bike helmets in our review, the Bell Sixer is looking to the future and working to push the envelope when it comes to innovative safety technology. The Bell Sixer is a MIPS equipped helmet, so most of its innovation comes in the form of Bell’s “Progressive Layering” technology. Like the Kali Maya and Interceptor helmets, the Bell Sixer MIPS uses an In-Mold shell, allowing for softer foam, which makes the Progressive Layering system possible. Essentially, what this means is that the foam nearest to your head is softer, and gets harder toward the shell. This allows for better dissipation of impact, particularly at low speeds.

Combined with MIPS, Bell’s Progressive Layering system does make for a great combination, but we would like to see Bell’s own “MIPS Spherical” system, which is featured in the Bell Super DH convertible mountain bike helmet. Hopefully, that technology will make its way to the Bell Sixer before too long.

Other features

The Bell Sixer MIPS sits at the lower end of the price spectrum of top of the line helmets, and it feels like it cut a few corners to get there. The Bell Sixer features Bell’s own Float Fit Race retention system, and a standard buckle, rather than the more premium Float Fit DH retention system and Fidlock buckle, found on the Bell Super DH.

On the other hand, the Bell Sixer does boast a four position adjustable visor that plays very nicely with goggles, allowing them to be easily stored under the visor while climbing or shuttling.  It also plays extremely well with glasses for a helmet with such great coverage. It even has a dedicated place to stash them underneath the visor.

Bell topped the Sixer MIPS mountain bike helmet off with X-Static lining, which uses a “sweat guide,” that aims to pull the sweat toward the edge of the helmet so that it does not just drip down your face. While this seems a little gimmicky, it actually works surprisingly well!

Finally, like many of the helmets that we reviewed, the Bell Sixer’s MIPS liner means that it is not compatible with many old school lighting or camera mounting systems. Bell solved this problem by using an integrated camera/lighting mount on the Sixer.

The Bottom Line

There are no bad helmets on the list, and the Bell Sixer MIPS is certainly no exception to this rule. It suffers from the fact that, at its $150 price point, some of our top picks can be had for roughly the same price, and we just see no reason not to spend the extra few dollars on them.

That said, if and when Bell’s MIPS spherical makes its way to the Bell SIXER MIPS, then that would change everything, and the Sixer might find itself challenging for our top pick. We will keep our ear to the ground for information about this, and will update this review, should Bell give the Sixer a MIPS lift.

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