Best Kayak Helmet 2023 – Top 10 Rated Models

Kayaking is one of the most exciting sports there is. However, it does pose a lot of danger to you. For instance, you might be at risk of hitting hard surfaces as you hit the water at neck-breaking speeds. And as a result, your head could receive a dangerous blow.

For this reason, investing in a good kayaking helmet is crucial. The best kayak helmet is designed to protect both your head and face from some of nature’s brutal forces. In addition, it is made to:

  • Fit snugly
  • Feel comfortable
  • Resist being torn off especially by the force of the water
  • Not wobble or slip down

But how do you know which is the best helmet for kayaking given the huge range of options out there? This is where we come in. We have reviewed some of the most outstanding kayak helmets that you can find in the market.

Check out the helmet reviews as well as the buying guide so you can decide which one is the best to buy.

Best Kayak Helmet

10 Best-Rated Best Kayak Helmet 2023 – Quick Comparison Table

A helmet can be an essential piece of safety gear in different kind of sports and kayaking in no different. So, we’ve sorted through thousands of kayak helmets and identified some of the best models around. Have a look at our detailed comparison list below before making your purchase.

1BERN, Summer Watts EPS Helmet12 x 10 x 7.5 inches1.7 pounds
2Sweet Protection Rocker Paddle Helmet12 x 9 x 10 inches2.4 pounds
3Tontron Adult Whitewater Multi-Sports Helmet9.8 x 7.5 x 7.9 inches1 pounds
4NRS Chaos Side Cut Helmet White Large11 x 10 x 9 inches3 pounds
5Sweet Protection Wanderer Paddle Helmet12 x 10 x 9 inches1.9 pounds
6NRS WRSI Current Pro Helmet14 x 9 x 9 inches1.5 pounds
7NRS Havoc Livery Helmet Yellow One Size12 x 10 x 8 inches1.55 pounds
8Triple Eight Halo Water Helmet3 pounds
9WRSI Current Helmet14 x 10 x 10 inches1.5 pounds
10Sweet Protection Rocker Full Face Paddle Helmet16 x 11 x 10 inches2.8 pounds

1. Bern Watts Kayak Helmet

Kayaking can be fun only if you get the assurance that you will come out of the event in one piece. This implies that you should try your best to avoid getting any injury and one way is through wearing protective gear.

Our review shall focus on the suitable helmets that could protect your head, and the Bern Watts Helmet should be on your list. It is versatile and could come in handy in a variety of situations.

Product Description

This Helmet is made in Massachusetts, USA and has an outer shell made of ABS Polymer to make it sturdy and lightweight at the same time. Underneath the shell is an EPS foam designed to absorb impact and keep you safe and comfortable.

It utilizes the Crank Fit dial-adjustable fit system to provide your head with breathing space and ensure that you remain comfortable all through. It is an all-weather helmet and features the replaceable winter and summer liner.

Then, it is sufficiently ventilated to allow for proper air circulation.

Other Features and Benefits

First, this Helmet is available in different sizes so you can be sure that your ideal size exists.

Then, the fit system is straightforward to use, whereby instead of adjusting straps, you will use a twist dial at the back to offer your head the ideal fit.

There are also the built-in speakers that give you the option of listening to music or listening to your companions as you chat during your hike. It is also compatible with most goggles on the market.


  • Well-priced
  • Breathable and comfortable
  • All-weather use
  • List Element


  • Too huge

2. Sweet Protection Rocker Paddle Helmet

If you love paddling in the rough waters of rapids and rivers, then this Helmet by Sweet Protection is what you need. It is a full-face helmet that covers the whole head and lower jaw and has a solid construction to ensure that it can withstand impacts that come with paddling in such an environment.

Product Description

This shell has a solid construction, and it combines the sturdiness of carbon fiber and the elasticity of injection molds to offer you the ultimate protection that you would expect from a paddling helmet.

It features the EPP foam liner that should be handy in absorbing shocks from impacts you are likely to experience in a rapid.

Then, there are the double-duty vents that drain water and also allow for sufficient air circulation to keep your head cool in the Helmet.

The two-way adjustable Occigrip mechanism should allow you to get the ideal fit from this Helmet.

It is available in three colors, i.e. Gloss White, Dirt Black, and Navy Blue Metallic.

Other Features and Benefits 

With this Helmet, you can be sure of receiving the ultimate protection, and no part should be left out. The front and back of the head should be fully covered while the shatterproof visor aids in protecting the eyes and the nose.

There is the moisture-wicking Coolmax liner that could prove crucial in controlling moisture build-up.


  • Lightweight
  • Solid carbon fiber construction
  • Breathable and adjustable


  • The adjustment points are not sufficient

Also read: 5 Best Bottom Fishing Rigs – Our 2 Cents on the Winning Rig

3. Tontron Adult Whitewater Multi-Sports Helmet

The Tontron brand is famous for its exceptional outdoor sports items, and our focus shall be on the multi-sports helmet from the brand. As the name suggests, it is a versatile product that you can put to a variety of uses including whitewater Surfing, Windsurfing, Kitesurfing and Kayaking.

It is designed to offer you comfort and protection to make your kayaking experience a memorable one.

Learn more in our brief review below.

Product Description

The Tontron Whitewater Helmet features an ABS outer shell that aims to offer you maximum protection from impacts that you are likely to experience while kayaking. It also features a soft and quick-dry EVA absorption liner to enhance your comfort.

The Helmet features 11 air vents to make it breathable and to allow sufficient circulation of air in it. The removable ear protection pads are for the ears while the dial system at the back of the Helmet could aid in achieving the perfect fit.

It is available in small, medium and large sizes as well as in a range of colors as well.

Other Features and Benefits

The removable ear pads should give you the option of adapting the Helmet to a range of weather and temperature changes.

Another benefit is its buoyancy whereby it floats to the surface as soon as you immerse it in water.

It also has a unisex design, and anyone should feel comfortable in it.

The Helmet comes in vibrant colors so that it can be spotted relatively easily as you paddle deep in the waters.


  • Well-priced
  • Versatile
  • Comes in a wide range of vibrant colors


  • The fitting can be too tight

4. NRS Chaos Side-Cut Kayak Helmet

Just because you are on a budget does not mean that you have to sacrifice comfort, security and sturdiness in a Kayak helmet. An excellent example of a helmet that satisfies this criterion is the NRS Chaos Side-Cut helmet that is well-priced and can rival the higher end helmets in terms of performance.

Have a read below to learn more.

Product Description

The NRS Chaos Side-Cut helmet features an ABS plastic outer shell for maximum impact-resistance to offer you the ultimate protection. The thick EVA-foam liner aims to distribute the shock from the impact for added safety and comfort as well.

It features eight ventilation holes to allow for free air-circulation to keep your head cool all through the use.

The drainage too is impressive, and it drains the water out fast. Then, the BOA ratchet system is easy to use and would enable you to secure a tight fit.

Other Features and Benefits

The robust shell construction is not only designed for security but durability as well, and the Helmet should serve you for a long time to come.

The snug fit should keep you comfortable and allow you to focus on the kayaking expedition at hand.

It is available in different vibrant colors, including red, black, yellow, white, and blue. They should be easy to spot in the rough waters.


  • Well-ventilated
  • Solid construction
  • Very affordable


  • Too bulky

5. Sweet Protection Wanderer Paddle Helmet

For several years, the Sweet Protection brand has been a dominant force when it comes to production of high-quality Kayaking helmets. The Wanderer series is no exception and is specifically designed to offer you protection as you embark on your Whitewater expeditions. It has undergone numerous upgrades over the years to fill any gaps with regards to its efficiency.

Have a look at our brief review and see if this Helmet fits the bill.

Product Description  

The Sweet Protection Wanderer has a solid construction with an ABS thermoplastic shell with carbon fiber reinforcements for an ideal strength to weight ratio. As a result, the Helmet should have an incredible impact resistance for the ultimate protection.

It has an EPP foam liner which serves as a shock absorber and should be crucial in withstanding the low energy blows that you are likely to experience in your expedition.

The four vertical vents should allow for sufficient air circulation to keep you cool and also to drain excess water. Additionally, the moisture-wicking Coolmax liner could be crucial in regulating moisture build-up.

Other Features and Benefits

One advantageous feature of this Helmet is the two-way adjustable Occigrip mechanism that allows you to acquire the ideal fit according to the shape and size of your head. This should ensure that it remains tightly snug to your head as you move about.

It is lightweight to add to its comfortable nature.

In addition to the shock-absorbing liner, you can add the self-adhesive fit pads to offer you the ultimate comfort and protection.


  • Has a direct ventilation system
  • Lightweight
  • Solid and durable construction


  • Not for extreme kayaking

6. NRS WRSI Current Pro Helmet

If you are looking for a Kayak helmet that offers affordability and quality in one unit, the NRS WRSI Pro helmet could answer your problem.

The WRSI stands for Whitewater Research and Safety Institute, and this should be enough to assure you the Helmet is fully designed to fulfill the purpose that it was meant for, and that is safety.

Product Description 

Made in the USA, this Helmet offers you with three layers of protection including an ABS-plastic outer shell, a Polyurethane sub-shell and an EVA foam liner to complete the impact absorption feature.

It features an interconnecting retention system that aims to hold the Helmet in place as you go about your business. There is also the Flow-through Visor that serves to protect your face from elements such as rain and sun.

The removable ear protection has the intention of protecting your ears from waves and winds plus also to keep them warm.

Other Features and Benefits

It may have a solid construction, but this Helmet remains lightweight to avoid adding any unnecessary burden onto your head.

The Helmet is available in full-cut and half-cut types so that you can choose your preferred style. It also comes in Phantom, Fiesta, Shamrock and Ghost colors which are both attractive and stylish.

It is available in small, medium and large sizes to cater for heads with different shapes and sizes.


  • Lightweight
  • Solid and durable construction
  • Comfortable


  • Too prone to scratches

7. NRS Havoc Livery Helmet

It seems we cannot get enough of the NRS brand and this time we are going to focus on the Havoc Livery helmet. This is one of the best low-cost whitewater helmets that you could ever come across, and it is specially designed for adult kayakers.

It is a very popular choice among kayak rental companies and Whitewater guide outfitters.

Product Description

This Helmet comprises of an ABS outer shell and a closed-cell EVA liner for excellent impact resistance and shock absorption. It features six large vent ports for sufficient air-circulation and also for quick drainage of liquids.

The ratchet-adjust dial system allows for a custom fit, and any adult should be comfortable with it. There are chin straps too that should aid in enhancing the comfort and security of this Helmet.

It satisfies the CE Whitewater safety standards.

Other Features and Benefits

The main benefit of this Helmet is its versatility, and it should fit any adult head comfortably.

Then it is comfortable due to the sufficient ventilation as well as the comfort pads that serve to ensure you remain at peace with the Helmet on all day long.

It is also lightweight to ensure your movement is as smooth as possible.

Lastly, the Helmet comes in vibrant colors for easy spotting and also for added beauty.


  • Lightweight
  • Can fit most adult heads
  • Very affordable


  • The chin strap is too narrow

8. Triple Eight Halo Water Helmet

Another low-budget but high-quality water helmet that ought to make it to your list is the Halo Water Helmet by the Triple Eight brand. It has a solid construction and is well-suited for both beginners and professionals.

Have a read below and see if this Helmet is worth your money.

Product Description

This Helmet is made in the USA, and it has a compact construction comprising of sturdy outer ABS shell and dual-density closed-cell EVA foams for maximum protection against impacts and falls.

The Sweat Saver halo water liner is very comfortable, and it is backed by three layers of plush foam wrapped in fabric to offer your head maximum security and comfort as well.

It satisfies the CE EN water sports standard to guarantee you of its effectiveness.

Other Features and Benefits

The Sweat Saver is removable for easy cleaning. As a result, the Helmet should remain clean and fresh for the duration that you are using it.

You can also add ear flaps to give your ears warmth and to protect them from waves and strong winds.

It features chin straps to hold the Helmet securely in place and allow you to focus on the paddling at hand.

Lastly, the Triple Eight Water helmet comes in Glossy White and Black Rubber colors, which are both stylish and attractive.


  • Well-priced
  • For beginners and professionals alike
  • Very comfortable


  • Fragile chin strap

9. WRSI Current Helmet

For the ultimate Whitewater Kayaking experience, the WRSI Current Helmet should be by your side. It is a general-purpose helmet that is packed with dozens of safety features that could ensure you come out of the kayaking in one piece.

Read our review to learn more.

Product Description

This Helmet features a sturdy ABS outer shell, a Polyurethane Sub Shell and an EVA foam liner. All these combine to give the shell a fantastic impact-resistance and shock absorption so that your head remains safe all through.

Then, there is the Interconnect Retention System that ensures the Helmet remains firmly on your head even with the raging waters constantly pounding you. At the back is an O-Brace system that also allows for a more secure fit to keep the Helmet in place without slipping.

It features three holes for air circulation and drainage of excess water as well.

Other Features and Benefits

First, the Helmet features a padded liner for comfort which is removable for easy cleaning. It is also replaceable such that when it wears out, you do not have to purchase a new helmet.

You can also add the detachable ear flaps for side coverage, and this could ensure that your ears are not exposed to waves and winds.

It also offers total coverage ranging from below the occipital bone to the top of the spine.

Lastly, it is available in five different colors, which are vibrant and give the Helmet a pleasant look. They include Phantom, Fiesta, Island, Vapor and Ghost.


  • Well-ventilated
  • Affordable
  • Features padding and adjustment options to prevent slipping


  • Prone to scratches

10. Sweet Protection Rocker Full Face Paddle Helmet

If you are adventurous and you enjoy paddling in extremely rough rapids, this Helmet by Sweet Protection is just for you. It offers full face protection as you are likely to be up against fast-moving water and rocks as well.

Is it worth it? Let’s see.

Product Description 

This Helmet is manufactured in the USA, and it features a sturdy outer shell made of ABS plastic, Carbon Fiber and injection-molded thermoplastic. All these combine to give the helmet durability in the face of the extreme conditions.

Then, there is the jaw guard and the adjustable shatter-resistant visor that should ensure the entire face is fully covered.

The EPP foam liner serves to absorb the shocks coming from impacts while the moisture-wicking comfort foam layer regulates the accumulation of moisture in the different temperature ranges.

It features double-duty vents that allow for sufficient air circulation and also for the drainage of excess water.

Other Features and Benefits

A significant advantage with this Helmet is the perfect fit which we can attribute to the adjustable Occigrip mechanism which allows you to achieve a custom fit. This, coupled with the chin straps, should ensure that the Helmet remains firmly on the head.

The package includes fitpads which have the intention of enhancing your comfort in this Helmet.

Additionally, there are the removable ear pads that protect your ears from waves, wind and offer warmth.

Lastly, it comes in four different colors.


  • Offers full face protection
  • Allows for a snug fit
  • Well-ventilated


  • Pricey

Buying Guide – How to Choose the Best Kayaking Helmet

Not just any helmet is a good kayak helmet. Therefore, when shopping for a kayaking helmet, you need to be aware of what makes up the best helmet.

Basically, the type of helmet you choose depends on the type of kayaking you’re engaging in. It could be whitewater kayaking, recreational kayaking, flatwater kayaking or sea kayaking. Whichever type of kayaking you engage in, below are some of the basic features to consider.

Type of kayak helmet

Generally, there are three types of kayak helmets including half-cut, full-cut, and full-face helmets. The type of helmet you choose depends on the type of activity you take part in.

So, for basic kayaking like sea kayaking, recreational kayaking, and light whitewater kayaking, a half-cut helmet is usually the best option. This helmet is designed to sit just above the ears so it can offer optimal protection to the skull.

As far as the full-cut helmet is concerned, it offers similar protection as half-cut. However, it does extend over the ears and covers more of the sides and back of the skull. Therefore, it can be used for kayaking during the cold season.

Last but not least, the full-face helmet is made to cover the entire head including the lower jaw. As such, it offers the highest level of protection compared to other kayak helmets. For this reason, it is best suited for kayaking in Class III and above whitewater.

Fit of the helmet

Another feature worth considering is the fit of the kayak helmet. This is because helmets for kayaking come in a range of different sizes. Generally, the best helmet should fit snuggly. This means that it should not squeeze your head too tight neither should it be too loose.

Also, it should cover your entire head down to the base of the delicate skull. More importantly, the helmet must extend past your ears and cover your forehead. On top of that, it needs to have adjustable straps to help you secure the best fit around your head.


If you want your kayak helmet to last a long time, you should definitely consider its overall construction. First, you need to consider the shell material. Generally, the stiffer the shell, the better. Composite materials like carbon fiber and Kevlar are in general the stiffest and have the advantage of being extremely lightweight. Unfortunately, helmets made from the above materials are a bit pricey.

Other helmet materials that are also good include injection –molded thermoplastic. Helmets made from these materials of relatively affordable and offer reliable protection. However, they are a bit heavier and are not as stiff as their composite counterparts.

Retention system

A good fitting kayak helmet should have a very comfortable retention strap. The straps should also be extremely easy to adjust on both sides. More importantly, the strap needs to have enough padding for optimal comfort during your paddling. On top of that, the helmet’s buckle is supposed to be secure to prevent the helmet from coming off your head.

Drainage & Ventilation

Since your kayak helmet is bound to come into contact with water, it needs to have a good drainage system. This will ensure that any water that gets in can flow out. Also, the helmet should be well ventilated for added comfort. So, look out for helmets with air channels and sufficient vents for maximum ventilation in a wide range of temperatures.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are you’re still uncertain about which is the best kayak helmet for you? Just go through this FAQ section before making the final decision.

Do you need a helmet to kayak?

Whether you are an advanced kayaker or just a beginner, wearing a kayak helmet is important for your own safety.

How do I clean my kayaking helmet?

It’s very easy. Just use clean water and a mild detergent to clean the helmet. After cleaning, leave to dry completely.

Which is the right size of kayak helmet to buy?

There is no right kayak helmet size since we all have different head sizes and shapes. However, the right size of the helmet should fit snuggly and not make feel uncomfortable.

Which is the Best Kayaking Helmet- Our Top Pick

Overall, the Sweet Protection Rocker Helmet is our best choice despite being a little bit expensive. When it comes to comfort, this is one area that the helmet excels in. It includes Fitpads and a moisture-wicking line for optimal comfort.

Also, the helmet features a two-way adjustable mechanism to help you achieve a customized fit. As if that’s not enough, it is designed to endure even the toughest rapids. However, if you’re on a budget, then we recommend you try the BERN Watts Helmet.


Accidents can happen even while kayaking on the mildest waters. Therefore, it is only wise to invest in one of the best kayak helmets for your safety. The above helmet options offer the most reliable protection and are very durable.

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