This may seem like a no-brainer of a question. Like many others, maybe you have thought about using your motorcycle helmet on the Airsoft battlefield. Considering that a motorcycle helmet is designed to protect your head (should you crash), it would seem perfectly reasonable that a motorcycle helmet would be sturdy enough to protect your head from 6mm plastic BB’s. Many have asked, “Can motorcycle helmets be used in Airsoft?” If you’re reading this article, then you’ve obviously considered using a helmet you may currently own or can borrow.
The simple answer is yes, motorcycle helmets can be used in Airsoft. Before deciding on using your motorcycle helmet as your Airsoft protective gear, you may want to do a little homework.
Most motorcycle helmets can protect you from being pummeled in the head by plastic BB’s. However, depending on the type helmet, it may protect only to a certain extent. It is necessary to look at the type of helmet you own before deciding to use it for Airsoft.
Motorcycle Helmets come in Different Types
Not all motorcycle helmets are the same. Likewise, not all helmets will be able to provide the same amount of protection. While some may provide full head protection, others may require additional components to provide a fuller level of protection from Airsoft BB’s. Before slapping on your helmet and running onto the Airsoft battlefield, you will want to start by taking a quick look at the type of motorcycle helmet you have. Here are the six different types of motorcycle helmets:
- Full Face
- Modular (Flip-up)
- Open Face ( 3/4 )
- Half Helmet (Brain Bucket)
- Off Road (Motorcross)
- Dual Sport (Crossover/Hybrid)
The list below should help paint a clearer picture of why additional considerations should be taken when repurposing your current helmet for Airsoft.
Full Face Helmets
The Full Face helmet would be what most people have in mind when they picture a motorcycle helmet. This type of helmet covers all of the head and has a clear visor offering protection to the face and eyes. As the Full Face helmet is basically a bubble, ventilation can be somewhat of a problem both on the bike and on the battlefield. It is recommended that if you are using a full face helmet, you make ventilation a consideration. In warmer climates, it would also be wise to have removable and washable padding. No one wants to stick their head into a smelly bubble. Also, consider a helmet with a breathable box. While not foolproof, this will help with the removal of exhaled air which can have a positive effect on visor fogging.
Much like the full face helmets, these will provide full head coverage. While less safe for use on a motorcycle as the hinge area creates a weak spot in the helmet, they are just as sturdy for Airsoft battle. The versatility of having a flip up chin allows for occasional access to the face. This allows the wearer to take a drink, smoke, eat, consult maps, and converse all without having to remove the helmet. It is not recommended that the wearer leave the chin bar open during play as the face would be exposed. If you need to open or remove your helmet, it is always recommended to do so in a safe zone or while undercover.
Open Face Helmets
Just as the name suggests, an open face helmet does not provide full face coverage. The chin bar and in some cases not face shield are not present. While this provides an “airy” feel, this type of helmet is not suitable for battle without the bare-minimum addition of some eye protection. Some manufacturers offer snap-on visors designed to work with their helmets. If this is not an option, some wearers may opt for a set of Airsoft safe goggles.
This is a very minimal type of helmet. They are commonly referred to as “Brain Buckets” as they cover the top portion of the head starting at the forehead, down to the halfway of the back of the head. This type of helmet is definitely not recommended for use in Airsoft without additional protection for the eyes. Googles are a must. A half lower face mask may also be something the wearer should consider as a greater portion of the face is left exposed compared to the three previously mentioned helmets.
An off-road or dirt bike helmet would be the other recommended helmet that can be used for airsoft. A higher level of physicality is demanded from dirt bike riders and their sport is usually in warmer climates. As such, these helmets are designed to weigh less and are designed to allow for more airflow. Off-road helmets cover the head much like the full face helmet. However, they are designed to be used with goggles as they do not come with built-in face shields.
Dual Sport Helmets
The Dual Sport helmet provides a combination of the best features from a Full Face helmet and an Off-Road helmet. Dual Sport helmets are about versatility. This type of helmet provides a balance of features from both helmets. Features such as improved ventilation, soundproofing and flip-up visor allowing the wearer to use googles if they choose to name just a few.
Other Things to Consider
Beyond the type of a motorcycle helmet and additional accessories, there are a few more things to consider before hitting the battlefield.
Team & Field Rules
If you are part of a team or regularly skirmish at a particular local field, you will want to review established gameplay rules your team abides by or your local field mandates regarding helmets and eye protection. Rules are established to make battles fair and to ensure a level of safety amongst all players. Don’t wait until you are about to walk on the battleground. Confirm beforehand if your motorcycle helmet meets the established rules. If the rules do not specify that motorcycle helmet is a suitable piece of protective gear, you would do well to ask anyway. Don’t assume that because the rules “didn’t specify it”, that it must “be ok”.
Aiming Your Airsoft Weapon
This is one of the areas where using a motorcycle helmet will affect your ability to shoot accurately. Motorcycle helmets tend to be bulky and are going to get in the way of proper aiming. Any shooting you do will be pure guesswork and random. While you may be more intimidating on the battlefield, you may find that you are less accurate and rack up less “kills”.
Airsoft Gameplay & Environment
This is not meant to be a way to deter you from using your motorcycle helmet. However, consider the nature of the Airsoft game itself. At times it can be a fast-paced game where players will run, jump, and crawl across different terrain. Will you be able to wear your motorcycle helmet for several hours while running, jumping and shooting other players? Also, consider the environment where you will be playing and how natural conditions such as weather will affect you. If you play in a warmer climate, what effect will this have on you wearing your motorcycle helmet? I’ve written a review of the MICH 2000 helmet and why this is inexpensive head protection is the best bang for your buck (click here).
Also, consider that motorcycle helmets with face shields are as prone to fogging issues as most face shields and goggles are. There are many anti-fogging products that reportedly help eliminate or reduce lens fogging. Some DIY’ers have proposed using an “old divers secret” which is use a little bit of mild liquid dish soap, like Dawn. Dish soap will help reduce or prevent fogging when applied to goggles and face shields. The only drawback reported by the DIY’ers was mild streaking. Whatever you choose to remedy a fogging issue, always remember to apply any fixes from a safe location. Removing your face protection on the field during battle opens you up to the possibility of an injury.
Motorcycle helmets are designed to protect your head in an accident. As such, it is perfectly reasonable to expect that a motorcycle helmet would be a good piece of protective gear to fend off plastic BB’s. Motorcycle helmets can be used in Airsoft. Your motorcycle helmet can protect you from being pummeled in the head by plastic BB’s. However, it may be necessary to evaluate the type of helmet you own before deciding to use it for Airsoft.
You would do well by considering less than obvious things about motorcycle helmets used in Airsoft battles. When considering using a motorcycle helmet for Airsoft consider things like the rules that are in place regarding protective gear. You may find that even though your helmet can provide sufficient protection, it may not meet standards or be allowed by your team, group or local field. Checking with your team and local field prior to a battle will ensure you are ready to play.
Consider how wearing the helmet will affect you during gameplay. Make sure you are you up to wearing your motorcycle helmet through several hours of skirmishing across various terrain and climate. Be ready for issues like moisture in your motorcycle helmet that cause lens fogging. Finally, consider how your helmet will affect your ability to properly aim and shoot.
See you out on the battlefield!