9 Best Whitewater Kayaking Helmets | Top Picks & Buying Guide

Kayaking in the rough whitewater waves is considered to be the best thrilling water sport. While paddling up and down in irregular whitewater your body remains at a higher risk of injury by underwater rocks.

Just as essential to wear PFDs to keep the body safe, so should the safety of the head. A durable and strong helmet not only protects the skull from damage but also prevents water from entering the head in case of capsizing.

To make you pick the best fit-in helmet, we have reviewed the 9 best whitewater kayaking helmets that are well suitable for smooth and comfortable kayaking in whitewater. A buying guide is also assembled to help you consider the primary features while shopping for helmets.

9 Whitewater Kayaking Helmets:

No# 1 Tontron Adult Kayaking Whitewater Helmet:

q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B01GME2MIA&Format= SL500 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=kashidqwe 20&language=en USir?t=kashidqwe 20&language=en US&l=li2&o=1&a=B01GME2MIA


  • Carbon fiber and ABS helmet material
  • Dialer for size adjustment
  • Full-cut design
  • 11 Air vents
  • Helmet weight 413g

Tontron is best in providing top-notch quality helmets for years for the sports like kayaking, biking, skateboarding, etc. A full-cut helmet with the best ability to keep the kayaker’s skull safe from any harm.

Since of its high-performance features, it has made its place into the best whitewater kayaking helmets.

Product material plays an important role in making the helmet durable and impact resistant. Tontron helmet is made with carbon fiber and ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) material.

The Carbon fiber lightweight and strong design are helpful in providing smooth head protection to the kayakers. Also, the EVA foam liner on the inside keeps the head skin smooth and comfortable.

Additionally, it comes with ear protectors to save the hearing ability when hard water waves hit the head. They can be removed since they limit the kayaker to properly hear fellow paddlers.

A helmet having a good ventilation system is necessary to choose, if planning for a hot day kayaking. Tontron 11 air vents are best to drain out the moisture and keep the head cool on a hot sunny day.

Tontron kayak helmets has can be adjusted according to the skull size. It comes with a size adjustment dialer located on the backside, which makes it best for variant skull sizes. For extra fitness, the chin strap can be tied down correctly to hold the helmet in one place.

Overall, a rich-featured and extremely protective helmet is not gonna waste your budget after purchase, try that.

Pros & Cons

  • Extremely Lightweight and durable design

  • water drainage points

  • Dialer to adjust the size

  • Best for the money

  • Plastic ear straps can cause a problem


No# 2 NRS Chaos Side-Cut Kayak Helmet:

q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B00P20LV10&Format= SL500 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=kashidqwe 20&language=en USir?t=kashidqwe 20&language=en US&l=li2&o=1&a=B00P20LV10


  • Full-cut design
  • ABS helmet material
  • 525g weight
  • 8 ventilation points
  • BOA ratchet system

NRS side-cut helmet is also in the pipeline of the best affordable and comfortable helmet list. It is considered an outstanding head protector by professional kayakers due to its exceptional features.

Let’s take a closer look at how it offers convenience to the thrilling whitewater kayakers.

Paddlers prefer a helmet that provides soft comfort within minimum weight. NRS helmet is dominant in both qualities, its ABS outer-shell material gives less burden to the head due to its lightweight.

ABS is also considered a hard and durable shell material that allows a cozy and safe ride while tackling harsh whitewater waves.

Furthermore, the NRS helmet has a BOA system that is the more advanced source to increase the fitness and adjustability of helmets. It is also commonly used in bike shoes. The adjustment can be changed by moving the knob located on the back of the helmet.

For the more secure and free-breathing ability of a paddler, 8 ventilation points are built. The drainage/ ventilation system of a helmet cause no obstruction in the way of fresh breath. It also likewise fades the sweat water and keeps the head cool and dry.

Due to the variant of skull sizes, NRS Chaos helmets are available in five variant sizes. You have four other options to look for if the NRS black doesn’t suit your head. You can additionally attach a GoPro mount on the forehead to film the thrilling kayaking trip.

Pros & Cons

  • Pretty much lighter

  • Excellent drainage system

  • BOA for extra fitting

  • Very affordable

  • Available in five variant sizes

  • Make sure to choose the exact size



No# 3 Vihir Adjustable Kayak Helmet:

q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B072V7ZVG1&Format= SL500 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=kashidqwe 20&language=en USir?t=kashidqwe 20&language=en US&l=li2&o=1&a=B072V7ZVG1


  • 11 Air vents
  • Soft EVA foam inside
  • ABS outer-shell material
  • For multi-purpose sports
  • Available in 3 different sizes
  • Full-cut helmet

Vihir helmets are not only applicable in kayaking, additionally, they also work better in cycling, skateboarding, surfing, fishing, etc. For their versatile sports helmets manufacturing, Vihir helmets are great in demand.

Vihir kayaking helmet is designed in a way to fully protect the paddler’s head. Like other products on the list, ABS shell material plays a dominant role in defending the head from bumps and makes the helmet sturdy. Its additional EVA foam and moist resistant lining combine to make the helmet smooth inside.

It greatly feels awkward if the helmet moves its place again and again, isn’t it? To hold the helmet in one place, stainless steel rivets are used. Typically, rivets are applied to increase the durability, flexibility and to keep the lock objects in place

Furthermore, the helmet uses 11 ventilation points to pave the way for fresh air and keeps the head cool inside. Therefore, it is also known as the best sweat protection helmet.

The ears are the sensitive part of the face that needs to be fully covered in breathtaking whitewater. Being a full-cut helmet, it offers good protection to ears securing them from inside rocks if the kayaker fell over the underwater rocks.

To make the helmet size friendly, a size adjustable knob is fitted. If the helmet looks bigger than your head, rotate the knob and convert it to the area of your head.

It is also available in three different sizes. For even more fitting, you can tight the chin straps likewise it will become extra better comfortable and will not move its place.

Pros & Cons

  • Water-resistant liner

  • Admirable ventilation system

  • Size friendly helmet

  • Can be used for multipurpose sports

  • 90 days of the warranty period

  • Have sizing issues



No# 4 Pro-Tec Ace Water Helmet:

q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B004LQ144A&Format= SL500 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=kashidqwe 20&language=en USir?t=kashidqwe 20&language=en US&l=li2&o=1&a=B004LQ144A


  • 15 ventilation/ drainage points
  • ABS outer shell
  • 49 kg weight
  • EVA foam inside
  • Full-cut design

Pro-Tec is a solid choice for those who are searching for the best quality at the cheapest price. It is the most affordable kayaking helmet on the list. However, Pro-Tech has not compromised the quality features needed to protect the skull while challenging whitewater kayaking.

The full-cut design is tough, durable, and allows comfortable wearing. It comes with an extremely powerful ventilation system with 15 air vents. It doesn’t allow the sweat to bother you at all since the holes permit the fresh air to enter continuously.

The skull can only be secure when the helmet material is solid and sturdy. Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) is perfectly enough to increase the durability and rigidity of the helmet. Pro-Tec weight of 0.4 kg feels the head lighter and burden-free.

To protect the hearing ability of the ears, Pro-tec offers its ear protectors. However, you will have to purchase them separately if needed. Like other helmets on the list.

Pro-tec is available to cover all types of skull sizes from extremely small to extremely large. Choose the one according to your head circumference e.g medium size helmet is the best fit for heads of 56-58 cm.

In some cases, it becomes difficult for a paddler to exact measure the size of their head. It can be done by wrapping the measuring scale around your head in a way that it is above your ears and 1” above your eyebrows, now read the measurement.

Now that you have got the correct size for your head, choose the helmet size accordingly.

Furthermore, it can be used for multi-purposes e.g. fixing a go-pro camera, protecting the head in sailing, surfing, sea kayaking, and other water sports. overall the best helmet for the price.

Pros & Cons

  • Admirable water drainage system

  • Durable, strong, and lightweight

  • Very affordable

  • Size-friendly

  • Water-resistant EVA liner

  • It May prove uncomfortable due to tightening issues



No# 5 Triple Eight Sweatsaver Halo Water Helmet:

q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B01DE8RZPM&Format= SL500 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=kashidqwe 20&language=en USir?t=kashidqwe 20&language=en US&l=li2&o=1&a=B01DE8RZPM
ir?t=kashidqwe1 21&language=en GB&l=li3&o=2&a=B07NP71CSVir?t=kashidqwe 20&language=en US&l=li2&o=1&a=B01DE8RZPM


  • ABS material
  • EVA foam inside
  • Helmet weight 0.7kg
  • Half-cut design

Triple eight helmets remain in good demand among kayakers, surfers, and skateboarders. It shows its best to offer high-performance working via admirable features.

You will see a lot of good reviews about the triple eight helmet on the internet with minimum flaws. Let’s have a closer look at them.

Corresponding to the mentioned products, the triple eight helmets have a good number of ventilation holes. As the name indicates it serves as a role of sweat saver that allows a cold wearing to the paddler whole the way to a hot day kayaking.

The outer shell is made of strong ABS material, it is considered best to ensure the skull’s security by making it impact and scratch-free. The inner body contains a soft EVA liner to protect the head from the inside and give a smooth feel to the skull.

Naturally, no product is ideally perfect, it also came with defects. Since triple eight helmets have half-cut manufacturing, no ear flaps are available to protect the hearing ability of paddlers.

Due to that fact, professionals don’t prefer half-cut helmets for deep and long whitewater kayaking trips. Although, you can get the ear protectors by purchasing them separately.

Most of the users have also noticed the issues in the size of the helmet.

All in all, half-cut helmets are comparatively lightweight than full-face and full-cut helmets. Also, they offer comfortable and easy wearing.

Pros & Cons

  • Durable material

  • Comfortable wearing

  • Perfect fit for teenagers

  • lightweight

  • Good product for the price

  • The small size turned out to be very small in most cases

  • Don’t have ear flaps



No# 6 Sweat Protection Wanderer Kayaking Helmet:

q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B07NP71CSV&Format= SL500 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=GB&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=kashidqwe1 21&language=en GBir?t=kashidqwe1 21&language=en GB&l=li3&o=2&a=B07NP71CSV


  • ABS and Carbon Fiber material
  • 4 ventilation points
  • Size- friendly
  • Polypropylene foam inside
  • Helmet weight 0.93kg
  • Half-cut design

From my look, the fanciest and most stylish headcover on the list is a sweat protection wanderer. Not only from the outside, but you will also find it the best rich-featured helmet.

The tough and sturdy outer ABS shell combines with more vigorous carbon fiber to keep it light and easy to wear with strong protection against impacts. Both materials play an essential role in making the helmet durable and unbeatable.

The inside manufacturing is also notable and praisable like exterior. The smooth surface of Extended Polypropylene (EPP) secures the skull from damage and scratches on the inside while breathtaking whitewater riding.

Like other helmets, the half-cut design is made to best fit variable head circumferences. The Occigrip fitting adjustment system is attached to adjust the helmet size according to the skull.

The small to extra large sizes implies that it provides comfortable wearing to adult and seniors making it perfect to enjoy the awesome whitewater rides.

When comes to the ventilation system, it seems not much worthy to wear on hot days. 4 air vents can drain out the moisture, however comparatively less than Tontron, Vihir, and Pro-tec helmets.

Additionally, don’t provide any security to the ears. Anyhow allows well breathing. Better options are available than this piece.

Pros & Cons

  • Best fit for multi water sports

  • Strong outer and inner frames

  • Comfortable and durable

  • Turn-dial option for size adjustment

  • Stylish outlook

  • Contains no ear flaps

  • Poor ventilation system

  • Could hurt the wallet due to fewer features



No# 7 MagiDeal Water Sports Helmet:

q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B075BZL3V6&Format= SL500 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=GB&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=kashidqwe1 21&language=en GBir?t=kashidqwe1 21&language=en GB&l=li3&o=2&a=B075BZL3V6


  • Full-cut design
  • 11 water drainage holes
  • EVA foam liner inside

It might be a new design to you since after a bit of research it doesn’t seem common or popular among paddlers. However, its high-profile features inspired me to introduce it to you if you are just planning for any water sport.

A full-cut design with a rugged ABS material on the outside keeps it lighter and impact resistant which is naturally required in whitewater kayaking. Furthermore, another reliable and waterproof skull protector EVA is extra added for exceptional head security.

Magideal helmet has an admirable ventilation system. It contains 11 air vents to drain out the excessive sweat during extremely hot weather. It helps in maintaining the head temperature by opening the doors of fresh air into the helmet.

Typically associated with skiing but can additionally be used for kayaking, sailing boating, and other water sports.

Though a comfortable and convenient helmet but only available for large head paddlers. It doesn’t offer a variety of sizes. For extra it additionally has a chin strap and a wheel to make it the best fit for the paddler and minimize the hassle of loosening.

Overall, after sharing with you all its notable features, buying the MagiDeal helmet at a reasonable price of $56 will not drove you to a loss. Buy it and let us know your experience.

Pros & Cons

  • Comes with ear protectors

  • Drains out the moist

  • Multipurpose use

  • Doesn’t hurt the wallet

  • Comfortable and durable manufacturing

  • Only for large heads



No# 8 Gath Gedi Surf Safety Helmet with Peak:

q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B00J0H37YU&Format= SL500 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=kashidqwe 20&language=en USir?t=kashidqwe 20&language=en US&l=li2&o=1&a=B00J0H37YU


  • helmet weight 420g
  • Ear protectors
  • Multipurpose water sports
  • Large size
  • Full-cut design

Gath is a top-notch brand known for its high-quality helmets for multiple water sports. Surfing, whitewater kayaking, wakeboarding, and more similar sports can be efficiently conducted wearing a single helmet.

Include the Gath helmet into the list, if you are searching for a comfortable and lightweight piece. Unlike the triple eight helmets, it comes with removable ear flaps for protection from hard water waves while surfing or whitewater kayaking.

No matter what type

of water sport you are interested in like surfing, kayaking, sailing, or sea boarding you find this helmet comfortable and smooth everywhere. The full-cut helmet safeguards the skull against impacts by completely covering it.

Gath Gedi also contains a variety of switching options. A headlamp and Go-pro cameras can be best fitted on the helmet. Since it is inherently designed for surfing, it doesn’t contain water drainage areas.

Though, it could be the prime choice in multi-water sports and kayaking side by side if set off in cold weather.

Pros & Cons

  • Multipurpose helmet

  • Comfortable wearing

  • Removable ear protectors

  • Doesn’t have ventilation points



No# 9 WRSI Moment Full Face kayak Helmet:

q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B082LTNTZX&Format= SL500 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=kashidqwe 20&language=en USir?t=kashidqwe 20&language=en US&l=li3&o=1&a=B082LTNTZX


  • Full face design
  • EVA Liner inside
  • Retention system to hold the helmet
  • 2 Air vents near to ears
  • For medium and large head paddlers

Full face helmets are the prime choice for the exceptional protection of jaws and chin alongside head security. They are normally used for an intense level of whitewater kayaking. If you feel a bit unprotected in full-cut and half-cut designs, try this piece to get extra secured.

ABS material has special interference in making it the best face protector. ABS keeps the helmet durable and impact-free. Additionally, EVA foam liner is added to provide you with smooth wear and removes the possibility of a rugged feeling while paddling.

What if, The helmet keeps leaving its place while you are tackling rough water waves?. It can not only ruin the trip but is also more likely to be thrown in the garbage.

To avoid this hassle, WRSI Moment offers an admirable retention system to hold the helmet in its place without distracting the paddler’s mobility.

To avoid the interference of harsh sun rays in the kayaker’s vision, the full face helmet contains a visor. It limits the sunlight to distract the vision. Additionally, it shields the jaws and chin if the kayaker flips over on the rocks inside the water.

Badly, it doesn’t contain a good number of drainage holes to remove the moisture inside the helmet. However, it has 2 air vents near the ears to drain out the water in case of capsizing.

It makes the helmet protect the hearing ability when harsh waves hit the head. Nevertheless, avoid using it in extremely hot weather.

Full face helmets are considered a bit bulkier than half-cut and full-cut helmets and the heads feel like under a burden. If you want to keep your head lighter, better look for other choices.

If looking for our suggestion, we would recommend you to go with a full face helmet, to get able to handle the hard waves neglecting the face security.

Pros & Cons

  • Completely secures the face

  • Soft liner to keep the head skin smooth

  • Impact-resistant shell

  • Able to keep the helmet in one place

  • Heavyweight

  • Avoid using it on a hot day



A Buying Guide For Purchasing Best Whitewater Kayak Helmet

No doubt when shopping for the best helmet, a wide variety might confuse a paddler. Even an expensive get fail in the middle of the water implies it’s more about the quality than price.

To make you able to judge the perfection of the kayaking helmet, a short yet informative buying guide is included. Stay on the safe side and choose the perfect head protector

Material of the helmet:

The first and the foremost priority of kayakers is choosing a high-quality helmet. It will not only ensure the safety of a kayaker but will also guarantee the durability and staying power of a helmet.

Top-quality helmets are available at both affordable and expensive prices with a minor difference in the strength ability these include Kevlar, Carbon-composite, and thermoplastics.

Kevlar and carbon composite are considered sturdy, thickest, and lightest to confirm the person’s safety. However, you may find these helmets a bit expensive.

Thermoplastics differ in strengthening and lasting ability but still can provide valuable protection. You may easily get thermoplastic whitewater helmets at an affordable cost.

Size of the helmet:

Typically, professional athletes don’t prefer wearing helmets due to their bulkier size. Although helmets offer good protection along the way to sports like cycling or paddling etc.

Manufacturers have made it easier to smoothly tackle the harsh whitewater waves by manufacturing carbon-composite and ABS outer shell material helmets.

Both materials play an essential role in reducing the helmet weight and making it comfortable and easy to wear to challenging whitewater kayaking.

Each helmet from the above mentioned list is made of ABS or carbon fiber material so that you can pick the best from the bests.

Comfortability of the helmet:

Paddlers remain at higher risk due to extreme whitewater kayaking sport. It becomes more challenging for a kayaker to defend his head against the merciless water attacks.

Therefore, it is considered essential to wear a helmet that best fits your head without leaning from any side and completely covers the skull.

Comfortability of the helmet

Before shopping, exactly measure the circumference of your skull by circling the measuring tape around your head so that it is above the ears and one inch above your eyebrows.

Now note down the measurement. While moving for kayaking again test the wearing of the helmet to ensure fitness.

Drainage System:

It is almost impossible to remain dry while kayaking unless you are wearing a water-resistant suit and have optimized kayak seats. Besides water waves, sweat can additionally soak your head leading the paddlers into severe anxiety and awkwardness on a hot summer day.

It is advisable to wear a helmet that owns a powerful drainage system. The drainage or ventilation points continuously permit the fresh air to enter the helmet and keep your head dry and cold. The sweat-resistant helmet will minimize the trouble of getting drunk on sweat.

Best Sea Kayaking Helmet:

For a novice, kayaking can be tricky whether done in an ocean, sea, or calm waters. Even the experts move into the water after applying all the necessary safety measures e.g. extra PFDs, helmet, water-resistant suit, etc.

Is it necessary to wear a helmet for sea kayaking? Well, it is better to have one so that you won’t regret it in case of any severe condition.

A kayaker should not show idleness in keeping all the essential safety elements to the kayaking trip since staying on the huge water surface is a terrifying and difficult task.

The above-listed helmets can additionally be used for sea kayaking. We would recommend you to go with our first three picks ‘Tontron Adult kayaking helmet’, ‘NRS chaos side-cut kayaking helmet’, and ‘Vihir adult water sports helmet’.

All three are the best in providing head protection and will land you to shore safely.

Types Of Kayak Helmets:

Typically, three types of kayaking helmets are across the counter; full face, full-cut and half-cut helmets. Each of them differs in features and is connected to a particular type of kayaking. Lets’ take a brief look on thrice that how a special helmet type can assist you in kayaking.

Full face Helmets:

Traditionally, full face helmets are associated with intense whitewater kayaking. As the name indicates full face helmets cover the skull as well the entire face. They provide maximum protection when the head is at a higher risk of impacts due to ruthless water waves.

Additionally, full face helmets secure the hearing ability and the paddlers get unable to communicate with the other kayaking partners due to covered jaws and ears.

They are heavyweight and feel bulkier, therefore it is advisable not to plan a long whitewater kayaking trip if going with a full face helmet. Since it can make your head tired quickly.

Full-cut Helmets:

Full-cut helmets are considered best for medium whitewater kayakers. They don’t provide face protection however they are perfectly designed to secure the head top and ears.

Most full-cut helmets come with removable ear protectors, thus they can also play the role of half-cut helmets.

They completely meet the comfortability and fitting standards since they offer good defense to the skull and ears. Our above suggested helmets contain rich-featured and popular full-cut helmets.

Half-cut Helmets:

Half-cut helmets only cover the head top. Leave the half-cut option if you are planning to kayak deep into breathtaking whitewater. They are not made to take responsibility for the face and ears since it doesn’t come with ear flaps and extended jaw protector.

Although, they offer the best protection in light whitewater kayaking. They provide good comfort and are extremely lightweight than the other two types. that allow easy wearing.

If you are planning kayaking with the family or a group of friends, half-cut helmets are the perfect option a good option. Due to a lack of ear protection, they don’t limit the hearing ability for a chit-chat with other paddlers.

Sweat Protection Whitewater Helmet:

Kayaking proves extremely difficult on a hot summer day. It’s true that riding over water makes you feel cold but only to some extent since an extremely hot wind prevails over it.

Repeated sweating during kayaking could not only feel awkward but also can be dangerous and diverts the paddler’s mind.

9 Whitewater Kayaking Helmets

It is sensible to buy a sweat-resistant helmet, especially if kayaking in sunny weather. Advance kayaking helmets come with a powerful ventilation system. They contain air vents to drain out the sweat water by permitting the fresh cold air into the helmet.

From the above, choose the helmet that contains a maximum number of drainage holes. In our suggestion, the Pro-Tec Ace water helmet and Vihir adjustable kayak helmet might prove the finest quality choices for you.

Both options contain a powerful ventilation system needed to make the helmet cool and sweat-free.

Final Thoughts:

After a long read, hope you have got the best feature Whitewater kayaking helmet you were searching for.

Advance helmets are no longer flimsy and heavy, now manufacturers have designed them in a way to feel the head lighter, comfortable, and protected while paddling over hard waves and rocks.

All the helmets from the above-provided list are best to ensure the paddler’s safety. The foremost priority is to choose the one that perfectly fits the head without leaning from any side. Pick up the best-loved piece and land on the shore safely.

Hey! This is Muneeza, a researcher and writer of the website. Utilizing my vast experience and in-depth research skill, I used to dig deep to find out the information you'll love to know about your favorite watersport. In case of any queries, reach out freely!

3 thoughts on “9 Best Whitewater Kayaking Helmets | Top Picks & Buying Guide”

  1. Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I’ve really enjoyed browsing your blog posts. In any case I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write again soon!


Leave a Comment