Originally Posted by xanderthegoober
Anyone have any experience with these brands?
This is a contentious issue. Some folks will thoughtlessly parrot the old Bell Helmet advertising line "If you have a $50 head, get a $50 helmet." But I know from all of the materials that I reviewed as a motorcycle training instructor that a cheap helmet that is DOT approved can save your life. And I know from the Motorcyclist magazine article, Blowing The Lid Off (reprinted here):
that even a very expensive SNELL certified helmet can afford *less* protection than a cheap DOT helmet!
Most helmets today are made the same, or a very similar way. They all use an expanded polystyrene liner to absorb energy and protect your head in a crash. Helmets come with either a fiberglass or a thermoplastic shell, and even though manufacturers of expensive helmets tout the advantages of fiberglass, third party tests indicate that the cheaper thermoplastic shells are actually more effective.
The key is to actually try on any helmet you are considering and to see how well it fits, how well made it is, and how comfortable it is. You can look at the tests done here:
Motorcycle Helmet Reviews - webBikeWorld
but I don't think that is any substitute for trying a helmet on your own head.
I haven't tried all of the brands of helmet on myself. I can tell you that I've worn some surprisingly well made helmets made by Cycle Gear (Bilt brand) that I got on sale for well under $100.
Lots of helmets are made in China now, and they are very good at it, and they are very inexpensive. You can find reviews on the Web with regard to their quality. But you will have to try them on to see if any one in particular would be good for you.