Let me tell you a little secret.
Sometimes I ride without a helmet. I know the dangers, so I ride extremely cautiously. Like my baby son is sitting on the gas tank.
The funny thing? If I put on a piece of crap full face helmet, I ride like a banshee. Because I feel like I’m protected. My riding style changes subconsciously. Overall, I believe this situation is much MORE dangerous than no helmet at all.
The Halo Master Chief helmet from NECA is one of those unsafe helmets that causes overconfidence.
Thankfully, motorcycle riders have other options to get that Master Chief Petty Officer John-117 look.
First, I’ll walk through my review of the Halo helmet from NECA that took the internet by storm several years back. Then, I’ll show you a few other helmets that look the part while also protecting your head.
Let’s get into it.
My Honest Review of the Master Chief Helmet from NECA
The Halo Master Chief helmet from NECA looks spot on. Exterior features are perfect. It’s a detailed replica of Master Chief’s headgear, formed into a motorcycle helmet. But it gets worse from there.
Let’s start with safety, and move to cost.
NECA stands for National Entertainment Collectibles Association. Do you think they know how to build a safe motorcycle helmet? They sell replica swords and action figures for LARPing, not safety equipment for 60mph slides on pavement.
I can hear you now, “But Derrick, it’s a DOT approved motorcycle helmet!“
Maybe you’re new here, but DOT doesn’t mean a thing. Many half helmets get DOT approval, meaning DOT standards only look at the top skull cap section of each helmet. NECA’s Halo Helmet looks like a full face, but all it’s really providing is some cheap plastic and foam over the top of your head.
It’s also HUGE, a good 2-3 inches wider than your average full face lid. That’ll give the mushroom head look to anyone but Arnold Schwarzenegger in his golden years.
Another terrible design element? The peak of the helmet lifts up with the visor. In order to crack the visor for some air, you have to lift a giant plastic sail. And you’ll need to crack it to keep your head cool, since there are no front air intakes or rear exhaust vents.
Try doing that above 30mph and tell me how it feels.
Check out this honest review of the Halo motorcycle helmet. See how it cracks and pops when he applies any force? How weak the plastic is? How terrible the cheek pads feel? You will not be the lone survivor if you think this helmet will save you on the streets.
You could get safer helmets for $50 on Amazon. How much does this helmet cost? FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS. And that’s IF you can find this limited edition helmet on sale anywhere.
But all is not lost if you want a Halo Master Chief motorcycle helmet. I’m here to provide you with some hand picked alternatives.
Each of these helmets has a similar shape to Master Chief’s iconic helmet. A detailed replica is only a few weekends away with some sweat or a talented artist. I’ll show you how to get it done.
The Best Halo Helmets to Get You in the Fight
Don’t compromise on safety with NECA’s helmet. It’s not worth it. The hospital bills and agony of a head injury cost FAR more than all of these Halo helmets combined. TRUST ME.
My picks for Halo-style helmets mostly come from the adventure riding world. All of these helmets are extremely versatile – working just as well off-road as on the street.
I’ll work my way up from Budget to High-End. Then I’ll show you how to customize each helmet to make it resemble the Master Chief helmet.
Budget: Bell MX-9 Adventure Mips Dash Helmet
Bell is a serious helmet manufacturer – not a novelty collectibles company.
The Bell MX-9 costs less than half the price of the NECA Master Chief helmet, but looks just as good. And it’s actually a useful motorcycle helmet.
A small peak mimics the Master Chief helmet look while protecting your eyes from the sun. A large visor provides ample space to view the road ahead. A strong and stable chin bar prevents front impacts from affecting your face. Any defects are handled by the stellar five year warranty from Bell.
This lid is also cutting edge in safety, with the integrated Multi-Directional Impact Protection System. MIPS lets your head rotate independently from the helmet’s shell. It’s a $15 piece of plastic for Bell, but lowers the rotational strain on your brain during a crash by up to FIFTY percent.
The Bell MX-9 costs less than half the price of the NECA Master Chief helmet, but looks just as good. And it’s actually a useful motorcycle helmet worth wearing.
Roll around like Master Chief with the Bell MX-9.
Budget: Scorpion EXO-AT950 Helmet
Another safer and higher-quality alternative to the NECA Halo Helmet is the Scorpion EXO-AT950. This adventure style helmet provides amble protection on and off the road.
It’s also a modular, meaning you can slide up the chin bar to speak to your buds off the bike or take a sip of a drink. The peak and drop-down sun shield provide shade and a distinct Master Chief look.
From the safety side you get dual density EPS foam and a lightweight polycarbonate shell, plus an EverClear No-Fog Face Shield. That means protection from knocks and a clear view in all conditions. The KwikWick anti-microbial liner keeps you cool and dry in any weather, and the pads are grooved so you can wear eyeglasses without squeezing your temples.
Follow our steps to repaint this lid in green and you have something that looks straight out of the Halo games.
Budget: Scorpion EXO Covert X
This one is for you street riders. Looking like it came out of the declassified Spartan II project, the Covert X is intimidating and flexible. While this DOT approved motorcycle helmet lacks a peak like Master Chief’s headgear, it has a convenient modular design that I’ll get in to.
The smooth, matte surface of this helmet makes it easy to repaint out of the box. The drop down sun visor already looks very similar to the Master Chief visor, which is more upright than most motorcycle helmets. And that visor will give you UV protection.
The Scorpion Covert is no novelty helmet, despite its cool looks. The Ultra-TCT fiberglass and Aramin shell gives better impact absorption than more common polycarbonate shells. It has only three front air intakes, but who needs them when you can open the whole face?
You can mix and match the front face shield, visor, ear covers and rear neck sleeve to make this helmet a full-face, open face or half helmet. Pieces are easy to mix and match with a magnetic snap mechanism.
That’s a lot of helmets for only $300!
Mid-Range: Nexx X.WED2 Helmet
This Nexx lid’s exterior features struck me with its flat front and relatively short peak. That makes for a profile that looks very similar to the Master Chief motorcycle helmet.
You can also buy this helmet in an olive military green, so no repainting is required to look like a Halo helmet.
This helmet is a step above my other picks, with fiberglass and Aramid carbon fiber making the shell and CoolMax lining inside. Like the others, you get the peak and a sun shield to shade your eyes. Shield fogging isn’t a problem with the anti-fog coated visors.
This helmet is also ready for the NEXX X-COM Bluetooth system to be installed. That gives you the ability to listen to music and chat with other riders without adding extra bulk.
I love that the visor on this helmet is GIGANTIC – meaning plenty of visibility both left-right and down to the road below you. Pick this up in Olive and you’re ready to pull off Master Chief.
High-End: Arai XD-4 Helmet
Now we’re at the cream of the crop. This might be Noble 6‘s helmet. I cannot confirm or deny.
Arai is the top of the food chain. The Great White Shark of motorcycle helmets.
The XD-4 is Arai’s premium adventure helmet. It features a removable sun-protecting peak and more rear exhaust vents than a Manhattan avenue. The front and profile mimic the Master Chief look.
I won’t bore you with the basics: this Arai lid basically packs all the best safety and comfort technology in to one lightweight package. It’s one of few adventure-style helmets to achieve a Snell safety rating.
What’s special about it? Facial Contour Support cheek and temple pads that allow you to peel away 5mm to customize the fit. Compare that to the cheek pads that barely touch your face in the NECA Master Chief helmet.
This Arai lid is for the rider that’s serious about their safety. The premium price is nothing compared to the hospital bills you might save on by wearing this helmet.
Custom Painting a Halo Helmet
Alright, you have a helmet in hand from the list above. How do you take it closer to the Master Chief helmet, with its distinct military green and reflective sun visor?
Paint it green and rough it up with some grey. Follow my step-by-step guide to painting a helmet here. If you’d rather trust the paint job to a professional, go with one of the trusted vendors I listed out here.
Get creative with paint, a visor, and some foam blocks. You can build a perfect Master Chief helmet without sacrificing your safety.
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