Off-road riding is often considered a full-contact sport, not only with other riders but with nature itself. As with any sporting activity where there is potential for contact and collisions, a rider needs to take precautions that they are protected as much as possible to avoid injury.
Take adequate steps to protect yourself when riding off-road or competing in off-roading events to make sure you stay safe, injury-free, and able to continue enjoying doing what you love!
The gear you need to protect yourself while off-roading with your dirt bike or ATV is:
Here is our ultimate guide to dirk bike & ATV gear and accessories.
If you’re specifically looking for kids gear only, you can check out our post here, where we cover kids’ gear exclusively.
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An off-road rider’s crash helmet is arguably the most important piece of personal protection equipment they will ever buy! Making the right choice of helmet is an important decision and we have come up with some recommendations that may help you to select the right helmet.
Advances in off-road helmet technology and materials has allowed advanced safety features to be incorporated into helmets at all price ranges!
When selecting any off-road helmet, there are certain minimum features that should always be included in your shopping list to make sure the product you buy gives you the protection you need.
- Appropriate size and fit of the helmet.
- Good quality protective material. Usually a polycarbonate/ABS shell construction.
- Quality chin strap and chin strap buckle.
- The weight of the helmet.
- Good helmet ventilation.
- Good impact reducing features such as MIPS an breakaway visors.
We have recommended some helmets for you in the categories best off-road helmet, best beginner helmet, best budget helmet and best kids helmet.
Ultimate Off-Roading Helmet – Fox Racing V2 Helmet
Our recommended best off-road helmet pick goes to the Fox Racing V2 Helmet.
Fox as a company has been involved in off-road bike riding pretty much as long as the sport has been around and their brand has become an icon in the industry!
This helmet is slightly more expensive, closer to the $300 mark, but comes with a few more advanced features such as a magnetic visor release system which is safe than traditional visors and easier to replace. It also has excellent ventilation.
Best Beginner Off-Road Helmet – LS2 MX470 Subverter
Our pick for the best beginner helmet pick is the LS2 MX470 Subverter Off-Road helmet is priced at just over $200 and boasts excellent ventilation. The shell is made from their own proprietary Kinetic Polymer Alloy (KPA) which makes it lightweight at only 3.2 pounds.
The large eye-port makes this helmet compatible with most brands of dirt bike goggles!
Best Budget Off-Road Helmet – Bell MX-9
Our selection for the best budget helmet is the Bell MX-9 range of helmets. The Bell MX-9 MIPS series are a great buy and the manufacturer, Bell, have been making quality helmets for decades!
This is an excellent helmet that is priced under $200 but does not compromise on safety and features.
Best Kids Off-Road Helmet – YEMA-211L
Our recommendation for the young off-road riders is the YEMA-211L which is suitable for both boys and girls. It is lightweight, durable, and complies with the DOT safety standard.
A great feature is a removable interior which is also washable. The helmet has good ventilation and has an attractive design.
At under $100 this helmet is good value for money for the younger rider.
Off-roading boots are sometimes overlooked by newcomers to off-roading activities. A good pair of boots is, however, an indispensable part of your off-road riding gear, and you should look at acquiring a good pair before your next off-road outing!
Many people think a good pair of hiking boots or a pair of sneakers will do, but a good pair of riding boots will protect not only your feet but also your shins.
Many off-road riders consider a good pair of boots to be the second most important part of their personal protection riding gear next to their helmet!
A good pair of boots should protect you for the following possible circumstances.
- When you take a fall or clash with other riders, the boots will protect your shins, feet, and ankles from injury.
- Stones and debris thrown up from the back wheel from riders in front of you.
- To protect your lower extremities from rocks and trees along the trail and from branches whipping your legs.
- Protection on the track in the event you are ridden over by other riders after a fall.
In the off-roading sector, the best boots are those that are designed and marketed as motocross boots, and these riding boots are designed to protect you for rough trail riding conditions. Even though they are marketed as motocross boots, they are the best product for dirt bike trail riding as well as off-road ATV riding!
To help you with selecting a good pair of off-road boots, we have selected several good candidates in several price ranges that will not only suit your pocket but offer you the best protection out on the trail or the track!
Best Off-Roading Boots – 2020 Fox Racing Comp X Boots
In the category Best Off-Roading boots, we have selected the 2020 Fox Racing Comp X Boots. Fox is a company that has decades of experience in the motocross sector and its quality equipment has earned them a reputation and a significant following in this area.
These boots have a good grip on the soles for any weather conditions, an internal lacing system for added fit and comfort for your ankle, a shin plate, toe cap, and calf guard to give you good all-round protection. These boots come in at slightly over $200
Best Beginner Off-Roading Boots – O’Neal 0346-210 Sierra Pro Men’s Boot
Our selection of a great off-roading boot for a beginner is the O’Neal 0346-210 Sierra Pro Men’s Boot! These boots are durable and ideal for adventure riding, trail riding, and enduro riding.
They offer great protection, and the quick-release metal buckles make it a quick process to get them on and off.
The inner sole of the Sierra Pro boots are removable and can be washed to remove sweat and dirt.
The upper part of the Sierra Pro boots is constructed from a combination of comfortable suede micro-fiber and full-grain leather, which helps with breathability!
At around $180, these boots are great for people just getting into off-road riding. O’Neal is another manufacturer that is renowned for its quality off-road and motocross gear!
Best Budget Off-Roading Boots – O’Neal Element Men’s Boots
Compromise on quality does not need to be the definition of budget, and this is definitely the case with our selection of O’Neal Element Men’s Boots as the best budget off-road boots at the price of just over $100!
As mentioned, O’Neal is a respected brand in the off-road community, and these boots carry their reputation well!
They have a metal insert shank for support, four easy snap-lock buckles, air-mesh interior for breathability, and an insole with extra cushioning for comfort.
Best Kids Off-Roading Boots – O’Neal 0332-102 Unisex-Child Dirt Bike Boots
Our selection of off-road boot in the category best kids off-roading boots is another O’Neal product in the O’Neal 0332-102 Unisex-Child Dirt Bike Boots. These off-road boots have the same protection qualities as many adult boots and come in at just under $110.
The easy snap-lock buckle mechanism for opening and closing the boots is even easy for the kids to operate! They have a synthetic leather shield to protect against heat from hot exhausts or engines, a cool air-mesh interior, and an insole with extra cushioning. The metal toe guard will protect the sole of the boot from damage.
Body & Neck Guards
Off-road body guards and neck braces will help you in the event of collisions and excessive jarring!
Body and neck guards are the ideal protection for your chest, back, and neck when enjoying your favorite off-road activity. The body guard will protect your chest and back in the case of a collision with other rides and from tree branches across the trail that you may encounter. The neck brace or neck support will help to protect your neck from injury in the same circumstances.
To help you choose the right body guard and neck brace for your off-roading requirements, we have selected some products that we recommend in various categories.
Best Body Guard And Neck Guard
The Alpinestars chest protector is our best in category recommended choice, as it features an embedded grid under the outer shell to absorb impact and spread impact forces over a wider area to reduce their danger to the rider. The design allows for comfortable flexibility and good airflow.
The body protector is modular and can be adjusted for different riding conditions. The retail price of this body protector comes in at around $230.
Our recommended best choice for a neck guard is the Alpinestars Tech-2 which is lightweight and comfortable, and the rear stabilizer transmits impact energy across the back and shoulders, protecting the spine from injury. This neck guard is priced at a little over $300.
Best Beginner Body Guard And Neck Guard
Our recommendation for the best beginner body guard is the Troy Lee Designs guard, which is designed to absorb shocks and has a proprietary design air channel system that directs airflow over the rider’s skin to promote cooling. The guard is configurable to customize it for the type of riding the terrain demands.
The body guard is compatible with most popular neck brace designs, which does not compromise how the body guard fits or the protection it provides.
The Troy Lee Designs body protector is priced at $199.
In this category of best beginner neck brace, we recommend the Leatt DBX neck guard, which incorporates a folding rear back strut to make packing easier, and the padding on the protector is ribbed to allow for airflow and improved ventilation. This neck guard retails for about $255.
Best Budget Body Guard And Neck Guard
In the category best budget body guard, we recommend the Alpinestars Bionic Protector, which has the same embedded grid impact absorption as our recommendation for the best body guard protector which is also made by Alpinestars. The airflow in this model is also good and the design is modular, allowing the armor to be configured to your needs. The upper back support can be removed to cater for a neck guard module to be fitted.
This model of off-road body armor retails for around $160.
Our recommended best budget neck guard is the EVS Sports R4 Race Collar which retails for around $100. It is made from a bio-foam that disperses energy but allows for a comfortable fit and an adjustable rear strut. It is lightweight and the easy locking mechanism makes it easy to fit and remove.
Best Kids Body Guard and Neck Guard
The body guard that we recommend for protecting younger off-road riders is the Leatt 2.0 Fusion Vest protector. This unit is a little more costly, coming in at around $240, but it has an integrated neck guard, so you get both a neck and body protector in one purchase. This body protector offers a design that provides comfort and additional padding with specialized foam to protect younger rider’s bones from impact. The foam hardens on impact providing the necessary dispersion of these forces.
If you already have a body guard and you are looking for a separate neck guard for the younger rider, then we recommend that you take a look at the EVS Youth Sports R4 Race Collar, which is priced at $84 and has a PU core to disperse energy and a bio-foam liner for impact absorption. The rear strut can be adjusted to the size of the rider and it has a rapid lock latching system at the front.
Knee & Elbow Guards
Knees and elbows often take the brunt of a fall when off-roading on dirt bikes and ATVs and we all know how painful a knock to these body parts can be! Fortunately, manufacturers of protective gear for the off-roading community have realized the need for these knee and elbow guards and have produced gear to protect these extremities.
Many injuries in a fall while off-roading can injure the knee or elbow and this type of injury can keep you away from your favorite outdoor activity for weeks while you heal up.
To prevent both minor and significant injuries to both knees and elbows while off-roading, it is recommended that you invest in quality protection for these areas.
We have put together a list of knee guards and elbow guards that are suitable for various off-roading needs and ones that will fit within your budget.
Best Knee And Elbow Guards
In the category Best Knee Guard, we recommend the Leatt X-Frame Knee Brace Set-L which is not only certified by the medical industry to protect the knee from injury, but it is also certified as a medical device for post-operative and injury support.
This is a highly rated product that is priced at around $370 but provides superior support and impact protection and the design is minimalistic which allows for good mobility and airflow.
In the category for Best Elbow Guard, we recommend the Alpinestars Sequence Motorcycle Elbow Protector which is lightweight, comfortable, and made from breathable material.
The elbow guard does not restrict the mobility of the arm and the polymeric injected grid structure does an amazing job of dissipating impact forces to the elbow. This elbow guard is priced at $60 and the amount of protection provided makes the price totally affordable!
Best Beginner Knee And Elbow Guards
In our category for the Best Beginner Knee Guard, we recommend the Alpinestars SX-1 Knee Guard. This more upmarket product has an extendable frame to provide additional protection for the thigh while retaining good mobility. The knee cap protector is constructed from impact-resistant foam and is padded on the inside with a soft stretchable roam and an air mesh to provide superior comfort and ventilation.
Priced at $120 this Alpinestars knee guard is well worth the investment.
In the category Best Beginner Elbow Guard, we recommend the Alpinestars Vapor Pro Elbow Protector Guard which boasts a new construction material that provides good flexibility in this range of products.
The polymer shell provides great impact resistance and the ergonomic shape is designed specifically for the needs of off-road riders. Priced at just $45 this is a great elbow guard for the beginner in off-road activities.
Best Budget Knee And Elbow Guards
In the category Best Budget Knee Guard, we recommend the Leatt White Large/X-Large Knee and Shin Guard which is a great product for the price of just under $100.
It allows for optimal fit and protection, made from high-density Polyethylene.
The inner foam is washable and made for comfort. The strap system is designed to prevent binding.
This knee guard is made by the same manufacturer as our recommended best knee guard, so you can be certain high standards of manufacture will be maintained for this product as well.
In the category Best Budget Elbow Guard, we recommend the Alpinestars Men’s Bionic Plus Off-Road Motorcycle Elbow Protector which has a dual strap system for easy fitting and removal and adjustability for different size riders.
The design is streamlined and comfortable yet providing protection where it counts with the impact-absorbing grid protection system.
Best Kids Knee And Elbow Guards
For the category Best Kids Knee Guard, we have chosen the Alpinestars Youth SX-1Off-Road Motocross Knee Protector which is a lightweight protector made from breathable material and designed to allow maximum ventilation.
The hinge for the protector plates allows for a good range of movement. The knee protection is provided by impact-absorbing PU foam.
This knee guard is priced at around $90 and is great for the younger riders.
In the category Best Kids Elbow Guard, we have selected the Troy Lee Designs Youth Elbow Guards which are manufactured according to international safety standards and at $24 is a great value for money product for protection for the younger off-road riders.
The elbow guard is made from strong polyethylene and the padding is a ventilated foam for comfort and airflow.
When participating in off-road riding, gloves are one of the most important items for your personal protection! A pair of quality off-road gloves will protect your hands from scrapes and cuts in the event of a fall, but their usefulness to the off-road rider doesn’t stop there!
Off-road gloves are designed to protect your hands and knuckles from stones and debris that riders kick up in front of you, and they also ensure a good grip on the handlebars in wet and muddy conditions.
Many riders will have multiple gloves so that they can ride with protection suitable to the track or trail conditions as well as the weather.
We have selected a range of gloves that will be suitable for most riders at various skill levels and available budgets.
Best Off-Road Gloves
Our selection for best off-road gloves are from Aplinestars and are made from layers of multiple materials, providing comfort and protection without compromising on hand movement. The palm is leather to provide good protection while retaining sensitivity for the vehicle’s controls.
Knuckles and fingers have added padding, and elasticated material between thumb and forefinger helps retain dexterity!
Coming in at just $80, the quality of these gloves are well worth the price!
Best Beginner Off-Road Gloves
Our selection for the best beginner off-road gloves is from a well-known supplier of motocross and other off-roading gear, Fox Racing.
These gloves provide good breathability, but still have the necessary protection on the back of the hand, knuckles, and fingers. At just $30, these gloves are great for a rider starting out with off-road riding!
Best Budget Off-Road Gloves
Our selection for the category best budget off-road gloves comes from ILM, and while they are a lower-priced glove, they offer great protection where it counts!
The knuckle and finger protection shields are made from a light metal alloy, providing great lightweight protection. The material on the palm has additional ridges to enhance your grip in wet and muddy conditions.
These gloves retail at just under $20!
Best Kids Off-Road Gloves
Our selection for the best kids off-road gloves is another offering from Fox Racing. The durable material that these gloves are made from make them long-lasting and wear-resistant.
The gloves are touch screen compatible, so the kids can use their phones without removing their gloves! The fingertips have silicone prints for improved grip of the controls. Mesh material between the fingers makes these gloves flexible and comfortable and offers great breathability! These are a great buy for the younger riders at only $30!
Jersey & Pants
The jersey that most off-road riders use is intended to cover up some of their protective gear, and most of the jerseys look cool and add some color and flair to a rider’s gear. They do not provide much in the way of protection for the rider.
The off-road rider’s pants, on the other hand, are an essential part of the rider’s gear and should be chosen with some care, depending on the rider’s requirements.
We have put together a list of selected off-road jersey’s and pants for off-road riders in various categories, and they should help you to make the right choice for your off-road riding gear!
Best Off-Road Jersey And Pants
Our selection for the best off-road jersey is the Troy Lee Designs SE Pro jersey, which is made from ventilated polyester with air mesh on the front and back.
The material is stretchy to give a good fit over your protective gear and is breathable to keep the rider cool.
The stretchable material gives superior mobility for the rider. This jersey retails t just under $70.
Our selection for the best off-road pants is the matching pair of Troy Lee Designs Men’s Offroad Motocross SE PRO Mirage Pants. These off-road pants are lightweight and are constructed with maximum rider mobility in mind.
Like the jersey, the pants are stretchable, providing a comfortable fit over the protective gear.
These off-road pants retain for just over $125
Best Beginner Off-Road Jersey And Pants
Our selection in the category of best beginner off-road jersey is the Fly Racing Kinetic Mesh jersey.
This stylish jersey is great for a beginner and has all the features of a more expensive jersey but is slightly more affordable at just over $40.
This jersey is lightweight and is made from a stretchable fabric that will easily go over your protective gear.
Our selection for best beginner off-road pants.
Best Budget Off-Road Jersey And Pants
For the best budget off-road jersey, we have chosen the O’Neal Mayhem Crank Jersey, which features a v-neck collar and a multi-panel construction to give a good fit for the rider.
The graphics are specially treated to prevent them from fading.
This jersey comes in at a very affordable $38 and is lightweight and stretchable.
Our choice for the best budget pants for the off-road rider is the matching O’Neal Men’s Mayhem Crank off-road pants.
These pants have a double snap mechanism at the waist to keep them secure.
They also have triple stitching in high-stress areas for durability and vented mesh areas for breathability. These stylish off-road pants retail at around $99, which makes them a great budget option.
Best Kids Off-Road Jersey And Pants
Our selection for the best kids off-road jersey is the O’Neal Element Youth Jersey, which is breathable and draws moisture away from the rider’s body with a wicking effect.
This helps to keep the rider cool and dry.
The jersey also has sewn in padding at the elbows and retails at around $25!
In the category best kids off-road pants, we have selected the Answer Racing A20 off-road pants, which feature a combination of nylon and polyester, which make for a durable combination. The waist buckle is the ratchet type, which is easy to adjust for waist size.
These off-road pants for the younger rider retail for slightly over $50!
Choosing the right off-road jacket is essential, as the jacket is key for keeping the rider cool and dry and providing some protection from abrasions and scrapes in the event of a spill.
The jacket should be selected for qualities that promote these characteristics and also that fit well over your chosen body armor. Most modern off-road jackets, however, come with armor integrated into the construction and design of the jacket, which allows you to wear one layer less of protective gear.
We have selected a range of off-road jackets in a number of categories to help you to find the right jacket for your off-road riding needs.
Best Off-Road Jacket – Alpinestars Bionic Tech V2 Protection Jacket
Our selection of jacket in the category of the best off-road jacket is the Alpinestars Bionic Tech V2 Protection Jacket, which has integrated armor that is designed for extreme ventilation and protection!
The flexible fabric is lightweight and form-fitting, making for a comfortable and snug fit.
This jacket is priced at just under $270, but it is a quality product that is well worth the price!
Best Beginner Off-Road Jacket – Multi-purpose ATV Guard Jacket
In the category of best beginner off-road jacket, we have chosen the Multi-purpose ATV Guard Jacket, which also has built-in armor and is suitable for a number of off-roading disciplines such as motocross, off-road ATV, skiing, and other extreme sports.
It is lightweight and comfortable with good built-in ventilation and elastic mesh construction, allowing moisture to dissipate from the body, keeping the rider cool.
This off-road jacket is priced at just under $77
Best Budget Off-Road Jacket – HEROBIKER Motorcycle Full Body Armor Jacket
If you are an off-road rider on a budget, then the jacket we have selected for this category may catch your interest. It is the HEROBIKER Motorcycle Full Body Armor Jacket, also with built-in armor, which is made from a durable wear-resistant material.
The armor is removable for easy cleaning, and the jacket is adjustable to cater for different sizes. Large vents facilitate good airflow around the rider’s body, while the lycra-mesh material ensures a good fit.
This jacket is priced at about $55, which makes it a great budget buy!
Best Kids Off-Road Jacket – Alpinestars Youth Bionic Jacket
Our jacket of choice for the younger off-road rider is the Alpinestars Youth Bionic Jacket, which is of a similar quality to our selection in the category of the best off-road jacket.
It has all the same features as the adult jacket with good, integrated armor, designed for excellent ventilation and flexible, lightweight material for the rest of the garment.
This off-road jacket is available in several sizes and is priced between $125 and $150 depending on the selected size.
Do you want to catch the action of your awesome off-road riding adventures to share with friends and family, or with the world via the internet? Do you want to create vlogs for all your rides, or do you just want to record your rides for safety purposes?
The best way to record your off-road riding adventures is with a helmet cam.
There is a wide range to choose from in this line of action cameras, so we thought we would help you with your selection by recommending some options for you so you can record your next ride!
Best Off-Road Helmet Cam – GoPro Hero 7 Silver
Our selection for the best action camera to record your off-road riding is a camera that has a well-established reputation in the role of recording action sports! The GoPro Hero 7 Silver digital action camera.
This camera is waterproof, can record video in multiple formats, including 4K, and has the capability of taking 10MP still shots.
The camera comes with an accessories kit that will allow you to mount the camera on your helmet or chest, and other accessories to use it for applications where you are not riding!
The camera and accessory kit are priced at just under $260.
Best Beginner Off-Road Helmet Cam – Sena PT10-10 Multi Prism Tube WiFi Action Camera
Our selection for the best beginner off-road helmet cam is the Sena PT10-10 Multi Prism Tube WiFi Action Camera.
This purpose-built helmet cam is lightweight and has a low-profile, which reduces wind drag on the camera. It has a microphone that you can fit inside your helmet so that you can give voice commentary while riding. The camera can record in quad HD and Full HD and has built-in WiFi so you can download your footage to your phone and post it online immediately after your ride.
The controls are easy to use, even while riding and with gloves on your hands.
This nifty little helmet cam is priced and slightly over $150.
Best Budget Off-Road Helmet Cam – Drift Ghost X Action Camera
For a helmet cam that won’t hurt your wallet too much, we have selected the Drift Ghost X Action Camera. This camera is a Full HD 1080P camera with 5-hour battery life. It has the capability for an external microphone, which you can purchase as an optional extra, to capture voice during riding.
The lens can rotate 300 degrees, which gives you flexibility for how and where you mount the camera. It has multiple video record modes and has WiFi capability. Drift mobile app allows you to access all the camera’s functions via the app on your phone.
The camera has a one-touch power and record button that are easily accessible with a gloved hand.
This camera is very reasonably priced at $90.
Getting started in off-roading is a very exciting time, but can be confusing when it comes to gear and accessories because of the multitude of options and variations out there today.
That’s why we compiled this guide to help you narrow down your choices and give you the NO BS low-down on what gear to get and why!