Bicycle Helmets by Country
Summary: We get inquiries about helmets that are made a specific country, such as the US, or helmets that are "not made in China." While the country of origin may not have much to do with the quality of a helmet, if users are looking for country-specific information we provide what we know here. Since sourcing changes quickly in some cases, it is necessary to check the stickers in the helmet you are buying to be sure where it was made. Even then, some components such as buckles and straps may be from another country.
By default, all of the helmets we list in our Helmets for the Current Season article are made in China if not otherwise indicated. The overwhelming majority of the world's helmets are produced there. There are many manufacturers, and quality ranges from poor to excellent. In addition, many helmets assembled elsewhere have at least some Chinese-made component parts like buckles and straps. Most of the best known helmet brands in the US market are made in China. Major US companies sourcing there have to be very careful about quality control, and buy most of their helmets from a few producers known for consistent quality.
There are still millions of bicycle helmets made every year in the US. Most are made by Bell in Rantoul, Illinois, and are marked "Assembled in the USA from components made in China and the USA." They are in Bell's low-cost line, found at Wal-Mart, Toys R Us and other big box discount stores. You have to identify them by reading the hang tag, since the models change.
In addition to Bell, the company Bandbox Helmets makes hat-style helmets entirely assembled in USA.
We do not know of any other major manufacturer making bicycle helmets here in the US. We do not know of any bicycle helmet manufacturer or vendor who would satisfy the Buy America Act requirement that the product is assembled in America and all parts down to the sub-component level must be made in America as well. If you find one, please let us know.
Tommy Carron has informed us that bicycle helmets are manufactured in Australia by Pacific Brands under the Rosebank brand. Playworks International also manufacture the FLITE 900 in Australia which is a children's helmet (as of 2006). Headstart International also makes a child's helmet- the HEADSTART Skins Flame 325 (as of 2006). Again, we don't know where their components are sourced.
When it was a Belgian-owned company Lazer used to make their helmets in Belgium. They may still make some models there, but we don't know which ones. They are owned by Shimano now.
Louis Garneau helmets are no longer made in Canada.
The French company BiOS has a Made in France line at the bottom of their web pages. Their helmets are made to a different drummer design, so you might want to read our writeup on them.
At least two manufacturers still make helmets in Germany. Uvex makes their most expensive models there. A few of their less expensive models are made in China. KED Helmsysteme advertises on their website that their helmets are "garantiert made in Germany." We have more on both manufacturers in our annual helmets for the current season page. Again there may or may not be components made elsewhere.
We have had reports since the 1990's of a kibbutz-based manufacturer of bike helmets in Israel. The company is Polybid, and they are part of Kibbutz Mismar HaNegev. They have a nicely rounded bicycle model, the Pro 2 and others for youth and toddlers. Their site in is Hebrew, but Google can translate if you need it.
Italian manufacturers have been among the last to switch to Asian manufacturing for their helmets. Some have mixed Italian and Chinese origin lines like Limar, but at least three say all or most of their models are still Made in Italy: LAS says they have four made in Asia and the rest in Italy, including the Virtus and Cobalto certified to CPSC for the US market. Selev still has made in Italy models. MET had also said their helmets were made in Italy, but we have reports from buyers that some are now made in China, including the Rivale MIPS.
Most helmets made in Japan are for the internal market. We don't have info on them. They would be made to fit the rounder Asian head shape.
Strategic Sports of Hong Kong has a factory in Portugal producing helmets for various European brands. At present they are all certified to the European standard and sold in Europe or other markets that accept EN1078 helmets.
Catlike has a production plant in Yecla (Murcia), Spain.
A number of manufacturers make helmets in Taiwan. Most Expanded PolyUrethane (EPU) helmets come from there. Manufacturers include Ascent and Tirreno, the Performance Bicycle house brand.
Strategic Sports has a factory in Vietnam that will eventually produce helmets for other brands. Startup has been delayed by the COVID 19 pandemic.