Bell Qualifier Snow Helmet Review | Bringin’ the Heat for Motorcyclists

Bell Qualifier Snow HelmetYep, we know what you’re thinking: why the heck are we talking about a snow helmet to a motorcycle-riding audience?

Well, it’s really a good question and we have a good answer: the Bell Qualifier Snow has some features that motorcyclists who ride in the cool to cold temperature zones for at least part of the year will appreciate. And the lid still works well in more temperate riding conditions.

One such feature is the vivid hi-viz blaze orange and black color option on the polycarbonate/ABS shell. I’ve seen the positive effect of the “conspicuity” offered by fluorescent and other high visibility colors on several occasions over the years, both as a rider who was seen by another driver and as the “other driver.”

For those riders not sold on high viz colors, there are seven other color options available. The only downer on visibility is the absence of any reflective material on the shell.

[Read Winter Motorcycle Riding Tips]

The other side of the visibility coin is being able to see clearly—in particular without faceshield fogging on a cold day. In the case of the Bell Qualifier Snow, not only does the clear polycarbonate dual lens faceshield have Bell’s “NutraFog II” anti-fog, anti-scratch coating, it is electrically heated and UV protected. The shield clicks through four positions including fully open and closed positions.

Power is supplied from an included three piece pig-tail and power cable that is attached the bike’s battery and a coaxial cable carries power to a single-prong jack on the left side of the faceshield. There is ample cord—with the coiled portion of the set contracted, the connector is 94 inches long; extended it can reach a little over 120 inches.

Since the plug on the pigtail is also a single prong type, you can’t use the same twin prong pigtail you may have already installed for your battery tender. A minor point, to be sure, but it would have made things much cleaner and easier if the same type of connector was in use for both. As a result, you’ll have to have two pigtails hanging off your battery if you have the battery tender pigtail in place.

An adapter is available to allow it to be plugged into a 12V socket, as well, but it is not included. For those times when faceshield fogging is not an issue, the heated faceshield can be quickly changed out for a standard faceshield (not included) using the ClickRelease no-tools-required system.

Bell Qualifier Snow Helmet Review | Bringin’ the Heat for Motorcyclists!The third anti-fog feature is the adjustable breath box that works better than most I’ve tried. It is a flexible, face-fitting soft design with adjustable nose bridge. Because it wraps around and comes up to your cheeks more completely than many molded designs, it tends to keep shield-fogging blow-back from your breath to a minimum.

One thing this helmet has for warm weather riding is ventilation—the closable crown vents and chin bar vents move a lot of air through the helmet and there are four exhaust vents at the back of the helmet.

The shutters do stop the flow pretty well when closed, but in this example, there was one minor problem: the left crown shutter at times made a clicking noise in the closed position at highway speed.

The interior is removable and washable with contoured cheek pads, an ample neck roll and includes a chin curtain. Wind noise is minimal inside the helmet and buffeting is not a problem at highway speed.

The retention strap is padded nylon with a double D-ring closure and snap for the loose end. Even with the heated double-lens shield in place, but without power supply wiring attached, the Qualifier weighs in at about 3.8 pounds on our scales.

Certifications include ECE/22-05, DOT (FMVSS 218) and AS for the helmet and VESC-8 for the heated shield and conventional shield. For more on helmet and face shield approvals see:

Motorcycle Helmet Face Shield Performance Standards Explained

Motorcycle Helmet Standards Explained: DOT, ECE 22.05 and Snell

If you are considering a multi-season helmet but need to stay on a budget, the Bell Qualifier Snow helmet is worth a look.

Bell Qualifier Snow Fast Facts:

  • Distribution: Bell Helmets—see the website for retail locations.
  • Configuration: Full face—non-modular
  • Country of origin: Made in China
  • Shell material: Polycarbonate/ABS Shell Construction
  • Available shell sizing: XS to XXL
  • Weight: 3.8 pounds
  • Certifications: ECE/22-05, DOT (FMVSS 218) and AS. Heated shield and conventional faceshield: VESC-8
  • Faceshield: Dual layer electrically heated clear polycarbonate face shield, UV protected. ClickRelease for tool-free shield replacement. NutraFog II anti-fog, anti-scratch, distortion free. Non-heated conventional single-lens shield also available—not included.
  • Retention system: Padded nylon strap with double D-ring closure.
  • Special features:
    • Full coverage breath box with adjusting nose bridge
    • Removable/washable interior
    • Integrated speaker pockets
    • Padded Wind Collar. Contoured cheek pads
    • Cloth carrying bag and power cable included. Eight color options.
  • Warranty: Five years
  • MSRP: $190.

Bell Qualifier Snow Helmet Review | Photo Gallery