Do avoid the ones that have less than 1" of lining material. Saw a guy the other day riding with one that looked as though he removed the lining completely and was just wearing a black plastic skull cap.
I do strongly reccomend one of the "open face" types if you just can't handle wearing a full face one. The added protection to the back of the head, ear areas and sides of the jaw is at least a big step up from a shorty, they tend to be quieter, and allow the use of some kind of face shield: http://www.helmetcity.com/page/HC/CTGY/openfacemc
Do make sure it is from a reputable maker..(avoid chinese helmets) , and that it does in fact have a real DOT sticker.
( and those ones BlackO linked to are the ones that do make you look like a mushroom...or , as I thnk, a penis...LOL )
That first half-helmet you showed is almost identical to the one I wore when I broke almost every bone in my face. Even though the helmet had a vertical crack in the forehead area after the impact, only stuff below the helmet was broken. Full face would have probably saved me from any of that injury. 3/4 would have saved everything but my nose.
I am picking up three of these helmets next week for my wife, daughter, and myself. The guy at the local bike shop highly recommended them for longer rides, and while wearing it around the store the helmet felt very comfortable. the guy said that it blocked out wind noise very well for a 1/2 helmet, it looks stylish, and is very light weight... now you are thinking at 170 bones how can i afford 1 let alone 3... well his are on sale for $75.00 plus tax
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