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jody jaffe
Dec. 6, 2011, 02:03 PM
I'm writing the next column about building a better helmet. How would you change yours? What would make it more effective? More comfortable? And we'll just forget about more flattering --Besides, that's more of a hunterland concern anyway :)

thanks
Jody Jaffe

Heinz 57
Dec. 6, 2011, 02:28 PM
IMO, I love my CO skull cap. Super comfortable - although I wouldn't say it's the coolest (temperature-wise) on the planet - but what helmet is, when it's 100+?

I would like to see more fitting options. Currently we have the round, the oval, and the round oval, but I'd also like to see different options for depth and harnesses.

RAyers
Dec. 6, 2011, 02:36 PM
I would go to an open cell air bladder (say 40 or so cells) with valved cells as the padding. Padding would come all the way down over the occipital bones. The outer shell can be whatever but vented. The harness system would be a full 3-point with a band coming around the back of the head to fit things more snuggly as well as prevent rotation of the helmet down over the eyes.

The helmet would have a 1.5" carbon fiber "hat band" for added crush protection while providing a more solid mounting platform for the harness and padding.

And a cup holder.

Reed

scubed
Dec. 6, 2011, 02:37 PM
I think we should consider what other sports do too, rather than just the riding history. I used to do a fair bit of whitewater kayaking. There are some of the same requirements for visibility and lightness as in riding. Maybe something like this: http://www.kayakshed.com/sweet-helmets/rocker-full-cut-helmet

or something like this from skiing: http://www.outdoorgear.co.uk/Manbi-Jam-Ski-Snow-Sports-Helmet-sku42202101.asp or http://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/66642?pi=1113365&subrnd=0&qs=3016887_pmd_google_pla

Tipperary seems to have gone more in those directions: http://www.doversaddlery.com/product.asp_Q_pn_E_X1-36064
http://www.doversaddlery.com/product.asp_Q_pn_E_X1-36307

The ones from rodeo are interesting, though I doubt we would need the whole face guard http://www.2toughhelmets.com/

Dawnd
Dec. 6, 2011, 03:17 PM
I would prefer mine to have one of those whirly-gigs on the top.

Eventguy
Dec. 6, 2011, 03:48 PM
Having mtb raced and road cycled extensively in a past life I was definitely shocked at how hot riding helmets are! Heck, my hockey helmet is cooler and it can take lots of hits, not this one hit and trash stuff!

I'd look to something like this:
http://www.giro.com/us_en/products/cycling-helmets/xar.html
for inspiration

although RAyers helmet sounds pretty cool :cool:

Flagstaff Foxhunter
Dec. 6, 2011, 03:56 PM
Larger sizes readily available. My husband's Tipperary Sportage is no longer made in larger sizes. He and many adult males have very few choices, and it's hard enough to get them in helmets to begin with.

Also, I definitely add my vote for the continuing trend of cool and lightweight. And I dream of a western helmet that is not ludicrous in appearance. We're trying to get our predominantly western riding search and rescue unit in helmets. The Troxel Sierra works for me but it's still too english for the cowboy types. It would be fabulous to figure out a safety top hat for dressage and formal hunting.

wildlifer
Dec. 6, 2011, 04:06 PM
And a cup holder.

Reed

You meant, of course, to say beer holder, right? :yes:

CBudFrggy
Dec. 6, 2011, 05:17 PM
With a hole out the back for ponytails....

Blugal
Dec. 6, 2011, 07:11 PM
More removable liners... especially so you can replace a liner & ride your 2nd or 3rd horse in the same helmet.

Desert Topaz
Dec. 6, 2011, 07:36 PM
More removable liners... especially so you can replace a liner & ride your 2nd or 3rd horse in the same helmet.
I second this. Liners get nasty.


Even though Hunterland is more concerned about how they look no one really wants to look unattractive. So, I'm for more attractive, more vents, and more liners :D

(I have to note though, that when I got a long oval helmet for my long oval head I found that helmet the most attractive on me, because for once it wasn't too wide. I think the mushroom look stems from helmets too wide for one's head. Of course you're going to look ridiculous if you can stick your thumbs between your head and your helmet over your ears.)

poltroon
Dec. 6, 2011, 07:54 PM
I like a harness that has some body so it doesn't try to fold underneath while you're putting it on.

Lightweight and vented has been huge and the more the better.

I like that helmets are now frequently covered in microsuede instead of velvet, making it practical to have the same helmet for everyday and show, lessening the expense of an item that has to be replaced on a regular basis.

We need something super cool/westerny/blingy so that the barrel racers want to wear it.

I have really come to like that my Sierra is adjustable, because it makes it easy to refit with hair up or down.

JFS
Dec. 6, 2011, 09:13 PM
A little off topic, but I wear my ski helmet in the winter. Nice and warm and if it's cold and windy I wear the goggles too ;)

Jackie

EventerAJ
Dec. 6, 2011, 09:44 PM
I don't really like a lot of the new helmets-- the fitting trend to sit low on the back of your head. I have a Tipperary, which feels great and is fine for flatwork in an upright sitting position. However, when I am in gallop position (out of the saddle, leaning forward) that helmet digs into my neck and falls into my eyes when I lift my head. The higher I lift my chin, the less I can see. The helmet fits well, it is not too large; I can hold my head down, no chinstrap, and it stays on. My skin moves with the helmet when I wiggle it. It feels very secure for normal flatwork. It's a matter of function and design, not the wrong fit.

For jumping and galloping, I need a "short drop" helmet for visibility. I LOVE my old International skull cap, which doesn't fit too deep behind the ears. I also have an original Charles Owen Pro skull cap, which is a tiny bit too deep but it works; the newer CO's do not. GPAs don't work for me either.

When trying on new helmets, I always "pretend" to be in two-point-- lean forward, then lift my chin. I know right away if the helmet will work for me or not.

I understand the need for a deep-fit helmet; it's more protection! But I need to be able to see, too! I wear my hair tied up in a low bun, which can also push the helmet down into my eyes when galloping.

I do have a very small head-- and maybe too-short neck, lol. I've worn a 6-3/4 or 6-7/8 (or "XS" in Tipperary) since I was 11. That was over 15 years ago!

Black Points
Dec. 10, 2011, 04:45 PM
I've said this before and.....

I don't understand why we Americans think that our safety standards for riding helmets are any better than the UK safety standards. I think fit is so important for a safe helmet and if a UK helmet fits my head better than one of the helmets manufactured in this country (CO excluded) then why isn't that OK?


FYI, here's a newly designed helmet from the UK
http://www.gatehouserange.co.uk/

Never seen one but would sure like to try one on.

Anyone know if that D3O material is being investigated for riding helmets? I know it's used for skiing hats and back protectors. Would think it could be incorporated into body protective vests too. Lots of exciting stuff out there.

Mary

happyhorsegirl
Dec. 10, 2011, 04:58 PM
I just bought a new helmet, it was a brand i'd never heard of before...pegasus. Fantastic fit, option of standard or long oval in each size, multiple styles availabe-including microsuede (70 bucks), velvet (100 bucks), euro/jumper. Looked much less mushroomy than any helmet i've ever had and i've had lots. Can't wait to ride in it

mildot
Dec. 10, 2011, 04:59 PM
I've said this before and.....

I don't understand why we Americans think that our safety standards for riding helmets are any better than the UK safety standards.

American safety and testing orgs are that way no matter what the product, be it helmets, cars, electrical appliances, and on and on and on.

The last time I checked, British and European skulls and brains are as fragile as ours and their ground is just as hard. That makes BS and CE certs just as good as ANSI/ASTM for me.

besum1
Dec. 10, 2011, 06:12 PM
American safety and testing orgs are that way no matter what the product, be it helmets, cars, electrical appliances, and on and on and on.

The last time I checked, British and European skulls and brains are as fragile as ours and their ground is just as hard. That makes BS and CE certs just as good as ANSI/ASTM for me.

Random question- When I lived in Ireland the lady at the Tack Shop told me that the British Certification was better than ASTM. According to her GPA's and other American helmets wouldn't pass a Brit Standard... Is this BS (and not the British Standard ;)) and who says that one certification is better than the other?

I bought a Champion helmet from her (I was in desperate need of a New helmet considering my show helmet was over 10yrs old...) and have loved it. It fit snug on my head but not enough to give me a headache, but snugger than any helmet I've tried on in the US. I love the way the helmet seems to wrap itself around my head but not get in the way of normal neck motion when riding. These are key points that I look at for finding a helmet to ride in. I do love the Tipperary for everyday riding but wish it had a longer bill on the front b/c sometimes that pesky sun shines right into my eyes! With other helmets I can tip my head slightly and block out the sun but not so with the Tipperary. But at the same time a longer bill on the Tip might look really offbalanced??? That's for the design team to figure out :)

For showing I really like velvet or that other material you find on most helmets... Not a fan of shiny plastic- I think it takes away from the clean and crisp look you want to have at a show. But shiny plastic is better than no helmet at all!

mildot
Dec. 10, 2011, 06:19 PM
Random question- When I lived in Ireland the lady at the Tack Shop told me that the British Certification was better than ASTM. According to her GPA's and other American helmets wouldn't pass a Brit Standard... l!

1. While I am an engineer, I don't have access to the US and UK helmet testing standard so I cannot say which is "better".

2. In any event, impact standards are complex and it is not a simple task to point at one or the other and say "see this one is better".

3. GPA is not an American brand. GPA is a French brand, which shows how much the tack shop lady knows. GPA helmets, BTW, are sold in Britain and Ireland too so they meet BSI, ASTM, and CE standards.

mildot
Dec. 10, 2011, 06:20 PM
if it's cold and windy I wear the goggles too
Good idea......(runs to get ski goggles out of the closet).

RAyers
Dec. 10, 2011, 06:31 PM
I've said this before and.....

I don't understand why we Americans think that our safety standards for riding helmets are any better than the UK safety standards. I think fit is so important for a safe helmet and if a UK helmet fits my head better than one of the helmets manufactured in this country (CO excluded) then why isn't that OK?


Fit etc has nothing to do with the standards. The standards can only address the g-forces imparted on the brain in a variety of situations. It is left to the companies to work out the fit.

In the EU the head-forms tend to be smaller and as such they have a different loading outcome in their testing. Thus helmets certified to the EU standard are more in the small person, child range. ASTM standards are more aligned with the adult rider and less so with kids due to their established head-forms.

And yes, just like a American helmet in the EU, and EU helmet may not be able to pass the ASTM/SEI standard. AND it may have NOTHING to do with safety. It can be something as simple as markings or testing dates. Sales people use this all the time to make false claims for their products.

Something that needs to realized is that standards are just that, standard. They enable the consumer to be able to try to compare equivalent, on a certain scale, products. In the case of helmets, we know they meet a certain impact and crush safety. If a company wants to do more, they can.

besum1
Dec. 10, 2011, 06:38 PM
I prob should of added...who cares if one is technically better than the other if the end result is the same- a safe head!!!

This was also 3ish yrs ago so my memory might not of served me correctly so the lady might of said some other helmet besides GPA. But either way I also feel each head is different so one brand will work on some people and others not so much.

I'm not so creative that I can think of future helmets (heck it took me a while to warm up to the skunk style...but now I have 1...) But things I look for in a helmet is: where to put my hair (not so much under the helmet but tucked up and neat looking) I can get this effect in my show helmet but not the Tipperary. But the Tip I use for everyday riding and really like the security I get from it so hair just goes in a low wayward bun

I guess breathability, though I don't know If I can really tell the difference....a hot head is a hot head but I guess the vents help the heat escape- I don't feel any wind blowing through my hair as I gallop around with a vented helmet...

I also like the helmet to be simple looking on the outside...helmet covers are there to add fun color and creative design, not your basic helmet...though a dark green velvet helmet would have me swooning at it's awesomeness!!!

those are some other notes to add to the original point of this thread :)

besum1
Dec. 10, 2011, 06:42 PM
And yes, just like a American helmet in the EU, and EU helmet may not be able to pass the ASTM/SEI standard. AND it may have NOTHING to do with safety. It can be something as simple as markings or testing dates. Sales people use this all the time to make false claims for their products.

Something that needs to realized is that standards are just that, standard. They enable the consumer to be able to try to compare equivalent, on a certain scale, products. In the case of helmets, we know they meet a certain impact and crush safety. If a company wants to do more, they can.

That makes a lot of sense... and I didn't really buy into the lady's Brit certification being better... I just really liked how the helmet fit my head (and was in DESPERATE need of a new helmet)... but as RAyers said that just has to do with the shape not the actual safety standard :)

kkindley
Dec. 10, 2011, 07:24 PM
I don't really like a lot of the new helmets-- the fitting trend to sit low on the back of your head. I have a Tipperary, which feels great and is fine for flatwork in an upright sitting position. However, when I am in gallop position (out of the saddle, leaning forward) that helmet digs into my neck and falls into my eyes when I lift my head. The higher I lift my chin, the less I can see. The helmet fits well, it is not too large; I can hold my head down, no chinstrap, and it stays on. My skin moves with the helmet when I wiggle it. It feels very secure for normal flatwork. It's a matter of function and design, not the wrong fit.

For jumping and galloping, I need a "short drop" helmet for visibility. I LOVE my old International skull cap, which doesn't fit too deep behind the ears. I also have an original Charles Owen Pro skull cap, which is a tiny bit too deep but it works; the newer CO's do not. GPAs don't work for me either.

When trying on new helmets, I always "pretend" to be in two-point-- lean forward, then lift my chin. I know right away if the helmet will work for me or not.

I understand the need for a deep-fit helmet; it's more protection! But I need to be able to see, too! I wear my hair tied up in a low bun, which can also push the helmet down into my eyes when galloping.

I do have a very small head-- and maybe too-short neck, lol. I've worn a 6-3/4 or 6-7/8 (or "XS" in Tipperary) since I was 11. That was over 15 years ago!

EXACTLY me!! lol Except I don't have a Tipp. I finally retired my old International Skull (built in 99...) and got a CO Pro II. The Euro Ultralight worked better, but the fit was not as good. I also wear mine in a low bun, and most helmets drop so low in the back it doesn't stay put (My hair is to my rear, so it's a large bun!) Oh, and I wear a 6 1/2 or 6 5/8. Maybe they need petite sizes? A head is just gonna be different from those sizes to a 7 1/2. Washable liners would be nice too. I don't mind no vents, but that's just me. Oh, and like someone else mentioned, can't STAND skunk helmets.

Hampton Bay
Dec. 10, 2011, 08:05 PM
I would go to an open cell air bladder (say 40 or so cells) with valved cells as the padding. Padding would come all the way down over the occipital bones. The outer shell can be whatever but vented. The harness system would be a full 3-point with a band coming around the back of the head to fit things more snuggly as well as prevent rotation of the helmet down over the eyes.

The helmet would have a 1.5" carbon fiber "hat band" for added crush protection while providing a more solid mounting platform for the harness and padding.

And a cup holder.

Reed

Big ditto, cup holder optional. They have these for football players. They are good for more than one impact. I want one for equestrians too.

event_ryder
Dec. 11, 2011, 12:30 AM
Years ago I had a helmet that had an air pump system- it had a spot in the back where you would pump it up to fit snug. I can't remember who made it, maybe International or Lexington? It was my riding instructors and she gave it to me so I could show in a velvet helmet and not my white Lexington with the bubble brim! I noticed in searching to find out who made the helmet that the new ski/boarding helmets are coming out with an air fit system- and designs that look similar to RAyers choice. I'd be up for that if it ever came into the equestrian world. My ideal helmet would be one I could get narrow enough for my head. It's quite big (7 1/2) but ultra narrow. So even the long ovals require me to pad extra. I have a Samshield that I've gotten to work okay, but would love a hat where the actual shell fit close, and it wasn't padded so much to fit. Vents are nice as is removable washable lining (i love the fact the Samshields lining snaps in and out for cleaning!)

kimbrawner
Dec. 11, 2011, 01:52 AM
Not to take away from the original question, but:

I've heard that in automobile safety, that vehicles could be much safer, but with much additional cost that the average consumer is not willing to absorb.

How much is the average low-level rider willing to pay for a very advanced helmet?

Personally, since I usually get a new helmet every 8 years or so, I might go as high as $300 for proven levels of increased safety.

I'm not sure if the air-fit helmets could be manufactured for a price that would be supported by the masses.

Love all the thought that is going into this though!

mildot
Dec. 11, 2011, 11:29 AM
Not to take away from the original question, but:

I've heard that in automobile safety, that vehicles could be much safer, but with much additional cost that the average consumer is not willing to absorb.

How much is the average low-level rider willing to pay for a very advanced helmet?

Personally, since I usually get a new helmet every 8 years or so, I might go as high as $300 for proven levels of increased safety.

I'm not sure if the air-fit helmets could be manufactured for a price that would be supported by the masses.

Love all the thought that is going into this though!

The helmet manufacturer would have to prove to me that their $300 (to use your number) helmet will reduce the impact forces transmitted to my head by a factor of five over my $60 helmet.

Absent that proof, I'll stick with well fitting, ASTM/SEI certified helmets that cost less than $100.

I've never paid more than $100 for a helmet. However I am about to go a little over that to replace my IRH show helmet with a CO JR8 ONLY because the CO fits me much better and is what I should have bought in the first place.

For general use, I will continue wearing Tipperary Sportages until I find something that fits even more comfortably for the same price.

Black Points
Dec. 11, 2011, 12:12 PM
From RAYERS
"In the EU the head-forms tend to be smaller and as such they have a different loading outcome in their testing. Thus helmets certified to the EU standard are more in the small person, child range. ASTM standards are more aligned with the adult rider and less so with kids due to their established head-forms."

Maybe that's why I like the Champion helmets the best. I have a small roundish head and the children's size Champion helmet fits me like a glove. I've often wondered if they make the padding/etc in a child's helmet better or the same as in an adult sized helmet.

Mary in Western NY
http://www.BPEquine.com

Black Points
Dec. 11, 2011, 12:25 PM
I would go to an open cell air bladder (say 40 or so cells) with valved cells as the padding. Padding would come all the way down over the occipital bones.

Reed

Reed, what is your reason to cover the occipital bones? I agree but for the reasons I gave in another post;, ie, more area of head covered so more area to dissipate the force of impact. Also wondering if the probability of getting a concussion is greater if the impact is at the back of the head.

Mary in Western NY
http://www.BPEquine.com

Gnep
Dec. 12, 2011, 10:29 PM
A fluid in those cells would do good to, Reed. Similar to those jell pads, they are a little heavy, but you can put one on a concret floor and hit ist as hard as you can with your fist, without injury.
Cooling would be a problem, overheating could be a serious problem.

Liner, look at the football guys, they put a thin liner on before they putt the helmet on, cotton skull cap, works really great, sporting shop, specialized for football gear. $5 or so.

Can holder needs to be insulated and with a solar powered cooling elemnet and with a 3 demensional mount to prevent spilling, a gyro for high accelerations.