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overthemoon
Mar. 2, 2012, 11:58 AM
What's the real difference? Apart from the price tag and associated "grandeur" that comes with it, are there really any major upgrades to the GPA?

Those of you who wear GPA helmets, do you do it because it's "nicer", or are there really features that you like? (No judgement if you do it to be in style/etc!)

I always figured I'd get a GPA when I could afford to buy myself some nicer horse things, but I only like the plain ones (ie Classic, Air'Skin), and lately I've been wondering: is it really worth paying double the price just so it has "GPA" stamped on the front instead of "IRH"?

Genuinely curious. I'm sure I'll hear both sides of it. ;)

skittlespony
Mar. 2, 2012, 12:01 PM
A lot of what I have heard is that when it comes to safety and such there is no true difference. Mostly what I hear is that it's people's preferences for the show ring. Some people think IRH's are tacky for the show rings and that GPA's are better.

Renn/aissance
Mar. 2, 2012, 12:03 PM
They fit differently. I also find the GPA to be cooler. I used to have an IRH and liked it a lot, but I didn't like the mushroom head profile and didn't find it any cooler than a typical non-vented helmet. The GPA fits my head very well (better than International helmets, which are what I always wore before,) is lower-profile, and is blessedly cool. I now have the Air S which I really like. It's worth it to me to pay more for something that fits me better and is more comfortable, but if I were a more uniform fit, I'd certainly consider International helmets which I wore for years and liked a lot.

overthemoon
Mar. 2, 2012, 12:08 PM
Interesting. I'd always heard that the GPAs and COs fit differently, but I didn't realize that the IRH and GPAs fit differently as well.

I've only ever ridden in an IRH (apart from whatever I wear wearing as a young child, haha), so I suppose I would have to try a GPA to figure out how the different fit suited me.

Renn/aissance, have you ever tried some of the newer IRH? It seems like some of them have some venting how as well... Still not sure how I feel about the visible vents though.

gottagrey
Mar. 2, 2012, 12:11 PM
Price and fit would be the major differences; and unless you worry about IRH's being tacky then I would get the helmet (any brand) that is fits and is comfortable, looks attractive on you (some brands are definitely more attractive on different people) and is in your budget; and just don't worry or concern yourself about what's in or more fashionable. What is in and more fashionable is proper fit/comfort/safety.

Happy shopping!

koppem10
Mar. 2, 2012, 12:19 PM
If you are showing hunter/jumpers you honestly do not see many of the IRHs. I had an old one and I only schooled in until I tried my COs. I can ride in the rain and a couple days later walk right into the ring. No matter how dirty it gets it cleans right up. Anyways... Its awesome, and much cheaper than the GPA and looks so nice. But thats not the point. Haha.

I agree- get what you like but also what fits your head. A helmet is an evestment for your safety. GPA are certainly worth it... I love the look of the Speed Air, even though in the beginning it wasnt very popular. GPA is a great company. I'm pretty sure that will be my next helmet... As long as I can pull it off!

overthemoon
Mar. 2, 2012, 12:20 PM
You'll have to forgive me as I don't show on any big US circuits (and haven't shown at all in years!) - is the IRH considered "tacky" because it's a bit of a copycat of GPA?

What are attactive (plain) options are there out there? I really dislike the look of the COs... I find they look so bulky on most people.

MIKES MCS
Mar. 2, 2012, 12:37 PM
You'll have to forgive me as I don't show on any big US circuits (and haven't shown at all in years!) - is the IRH considered "tacky" because it's a bit of a copycat of GPA?.

No, it's because it costs about $160.00 vs $500.00 and we all know the less you spend the more Tacky the item is.

Crazy4aOTTB
Mar. 2, 2012, 12:39 PM
I love my IRH!!! I don't know why it would be tacky? I was just looking at a picture of me and my trainer from a show. we are standing side by side arms around each other helmets touching and I was actually trying to see the difference. All that I could tell was that the emblem was a tiny bit different. Looked like the same helmet to me. Plus your not judged on your helmet, your judged on your ride & your horse! The only reason they should be looking at your head is to make sure you have a helmet on!

horsegal301
Mar. 2, 2012, 12:42 PM
You'll have to forgive me as I don't show on any big US circuits (and haven't shown at all in years!) - is the IRH considered "tacky" because it's a bit of a copycat of GPA?

What are attactive (plain) options are there out there? I really dislike the look of the COs... I find they look so bulky on most people.


I think it's tacky because they did basically copy GPA and made a cheap version that isn't flattering. I've had an IRH with the vents, gone through 3 titiums and the CO GR8 before they were the in thing, and now using a Speed Air and a CO jr8 for schooling. Like the Antares helmet which I personal detest, I find the IRHs do nothing to flatter the face or the overall picture. They look really frumpy to me. This of course, is all safety aside. I also would never use a helmet that I have to basically crank a core reactor to fit onto my head, I'd much rather make the investment in my head and safety and get a helmet that properly fits. I like the COs and the GPAs just because I think they complete the look in a professional way. Maybe they are trendy and that's why they catch peoples' eyes in the first place but once you try them on, at least for me, they felt better. I don't wear it for the emblem, because some things are definitely *not* worth the price tag, but I think an attractive brain bucket that appeals to me and makes me look the most presentable is.

My speed air is wonderful. I hate riding without it, especially on hot days. I can say that I have worn my mother's troxel one day when I forgot to bring my helmet to the barn and despite it being my size, it just didn't feel safe. It felt like it was sitting atop my head instead of encasing it in a safe manner.

The COs look great and are very conservative, and I think the GPAs are truly unique in their style, no matter how many times people tell me I have a bug head. I sweat like a maniac, so if I showed without it, I'd be a mess.

The IRH was like a gigantic bubble on my head even though it fit properly. I didn't realize it until I saw pictures. I was the only one wearing them at the time because I couldn't afford a GPA, and the people who I rode with at shows also didn't wear them.

Now the shows are clogged with them and all I see is a bunch of overly pink, blinged out bobble heads. :(

And to add to the majority, Troxel, IRH, GPA, and CO all fit differently.

Celeritas
Mar. 2, 2012, 12:43 PM
They fit differently, so it depends on your head. I tried the IRH Elite, and even wore it in a big equitation final this fall (and despite rumors to the contrary, I did NOT get laughed out of the ring! My giant chip gave me a 64, not my helmet, :D ). However, after 2 days I had a giant rash and had to return it. It just didn't fit right, so I resigned myself to ponying up the cash for another GPA. I do find the padding is more comfortable than the IRH and the ventilation is better. But honestly, if the IRH fit me well enough to keep it, I would have gladly kept it!

overthemoon
Mar. 2, 2012, 12:57 PM
I don't know, I don't think I look particularly "bobbly" in this (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v653/flyin_sofa/mexitrot.jpg) picture from the summer. (Or maybe I do?!)

I personally don't think they look all that different, but I can't comment on fit. It seems, after trend and status, to really boil down to fit.

I'm a 23yo who drives a 10yo Accord. I'm not particularly concerned about having the most expensive bucket on my head. ;)

BAC
Mar. 2, 2012, 12:57 PM
I have a GPA and I don't think the IRH is tacky at all, in fact I find them very attractive. When I bought my GPA I desperately wanted a more traditional looking helmet like the CO Hampton, etc. but the GPA was the only one that fit comfortably. I HATE the way it looks but it is comfy and cool.

Buy what fits you best and don't worry about what other people think.

skittlespony
Mar. 2, 2012, 01:04 PM
You'll have to forgive me as I don't show on any big US circuits (and haven't shown at all in years!) - is the IRH considered "tacky" because it's a bit of a copycat of GPA?

What are attactive (plain) options are there out there? I really dislike the look of the COs... I find they look so bulky on most people.

An answer as to what is attractive vs. the CO. You could always try a Samshield. I found a GPA classic pro for $379 though.

overthemoon
Mar. 2, 2012, 01:09 PM
An answer as to what is attractive vs. the CO. You could always try a Samshield. I found a GPA classic pro for $379 though.

Thanks, but after a little Googling, it looks like the Samshield doesn't ring in any less expensive than the GPA (plus I like the look of it less) so I wouldn't really consider it an alternative.

I'm really intrigued to try the GPA for fit, but I've never had any fit issues with my IRH... Perhaps if it isn't broken, don't fix it?

kmwines01
Mar. 2, 2012, 01:10 PM
I've had both the GPA and the IRH and like them both. My GPA is a smaller size than my IRH so it also seems a bit more streamlined. I think both of pretty comfy. Never had an issue with either being hot but I've never really noticed a helmet being hot. Riding in the summers in Florida you were always hot so I never gave it much thought.

skittlespony
Mar. 2, 2012, 01:12 PM
Thanks, but after a little Googling, it looks like the Samshield doesn't ring in any less expensive than the GPA (plus I like the look of it less) so I wouldn't really consider it an alternative.

I'm really intrigued to try the GPA for fit, but I've never had any fit issues with my IRH... Perhaps if it isn't broken, don't fix it?

Your Welcome! You should do whatever feels best fit wise. Even if you might not get a GPA I would suggest still trying one though just to see if you could get a little bit of a better fit. Helmets are expensive trust me I know, i'm in need of a new one too. I like to think of it as you can't put a price on safety thought, right? :)

Trevelyan96
Mar. 2, 2012, 01:25 PM
Fit and comfort are the most important criteria. Its just as tacky to stuff your head in a poorly fitting GPA or CO just because that is what everyone in the H/J ring is wearing.

When we bought DD's GPA Titium around 6 years ago, it was the only helmet in the store that fit her well, was comfortable, and attractive, despite us both vowing we'd never shell out that kind of cash for a 'skunk helmet'.

Since her helmet passed its 5 year birthday last year and needed to be replaced, we went shopping again. This time, it was the IRH ATH SSV http://www.doversaddlery.com/irh%c2%ae-ath%3f-ssv-riding-helmet/p/X1-3663/ that fit and looked the best on her, even more than the GPA. She loves it.

For me personally, the IRH has always looked and fit best on me because I have a really small head. GPA's are too round and CO's are too heavy, even though I desperately long for a brown GR8. My current helmet is the IRH Air 10 http://www.doversaddlery.com/irh%c2%ae-air-10-riding-helmet/p/X1-36287/, which I absolutely love. I just wish IRH would make it in brown. :(

yellowbritches
Mar. 2, 2012, 01:25 PM
Take this with a grain of salt, as I don't own a GPA....

But they do fit differently. I remember a few years ago wanting to get the IRH GPA knockoff (the "classic" model), just for at home and schooling (versus wearing my COs all the time). The IRH fit me HORRIBLY. But when I tried the GPA on, just for the hell of it, it was a great fit. Actually really liked it...except for the price tag.

Now, I do actually own an IRH now (the Extreme? Elite? I don't know...one of the racey, "fast" looking ones :cool:) and it fits ok. I used it every day straight for 6 months or so, but it just plain old wore out. Feels now like my COs do after 18 months or 2 years (I go through helmets fast). I did like it, though, and will probably keep it around for schooling on hot days, but I'll probably stick to my COs from now on, even for every day stuff.

Aesthetically, I think it is hard to tell the difference while someone is actually out riding. Yeah, once you get up close, you can tell (via emblems or just plain looks), but they LOOK very similar, and the both meet the same safety features. The IRH "feels" a little more like a plastic, cheap schooling helmet to me, and may not fit so great on my particular head, but looks wise, I don't feel there is much difference.

Will say, there are certain models of IRHs that I think are heinous and look good on absolutely no one!

horsegal301
Mar. 2, 2012, 01:26 PM
I don't know, I don't think I look particularly "bobbly" in this (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v653/flyin_sofa/mexitrot.jpg) picture from the summer. (Or maybe I do?!)

I personally don't think they look all that different, but I can't comment on fit. It seems, after trend and status, to really boil down to fit.

I'm a 23yo who drives a 10yo Accord. I'm not particularly concerned about having the most expensive bucket on my head. ;)

No, you don't look bobbly, but it does look like it's sitting more on top of your head because of too much hair. If that's not the case, maybe it's just the picture since it's only a second in time, but it looks an awful lot like my friend when she tries to stuff all of her hair in her helmet and it just sits up there. Then it does become a safety hazard when your hair is piled up under it instead of just a pony folded up inside.

Like yellow said, The cheaper helmets do feel more like a cheaper schooling helmet, but I disagree in the looks-wise department, as I think there's a huge difference because of the way the helmet is shaped, despite being a knock off model.

I'm not sure I get the age thing. I'm 24 and drive a Veloster, still an asian made vehicle but I work darn hard to pay the loans as well as student loans off myself (this is after owning a 95 VW Cabrio on its way out since 2006, but I'd rather wear a helmet that allows me to feel confident and safe. If it takes buying an expensive helmet that fits my head with my hair, so be it. :winkgrin:

overthemoon
Mar. 2, 2012, 01:34 PM
No, you don't look bobbly, but it does look like it's sitting more on top of your head because of too much hair. If that's not the case, maybe it's just the picture since it's only a second in time, but it looks an awful lot like my friend when she tries to stuff all of her hair in her helmet and it just sits up there. Then it does become a safety hazard when your hair is piled up under it instead of just a pony folded up inside.

Like yellow said, The cheaper helmets do feel more like a cheaper schooling helmet, but I disagree in the looks-wise department, as I think there's a huge difference because of the way the helmet is shaped, despite being a knock off model.

I'm not sure I get the age thing. I'm 24 and drive a Veloster, still an asian made vehicle but I work darn hard to pay the loans as well as student loans off myself (this is after owning a 95 VW Cabrio on its way out since 2006, but I'd rather wear a helmet that allows me to feel confident and safe. If it takes buying an expensive helmet that fits my head with my hair, so be it. :winkgrin:

It looks like I have too much hair because I do. ;) My hair is considerably longer now than when I purchased the helmet, and I do need to get a new one. Not sure now if I ought to get one that fits my hair with the recent controversy of that being unsafe... Typically I wear my hair down when I school at home, but can't quite imagine wearing it down at shows yet.

What I meant was that I don't have the dispensible income to throw away on a helmet purely for status. I'd rather have my student loans paid off by the end of the year (and that is a big stretch!). While I cannot comment on fit of the GPA, I can't see how it would accomodate hair more than an IRH?! That sounds a bit silly. Admittedly, one may fit you more than another due to the shape of your head, etc, but hair shouldn't change the *shape* of your head... you just might need to larger size.

It seems at this point, that other than it being trendy, the only advantage the GPA offers is a slightly different shape. I'm not sure I want to spend an extra $400 on a helmet for it to "feel" more expensive (and it should!). Don't plan on stroking it. ;)

horsegal301
Mar. 2, 2012, 01:38 PM
It looks like I have too much hair because I do. ;) My hair is considerably longer now than when I purchased the helmet, and I do need to get a new one. Not sure now if I ought to get one that fits my hair with the recent controversy of that being unsafe... Typically I wear my hair down when I school at home, but can't quite imagine wearing it down at shows yet.

What I meant was that I don't have the dispensible income to throw away on a helmet purely for status. I'd rather have my student loans paid off by the end of the year (and that is a big stretch!). While I cannot comment on fit of the GPA, I can't see how it would accomodate hair more than an IRH?! That sounds a bit silly. Admittedly, one may fit you more than another due to the shape of your head, etc, but hair shouldn't change the *shape* of your head... you just might need to larger size.

It seems at this point, that other than it being trendy, the only advantage the GPA offers is a slightly different shape. I'm not sure I want to spend an extra $400 on a helmet for it to "feel" more expensive (and it should!). Don't plan on stroking it. ;)


I figure I'm 45k + in debt from school alone, so what's another 300-500? :lol:

Also as far as the controversy, I've tried to do some research and from what I can find, a pony tail at the base of your beck and flipped straight up into the helmet is the way to go, but you still want to make sure your helmet is snug on your head without the hair. I would say that if you have super long hair that's thick, that's where the problem lies.

If you're stuffing bobby pins up under your helmet, that IS a safety issue. If your ponytail is tied under the helmet somewhere or you have lots of hair underneath the helmet either at the crown of your head or on top of your head, the helmet probably needs to be changed.

overthemoon
Mar. 2, 2012, 01:39 PM
I figure I'm 45k + in debt from school alone, so what's another 300-500? :lol:

Ha! I should not adapt that mentality... I spend way too much on horse stuff I don't particularly need as it is.

Guiltily, I probably will purchase a GPA for my next, next helmet if for no other reason than it being "nicer" as I hope to be doing fairly well financially by then. I always assumed I would purchase a GPA, but recently it has occurred to me that it might be silly to spend so much when I can get one very similar in style for a significant.

horsegal301
Mar. 2, 2012, 01:46 PM
Ha! I should not adapt that mentality... I spend way too much on horse stuff I don't particularly need as it is.

Guiltily, I probably will purchase a GPA for my next, next helmet if for no other reason than it being "nicer" as I hope to be doing fairly well financially by then. I always assumed I would purchase a GPA, but recently it has occurred to me that it might be silly to spend so much when I can get one very similar in style for a significant.


I don't mean to be an enabler... but they do feel so good on your head - for me it feels like a confidence booster because I just think they look better on me and flatter more. I like to use the idea my boyfriend has when he drives his car...

"It just makes me feel good to drive it."

That.. and Saddlery USA is having a 30% off entire purchase sale next week and they might carry GPAs! :lol:

Ozone
Mar. 2, 2012, 01:51 PM
I have an ATH (when they were called ATH not IRH)

I have two GPA's

And A GR8

The best helmet out of all of these I have to say is my ol' time favorite ATH! It hugs my head perfectly, mushroom-ish or not it just generally fits better.

I hate GPA's.. wobble around my head (my head shape doesn't work with GPA's) they are a bit cooler then the rest - I agree but the fit is what makes me not like it at all.

Love Gr8 fit is good, looks streamlined on my head but honstely, I still love that old schooling helmet ATH :)

jaybee
Mar. 2, 2012, 01:52 PM
I love my IRH!!! I don't know why it would be tacky? I was just looking at a picture of me and my trainer from a show. we are standing side by side arms around each other helmets touching and I was actually trying to see the difference. All that I could tell was that the emblem was a tiny bit different. Looked like the same helmet to me. Plus your not judged on your helmet, your judged on your ride & your horse! The only reason they should be looking at your head is to make sure you have a helmet on!

This!

I have a very big, apparently odd shaped head with a TON of hair. Helmet shopping is a complete nightmare for me. I got a GPA for my 16th birthday and was so excited to have it! It lasted a few years until I shattered the visor on a horse's neck while jumping (good thing for the visor though, no broken face!). I was really sad that I had to get a new helmet and to top it off, I couldn't really afford another GPA.

I "unfortunately" had to settle for an IRH. I say "unfortunately" because let me tell you, I absolutely love it! I put my GPA back on, and I don't know how I rode in it! Definitely not the right fit now that I know the feeling of my IRH. I now own two of the same helmet (one for schooling, one for showing).

Before I purchased the second one for showing, I took a look at the COs. I couldn't seem to find the right one/size for me. I was at a show that a CO rep was at and asked her if she could help me. After having me try on a few she looked me dead in the eye and told me not to even bother purchasing a CO because they just don't fit me. (Maybe it's just me, but it's pretty bad when a rep tells you not to buy their product!:lol:)

IRH can definitely run kind of bubbly, but both of mine are a lower profile version and are great! I'll try to find a picture if I can and post it later. Just find what fits you best and what you like!

kellidahorsegirl
Mar. 2, 2012, 01:54 PM
I have always said "who gives a crap what you're wearing (as long as it LOOKS clean/neat/professional)... the proof is in the pudding"

I have had one of the GPA knockoff IRH for 2 helmets now. They're great and ran about $140. That was all I felt comfy spending... and the safety regs are the same for the helmets. I had some more money this year and decided that since I've coveted a CO GR8 for several years now, it was time to get one.

I traveled to a tack store and tried on all the GPAs and COs to make sure on fit. The IRH generally fits an 'oval' head, while the GPAs fit the 'rounder' head (in my experiences). The CO fits MY head as closely to the IRH, but wayyyyy better. The GPAs I can tell are really comfy, but they don't fit quite right. The titium was the closest to fitting, but the CO was still much better.

I think they cost more because they are slightly more 'attractive' and the insides are more comfortable. You really are paying more for a better 'fit' all around. My head is in heaven inside the CO. With the IRH, I was just wearing a helmet. I'm about to turn 30 though, and something I've learned as I get older each year is that I appreciate nice things a lot more than I used to. Sure I'm a tight-ass, but really, spend a lil extra money and it lasts longer and truly IS more comfortable. When you're young and still paying loans and building your income, it is PERFECTLY acceptable to be frugal!!! I know if I ran into you, I sure as heck wouldn't judge you based on which helmet you own :)

overthemoon
Mar. 2, 2012, 01:55 PM
Also as far as the controversy, I've tried to do some research and from what I can find, a pony tail at the base of your beck and flipped straight up into the helmet is the way to go, but you still want to make sure your helmet is snug on your head without the hair. I would say that if you have super long hair that's thick, that's where the problem lies.

If you're stuffing bobby pins up under your helmet, that IS a safety issue. If your ponytail is tied under the helmet somewhere or you have lots of hair underneath the helmet either at the crown of your head or on top of your head, the helmet probably needs to be changed.

I do have super long, thick hair. My hair reaches about the small of my back, top of my bum (not quite there). I'm not sure that *any* helmet could safely hold all my hair, because it pretty much coats my whole head when it's in my helmet, haha.

(Oh, and before it's suggested, no, I'm not going to drastically cut my hair to fit into my helmet better. ;))

That might throw a whole other wrench into the situation. Do I get a helmet to fit my hair? Wear my hair down at home, and put pads in make it snug? Oh, the drama...

overthemoon
Mar. 2, 2012, 02:04 PM
I have a very big, apparently odd shaped head with a TON of hair. Helmet shopping is a complete nightmare for me.

How much is a ton of hair? I'm hoping I have some people with hair similar to mine to advise me, haha.

horsegal301
Mar. 2, 2012, 02:06 PM
I do have super long, thick hair. My hair reaches about the small of my back, top of my bum (not quite there). I'm not sure that *any* helmet could safely hold all my hair, because it pretty much coats my whole head when it's in my helmet, haha.

(Oh, and before it's suggested, no, I'm not going to drastically cut my hair to fit into my helmet better. ;))

That might throw a whole other wrench into the situation. Do I get a helmet to fit my hair? Wear my hair down at home, and put pads in make it snug? Oh, the drama...


I *did* get a helmet to fit all of my hair. I have ridiculously THICK hair, so it was my only option without my hair flopping in the wind at shows... then I cut my hair a few months later and it's been cut at a bob for over a year. It's a real pita to get it to fit into a hairnet without having flyaways everywhere, but at least now I have helmets that fit properly!

If all else fails, go to a tack shop and have someone help - preferable someone at the shop who knows about proper fit who is not a teenage girl - they tend to not be very friendly or knowledgeable, even if you are the one spending money!

Oh, and don't try to pad the helmet with anything to make it fit... I can say from experience because I had to borrow a friend's while at school for a lesson.. I shoved some tack cleaning rags in it to fit my head and ended up taking a spill. I felt pretty rattled for the rest of the day since the helmet was not snug and didn't stay put, even with the towels tucked in there. In hindsight, I should've just sat out on the lesson, but I wanted my money's worth for the semester.

overthemoon
Mar. 2, 2012, 02:10 PM
If all else fails, go to a tack shop and have someone help - preferable someone at the shop who knows about proper fit who is not a teenage girl - they tend to not be very friendly or knowledgeable, even if you are the one spending money!

There are some really great people I know personally at my local Greenhawk. It doesn't seem like they have GPAs (from the website), but I know they used to so it may be an option for ordering.

There is one other English tack store in my area that has high end tack (such as GPAs), but I would really prefer not to shop there because of the [lack of] customer service I've experienced.

overthemoon
Mar. 2, 2012, 02:11 PM
Oh, and don't try to pad the helmet with anything to make it fit... I can say from experience because I had to borrow a friend's while at school for a lesson.. I shoved some tack cleaning rags in it to fit my head and ended up taking a spill. I felt pretty rattled for the rest of the day since the helmet was not snug and didn't stay put, even with the towels tucked in there. In hindsight, I should've just sat out on the lesson, but I wanted my money's worth for the semester.

I was thinking more of the pads you can purchase for helmets. I would hope they would be okay? But definitely something to consider.

kellidahorsegirl
Mar. 2, 2012, 02:11 PM
I have enough hair to make 3 "normal" sized pony tails.. and it goes to about my bra strap. Very thick, sorta coarse, curly, etc.

I got my helmet to fit with hair up because I ALWAYS ride with it up. What I do though is make sure the pony tail is secured at the VERY base of my head and I also pull a whole lot of it down over my ears (to take some thickness under the helmet away). When you flip the pony over your head, I make sure it fans out really evenly too.

When its not up in the helmet, I don't pull any over my ears. It's not as "good" as the 'up' fit is, but definitely still works.

Either way, get the helmet fitted to how you normally wear your hear with your helmet

horsegal301
Mar. 2, 2012, 02:18 PM
I was thinking more of the pads you can purchase for helmets. I would hope they would be okay? But definitely something to consider.

I believe that they're just replacement pads - the helmet should fit you as you normally wear your hair - so if it's something you want to show and school in, you should figure out if you want it up or down and try them out accordingly.

Rabbitman9
Mar. 2, 2012, 02:30 PM
I have owned many helmets....including GPAs.....I was wearing one but switched to a Charles Owen Air 8....more comfortable.
HOWEVER..I now own a 1K...very well made and the most comfortable helmet that I have used. They also have replaceable liners for about $20 so I don't have to have a smell after a couple of months...just toss the old and snap in the new. Very good looking and they run from $250-$350 based on the fabric...micro or leather and one model has built in sunglasses that retract into the visor...great for jumpers.
All helmets must meet the same safety requirements so it is a matter of style and taste.:cool:

kbear
Mar. 2, 2012, 02:40 PM
Another affordable helmet you can try is the new T-Series helmet. I have the T2 and it is awesome!
Super breathable (I can literally feel the air coming in through the vents as I ride!) and is by far the most comfortable helmet I have ever worn. Plus, I can school in it AND show in it.
Its $199, and worth every penny IMHO!

Rabbitman9
Mar. 2, 2012, 03:09 PM
I have owned many helmets....including GPAs.....I was wearing one but switched to a Charles Owen Air 8....more comfortable.
HOWEVER..I now own a 1K...very well made and the most comfortable helmet that I have used. They also have replaceable liners for about $20 so I don't have to have a smell after a couple of months...just toss the old and snap in the new. Very good looking and they run from $250-$350 based on the fabric...micro or leather and one model has built in sunglasses that retract into the visor...great for jumpers.
All helmets must meet the same safety requirements so it is a matter of style and taste.:cool:

jaybee
Mar. 2, 2012, 03:10 PM
How much is a ton of hair? I'm hoping I have some people with hair similar to mine to advise me, haha.

My hair isn't as long as yours. It's pretty wavy though and comes to the bottom of my shoulder blades. Every time I get my hair cut, I ask to have it thinned everywhere. Granted, I only get my hair cut a couple of times a year, but I know it's time to get it cut & thinned when my helmet starts to get tight! ;)

oam
Mar. 2, 2012, 03:54 PM
My children were hunter riders and loved the fancy Charles Owens and GPA helmets. When I was ready to upgrade to a nice helmet for my riding I found that those helmets didn't fit because I have an oval shaped head as opposed to a round head. I then tried an IRH ATH helmet and loved it. It fit like it was made for my head. I will never buy anything else.

To me, the most important consideration is not fashion and trends, but fit and safety. That is why we wear helmets in the first place and we should have the best fitting one, no matter who the manufacturer is.

danceronice
Mar. 2, 2012, 06:05 PM
No, it's because it costs about $160.00 vs $500.00 and we all know the less you spend the more Tacky the item is.

:lol: So true and not just with helmets.

I have such a hard time finding a helmet that fits my head (though I'm selecting out of the cheap schooling helmets as I'm not showing atm) I don't care who makes it, just as long as it FITS! Ultimately it's a piece of safety equipment, so I vote for the one that stays on and in place.

bits619
Mar. 2, 2012, 09:44 PM
I have an IRH xr9 and really like it. Before that i had only owned troxels. The absolute most comfortable helmet i tried on is my trainer's titium pro, but i couldn't swing that cash :-) I was hoping the gr8 (or the Juniors version, cheaper) would fit since that's the look I like the most, but it was uncomfortable.
The one that looked the best? The troxel grand prix (the Velvet with leather chin strap). Seriously, that one was so streamlined and flattering.... But it left a big red line on my forehead. Bummer, cause it was also the cheapest!
The irh felt comfortable from the start and looked decent. If I wanted to spend the extra money, i could have gone for something like the titium, but it was silly to do so when the cheaper option was comfortable, too.

I honestly could not care less about whether someone thinks I got the irh to 'look like' a name brand, expensive version. It doesn't even register on my list of things to worry about... Not even waaaay at the bottom of the list.

How's the saying, (or my version of it)... If I'm lucky enough to be riding a horse, I'm lucky enough ;-)

Softskills
Mar. 3, 2012, 02:12 AM
I'm so glad I'm not the only one! I love love love CO... Until I try to put one on my head. When I finally got around to replacing my last helmet, IRH made the only helmets that were comfortable. I thought maybe I was convincing myself to spend less money.

Canaqua
Mar. 3, 2012, 07:33 AM
It's all about fit! The ONLY helmets that will fit on my weird head are IRH long ovals, some models, not all. I have very fine hair, so hair is not the issue, it's all head. My head is big, a looong, narrow, oval and I have a high forehead. I've tried on pretty much everything. COs are 100% out, completely wrong shape and they not only look like a mushroom because they are too wide for my head/face, but they are too shallow as well and perch way above my ears.. GPAs are a teensy bit better (deeper), but they are still too wide when I get them long enough and I'd have to pad the sides and look like a mushroom.

I have an IRH Extreme Elite (long oval) right now and it fits well and does not look "bobbly". With the long oval I can move down from a 7 1/2 (or even bigger in some models, to get the length) to a 7/14 and it looks much better.

It would be far tackier to get a helmet that doesn't fit me and pad it up, just to have the "right" label on it. All anyone would notice would be my funky fitting mushroom helmet, not the emblem on it ;).

First time around riding, back in the 1970s, we were, of course, wearing those velvet, hunt caps, not real helmets. They did not come in long ovals and to keep that harnessless thing on my head I had to buy it tight front to back, as if it were long enough, the extra width would cause it to fly off my head. So I had a constant headache and deep indentation on my forehead...what a relief it is to have a helmet that doesn't hurt!

hfxjumper
Mar. 3, 2012, 09:53 AM
I *did* get a helmet to fit all of my hair. I have ridiculously THICK hair, so it was my only option without my hair flopping in the wind at shows... then I cut my hair a few months later and it's been cut at a bob for over a year. It's a real pita to get it to fit into a hairnet without having flyaways everywhere, but at least now I have helmets that fit properly!


I had long hair and also went with a bob, tip for "hunter" hair, I use a stretchy black headband (because my hair is basically black) put that on over your ears then put the hairnet on over then ponytail whatever you can that way the head and gets all the wispys.

As for helments I just bought my 3rd GPA this time went with the speed air, I love mine and they hold up I wasn't so kind to the second one haha.

Have you tried any of the Antares, I almost went with one at the Royal but got a wicked deal on the GPA.

danceronice
Mar. 3, 2012, 07:32 PM
I honestly could not care less about whether someone thinks I got the irh to 'look like' a name brand, expensive version. It doesn't even register on my list of things to worry about... Not even waaaay at the bottom of the list.


LOL, yep, my brother doesn't show right now except little in-barn fun shows (he doesn't have his own horse right now) and he bought an IRH. I doubt he knows what's "in" or isn't or which knockoff looks like which 'name' brand. He got IRH because that fit his head when he went shopping for a new helmet.

Angelico
Mar. 3, 2012, 07:46 PM
I used to ride in an IRH, it always fit my head well, better than anything else ever had, until one day I tried on a GPA.... And I never looked back. The fit is just, better, sooo lightweight, and VERY cool (air wise).

One day upon inspecting my old IRH, I realized that the big ugly vent on the front (hey, I was riding in the midwest in the summer, I didn't care if the vents looked like robo-cop) was FAKE! Their was NO opening between the vent and the helmet. No way could air have ever reached my skull. That, combined with the fact that IRH makes knock-offs of every other successful brand, is why I have no respect for IRH.

overthemoon
Mar. 3, 2012, 09:54 PM
Thanks for all the replies! I would love to hear any more opinions.

If I have a chance to try on a GPA, I definitely will to compare fit. Right now, the IRH fits me well (well - apart from my hair, but I need a new one), so I think I'll stick with it for now. Perhaps my next helmet will be more luxurious... ;)

Pancakes
Mar. 4, 2012, 05:12 AM
I also have a small head, and a slightly oval one. The IRHs have always fit me well. The CO is a close second, but at a price tag almost 3x that of a IRH, I can't justify it. I can't find a CO with vents in them either, and in the hot FL sun, that's a total must-have. The GPA fits me all weird and gave me a mushroom head.

Personally, I think that from afar, any helmet that doesn't fit you correctly looks unattractive, no matter which brand it may be. Get the one that fits the best. If you're that insecure about which brand you're wearing, you have bigger problems...As far as I know, no one has ever not placed well in a show because they wore an IRH instead of a GPA! (Anyone???).