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New Charles Owen MS1 Pro Review (aka the newly released MIPS skull cap)

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  • New Charles Owen MS1 Pro Review (aka the newly released MIPS skull cap)


    Lurker here, I seem to have forgotten my user name, so I created a new account....

    In case any of you fellow eventers are out there looking at the new Charles Owen MIPS skull cap (MS1 Pro) I thought I would write a quick review after wearing regularly it for ~1month


    From the outside, the MS1 looks a lot like the Pro II (with a slightly different harness) but if you flip the MS1 over you can see the exposed styrofoam and very thin removable liner, which IMO makes the MS1 feel a bit like a cheap schooling helmet, vs a nearly $200 skull cap. I thought I would love having a removable liner finally, but since it moves around so easily inside the helmet, I kinda hate it. I think CO could have done with some more attachment points for the liner.


    I find that most Charles Owen helmets fit my head well. I’ve worn an Ayr8 and Pro II in the past, both in the 7 ⅛ size, and I’m glad I kept the same size when ordering the MS1. In terms of fit, the biggest difference for me from the Pro II/Ayr8 to the MS1 is the lack of padding on the MS1. I’ve found that in the past, when I first start wearing a Charles Owen, the padding is a bit bulky, and it takes a couple of weeks for the padding to conform to my head. This is not the case with the MS1, as there is so little padding on the inside of the helmet (not to mention it moves around each time I put the helmet on) that I sometimes notice my forehead is right up against the plastic MIPS liner, which is kinda annoying. If you try on the MS1 and it doesn’t immediately feel like it fits your head, send it back, there is no “break in” period with this helmet.


    My gripes aside, I’m not hating this helmet. Even though the vents on this helmet look exactly like the Pro II and Ayr8, I swear I can actually feel the airflow through the vents with this helmet, which is not something I’ve ever experienced with another Charles Owen. I also like that it very light weight, not super bulky, and doesn’t move around on my head. The MS1 doesn’t come with a helmet cover, but I just took the cover off of my old Pro II and it fits the outer shell of the MS1 reasonably well.


    TLDR: If you’re intrigued my the MIPS technology and in the market for a new skull cap, I would give the MS1 a shot, just make sure it fits.

  • #2
    Thanks for the honest review. So often they're just puff pieces. I was just looking (online) at this helmet yesterday though I don't really need one. Your description of the liner brings to mind my old International, which had a nylon-y sort of liner that moved just enough when I rode that it made me crazy. I gave it away after a month or so of trying to adjust to it. I really miss the old CO terrycloth liners! (Yep, just dated myself.)

    Will try it on when I see it in person, so good to know about the padding.

    Comment


    • #3
      I was so excited for there to be a MIPS skull cap. I absolutely love my Trauma Void EQ3, which is my everyday helmet. But I still wear my CO J3 for xc. Luckily one of the vendors at LRK3DE had the CO this year so I tried it on and... wasn't impressed. I think it fits a more oval head shape, per most of the CO models, whereas I have a rounder head. It just didn't feel as comfortable and secure as the Trauma Void.

      I emailed Trauma Void not long ago to see if there were any plans for a skull cap in their line up, but I just got a canned response.
      I have Higher Standards... do you?

      "For the love of my horse, I know who I am."

      Comment


      • #4
        OP, I agree with most of your comments on the MS1. I am very happy with mine. It is cool, light weight and comfortable. I have worn a 7 5/8 J3 for years. The J3 is always a little tight when I buy it and then too loose after a year. After a year, I end up replacing it. I bought a 7 1/2 MS1 two months ago. The break in period was about a minute. It fits really well. So far, it shows no signs of loosening.

        Comment


        • #5
          Sigh. I am envious of all of you who can find more than 1 helmet that fits. The only thing I can wear is an IRH Extreme Elite in a long oval. I would love to have a choice but even at Rolex the reps of various helmets, Trauma Void included, said they just don't fit. Wish there was such a thing as a custom molded helmet.
          "Punch him in the wiener. Then leave." AffirmedHope

          Comment


          • #6
            _eventer_chick_ how did you find the harness quality? From the pictures it looks a lot bulkier than the Pro II or 4-star, with thicker padded straps. I was thinking of getting a MIPS helmet on International Helmet Awareness Day, and wanted a new skull cap, but I can't find a sample of this one locally and would need to order one in.

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              callyhan I actually prefer the chinstrap on the MS1 as there suede-like covering on the chin strap. YMMV though. You could probably remove the covering if you don't like it. The rest of the harness is pretty similar to the Pro II (including the back)

              Comment


              • #8
                I thought I would love having a removable liner finally, but since it moves around so easily inside the helmet, I kinda hate it. I think CO could have done with some more attachment points for the liner.
                I thought that (liner moving inside the helmet) was the POINT of MIPS.
                Janet

                chief feeder and mucker for Music, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now). Spy is gone. April 15, 1982 to Jan 10, 2019.

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Janet you're thinking of the plastic MIPS shell, which is correct, that is suppose to (slightly) move. I'm talking about the padded fabric liner, which you see in a variety of different helmets (MIPS and non-MIPS) and it would be great if that stayed put when I was putting on the helmet.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I also have the MS1 pro and I really like it. I had a 4Star before but wanted a MIPS helmet. It feels a bit “cheaper” than all the bells and whistles of a 4Star but I do really like it. I have a Trauma Void too and CO generally fits me a little better. In the list of “things I bought at AECs I definitely don’t need,” I pre-ordered the new blue MS1 because of course I did. 🙄

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      FYI, there is a Trauma Void Skull cap, BUT it's in Europe and therefore I would assume doesn't (yet anyway) have the required ASTM certification.

                      https://www.petster.eu/riders/back-o...-riding-helmet

                      _eventer_chick_ Just to clarify since I own 4 Trauma Voids.... the MIPS technology is the combination of the thin inner plastic lining and the fabric liner and the ability for the fabric liner to slide on the inner plastic liner. It's this slipping that help to prevent concussions as your head has the ability to slide with gravity and motion instead of being held in one place, like the traditional helmets do, which increases the chance for a concussion.

                      Em

                      "Courage is not the absence of fear but rather the judgment that something is more important than fear. The brave may not live forever but the cautious do not live at all." ~2001 The Princess Diaries

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Just to be clear, as I don't think my OP makes this clear, my issues with the fabric liner slipping are related to the padded area around the forehead very easily falling off its attachment point and bunching around my hairline when I put the helmet on, which I think is a design flaw with this helmet. MIPS helmets are supposed to have moveable shells, and the fabric at the top of the helmet is not an issue. The issues with the fabric liner slipping around my forehead is not related to the MIPS technology,
                        Last edited by _eventer_chick_; Sep. 10, 2019, 03:29 PM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          That's what I was wondering about. Ok. Thanks for the clarification. I would talk to a CO rep. They're really good about little stuff like this.

                          Em
                          "Courage is not the absence of fear but rather the judgment that something is more important than fear. The brave may not live forever but the cautious do not live at all." ~2001 The Princess Diaries

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Just a little update, I ordered a 7 1/4 MS1 Pro, it was a bit too big so had to reorder the 7 1/8 which fits great. This is a nice schooling helmet for the price with the MIPS system and a removeable/washable forehead liner. Not sure why more people aren't looking at it as a schooler if they don't want to shell out for the trauma void or CO MyPS. I got it for about $150 on the International Helmet Awareness weekend and I have to give a shoutout to Riding Warehouse that honored the sale price on the replacement size I needed as well as really responsive customer service.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              callyhan
                              Sent you a pm
                              "Courage is not the absence of fear but rather the judgment that something is more important than fear. The brave may not live forever but the cautious do not live at all." ~2001 The Princess Diaries

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Used mine today for the first time, 2 hours out and about, and didn't notice my helmet at all. The removable liner stayed firmly in place, chin strap more comfortable than my other
                                (Champion) helmet, fit is really good for my shape of head. There were a couple of possible strange creaking sounds but we were in woodland during rain! The tack shop told me CO is making the helmet in all their usual sizes.
                                "Good young horses are bred, but good advanced horses are trained" Sam Griffiths

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by CindyCRNA View Post
                                  Sigh. I am envious of all of you who can find more than 1 helmet that fits. The only thing I can wear is an IRH Extreme Elite in a long oval. I would love to have a choice but even at Rolex the reps of various helmets, Trauma Void included, said they just don't fit. Wish there was such a thing as a custom molded helmet.
                                  Hang onto your hat then, because it looks like they stopped making them, they are on clearance at every website I've visited. I wear the Elite Extreme and Elite EQ, and my helmet before these was a Charles Owen Showjumper. If the Showjumper XP fits the same it would be one to try.
                                  That's fine, many of us have slid down this slippery slope and became very happy (and broke) doing it. We may not have a retirement, but we have memories ...

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    OTTBs

                                    There are many new MIPS helmets coming in 2020. Tipperary is coming out with a MIPS skull cap in the new year. And others are coming as well. OneK and others are all forthcoming soon.

                                    Given my accident and the stories from others who have had serious falls with these helmets I would highly recommend that every rider who can find a MIPS helmet that they are comfy with and enjoy would buy it and stay only wearing one of these. Shows, schooling and yes even walking to the in gate ( )

                                    But do only invest in one that fits well. (Without your extra hair in it!!!! ONLY your hair on your head, ponytails and hunter hair excluded)

                                    These have saved many lives so far from a more severe TBI.

                                    Em

                                    "Courage is not the absence of fear but rather the judgment that something is more important than fear. The brave may not live forever but the cautious do not live at all." ~2001 The Princess Diaries

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Thanks, guys for the reviews! I bought my first MIPS helmet five years or so ago to replace my bike helmet. I was so impressed with the technology (thankfully, I haven't tested the efficacy of it in an accident -- yet!!) that I could not figure out why equestrian helmets hadn't moved in that direction yet.

                                      I got my first Trauma Void earlier this year and love it. We only have one head, and it deserves the best protection it can get, so if one MIPS helmet doesn't work for you, keep trying them on as they come out until you find one that does. Like Em says above, it only works if it fits your head. (Em, so glad you had yours on when you had your accident! I poke around on FB to find the story, and I'm super glad you are ok!)

                                      Edited to ask: If the USEF rule says headgear must meet or surpass the ASTM/SEI requirements, how does one find out if the Trauma Void skull, which is certified "safety standard CE VG1 101.040 2014-12" would qualify? (and as someone who drafts rules, that one is plenty confusing, since it says "meets or exceeds" and then requires an SEI tag in the helmet itself, which wouldn't be available if a European rider were competing her in a helmet that hadn't been SEI tested . . . ) FWIW, CO lists that standard as one of the three accepted international ones on their website, so probably it would be accepted as "meeting or exceeding."

                                      Libby
                                      I have Higher Standards ...do you? Find us on FB!
                                      Higher Standards Custom Leather Care -- Handcrafted Saddle Soap

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Bensmom View Post
                                        Thanks, guys for the reviews! I bought my first MIPS helmet five years or so ago to replace my bike helmet. I was so impressed with the technology (thankfully, I haven't tested the efficacy of it in an accident -- yet!!) that I could not figure out why equestrian helmets hadn't moved in that direction yet.

                                        I got my first Trauma Void earlier this year and love it. We only have one head, and it deserves the best protection it can get, so if one MIPS helmet doesn't work for you, keep trying them on as they come out until you find one that does. Like Em says above, it only works if it fits your head. (Em, so glad you had yours on when you had your accident! I poke around on FB to find the story, and I'm super glad you are ok!)

                                        Edited to ask: If the USEF rule says headgear must meet or surpass the ASTM/SEI requirements, how does one find out if the Trauma Void skull, which is certified "safety standard CE VG1 101.040 2014-12" would qualify? (and as someone who drafts rules, that one is plenty confusing, since it says "meets or exceeds" and then requires an SEI tag in the helmet itself, which wouldn't be available if a European rider were competing her in a helmet that hadn't been SEI tested . . . ) FWIW, CO lists that standard as one of the three accepted international ones on their website, so probably it would be accepted as "meeting or exceeding."

                                        Libby
                                        I know the Trauma Void skull has not (yet) been through ASTM testing. That said in our complex world it can be used in different european countries on the heads of riders there. And if it meets the FEI standards then ironically a euro rider could wear it during Fauxlex and be considered in compliance.

                                        When I probed the US side of Trauma Void they didn't know if there was a plan to put it through ASTM testing, nor did they know if I could buy a euro one and argue that it's entirely the same makeup as the Lynx (minus the brim) and be able to wear it here.

                                        I'm planning to buy one of the fancier european Lynx's to wear here. I'll wear it at home if I can't at shows.

                                        Em

                                        PS: Thanks for the well wishes. I am doing great. Start PT on my shoulder today. Hope to ride again one day. The head wound has healed up PHENOMENALLY!!!!
                                        "Courage is not the absence of fear but rather the judgment that something is more important than fear. The brave may not live forever but the cautious do not live at all." ~2001 The Princess Diaries

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