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ideas for a better helmet?

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  • ideas for a better helmet?

    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

    Jody Jaffe

  • #2
    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.


    • #3
      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.



      • #4
        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-helme...ull-cut-helmet

        or something like this from skiing: http://www.outdoorgear.co.uk/Manbi-J...ku42202101.asp or http://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/66642...pmd_google_pla

        Tipperary seems to have gone more in those directions: http://www.doversaddlery.com/product..._pn_E_X1-36064

        The ones from rodeo are interesting, though I doubt we would need the whole face guard http://www.2toughhelmets.com/
        OTTBs rule, but spots are good too!


        • #5
          I would prefer mine to have one of those whirly-gigs on the top.


          • #6
            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:
            for inspiration

            although RAyers helmet sounds pretty cool


            • #7
              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.


              • #8
                Originally posted by RAyers View Post

                And a cup holder.

                You meant, of course, to say beer holder, right?
                Life doesn't have perfect footing.

                Bloggily entertain yourself with our adventures (and disasters):
                We Are Flying Solo


                • #9
                  With a hole out the back for ponytails....
                  T3DE 2010 Pact Group
                  Barefoot Eventers Clique


                  • #10
                    More removable liners... especially so you can replace a liner & ride your 2nd or 3rd horse in the same helmet.

                    You never know what kind of obsessive compulsive crazy person you are until another person imitates your behaviour at a three-day. --Gry2Yng


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Blugal View Post
                      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

                      (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.)
                      Pam's Pony Place

                      Pam's Pony Ponderings


                      • #12
                        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.
                        If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket


                        • #13
                          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



                          • #14
                            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!
                            “A clever person solves a problem. A wise person avoids it.”
                            ? Albert Einstein



                            • #15
                              What safety standard to use for helmets

                              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

                              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.



                              • #16
                                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


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Black Points View Post
                                  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.


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by mildot View Post
                                    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!
                                    proud owner of a very pretty but completely useless horse (and one useful horse!)

                                    Horse Thoughts


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by besum1 View Post
                                      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.


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by JFS View Post
                                        if it's cold and windy I wear the goggles too
                                        Good idea......(runs to get ski goggles out of the closet).