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U.K. versus U.S. helmet safety standards

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  • U.K. versus U.S. helmet safety standards

    Does anyone know how the British safety standards compare to those in the US?
    I have a Champion Skull cap that I love. The helmet met the British standards but rI was told recently that the British standards were not as stringent as those in the states. I found this hard to believe. Anyone know the real story?

  • #2
    Originally posted by Gryhrs View Post
    Does anyone know how the British safety standards compare to those in the US?
    I have a Champion Skull cap that I love. The helmet met the British standards but rI was told recently that the British standards were not as stringent as those in the states. I found this hard to believe. Anyone know the real story?
    The DIRECT answer to your question is: It depends.

    It comes down to the size of the head forms they use to test the helmets. While the intended shock loads to the brain are similar, EU/British standards use smaller head forms thus tending to push a higher standard for smaller heads but a lower standard for larger heads.

    At the same time, the various standards were developed with slight differences in requirements. BS/EU standards were developed using EU countries. ASTM was done with the US/NZ/AUS. SNELL (which no helmet is required to meet) is US but allows a higher impact force.

    Like all things in life, there are too many nuances to give you a simple yes/no answer. Just know, to compete in the US the helmet must meet ASTM standards and in the UK, it has to meet BE/EU standards.

    Reed

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      Oh wow Reed.....thank you! Exactly what I was looking for !!

      I wonder how they define a small head / big head. I seem to have a freakishly large head for a girl(....old hag....whatever ...) so I am probably illadvised to continue to cling to my Champion. Then my little mind wanders off into the eternal question....do all Europeans have little pinheads and Americans, Kiwis and Aussies have ginormous balloon heads? This really might explain so much. Why can't we all just get along and have one universal standard?

      Comment


      • #4
        You might want to look at the Charles Owen helmets. I think they are approved to both standards. I am a female who wears a CO J3 7 5/8. It is the only helmet I have found that fits my large, slightly oval, head.

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          AKB - Just bought the Pro II skull cap yesterday! I really liked the fit and I have the same long oval. I didn't realize Charles Owen met both standards - that will certainly come in handy when I ride at Badminton

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by AKB View Post
            You might want to look at the Charles Owen helmets. I think they are approved to both standards. I am a female who wears a CO J3 7 5/8. It is the only helmet I have found that fits my large, slightly oval, head.
            Not all models are approved to both standards. They make some models just for the US market and some strictly for European and British markets.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Gryhrs View Post
              rI was told recently that the British standards were not as stringent as those in the states.
              Isn't it great what we are told? I have heard that the AS/NZS3838 (Australia & New Zealand) helmets have a far more stringent testing than the UK testing, which is in turn better than US testing!!

              For what its worth, I have never found a AS/NZS 3838 helmet that isn't also PAS015, BSEN1384 and ASTMF1163.

              Comment


              • #8
                I'm glad you found a helmet. I'm grateful that CO makes helmets to fit some of us who have large, long oval, heads.

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Originally posted by phoebetrainer View Post
                  Isn't it great what we are told? I have heard that the AS/NZS3838 (Australia & New Zealand) helmets have a far more stringent testing than the UK testing, which is in turn better than US testing!
                  PERFECT!! What people will say to sell a helmet!

                  I looked up the FEI helmet rules for eventing and it states " Wearing a properly fastened protective headgear complying with the European (EN), British (PAS), North American (ASTM), Australian/New Zealand tested standards is compulsory for anyone jumping an obstacle. " Does this mean it must meet all or just one?
                  No clue.... so isn't it lucky that I don't really have to worry about the FEI standards personally but the varying safety standards between countries really does intrigue me.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I'm not sure that any helmet with ventilation slots would conform to European standards. (they can be "penetrated").
                    ... _. ._ .._. .._

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Gryhrs View Post
                      PERFECT!! What people will say to sell a helmet!

                      the varying safety standards between countries really does intrigue me.
                      I'd really be interested in comparing the different test processes side by side. I have tried to search what they do when they test, but can't really get a good description / process / procedure.

                      RAyers: where did you get the info about the EU/Brit testing vs the ASTM testing? Did that give a clear outline of what they did?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        The information is available from the huge and unwieldy EEC, but you have to pay for it.
                        ... _. ._ .._. .._

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by phoebetrainer View Post
                          I'd really be interested in comparing the different test processes side by side. I have tried to search what they do when they test, but can't really get a good description / process / procedure.

                          RAyers: where did you get the info about the EU/Brit testing vs the ASTM testing? Did that give a clear outline of what they did?
                          I've had a chance to compare all these standards for a consulting job, and while the specifics of the tests have some differences, I'd be comfortable wearing any of the EU/British, NOCSAE, SNELL or ASTM approved helmets. A lot of the differences come down to the way the helmet is intended to be worn - for example, the criteria that ASTM helmets should be discarded after a single serious blow. This allows them to be made out of different materials than helmets passing other certification testing requiring that they withstand multiple blows, and allows them to be less expensive in many cases. However, it does require that you self-police and replace the helmet as needed.

                          You can buy most of the standards directly - I am just not aware of any site that offers them for free.

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            Originally posted by blackwly View Post
                            I'd be comfortable wearing any of the EU/British, NOCSAE, SNELL or ASTM approved helmets.

                            Good to know. The salesman had me terrified to wear my Champion hemet while just sitting on a bale of hay.

                            Comment

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