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GPA vs IRH

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  • GPA vs IRH

    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.

  • #2
    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.
    Originally posted by SillyHorse
    Some people wear Superman pajamas. Superman wears George Morris pajamas.
    This pretty much sums up everything!

    Comment


    • #3
      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.
      "I'm not always sarcastic. Sometimes I'm asleep." - Harry Dresden

      Amy's Stuff - Rustic chic and country linens and decor
      Support my mom! She's gotta finance her retirement horse somehow.

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        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.

        Comment


        • #5
          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!

          Comment


          • #6
            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!

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              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.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by over the moon View Post
                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.

                Comment


                • #9
                  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!
                  The Love for a Horse is just as Complicated as the Love for another Human being, If you have never Loved a Horse you will Never Understand!!!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by over the moon View Post
                    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.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      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, ). 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!
                      friend of bar.ka

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        I don't know, I don't think I look particularly "bobbly" in this 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.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          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.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by over the moon View Post
                            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.
                            Originally posted by SillyHorse
                            Some people wear Superman pajamas. Superman wears George Morris pajamas.
                            This pretty much sums up everything!

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              Originally posted by skittlespony View Post
                              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?

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                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.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by over the moon View Post
                                  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?
                                  Originally posted by SillyHorse
                                  Some people wear Superman pajamas. Superman wears George Morris pajamas.
                                  This pretty much sums up everything!

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    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%...met/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%...et/p/X1-36287/, which I absolutely love. I just wish IRH would make it in brown.
                                    Lowly Farm Hand with Delusions of Barn Biddieom.
                                    Witherun Farm
                                    http://witherun-farm.blogspot.com/

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      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 ) 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!
                                      Amanda

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by over the moon View Post
                                        I don't know, I don't think I look particularly "bobbly" in this 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.

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