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How long should you have your helmet before you need a new one?

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  • How long should you have your helmet before you need a new one?

    Hi! I was wondering how long I should keep my helmet before I replace it/ need a new one.

  • #2
    Most helmet companies say the helmets last five years before you need to replace them. Of course if you fall off and hit your head that would be a good time to replace it. Or if your helmet just gets really worn out then that would also be an ok time to replace it. I'm thinking of replacing mine even though I've only had mine two years because it's just so worn out. It probably doesn't help that I use it nearly every day and I sweat a lot. I guess usage is also a factor.
    If i smell like peppermint, I gave my horse treats.
    If I smell like shampoo, I gave my horse a bath.
    If I smell like manure, I tripped.


    • #3
      After a fall, or after 5 years. Whichever comes first.
      Charlie Brown (1994 bay TB X gelding)
      White Star (2004 grey TB gelding)

      Mystical Moment, 1977-2010.


      • #4
        And check to see the manufacture date on the box. If it sat on a shelf in the tack shop for two years before you bought it three years ago, that adds up to five years.


        • #5
          I just bought one on line, and the manufacture date was 6/11! I was shocked!
          Last edited by JumpQH; Apr. 28, 2013, 06:48 PM. Reason: Wrong date


          • #6
            Originally posted by JumpQH View Post
            I just bought one on line, and the manufacture date was 6/11! I was shocked!
            Yes, I think retailers should give discounts on helmets that are more than a year old by manufacturer's date and that this information should be part of the ad for the helmet.
            I heard a neigh. Oh, such a brisk and melodious neigh as that was! My very heart leaped with delight at the sound. --Nathaniel Hawthorne


            • #7
              I ordered a Charles Owen a few years back (online) and when I received it, the manufacturer date showed it to be 2 years old! I sent it back for a full refund. They offered to send me one that hadn't been sitting on the shelf, but I decided against it.
              Charlie Brown (1994 bay TB X gelding)
              White Star (2004 grey TB gelding)

              Mystical Moment, 1977-2010.


              • #8
                Hmmmmm. I think I'll try it out first and if it fits well, I'll ask for an exchange for a "younger" one. Thanks, guys!


                • #9
                  Just wondering why helmets "expire" after 5 years? Is it something to do with the integrity of the plastic, or is it just when manufacturer's warranties run out? I havent wrapped my head around how a helmet sitting on a shelf can go "bad".


                  • #10
                    I think it's due to the fact that the cushion materials degrade over time, whether the helmet is in use or just sitting in the box.

                    Also, for the last few years there has been an "International Helmet Awareness Day" campaign where many retailers offered a discount on new helmets. I haven't seen anything about it yet for this year, but it was in June last year.



                    • #11
                      I think it's due to the fact that the cushion materials degrade over time, whether the helmet is in use or just sitting in the box.
                      ^^^ this is what a tack store owner told me, and again 5 years is what she told me is the time frame to get a new helmet (after using mine for oooooo 10 years?! never even occurred to me that stuff could disintegrate, good thing I never whacked my head)


                      • #12


                        • #13
                          I think the manufacturers have to put some time limit on the helmet otherwise there could be some liability issues in addition to the integrity of the materials. Heat/cold can also damage the materials - so if you keep your helmet in your car all the time where it's expose to heat/cold then you may need to replace it sooner. Car vs tack room because of the extreme heat in cars during the summer. And as other posters mentioned, if you use it every day (again more sun exposure) then probably need to replace it sooner..


                          • #14
                            FWIW, I emailed one helmet company directly about this, and got this (surprising) answer.
                            Background--I bought a new helmet from an online tack store, it was already over 5 years old, so I returned, and emailed the manufacturer, hoping to get confirmation that the tack store was in the wrong.


                            I am one of the original founding members that help write the ASTM F1163 standard for equestrian, and I am still very active in standards development and I assure you that there is no specifications in any safety standard that state a helmet should be replaced after 5 years.

                            The only time a safety helmet needs to be replaced is when it is involved in an accident. If your helmet is brand new and has never been involved in an accident the helmet is perfectly fine.

                            The rumors that a helmet needs to be replaced has been started by some manufactures (NOT IRH) as a marketing tool to get you to purchase new helmets when it is not necessary.

                            These is absolutely no scientific data that support these false an misleading statements about helmet shelve life.

                            Sincerely yours,


                            • #15
                              Hm, that is interesting about the shelf life answer, Beam Me Up.
                              I just replaced my Charles Owen JR8 after about 6 years of use. Mine did change in fit in the past year. It had gotten loose enough to move around on my head, so online shopping I went for a new one. With a 10% off sale, it only cost 10.00 more than my first one, shipping included.
                              Proud to have two Takaupa Gold line POAs!
                              Takaupas Top Gold
                              Gifts Black Gold Knight


                              • #16
                                Very interesting!
                                I heard a neigh. Oh, such a brisk and melodious neigh as that was! My very heart leaped with delight at the sound. --Nathaniel Hawthorne


                                • #17
                                  That is very good info Beam Me Up... I was going to replace my helmet because mine is >5 years old but now I don't have to
                                  a horseless canuck...


                                  • #18
                                    see post #14

                                    thank you Beam Me Up, that is a GREAT piece of information!