Fitting a helmet is serious business -- it has to be the right SIZE and the right SHAPE. Plus, it has to be a good fit even if there's hair up on it -- or if there isn't any.
Helmets come in 2 basic shapes: round and oval. Some helmets are more round than oval, some more oval than round and some styles come in either or.
This distinction of helmet shape is not a preference or choice, but rather a function of the shape of your head -- like it or not! If you feel like you put on some helmets and get a strong pressure or pain on the sides of your head, then you're likely a round head. If you wind up with alot of days with a red pressure point on your forehead -- even when the sides feel a little airy, then you're more oval. (more common.). This is critical, it directs which brands and styles you choose.
EQ's favourite for oval heads and for the rounder heads -- they are made in both the round and the "L/O" long-oval version: The One K Defender
Very comfortable, removable liner, wide brim and standard brim, sized XS, S, M, L, XL
Value price -- Less than $300
Large variety of color, treatments, textures
The most popular helmets at EQ right now are actually between round and oval:
Kask Equestrian - Our premium line made designed and made in Italy with exquisite materials including versions with Swarovski Crystals and available in custom design. At the core, though, incredibly comfortable vents, graceful lines and a merino-wool based liner. The fit system is topped off with a flexible piece that snugs the helmet onto the head for a most stable fit.
Uvex - German manufacturing from a safety tradition company. A 360 degree adjustable fit (and adjustable thru the crown) makes this light helmet incredibly stable and safe
Tipperary Windsor MIPS - A great value with the industry-best MIPS technology (Motion Impact Brain Protection System) introduced in 2020. Pretty enough for the A-circuit show scene -- but still affordable.
There is seen, in this country, two primary sizes: the index'd size, e.g., a 7, 7 1/8 etc. or based on measurements in centimeters, like 57, 58, etc. It behooves you to know what your own head size is so take a look in your helmet -- a size 7 for example maps to a 57.
Proper position -- bring it down on your forehead. Be sure you consider a helmet in its proper position. First put the inside front of the helmet against your forehead just above the eyebrows and pull it down, back onto the rest of your head. Starting by pulling it down from the top the head will most likely result in not having its brim low enough -- it should reside permanently just above the brow, parallel to the ground. It is often seen too far back on the head and therefore would not protect appropriately in a fall, knocking it back and resulting in a vulnerability for both the face and getting a choke hold from the strap. I always make sure I can see the bring to be sure its low enough -- be sure your show-hair doesn't put your helmet to far back or too high.
My biggest hurdle when fitting helmets is women trying to flip a pony tail (or even a twist) onto the top of their heads to see if their helmet will fit. Let me say this: if you can fit a hot dog of hair onto the back or top of your helmet, then it doesn't fit!!! Your hair must a adapt to your helmet, not the other way around -- so, here's a few suggestions:
Try a helmet on first with your hair loose -- this will best give you a shape and size guide
Use a hairnet and dump all of your hair in it -- no rubber bands yet
Fold the hair up and across the back of your head, this'll spread it out as flat as possible
If you must, use a rubber band to create a loose, low ponytail -- but flip it up and spread it out
TIP: When I showed in the heat, I would wet my whole head down, create my "ears" with bobby pins behind each ear and then follow the above.
One more point -- don't forget that several of the models (especially Charles Owen's) will crush down a bit from wear (and sweat) -- be sure to inquire about that when choosing a brand so it doesn't wind up too big once it does.
And, finally, please be aware that we sell helmet cleaners and deodorizers!
Let us know what you think.
Ashley@EquestrianConcierge.com • @OutfittedByEQ • #OutfittedByEQ • Facebook.com/EquestrianConcierge