Last updated: August 12, 2021

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Welcome to our big riding helmet test 2022. Here we present all the riding helmets we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the web.

We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best riding helmet for you. You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should definitely pay attention to if you want to buy a riding helmet.




Summary

  • Because of safety, a helmet should be a must for every rider. Even the most well-behaved horse can get spooked and even the best rider can fall off.
  • Thanks to today's designs, the helmet not only serves to protect the head, but is also a fashionable accessory.
  • Cheaper entry-level models are available for as little as 40 euros. But if you value design and comfort, we recommend a model from 150 euros.

The Best Riding Helmet: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a riding helmet

Why is a riding helmet so important?

Horses are flight animals and can always get frightened or fall. Even the most experienced rider on the most well-behaved horse cannot prevent this. You only have one head, protect it as best you can!

There is a wide range of light and airy riding helmets that are comfortable to wear even in warm temperatures. Even the price (usable helmets are available from 40 euros) should not be a reason to forego wearing a riding helmet. Just as you protect your legs or hands with breeches and riding gloves, you should of course do the same with your head.

What does the standard of a riding helmet say?

When buying your safety helmet, you should definitely pay attention to the VG1 or, even better, the PAS015 standard. This standard states that the minimum safety requirements are met.

But it is only tested once, which is why variations in production quality are not covered. The English PAS015 standard, which tests every helmet at regular intervals, is more precise. The production date, which you can find on a label inside the helmet, is also important. It should not be longer than 2-3 years ago.

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Helmets are regularly tested according to the PAS015 standard.

What types of riding helmets are there and who are they suitable for?

Depending on whether you choose a classic riding hat, a modern riding helmet, a fashionable cowboy hat or a robust riding helmet: We have listed a suitable helmet for every rider here.

The classic riding cap

The classic riding cap is usually not adjustable in size and the first models did not have a chin strap. They look particularly elegant, which is why they were and sometimes still are popular at competitions. Side padding and shock-absorbing material are mostly missing.

This means that the rider is not as well protected, which is why the classic riding cap is nowadays increasingly being replaced by modern riding helmets.

The modern riding helmet

These modern riding helmets usually look more sporty than riding caps and protect the rider with chin straps, padding and sturdy, shock-absorbing material. Strap systems in the helmet allow the size to be adjusted individually.

Modern riding helmets offer the greatest possible safety for the rider and come with very different and individual designs and various models. There is something for every taste.

Caps under the helmet or the use of the riding helmet by several people are thus possible without any problems. In addition, modern riding helmets are usually lighter than the classic riding caps and therefore more comfortable to wear.

The fashionable cowboy hat

For western riding, modern riding helmets adapted in colour (and shape) or cowboy hats are used. However, the latter do not offer the necessary safety when riding and are more of a fashion accessory than a riding helmet.

Riders who wear cowboy hats should be aware that it cannot protect them in dangerous situations or prevent injuries.

Did you know that there is an emerging trend to wear helmets as a fashion item now?

In the past, you only had the choice between black with velvet or velvet with black. Now helmets come in all shapes and colours. Even glittering stones are in fashion.

The robust riding helmet

For eventing, where the risk of falling is particularly high, there is a special version of the modern riding helmet. This is even more robust and stable and therefore also offers the greatest possible safety in the field.

Due to this solid construction, however, the helmets are usually heavier than the "normal" riding helmets. Some models are cut longer at the bottom so that they can also protect the rider's neck.

Can I also buy a used riding helmet?

If you want to save money, you should look for a used helmet. However, the rule of quality over price should apply when buying a riding helmet, as it can save your life in an emergency.

The problem with used riding helmets is that you don't know if anyone has ever fallen with it, exactly how old the helmet is or how it has been stored over the years.

However, these factors can play a big role in the safety and functionality of the helmet. Only with newly purchased, good quality helmets can you be sure that they will do their job and protect your head.

A layman cannot tell whether there is damage to the material, for example, and whether the helmet even still complies with the current safety regulations. In addition, older models are usually inferior to the newer ones in terms of comfort and safety. Therefore, buying a used riding helmet is not worthwhile.

On the contrary, it can even be dangerous for your health.

Can I design my own riding helmet without compromising protection?

Many riders want an individual helmet that is easily recognisable and that stands out from the crowd. To this end, some decorate their helmets with gems, paints or varnishes. However, this arbitrary design of riding helmets can be very dangerous.

Even well-known manufacturers, such as Uvex or Casco, point out that changes to the helmet can greatly impair safety.

Material fatigue, cracks and deformation are only some of the possible consequences that solvents and other chemical substances can cause on the riding helmet. The protection of the rider by the helmet is massively reduced as a result. Drilling into the outer shell or stickers can also impair the functionality of a riding helmet.

In addition, the helmet should not be exposed to great heat, for example from the glue of hot glue guns, and the straps on the chin should not be pierced or decorated. Handle your riding helmet with care. It should not be dropped, thrown or otherwise subjected to great pressure as your safety is at stake.

Is it compulsory to wear a helmet in equestrian sports?

There is no law in Germany that requires riders to wear a helmet. In many riding stables, however, it is customary for students to wear a helmet when they get on the horse.

This is mainly for insurance reasons. At tournaments, helmets are compulsory for all participants under the age of 18.

Did you know that the tallest horse in the world has a height of 210.2 cm? The current Guinness Book record holder for the world's tallest horse is a Belgian cold-blood named "Big Jake". A fall from such a huge horse can be very dangerous, so you should definitely wear a helmet.

In show jumping and eventing, riding helmets are also compulsory for adult starters. At dressage competitions, every adult rider of L level or higher - unless otherwise stipulated in the competition regulations - can decide for themselves whether they want to wear a helmet or prefer to wear a less secure top hat. However, anyone who rides without a helmet always does so at their own risk.

Although there is no general helmet obligation in Germany, every rider should wear a riding helmet to protect his or her health and life.

Some insurances only guarantee full coverage if a helmet is worn. Others even reward riders who wear helmets with double benefits in the event of a claim.

If you want to be sure that your insurance will pay, you should always wear a helmet. After all, this is also for your own safety.

How long does a riding helmet last?

In general, we recommend that you change your riding helmet after 5 years. The plastics used in crash helmets are subject to an ageing process, which causes the damping properties to deteriorate. Therefore, depending on care and use, the helmet should be replaced 5 or at the latest 10 years after manufacture.

You should also buy a new helmet after a fall. The impact can cause small, invisible cracks. If you fall again, the protective effect of the helmet is significantly reduced. Proper care and cleaning are important for helmet durability.

How does the care of a riding helmet work?

Since your life depends on your helmet, you should always treat it with care.

The helmet must be stored in a dry place and protected from UV radiation. If the helmet is sweaty after riding, you should let it dry in peace and not immediately put it in a storage bag. These are often almost airtight and therefore not recommended.

How much does a riding helmet cost?

If you want to buy a riding helmet, you should expect to pay between 40 and 1000 euros. The price varies depending on the material, workmanship and manufacturer. Cheaper entry-level models are available from 40 euros upwards.

These are particularly suitable for first attempts at riding or if they are only worn occasionally. However, the design and comfort have to be compromised. On average, you can get a high-quality and comfortable riding helmet for 150 euros or more. These have good air circulation and a light weight so that you almost don't feel them while riding.

Type of riding helmet price
Classic riding helmet 30-60 € (very expensive models from 270 €)
Modern riding helmet 30-120 € (very expensive models around 450 €)
Children's riding helmet 25-80 €

If you attach great importance to good comfort and a special design, a high-quality brand helmet is the right choice for you. Prices range from 500 to 1000 euros. The material and the ventilation opening are important features that greatly influence the price. The ventilation opening is necessary for wearing comfort.

Decision: What types of riding helmets are there and which one is right for you?

Basically, you can distinguish between five different types of riding helmets:

  • Classic riding helmet
  • Western riding helmet
  • Military riding helmet
  • Modern riding helmet
  • Children's riding helmet

Due to the different modes of action and purposes, a certain riding helmet is best suited for you. Since not every riding helmet is the same, there are different advantages and disadvantages. In the following section, we would like to describe the individual types in more detail and explain the differences.

To make it easier for you to decide, the advantages and disadvantages of the individual riding helmets are clearly compared.

What distinguishes the classic riding helmet and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

The classic riding helmet is adjustable in size and breathable. In addition, it does not slip and adapts to your head. Apart from that, it fulfils all the normal requirements that a riding helmet must have and can be used for almost everything.

Advantages
  • Adjustable in size
  • Breathable
  • Does not slip
Disadvantages
  • Can be uncomfortable

Nevertheless, some riders complain about headaches. However, these would only occur if one wears this model for too long.

What distinguishes the Western riding helmet and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

There are two types of western riding helmets: On the one hand, the riding helmet that looks very similar to the cowboy hat and, on the other hand, the western riding helmet that is similar to the modern and classic riding helmet in many ways. The latter of the two is of high quality workmanship and offers maximum safety.

Advantages
  • High-quality workmanship
  • Maximum safety
  • Maximum air circulation
  • Adjustable in size
Disadvantages
  • Not suitable for tournaments

Furthermore, it is size adjustable. As the name suggests, this model is used for western riding and for leisure riding.

What distinguishes the military riding helmet and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

As the military riding helmet is very safe and robust, it is mainly used in eventing. Almost all military riding helmets have ventilation slots and good wearing properties.

Advantages
  • Safer, more stable and robust
  • Good wearing properties
  • In possession of a vent
Disadvantages
  • Heavier
  • Barely ventilated

In general, military riding helmets are safer because they are more massive and sturdily built. This in turn has the disadvantage that the helmet is poorly ventilated or not ventilated at all.

What distinguishes the modern riding helmet and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

The modern riding helmet is very similar to the riding cap of the past. However, this model is far superior to the riding cap of the past because it now has chin straps and cushioning material. These features make the modern riding helmet one of the most comfortable riding helmets.

Advantages
  • Smaller
  • Cushioning material
  • Comfortable
Disadvantages
  • Expensive

The modern riding helmet is ideal for show jumping and dressage.

What distinguishes the children's riding helmet and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

It is very important that children wear a good riding helmet for riding, because it happens again and again that a child falls off the horse.

Advantages
  • Adjustable
  • Inexpensive
  • Various colours and patterns
  • Protects against head injuries
Disadvantages
  • Children's growth

Usually, children's riding helmets are cheap and adjustable, as children are still growing. Furthermore, there are many different models and colours - there is definitely something for everyone.

Buying criteria: You can use these factors to compare and evaluate riding helmets

In the following, we would like to show you which factors you can use to compare and evaluate riding helmets. This will make it easier for you to decide whether a certain product is suitable for you or not. In summary, these are:

  • Fit
  • Design

In the following paragraphs you can read about the individual purchase criteria and how you can classify them.

Fit

Everyone has a different head shape, which is why the fit of a helmet differs from person to person. A good test is to leave the chin strap open and bend your head down. The helmet should not slip and certainly not fall off.

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The most important criterion (after safety) is the fit. The riding helmet must fit comfortably and be non-slip, because only then can it protect the head optimally.

Riding helmets are available with and without an individually adjustable dial. This is very practical to adjust the helmet optimally to your head.

However, we think that it is not a must and that a helmet with the right size also fits really well without this fine adjustment. We recommend a helmet with a replaceable inner lining. You can wash it and always have a fresh and clean helmet. There are also special linings for winter that protect your head and ears from the cold and wind.

Just try out different riding helmets to find the one that fits you perfectly.

Design

Of course, the helmet should not only be safe, but you should also like it. With cheaper riding helmets, the design is usually predefined except for small details. Riding helmets in the middle price range allow more leeway. You can often choose the colour of the helmet and the chin strap yourself.

Helmets in the higher price range often have a configurator with which you can create your personal dream helmet yourself. Many different fabric and leather colours, embroidery and rhinestone decorations are available.

Image source: Pixabay.com / SeppH

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