Top 5 Best Horse Riding Helmet 2020: Reviews & Buying Guide

best horse riding helmet reviews

Buy the best horse riding helmet is what you should do before thinking about horseback riding.

Owning the safest equestrian helmet ensures safety for not only your head but also your life.

Below are the top 5 horse riding helmet reviews among many highly trusted models in the market. Hope it can help you find out yours!

Top 5 Best Horse Riding Helmets 2020 Comparison Chart

Product Feature Price Our Rating
Troxel Spirit Performance Helmet Best OVERALL $$$ 4.9/5
Ovation Protege Helmet Best Ventilated for hot weather $$$ 4.7/5
Troxel Sport Schooling Helmet Best for Kids, Youth Rider $$ 4.7/5
IRH Equi-Pro Helmet Best for Oval Head $$$$ 4.6/5
Tipperary Sportage Equestrian Sport Helmet Safest Equestrian Helmet $$$$$ 4.8/5

>>> If you’re from UK, you can find the best one at HERE!

In-depth Top 5 Best Horse Riding Helmet Reviews

1. Troxel Spirit Performance Helmet

Troxel Spirit Performance Helmet

If you’re scouting about for a low-profile helmet that can fit everyone, the Troxel Spirit Performance Helmet is what you need because it has excellent quality and durability. Besides, it’s known as the best for the budget if you have a tight wallet.

One of the best features that make this model separate from the others is the GPS II dial fit system. It provides a form-fitting and cozy fit thoroughly. Also, it highlights mesh-covered vents for air circulation and breathability.

Relying on that, your head always receives enough air to prevent bad odor and sweat. Thanks to the removable liners, you can easily wash it when it gets dirty or smelly. But, bear in mind to hand wash and air dry instead of using the washing machine.

Another great thing about this Troxel riding helmet is that it has enough different sizes from XS to L. It comes in a variety of colors such as Sky, Black, Purple, Pink, etc. as well.

Check my full review of Troxel Spirit Horseback Riding Helmet here!

PROS

  • Well-made helmet
  • Comes with various colors and sizes to choose
  • Easy to wash
  • Meets safety standards, ASTM/sei certification
  • Features the dial fit system, giving great comfort to use
  • Affordably priced

CONS

  • Some dislike the graphic design on the helmet

2. Ovation Protege – Best Ventilated Riding Helmet

Ovation Protege Helmet

Noticeably better looking than the Troxel, the Ovation Protege Helmet is a great mid-range horse riding helmet with a cozy fit and classic style.

This product is quite popular for how lightweight it is, under a pound. Moreover, it comes with a great fit thanks to the easy-adjust dial for a snug fit. What’s more, it has vents placed on top that provides enough airflow to keep the head fresh, particularly during rodeo season.

This English riding helmet is available in different sizes from XS to XL. Also, there are some nice colors to choose from such as graphite, dark green, denim, and so on. Wonderfully, it’s equipped with a cutting-edge high-density ABS that gives protection at all times without adding more weight, making it one of the best women’s riding helmets.

PROS

  • Lightweight and ideal for women
  • Offers lots of ventilation for hot weather
  • Comes with large mesh, preventing bugs and debris
  • Features an adjustable dial, giving a comfortable fit
  • Certified by ASTM/sei and European Standards
  • Provides different cool colors to choose

CONS

  • Not fit for kids

3. Troxel Sport Schooling – Best Horse Riding Helmet for Kids

Troxel Sport Schooling Helmet

The Troxel Sport Schooling Helmet is known as an excellent choice for youth and your kids. It’s indeed available in extra-small for children with hat sizes as small as 6 5/8.

This youth riding helmet boasts an attached visor and a removable and washable liner as well. What’s more, its seven distinctive cooling vents help to give incredible breathability and support.

When it comes to the riding hats from Troxel, one sure thing is that you won’t break up your bank with them. It can be said that this Troxel Sport is the best bang for your money. And thanks to all the great features, you’re guaranteed to get the good pick for children being made today.

PROS

  • Perfect for children and youth
  • Great value
  • Lightweight and durable
  • Well-ventilated, keeping the head cool and dry
  • Easy to wash thanks to the washable and removable liner

CONS

  • Only two colors
  • Not for adults

4. IRH Equi Pro helmet – Best for Oval Head

IRH Equi-Pro Helmet

If you are looking for a helmet with a fashionably oval shape, this IRH Equi-Pro will be a good choice. Indeed, amongst these 5 horse riding helmets, this is the best for an oval head.

Its lightweight (only 1.6 pounds) along with the ventilation system provide maximum comfort for you’re your head. 

The safety of this helmet is guaranteed thanks to the IRH front vent design geometry. This vent design allows fresh air to enter and circulate over the top of your head, then flies out at the back. Also, the inside fast-drying lining will blow the moisture away. These characteristics keep your head always cool and focused when riding.

Another feature of this product is the Dial-Fit-System, which you can simply adjust it to get maximum custom fit and comfort for your own.

As I experienced, the cool-on lining is many helmets that are usually spoiled before the helmet is retired. However, this is improved in an IRH helmet as the liner is removable and washable, and also available for a replacement.

PROS

  • Lightweight
  • Effective ventilation system
  • Removable cool-on lining
  • Fashionable oval shape
  • Adjustable custom fit system

CONS

  • No option to choose the correct size, only Small, Small/Medium, and Medium/Large size
  • Not many colors

5. Tipperary Sportage 8500 – Safest Equestrian Helmet

Tipperary Sportage Equestrian Sport Helmet

You might have heard about the Tipperary Equestrian brand, who is famous for horse rider vest and helmet, right? For me, I totally believe in this brand, and the 8500 helmet is indeed the safest horse riding helmet ever.

With a sturdy ABS plastic shell, this helmet can stand strong impact, hence provides excellent protection for your head in case of falling. 

Additionally, the lightweight material, the ventilation, and extra cushion at the back (helping in shock absorption) bring you much more comfortable. You will never feel like putting a heavy oven on your head when wearing this helmet.

 The design of this helmet is suitable for both adults and children. So, if you want a “helmet uniform” for your family, you can think about this Tipperary 8500. 

Read more: Tipperary Sportage Equestrian Sport Helmet Reviews

PROS

  • Lightweight and breathable
  • SEI/ASTM certified for quality and protection
  • Reflective band for riding in low-light conditions
  • Backshell provides extra protection

CONS

  • No adjustable dial
  • Only available in medium and large size
  • The sun visor may be bulky and a bit inconvenient

How to Choose the Best Horse Riding Helmet?

When you’re here, we guarantee that you cannot go wrong with our reviews of the top 5 products above. But, the truth is that a lot still make mistakes when it comes to choosing the best horseback riding helmet.

NOTE that you should not pick up the first helmet you see in the tack store or online without knowing anything. Instead, you must spend some minutes and consider essential factors below.

Safety

Since you’re looking for the riding equipment that can protect your head, you need to put the safety at first. Luckily, most of the horse riding helmets are certified from hugely accepted rating agencies such as ASTM (the American Society for Testing and Materials), SEI, Snell, and the EN.

>>> Read more: Top 5 Best Horse Riding Body Protectors

Construction

As outlined above, you know some common materials used for making the exterior helmet including carbon fiber, fiberglass, ABS plastic, and polystyrene. On the other hand, foam padding with nylon is used for the inner construction.

While some brands keep the inner lining fixed, the others make it removable for easy washing. Additionally, these helmets also highlight a chin strap that can be made of fabric or leather with plastic buckles.

What’s more, manufacturers incorporate easy-fit mechanisms such as adjustment teeth and easy-adjust dials in the helmets. Relying on that, you can receive a comfortable and firm fit while wearing it.

Fit and comfort

You don’t want a too big riding hat that might flop around when you’re in the saddle. That means you won’t get the right protection if falling. Meanwhile, a too-small one will make you feel unpleasant and uncomfortable to wear.

Therefore, finding the best horse riding hat or helmet with the perfect fit is essential.

The simplest way to guarantee the best fit is to measure your head accurately. You know how to do, don’t you? And lots of quality helmets are available in different sizes ranging from XS to XL.

Regarding comfort, this factor is also crucial. If the hat makes you feel uncomfortable, you might make your horse the same. And what happens if your horse feels unhappy?

So, to ensure both you and your horse stay easy and safe, you must read riding helmet reviews carefully. Or just visit a tack shop nearby and try. This helps you to know the most comfortable choices for your demands as well as the budget.

Design and style

Let’s talk about ventilation design!

Nowadays, you can find different brands that offer mesh-covered front and rear vents for their helmets. These vents are necessary to facilitate the airflow. Although you might find other hats that use thermoregulation paint as a substitute, each design aims to make a cooling effect for your head.

Regarding style, you also find out lots of safe horse riding hats that are incredibly stylish. Moreover, they come to a variety of colors to choose from. That means you easily find the one that is suitable for your sense of style.

Price

The price of a helmet for horseback riding often depends on its material, design features and size.

For instance, you might pay about $30 for a small-sized basic horse riding hat that is made of plastic. Or you can spend up to $300 for a stylish and large-sized one that has leather straps and is made of thermoregulation materials.

Additionally, you should be careful about buying cheap helmets. Since they are made of poor materials, they might fall apart within a short time.

But, the good news is that we haven’t reviewed these here. All you will receive here are the best of the best.

Items You Should Buy with a Riding Helmet

Do you think that buying the perfect horseback riding headgear is enough to start? Try to take a look below and find out two more riding equipment that might work well with your helmet.

1. Riding helmet covers

Riding helmet covers

One of the most exciting reasons to use the riding helmet covers is to decorate or renew your riding hat. It’s easy to see a variety of covers with different colors, animal print patterns, and so on. Even, you can catch eventer helmet covers with brims, waterproof ones, plastic rain ones, etc.

Aside from dressing up your horseback riding hat, having the helmet cover is necessary to protect your helmet. If you are finding the riding helmet to protect your head, why don’t you take the cover to keep it longer?

2. Camera for horse riding helmet

GoPro
Use GoPro to record better while riding a horse

The most obvious reason for buying a camera as you ride a horse is that it’s sweet to film a good ride and watch it back. But, conventional cameras are inconvenient to use, especially when you gallop. They are just suitable for taking beautiful photos, not for recording.

That’s why you need to find a horse riding camera that can be attached to your helmet.

If you are going to film when riding a horse, we suggest you should use the GoPro since this camera is excellent for recording the on-ride action. Put it on the helmet, press the button and then you can have an interesting full HD video to show your family and friends later.

Except for the best of fun, filming your ride also gives you some tips on how to improve your riding or help to relieve your finest moments. Even, it might come in handy in case you have a dispute with another rider. Although we don’t want this to happen, who knows?

FAQs about Horse Riding Helmet

No matter what you’re buying the English or Western riding helmets, you need to understand their true essence. Below is the necessary information about the horse riding hats that we want to mention.

1. Parts of a horse riding helmet and what is each made?

Every equestrian hat is separated into 4 components including:

  • A fiberglass/plastic outer shell
  • Foam padding
  • Fabric lining
  • Polystyrene liner (similar to Styrofoam lining)

As long as you don’t wear wrongly or buy a hat that’s missing any component, it’s responsible for protecting your head. And now, let’s make each part clear so that you can understand better.

A fiberglass/plastic outer shell

This component continues dividing into two parts. The first one is to guarantee that the helmet can endure the impact of sharp items. They are everything such as rocks, sticks, etc. that can enter through the hat and damage your skull.

The second part can absorb the collision of a direct blow and spread the wind throughout the hat instead of concentrating on one area of the head. It is important since it doesn’t focus on one part of the head.

The foam padding

Previously, the equestrian helmets were sold without a soft foam padding. But, now, it’s essential for offering comfort and cushioning while wearing. More importantly, it decreases horse riding related injuries fairly well.

Another BIG note is that you should check whether your horse riding hat is against your skin or not. If yes, you need to upgrade the foam padding instantly.

The fabric lining

The next crucial component does hold all the internal parts of the helmet together. If it looks weakened, please replace it now.

The polystyrene liner

Last but not least, this part is necessary for absorbing energy. The polystyrene liner is made up of very small beads that compress together to stop energy from entering the hat. Also, it keeps your brain from bruising or crushing under pressure from the impact.

2. Why is wearing a helmet while riding a horse important?

If you think you are a seasoned horse rider and don’t need a helmet, you are wrong. Skill is nothing if you are going to withstand a head injury when riding a horse.

Please remember that horses are large animals and unpredictable. Even, the well-trained ones might do something out of control. Besides, the terrain is an important reason.

For instance, if your horse falls, you fall, too. Then your head might hit the rocks surrounding. So, what happens? You know it, right?

Are you willing to bet your life whenever you ride? Think carefully.

The US Eventing Association (USEA) has shown a report that wearing helmets during events decreased head injuries up to 40% between 2007 and 2011. Even, if you are going to perform a quick ride to exercise your horse, remember to wear the helmet for your safety.

3. Bike or ski helmets vs. horse riding helmets, how do they differ?

Basically, horseback riding hats are different than others in function and appearance. They might come in English or Western styles; however, the cover of the back of the rider’s head for offering protection for each particular area is different.

The bike helmets base on liner material at the top of the head and comfort foam that gives minimal protection. Besides, a mass-produced bike hat is equipped with less exact sizing than a horse riding one. And it tends to expose to flat surfaces when falling on the ground or colliding with something.

Meanwhile, the equestrian helmet provides extra protection to the back of the head as well as the sweatband area. And remember that these hats need to be tested by the SEI (Safety Equipment Institute).

In a word, a bike or ski helmet is not safe to wear when riding a horse and vice versa. Since these hats are designed to sustain a different height of fall, make sure you wear the proper one for each activity.

4. How to measure a horse riding helmet?

The proper measurement when choosing a helmet is the circumference of your head, precisely above your ears. Additionally, you have to measure in centimeters and compare the result with the sizes of the riding hat and skull cap to find the perfect horse riding headgear.

Well, how to measure your head accurately? Let’s guide you!

  • Firstly, use a soft fabric measuring tape and wrap surrounding the head.
  • Then choose the widest part of the head which would be the right circumference of the head.
  • It’s best to measure an inch above the ears and eyebrow to get the correct number.
  • After that, check the manufacturer’s sizing chart to find the right helmet.

Watch this video to know better:

5. How to clean a horse riding helmet?

The exterior

If your equestrian hat comes with a sleek plastic-like outer shell, you can clean it with a microfiber cloth. Keep in mind not to use a powerful chemical like solvents or laundry detergents because they might wear out the material and break down the structure or even the lining.

The interior

The inside part of a helmet always suffers more heat, moisture, and chemicals than the outside. If you’re wearing a damp hat, that means its efficiency has gone away.

Normally, people tend to utilize a deodorizer to neutralize the smell whenever catching any unusual scent because of heat or moisture. But, a deodorizer does more harm than good in some models. So, be careful!

The best way is to expose the interior component to dry in the fresh air. Or put a deodorizer rock inside the hat.

Although some allow handling wash, just use soft detergent and then stick to the fresh air to dry. Avoid using a dishwasher since it can destroy the material strength.

6. How often should you replace your equestrian helmet?

There are two clear ideas that you should remember, including:

Every 5 years is the ideal time to replace your helmet. It’s equivalent to about 2000 hours of riding. The reason for this amount of time is related to the sweat, heat and accidental drop that might decrease the safety level of a helmet. Additionally, the helmet that is worn frequently will deteriorate quicker than one used only one hour a week.

Make sure to replace the helmet after a fall since it has withstood an impact. Although it still looks perfect, if it gets a blow, the inside protective liner might have been broken instantly.

7. Where to buy the perfect equestrian helmet?

No matter which brand or particular products you want like Troxel riding helmet or women’s riding helmets, it’s easy to find online, especially Amazon and eBay. Here you can see a variety of headgears together subjective feedback from users. Relying on that, you easily decide which riding hat is perfect for you.

Or visit a tack store nearby and ask for equestrian helmets if you want to check it by hand.

Time to make your decision

Keep in mind that it’s never a good idea if riding a horse without a helmet. More than 12,000 people are going to the hospital every year with head injuries from horse riding accidents. Hence, you MUST invest the best horse riding helmet in any case.

If you prefer an overall riding hat at an affordable cost, you can’t go wrong with the Troxel Spirit Performance Helmet. It has a variety of sizes that means you can easily find the best fit for your head.

Wonderfully, it boasts the mesh-covered vents for air circulation and breathability. That’s why your head always feels cool and fresh. Of course, you can easily hand wash if it starts smelly or dirty.

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