How to Choose an ATV Helmet
There are certain types of gear that are a must-have for the all-terrain vehicle rider. One of the most important is a helmet. Without the right helmet, you leave yourself vulnerable to potentially fatal head injuries. When it comes to getting the right one, there are a few matters to consider. Here are the things to know on how to choose an ATV helmet.
Safety Ratings and Certification
The biggest thing in how to choose an ATV helmet is to look at the ratings. While there are several different ratings or certifications on the market, there are a few things worth noting. For example, there are DOT standards, Snell standards, and ECE 22.05 standards. While they all test for the same things in terms of impact resistance and visibility safety, they might test for different things such as flame resistance in a Snell standard helmet ideal for racers. When looking for the best in terms of all over testing for safety, Snell is a good choice. At the very minimum, your helmet should be DOT certified which is the Department of Transportation and meets minimum safety requirements.
Another important matter when choosing a helmet is the fit. If a helmet is too tight, it will be impossible to get on and wear for the ride. If it's too big, you won't have the protection you need in case of impact and it could lead to more injury to your brain and skull. The helmet fit should be snug enough that it doesn't easily turn while wearing it, but loose enough you can still move your face around without scraping the sides of the interior.
To find the right fit, you should measure your head at the largest part of the skull and above the eyebrows, and then convert it to a hat size. Many helmet retailers also offer helmet sizing guides to help you get the right fit. Make sure you get this aspect right because a helmet is only as safe as its fit.
New or Used?
While buying a used ATV is perfectly acceptable, buying a used helmet is another matter. A helmet is designed to take one major impact to protect your head from harm. If a helmet takes several impacts over time, it weakens the integrity of the helmet even if you can't see it from the appearance. If you buy a used helmet, you may be buying a weaker helmet that can't truly protect your head in the event of a major accident. It's always best to buy a new helmet and replace it after any concerning impacts.
Another matter on how to choose an ATV helmet is that of the price tag. With this aspect of gear, you get what you pay for. If you choose a cheaper helmet without any safety standards, you are choosing less adequate protection for your head. While there are options on the market for every budget for this important item, this isn't an area you want to skimp and save money on. A head injury can kill you so it's worth it to invest more in a better helmet.
Finally, the matter of style is an important consideration. There are two main types in terms of design. The full face model covers the chin and offers maximum protection while an open face helmet covers the back of the head but leaves the chin exposed. The level of protection and therefore style will depend on which one you prefer, or feel is best. There are also a range of colors and designs available in both option when it comes to the more cosmetic elements of style.