Best Horse Riding Helmets of 2019

I’m guessing if you’ve found yourself on this page it’s because you are already a helmet convert and wouldn’t dream of sitting on your horse without one.

In this blog we review the best horse riding helmets on the market today and come up with our top 6 picks for 2019.

Just in case you are sitting on the fence about wearing a helmet, here’s some statistics out of the US for you:

  • Of common childhood injuries, only being struck by a car had a higher severity score than equestrian-related injuries.
  • Approximately 10-30% of horse-related injuries are head injuries. In fact, of all sports in the US, equestrian sports are the most common cause of sports-related traumatic brain injury (TBI) in adults.
  •  Over the decades approximately 60-70% of horse-related fatalities have been due to head injuries
  • The United States Pony Club has documented a 60% decrease in head injuries after mandating that participants must have an approved helmet with chinstrap fastened when mounted.

*Statistics sourced through iGrow

 

Before you buy

There are a few things to consider before buying a horse riding helmet. Questions to ask yourself are:

  • First and foremost is it Certified in the country I am riding in?
    If you will be attending clinics or lessons it will often be a requirement that you have a helmet that meets the current standards. The standard change about 12 months ago and the new standard is called VG1 (01.040 2014-12), this applies to Australia and many helmets overseas also.
    So if the helmet you are looking at is VG1 certified it will be acceptable. In the US the standard can also be ASTM F 1163-13 and in European countries the standard is CE 0426.
  • What sort of riding will I be doing?There is no need to buy a show or competition helmet, which can be at the top end of the price range if you are not going to be competing in the next 12 – 24 months. I say 1 – 2 years because fashions and styles change so rapidly. If you buy your show helmet today, keep is safely put away and then pull it out in a few years time you may be disappointed that helmets are progressed so far that you now want to buy a new one for competition.
    If you are predominately trail riding you might wish to consider a lighter helmet, although they must be certified. It is not worth compromising your safety for a lighter helmet, it must still do the job it’s meant to and that’s to protect your head and brain.
  • How long will I be wearing my helmet at one time?Most helmets these days are quite lightweight, and if you are buying a helmet without trying it on make sure you read reviews like ours to ensure you don’t buy a heavy helmet. Often times the cheaper the helmet the heavier it will be due to the material it is made out of being heavier and therefore cheaper. This is not always the case, so as I say read your reviews.
  • What sort of climate do I ride in?
    Where I am when it is hot is is a dry heat, sometimes up in the early 40’s (that’s degrees Celsius). A helmet with adequate ventilation is crucial to being able to keep your cool on those hot days. The internal lining needs to be thick enough to provide impact protection but not soo thick that it cooks your brain.

Our Top 6 Helmets – Comparison Chart

NameFeature SummaryStar RatingClick on Images for Current Prices
JinStirrup - Icona Helmet
Italian design and made.
Certified: VG1 01.040 2014-12 - ASTM F 1163-13 - European CE 0426
Outer Shell made from composite fibers.
Inner padding: Microsense + Polygiene, removable and washable
5 Stars
Troxel Fallon Taylor HelmetDial-fit System Mesh-covered vents
Low profile
Certified: ASTM & SEI
5 Stars
Altshuler Equestrian Helmet Stylish, comfortable and light weight
Certified: CE VG1
Special offer comes with canvas sports bag & baseball cap
4 Stars
Troxel Dakota HelmetMade in US
Surefit Pro
Matte duratec finish
Hat band and concho detail
Certified: ASTM & SEI certified
4 Stars
Tuffrider Starter Helmet Multiple vents
Durable ABS outer shell
Visor
High-shock absorbing EPS
Removable & washable Coolmax head liner
4 Stars
IRH Equi-Pro HelmetFashionable, comfortable and economical helmet.
IRH Dial-Fit-System (DFS).
ASTM F1163-15, SEI certified and CE Certified to European EN 1384 Standards
4 Stars

Helmet Reviews

1. JinStirrup Icona Helmet – $199.00

The JS Icona Helmet is the top of the range helmet produced by Italian company JinStirrup. These helmets are stylish, colourful and unique. You will stand out from the crowd in an Icona.

The company have upgraded their certification and these helmets are now VG1, suitable for all competitive endeavours. This helmet is definitely suited to the competition arena.

Review

This helmet is the top of the range in comfort and durability. Italian made, the Icona Helmet is lightweight and supremely breathable. The outer shell is made from composite fibres offering the very best in protection.

With 9 points of external ventilation this helmet won’t make you feel like your brain is overheating. It also features internal channels to enhance airflow around your head, keeping everything cool even on the hottest of days. Suitable for the most extreme climates and humidity.

The helmet is secured using 4 connection points and holds securely in place, with no slipping forward or back as you ride. The strap is Cordura but covered in a waterproof patent leather which looks stylish.

The helmets come in two sizes – medium or large; with the insert then fitted to allow for a more ‘custom fit’ ensuring no movement. The insert is easily removed and washable to maintain hygiene.

Certification: VG1 01.040 2014-12, ASTM F 1163-13, European CE 0426 – these helmets are suitable for all competitive sports and Equestrian Australia approved.

Final thoughts

Overall this is a sleek and stylish design, which will look good for years to come. It’s lightweight and breathable providing comfort as well as supreme safety for the rider. If your budget can stretch to it, this helmet would be my #1 choice for 2018. Available in Black and Blue, Green, Red and Cream.

If you would like to see more check out the video by


ProsCons
Stylish design, sleek and not bulky. 6 colours to choose from.Top end of the price range
Certified for competition for US, Europe and Australia
Composite outer shell offering the highest levels of protection
4 connection points to hold the helmet securely in place

5 Star

 

2. Troxel Fallon Taylor Helmet – $89.95 – $99.95

Troxel have been a well respected brand for may years, and the Fallon Taylor simply reinforces their dominance in the helmet market.

This helmet has been designed with and inspired by barrel racer, Fallon Taylor. Apart from the safety factor these helmets come is a beautiful range of graphics and colours.

A mid-priced helmet the Fallon Taylor is a fashion statement for those who love to live life on the edge.

Review

This helmet features Troxel’s DialFit™ comfort system which allows for the helmet to be adjusted within the size range you purchase. This means you get the exact fit every time you wear the helmet.

I was a little wary of the dial on the back of these helmets as some other brands have very large dials which could impact the riders head in the event that the dial hit the ground first. Troxel have made theirs very low profit and the dial would be hard pressed to contact the ground before the helmet.

The helmet is a low profile design and contours to the riders head, not looking bulky at all. The helmets come in a vibrant gloss or matt finish, and the range of designs is sure to have something to please everyone.

Large mesh vents allow the helmet to breath, and the internal liner is easily removed and washable.

Certification:
All Troxel helmets are SEI / ASTM certified. To read more about Troxel’s certification process for all their helmets click here.

Final Thoughts

Overall this is a sleek and stylish design, which will look good for years to come. It’s lightweight and breathable providing comfort as well as supreme safety for the rider. Available in Black and Blue, Green, Red and Cream.

Troxel also provide an excellent helmet size guide so you get just the right fit.

ProsCons
Colourful, low profit design 5 beautiful designs to choose fromSizing runs small. Troxel do provide a size guide for correct measurements.
ASTM/SEI-certified
DialFit™ system
FlipFold™ removable washable headliner* with Air-Channel™ technology

5 Star

View Amazon

 

3. Altshuler Equestrian Helmet – $88.97

The Altshuler Helmet gets a mention not only because it is stylish, comfortable and lightweight but it comes in a bundled package with a canvas sports bag (perfect for bridles, brushes etc) and a sports cap all for the one price.

Review

This helmet is the next generation in head gear protection. The wrap around helmet protect not only your forehead but the back of your head also.

7 netted airflow vents, 4 in the front and side and a further three in the back allow plenty of airflow to keep your head cool.

Additional padding provides optimal impact absorption. The helmet is held in place with over the ear dual straps and a comfortable chin guard. No more helmet flopping everywhere and needing to take your hands of the reins to adjust.

Suitable for amateur to professional riders, the Altshuler is an excellent every day helmet. Only available in matte black the helmet is non the less very smart, and doesn’t say “look at me” if you prefer to stay out of the limelight.

The helmet is sold in a bundled package with a heavy duty canvas sports bag, ideal for carting extra horse gear like bridles, boots, and of course your helmet when travelling away. An added bonus is the baseball cap with the once again non intrusive Altshuler logo on the front.

Certification
The Altshuler Equestrian Helmet is CE VG1 standard certified.

Final Thoughts

The Altshuler is perhaps not the most stunning looking helmet but the outer shell is solid and durable. The design sits a little lower than some other helmets and provides excellent coverage of both the front and back of your head.

A great everyday riding helmet, at a great price, you can’t go wrong with this one.

ProsCons
Very durable, high quality outer shellAvailable in matte black only
CE VG1 certifiedNot the sleekest of designs
No bells and whistles to go wrong
Excellent ventilation with 7 airflow vents

    

4. Troxel Dakota Helmet – $65.95

The 2nd of our Troxel picks the Dakota is a fantastic helmet for those who love to trail ride.

With the extended visor, excellent ventilation and lightweight construction this helmet definitely lends itself to hours our on the trail.

Review

This helmet is again low profile and ultra lightweight. Perfect for many hours in the saddle, you won’t feel like you’ve even got a helmet on.

The extended length sun-visor provides excellent sun protection and also shade over your eyes protecting them from the sun also. Plus the stylish hat band looks a treat.

As with all the Troxel range this helmet also comes with the SureFit™ Pro fit system (see Fallon Taylor model above for more information). This helmet also has the FlipFold™ removable washable headliner* with Air-Channel™ technology, which in a nutshell provides excellent ventilation within the helmet, while the 7 large vents allow air to flow in for the environment.

Troxel have recently brought out a new XL size in all their helmets, and provide an excellent fitting guide to ensure you get the correct fit first time.

Certification
All Troxel helmets are SEI / ASTM certified.

Final Thoughts

Another lovely helmet from Troxel, the Dakota is just a little lighter than the Fallon Taylor and perfect for trail riding enthusiast who expect to be out for many hours on their horses. The design on the sides of the helmet are simply beautiful and a good range of muted colours (brown, black and cream) in this range from Troxel.

ProsCons
Low profile design with 3 beautiful graphics in brown, black or cream to choose fromSizing runs small. Troxel do provide a size guide for correct measurements.
ASTM/SEI-certified
DialFit™ system
FlipFold™ removable washable headliner* with Air-Channel™ technology

   

5. Tuffrider Starter Horse Riding Safety Helmet – $62.96

A good lightweight, middle of the road helmet the Tuffrider is a great helmet for everyday schooling at a great price.

Made with a durable ABS outer shell the Tuffrider provides excellent protection against impact falls. Helmets do not need to be ultra-flashy to do the job and the Tuffrider is exactly that … tough.

Review

The Tuffrider Starter helmet is lightweight, has a low profile and provides ultra-protection.

The durable ABS outer shell is safety certified, sleek and the material is super easy to keep clean so your helmet will look great for years. A little soap and water are all it takes to keep looking like new.

The vents on either side of the helmet are stainless mesh covered providing additional protection against falls. Inside the helmet the super shock absorbing EPS foam liner will provide additional shock absorption. The Coolmax liner is removable and washable so your helmet will stay clean and hygienic.

Tuffrider call their harness the YKK buckle harness closure, a reflection of the styling of the straps which provides a secure connection for the helmet.

Certification
The Tuffrider Safety Helmet meets ASTM F1163 and SEI certification.

Final Thoughts

Another excellent everyday helmet or perfectly suited to those starting out.

Don’t let the price fool you this helmet offers the same safety standards as the more expensive brands featured, and is an excellent option for those starting out and looking to keep costs down.

It so not often a cheaper helmet does what it says but the Tuffrider is an excellent example that you don’t need to pay big bucks for adequate protection.

Tuffrider say you can wear their helmet with a ponytail, so if that’s important to you then this is the helmet for you.

Customers who bought this helmet all had a common theme in their reviews, and that was this helmet was very comfortable and lightweight.

ProsCons
Low profile design with 3 beautiful graphics in brown, black or cream to choose fromSizing runs small. Troxel do provide a size guide for correct measurements.
ASTM/SEI-certified
DialFit™ system
FlipFold™ removable washable headliner* with Air-Channel™ technology

   View Amazon

 6. IRH Equi-Pro Helmet – $41.00 – $53.45

A good entry level helmet, the IRH Equi-Pro is fashionable, comfortable and economic. Suitable for women, men & children this helmet is certainly versatile.

Quite a large price range with matt black being the cheapest and a really lovely purple (shown in pic) at the top end of the price range.

International Riding Helmets (IRH) have been producing quality helmets for quite some time and this economy version still has all the safety features you would expect.

Review

IRH have their own Dial-Fit system, so a simple turn of the dial loosens or tightens the fit, maximising comfort for the rider. They boast an easy adjust system with the dial-fit, which is a great feature for children, allowing them to adjust the helmet themselves.

The Equi-pro helmet only has the front venting system, although the vents are quite large which the company says is extremely effective at moving air over the top of the head. Some reviewers sited the helmet as not providing adequate ventilation, so if you do ride in a hotter climate just be aware of this.

Inside the helmet is the cool-on-lining which is a soft, fast drying lining designed to pull moisture away from the rider’s head keeping them cool and comfortable while riding. As you would expect the lining is removable and washable.

IRH offers a 3 year accident replacement warranty; so if you do have a fall within the first three years the company will replace your helmet like for like. This is a fantastic offer and why the IRH made it into our top 6 picks for 2018. All helmets must be replaced after a fall, even if you believe the helmet has not been damaged. Hair line cracks will weaken the helmet and your safety is not worth compromising.

With this offer you can buy with confidence knowing you won’t have to pay for a replacement if the unforeseen should happen. This is a really worthwhile benefit and one which we have yet to see in any of the other helmets we reviewed.

Certification
All IRH helmets are ASTM F1163-15 and SEI certified, CE Certified to European EN 1384 Standards.

Final Thoughts

This is a great everyday helmet or perfectly suitable for those starting out. The company boast to being the oldest family in the industry, with companies coming and going at a rapid rate IRH must be being something right to be around this long.

The 3 year accident replacement warrant makes this helmet worth considering, particlarly at this lower end of the price point.

Available in matt black, navy, purple or a shiny blue, if you are not overly fussed about colour then go the matt black and save yourself some coins.

ProsCons
3 year accident replacement warrantyMinimal scope to adjust the chin strap
ASTM/SEI-certifiedSome reviews sited the helmet was too deep, and sat too low.
Suitable for entry level to intermediate riders
Dial-fit system, cool on removable lining

   View Amazon

Wrapping up

In conclusion all of these helmets are quality products and worthy of being in the best helmets of 2019 line up. All 6 meet the safety standards for their countries of origin and really when it all comes down to it, you only have one head, and protecting it as best you can is the main aim here.

#1

If we had to choose the JinStirrup Icona helmet would be our #1 pick for 2019.

The stylish low profit design is not matched by any other helmet on the market today and the use of high quality materials in construction offer the highest protection but keep the helmet as lightweight and comfortable as possible.

Available in a great range of muted colours the Icona should come in a colour to suit your theme.

#2

Our second pick of the bunch are both the Troxel helmets. This company continues to offer great designer options, while still meeting the required safety standards. Both the Fallon Taylor and the Dakota are very comfortable and stylish helmets. If you are looking for a bit of bling and to stand out in the crowd you can’t go past Troxel.

If you feel like we have missed a really great helmet, let us know in the comments below and we will do our best to review it and take a look to see if it can make it into our Best Horse Riding Helmets of 2019.

 

My Horse Handbook has an affiliate relationship with some, not all, of the companies and products that appear on this site, this includes Amazon. This means there is no additional cost to you and I receive a small commission should you buy from the link. Believe me I know horses can be expensive, I have two of my own, so please do not buy anything you do not need or can’t afford. I provide the links so you can easily find products or seek any additional information you may need.

 

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Heidi

Horses are my passion. And while not everything in horses is black and white, and there are many choices you will need to make for your horse, I hope to explain things in a way that helps you make informed decisions, so you can provide the very best life to your horse.

  • Susan says:

    Heidi,

    With so many choices this makes it difficult to chose a proper riding helmet that someone can use on a daily basis you have broken this down to make choosing a helmet even for a beginner very simply.  Your #1 recommendation Jin Stirrup Icona helmet seems the best to go with but my question would be is it a good helmet for people who ride in the woods and on rough terrain?  We love to do mountain riding and this concerns me with safety should one of us get thrown or the horse stumble causing us to fall off.  Thank you and will be awaiting your answer on this.

    Thanks,

    Susan

    • Heidi says:

      Hi Susan I would definitely go the Jin Stirrup for the rougher terrain and outdoor riding. It is an outstanding product and while you do pay a little more for it, the added protection plus the lighter weight, for trail riding it is well worth the money. 

      The industry standard is to replace your helmet every 5 years regardless of it’s use. I use to question this but knowing even how careful I am with mine and it has still been knocked of tables or the horse noses it of the post occasionally I do recommend you replace it at regular intervals even without a fall. Of course if you do come off even if your helmet looks like it’s hardly got a scratch on it do replace it, it’s just not worth the risk you may have a hairline crack through it that’s just not visible. 

      So even at the price if you only get 5 years out of a Jin Helmet and have kept your head safe I think it’s a good deal.

  • Cory Haasnoot says:

    I would go with the  Altshuler Equestrian Helmet because it looks pretty sleek and it comes with a bag. I never can get enough bags to carry around all the things I need for myself and my horse. With it being up to date with it’s protection I won’t have to worry about getting hurt while riding or having to update to a new version. The price is right as well.

    • Heidi says:

      Hi Cory yes the Altshuler is certainly one of the lower profit helmets and this is often a big selling point for people. I have a friend who events in this helmet and she absolutely loves it so if it’s good enough for her then it makes my list.

      Glad you found the review helpful and I wish you many happy hours riding in your new helmet.

  • Babsie Wagner says:

    I am always amazed at the variety of sites out there and the information you can find.  I thought when I started searching around for horse-riding helmets that I would find like Amazon or something, but I didn’t expect to find an entire website devoted to my favorite animal and accessories to go with that love.  Wow!  You really do a great job in giving me an outline of what to look for, and I just wanted to pop in and say I appreciate it.

    • Heidi says:

      So glad you found the reviews helpful Babsie. I know it can be hard trying to wade through a heap of different product reviews so I try to combine the products I use and that have been recommended to me by others. I personally love the brighter coloured helmets and as long as they meed the Standard then why not have something pretty. 

      I will do an update shortly as there are new and improved options coming out all the time. You might be interested in our Body Protector Review also.

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