Over the last few years there has been a quite a noticeable increase in helmet use at the trails. In the early to mid s it was pretty rare to see someone rocking a helmet. These days its the exact opposite. I dont think head injuries were something that was on the radar of most people back then. Mike Aitkens crash in opened a lot of peoples eyes as to the dangers of head injuries. I had just been chatting with Mike in Vegas a couple weeks beforehand and then came news that he had crashed and was fighting for his life. That was definitely a wake up call for me, and Ive been doing my best to wear my helmet ever since. Wearing a helmet was just the first step though. The next and one Ive been resisting for a long time was wearing a helmet that was designed to handle the types of impacts a bike crash can produce. With riding trails comes the inherent danger of a high speed crash from a significant height that could potentially result in a riders head impacting the ground with a shit ton of force. Even with that in the back of my head it still took another rider battling a head injury to inspire me to get my ass in gear and get a proper helmet. I knew all along that it would be a much better idea to wear a CPSC/CE certified hard foam helmet as opposed to their soft foam counterparts. Vanity always won out though over safety. The perception that I had about certified helmets was that they were bigger and nowhere near as comfortable as the classic soft foam Pro-Tec I had grown accustomed to.
Over the last several years weve seen quite a few new certified helmets hitting the market. Theyve definitely come a long way from the ones available back in the last decade. I decided to round up as many half shell certified helmets as I could and compare them all. I was personally curious as to the different options out there, and hopefully this guide will help you to be able to make an informed choice the next time you’re helmet shopping. While no helmet is guaranteed to protect a rider from every crash scenario, it can’t hurt to wear one that is better suited to protect you. Every one of the helmets that I tested meets the CPSC and CE’s safety requirements for bicycle helmets intended for riders age 5 and over.
Before we get started I do want to mention that this buyers guide isnt like the majority of ones youre used to seeing on other sites or in the magazines. To be completely honest with you, most of those are total bullshit. Theyre either done to appease current advertisers or are done to try to persuade companies on the receiving end of them to advertise. Thats not a game I play. I actually wore each and every one of these helmets during various sessions over the past year. Every review on the helmets in this buyers guide is my % brutally honest opinion! Hit the jump button to get into them!
Ill go ahead and start with the positives on this one. This is definitely one of the most comfortable helmets that I tested. The segmented EPS foam allows it to conform nicely to your head. As a result you dont get any of the weird pressure points that I encountered with some of the other helmets. With the good must come the bad, and the bad points of this helmet for me mostly pertain to the aesthetics. Its a big ass helmet! Noticeably larger than the other helmets I tested. It also has more of a spherical shape than any of the others. Several times Ive heard it likened to a bowling ball. Im being purely vain at this point but when I had it on I kind of felt like Toadstool from Mario Brothers. Had I thought about it, I could have thrown some red and white paint on there and had an easy Halloween costume. Now that I got that out of the way, Ill finish on a positive note so that I dont have to fend off Allan Cooke next time I see him. Bell does have a new helmet out called the Reflex. I checked it out at Interbike and in my opinion it looked a lot better than the Segment. It had a similar comfy fit but was quite a bit more polished in the looks department.
POC Crane Pure
POC developed the Crane Pure as a cheaper alternative to their Crane helmet. The outer shell was smoothed out a bit and it utilizes removable pads of varying thicknesses to help you dial in the fit. It features a progressive core, dual density EPS liner which Ill do my best to explain. The lower density inner layer provides ample protection for minor impacts, while the high density outer layer helps to prevent your brain from turning to mush in the event of a major impact. The two layers work in tandem to help slow down the rate of deceleration your brain experiences in one of those more serious crashes. The way that this helmet is made is more like that of a road or mountain bike helmet in that the EPS foam and the outer shell are all molded together to form one piece. The flatter back of Crane Pure gave it a bit of a different look than the other helmets that I tested. Im not saying thats a bad thing, but visually it just really didnt do it for me. My one real gripe with this helmet were the two weird pressure points that were pressed right against my temples. I found it to be super uncomfortable after just a few minutes. Who knows, maybe I just have a weird dome and those pressure points can be attributed to the particular shape of my head.
Pryme V2 Lite
Prymes V2 Lite helmet really surprised me. The first thing that I noticed when I took it out of the box was the weight (or lack there of). This is the lightest helmet out of all the ones I tested, coming in at just 10 ounces. Weight is something I never even considered when thinking about helmets until I checked this one out. It was kind of a shock putting it on for first time because it felt like it wasnt even there. That was partially due to it being so light but also because of how well it fit. There were no pressure points or anything weird like that going on. Had the test helmet not have been bright silver, this is more than likely the helmet you would have seen me wearing most of last season. Dans has these right now for an absolute steal of just $!
Pro-Tec Classic Certified
I feel Pro-Tecs Classic non-certified helmet is the shape and fit that all skate style helmets are measured against. Their Classic Certified takes the helmet weve grown to love and updates it with EPS foam to meet CPSC/CE certified standards. I think they had to increase the size of the shell slightly to do so though, as it was a tad larger than the shell of the old non-certified Pro-Tec that I had laying around. I unfortunately have to say that I was a bit let down as far as comfort went with this one. It honestly reminded me of all the reasons why people have been resistant to make the switch to certified helmets. Its super stiff, puts uncomfortable pressure on several parts of your head, and doesnt sit as low as what weve come to expect from the non-certified version of Pro-Tecs Classic helmet. On a positive note, the one they sent me to test does glow in the dark.
S1s Lifer helmet ticks all the boxes that a good helmet should. It looks good, fits well, and has anti-microbial moisture wicking pads to help keep your sweat under control. It fits low on the head which is reminiscent of how non-certified helmets fit. While I did like the low fit, I do feel they could have made the cuts for the ears come up a little higher. I found my ears getting squished down a bit while wearing the Lifer. Not really a big deal but definitely worth mentioning.
Triple Eight Brainsaver Dual Certified
Initially I really liked Triple Eights Brainsaver Dual Certified Helmet. It had it going on in both the looks and fit departments, and really what more can you ask for? After wearing it a few times I started to notice that I was wearing it improperly. Id put it on like any other helmet but that would result in the front sitting too high up on my forehead. It almost seems to me like they need bring the front of the Brainsaver down a bit so that it will cover more of your forehead. I also noticed that Triple Eight had placed a sticker on the inside of the helmet showing the correct and incorrect way to wear the helmet. The correct being low on the forehead. Maybe they felt the need to add that after noticing the natural way people tend to wear this helmet causes it to be worn in an improper fashion that doesnt offer the protection that it should.
Nothing really stood out as particularly great or terrible with TSGs Evolution helmet. Its kind of just middle of the road among the group of helmets that I looked at. Its just ok in the looks department. It is kind of on the bigger side but not so big that its a turn off. Ill compare it to a girl whos just in the beginning stages of letting herself go. It could be a bit slimmer, but its not too big to be seen out in public with. Its also kind of middle of the road as far as the fit. Its not that its uncomfortable but its definitely not as comfy as some of the other helmets I tested. One cool (pun intended) feature that it has are TSGs Air Flow Channels that help keep your head cool by allowing air to pass in through the helmets front vents and exit through the ones on the top and in the rear.
TSGs Kraken helmet utilizes a series of EPS foam segments held together with a reinforcing skeleton that is very similar to what is found in the Bell Segment. Dont quote me on this but I think that TSG may have actually been the first to come out with this system. According to their site they introduced it in , which I do believe is a bit before Bell came out with the Segment. None of that really matters to me or you though. What does matter is how it looks and fits. I think with the segmented foam system comes the need for a helmet with a larger shell because the Kraken is also big like the Bell. It doesnt have the bowling ball shape though as TSG elongated it from front to back a bit more. Technically its bigger than the Bell but visually it doesnt look to be. It also shares a fit that is very much like that of the Bell. The segmented foam lets it comfortably contour around you head eliminating any pressure points. The Kraken was by far the heaviest helmet I tested, with a weight of 18 ounces. The weight was pretty noticeable after wearing some of the other helmets. I mean its literally half a pound heavier than the two lightweights of the group. Pretty crazy when you think about it!
Wrapping things up is the Superlight by TSG. As the name suggest, this thing is super light, coming in at just ounces. It features an in-mold construction that helps keep the weight down by fusing an outer polycarbonate shell with the helmets impact absorbing foam layer. This ended up being my favorite helmet out of all the ones I tested. I appreciate that TSG didnt try to do anything weird with the shape of the shell. It has the classic skate-style helmet look that weve grown accustomed to. It fits snug and evenly with no pressure points. That combined with how light weight it is makes it a helmet thats easy to forget that you have on. It has the same Air Flow Channels found in TSGs Evolution helmet that really help to to keep your head cool. They were definitely appreciated on some of those hot days back in August. Like I said, this ended up being my favorite helmet out of the bunch. It didnt take long for the Superlight to transition from a test helmet into the one that I wore every day. A crash on the final session of the year put it out of commission, but it did its job and I was able to walk away relatively unscathed after landing on my head. Ill definitely be ordering up another one here pretty soon to replace it.
Watch This: Certified Versus Non Certified Helmet Impact Testing
The non-certified helmet being tested is an extremely popular helmet amongst the skatepark and BMX set. Heck, many of my close friends, riding buddies, and loved ones choose to wear the non-certified Bucky Lasek Classic ProTec helmet shown in the video. Many of my other riding buddies also wear non-certified but retro cool helmets and the bottom line is they aren’t safe.
My friends at the local BMX shop tell me these helmets are extremely popular amongst kids because they’re comfortable. The store stocks these helmets because even the kids who wouldn’t normally wear helmets will wear one. Personally, I don’t buy the “more comfortable” excuse. I’ve tried the non-certified helmet shown in the video and have or have owned several which can compete in price and comfort while offering real protection. My favorite is the Giro Section.
Perhaps the real reason these helmets are so popular is because they’ve become widely accepted at the local street spots and skateparks. A quick search of Dans Comp, the most popular online BMX store, has these helmets listed and describes them as:
“Skatepark helmets are not intended for street use. Skatepark helmets are not certified or meet safety standards. Skate helmets are designed for comfort and feel.”
So please go buy your children, loved ones, or yourself a real helmet. For more, check out the non-profit Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute’s annual review of helmets.
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Certified Vs. Non-Certified Helmets | The Vault Pro Scooters
Certified Vs. Non-Certified Helmets | The Vault Pro Scooters
For those of you brand new freestyle scooter enthusiasts and freestyle scooter
enthusiast parents alike, who are interested in investing in the proper safety
equipment for either yourself or your children, it is always important to do your
homework before making a purchase as important as this one. No body wants to get
out there and start riding their scooter, only to find out that they purchased the
wrong safety equipment, which is precisely why we at The Vault Pro Scooters want
to give each and every single one of you a proper education on the difference
between CPSC-certified and non-certified helmets, so that you or your child can go
to the skate park feeling confident that your safety equipment is up to standard, and
will get the job done. One thing that I am sure the vast majority of you already know
is helmets come in all sorts of different brands, shapes, sizes, and colors, which can
make the entire purchasing process even more difficult. However, all of those
factors can essentially be ignored, so long as you are making sure that the helmets
are CPSC-certified. The basic difference between a CPSC-certified helmet as opposed
to a non-certified helmet is the extra foam padding that is provided in the CPSC-
certified helmets, which may not seem like a significant factor when it comes to
hitting your head on the ground, but I assure you that it will make a world of
Although non-certified helmets still provide a basic level of protection to the user,
the small difference in the amount of padding in your helmet could mean the
difference between a serious injury and walking away with out a scratch on your
head, and letês face it, no body wants a fun day at the skate park to turn into a
terrible day at the emergency room. Picking out a cool looking helmet that fits well
and comes in your all time favorite color is all well and good, but if it is not CPSC-
certified than I am afraid that it just wont get the job done. A few examples of CPSC-
certified helmet brands that are currently available at The Vault Pro Scooters
include any and all Nutcase brand helmets, along with the brand new CPSC-certified
Pro-Tec Fullcut helmets. If you are ever uncertain of whether or not a certain is
CPSC-certified or non-certified than make sure to do all of your research on that
particular product before making your purchase. Anyway, now that you have been
thoroughly educated on the difference between certified and non-certified helmets, I
think that it is safe to say that you are ready to go out and purchase a helmet of your
very own, so that you can get back to shredding as soon as possible. Donêt forget to
stay tuned right here at The Vault Pro Scooters for more awesome freestyle scooter
related product information and updates, along with any and all other freestyle
scooter related news, content, and more.
CHECK OUT SOME OF OUR HELMETS HERE
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