Safest equestrian helmets

What are the safest equestrian helmets?

If you are unlucky to find yourself in an accident, the right choice of equestrian helmet may prevent a concussion. The test also shows that the price is irrelevant in choosing a helmet as one of the most expensive helmets was among the worst performing ones.

The Swedish insurance company Folksam has independently tested 15 riding helmets for children and adults available on the Swedish market and the test shows that only three out of fifteen helmets obtained the Folksam best in test or good choice label.

See the full list of the Folksam test here »

Safe riding helmets
Safest equestrian helmets 2020

The Swedish insurance company Folksam has independently tested 15 riding helmets for children and adults available on the Swedish market and the test shows that only three out of fifteen helmets obtained the Folksam best in test or good choice label. If you are unlucky to find yourself in an accident, the right choice of equestrian helmet may prevent a concussion. The test also shows that the price is irrelevant in choosing a helmet as one of the most expensive helmets was among the worst performing ones.

The Swedish insurance company Folksam has independently tested 15 riding helmets for children and adults available on the Swedish market and the test shows that only three out of fifteen helmets obtained the Folksam best in test or good choice label. If you are unlucky to find yourself in an accident, the right choice of equestrian helmet may prevent a concussion. The test also shows that the price is irrelevant in choosing a helmet as one of the most expensive helmets was among the worst performing ones.

– ” Approximately half a million Swedes ride on a regular basis. It is the second largest sport among young people according to The Swedish Sports Confederation. Among the 154.000 members of the Swedish Equestrian Federation about five riders sustain head injuries each week. One out of nine who sustained a concussion must deal with permanent medical impairments . Given these numbers it is very regrettable that so few helmets actually protect the riders against concussions. The manufacturers of equestrian helmets should take a larger responsibility in improving the protection.”, says Helena Stigson PhD and Associate Professor at the Folksam research team.

This is the second time that Folksam is conducting a test of equestrian helmets. Since the last test from 2014 the helmets have improved but there are still big flaws. The test shows that there is significant differences between the helmets and the risk of sustaining a concussion is two to five times higher if one of the lowest scoring helmets are used compared to the best one.

– “We can tell by the test that there is great potential for improvement to make the helmets safer. The two top scoring helmets were equipped with rotational motion protection system (MIPS), but all equestrian helmets needs to be better at reducing rotational forces to avoid concussions or even more serious brain damage”, says Stigson.

The major difference between a good and a poor helmet is how well it protects the head during oblique impact. Today there are no legal requirements on the equestrian helmet manufacturers to prevent rotational forces. Only vertical impacts are tested to show how well the helmets can prevent skull fractures. This is in spite of a lot of research showing that rotational forces create brain damages. In the Folksam test the helmets are subjected to impacts at an angle, which closer simulate the actual forces during an accident compared to the vertical tests performed required by current legislation.

– “For us it comes very natural to engage in helmet tests since a poor helmet could have serious consequences for the users. We think it is very unfortunate that there are no legal demands on testing how well helmets can protect for oblique impacts which better simulates how a rider will hit the head during an impact. To avoid that helmets are sold without any protection against rotational motion, testing for oblique impacts should also be included in the European certification tests”, says Stigson.

It is very important to point out that it is always better with any helmet than without one. Research clearly shows that a helmet will reduce the number of head injuries by 50%.” Stigson