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How to Choose an ATV Helmet

How to Choose an ATV Helmet

An all-terrain vehicle is a fun way to test your riding skills and take on new terrains. While it is definitely a lot of fun to ride, an ATV can also be rather dangerous, especially if you aren’t wearing the right helmet. Here are a few tips on how to choose an ATV helmet so you are ready to ride without worry.

  1. Always buy new, never used: The most important type in how to choose an ATV helmet is to always buy new rather than used. The main job of the helmet is to protect your head from potentially fatal impacts and if the helmet is used, you have no way of knowing if it has been involved in another impact. With a helmet, each impact weakens the integrity and therefore the overall safety the helmet provides. With a new helmet, you can rest assured that it hasn’t faced any impacts to weaken the integrity or safety. It is also better to buy new because it will last you longer and its cleaner. Think about when you are out riding your ATV and how dirty you get or how much you sweat. Do you really want to wear some stranger’s sweat?

  2. Check the safety certifications: When choosing the right helmet for you, it is crucial to look at the safety certifications. There are several notable ratings/certifications on the market, and it can get confusing for the first time helmet buyer. The three main choices are DOT, Snell, and ECE 22.05 when it comes to safety standards. These standards all test for roughly the same things such as impact resistance and visibility safety. DOT and ECE 22.05 are ideal for ATV riders while Snell is also pretty standard but seen more in the dirt bike racing realm since it’s tested for flame resistance. When choosing between the three, they are all good certifications and attest to the safety of the helmet so no matter which one you choose, you are the winner in the end. If you find a helmet on sale without these certifications, move along for the sake of your safety. There are plenty of affordable options on the market carrying at least one of these safety standards so there is no reason to skimp on safety.

  3. Get the right fit: The matter of fit is crucial in getting the right helmet for your needs. The helmet should be snug and fit close to the head without impeding the ability to move your face around inside the helmet. It should be snug but not so snug you feel uncomfortable to put it on or wear. You should also make sure it isn’t too big because that would leave too much space between your head and the helmet. In an event of an accident, a too big helmet would leave the rider more vulnerable to brain and skull injuries.

    In order to find the perfect fit, measure your head at the largest part of the skull which is usually above the eyebrows. You can then convert to a hat size and use that as the guideline when choosing the helmet size.

  4. Consider the style: ATV helmets come in more than one style. We aren’t talking colors or cool graphics. Style refers to the overall design with two main options available: full face and open face. A full face helmet is the more common option for ATV riding as it offers more protection. This helmet covers the head and face usually including a mouth shield you can open and close. An open face helmet is more commonly seen on motorcycles but can also be used in ATV riding. Open face helmets cover the head and back of the head while leaving the chin exposed. Open face offers less protection, but some riders prefer it for summer riding when it gets hot outside.

  5. Buy the right age helmet: ATV riding is for the whole family nowadays. There are teen and kid-friendly models on the market and many parents enjoy teaching their child how to ride safely. While you want to follow all the same rules here regarding finding the right fit, there are helmet manufacturers offering helmets marked for the younger rider. For instance, Snell offers certified helmets with ratings such as CMS (Children’s Motorsports Standard) and CMR (Children’s Motorsports Restricted) for the younger rider.

  6. Replace it after an impact: Finding the right helmet is important, but so is knowing when to replace it. A helmet should be replaced after a significant impact or several smaller impacts. Many people think that if the helmet isn’t noticeably broken, then it is okay to keep wearing it. It’s important to keep in mind that just because you don’t have cracks in the surface of the helmet, it doesn’t mean the integrity is still intact after an impact. It is best to replace your helmet after an impact even if the helmet isn’t showing cracks or signs of damage.

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