How to Choose the Safest Motorsports Helmet
Few other experiences come close to the thrill of motorsports but, it should also be acknowledged that without the proper safety gear, partaking in it can be highly dangerous. Accidents can happen at any time, often when we least expect it.
Investing in quality safety gear is essential to keeping yourself shielded from any harm that may come your way. The important component of your safety gear is the helmet. In this article, we’ll be guiding you on what to look for when choosing the safest motorsports helmet.
The first factor to look into is the style of the helmet. Common types for motorsports include Full Face, Open Face, and Half-face. When selecting for safety, always opt for a helmet that provides your head and neck with the maximum coverage, which is obviously going to be a Full-Face helmet.
Quite a few individuals choose to drive wearing their motorcycle helmet, but that is not recommended. There are some key differences between a car racing helmet and a motorcycle one. Car racing helmets are designed to be much more fire-proof, given the risk of catching fire is higher in car accidents, and includes threaded inserts to connect with the HANS (Head and Neck Safety) Device.
There are several standards for motorsports helmets safety homologation, but particularly two that hold the most authority are from Snell Memorial Foundation and FIA (Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile).
This is a US-based safety homologation authority. They are noted for going above and beyond the minimum criteria set for safety to thoroughly test helmets. Snell approved motorsports helmets will bear the label ‘SA’ followed by their introduced standard year, e.g., SA 2015 or SA 2020.
Historically, the FIA used different standards from other organizations for homologation but had since rolled out their own testing standards. FIA standard labels currently valid for motorsports helmets are as follows:
The least strict standard and the minimum a helmet must meet to qualify in safety for use competitive motorsports.
A far stricter ‘super helmet’ standard and probably the most rigorous on the planet. Helmets bearing this label are used in top league professional racing events such as the Le Mans and Formula 1. Naturally, such helmets tend to command a very high price tag.
A recently introduced new ‘benchmark’ motorsports helmet standard, it additionally tests for safety against impacts from projectiles.
One last important aspect is fitting. It is not just size you should account for but also head shape. Helmets from one brand may fit an oval shape head better while one from another brand may fit a round header better. Only by trying a few different ones yourself will you get a good understanding of what will fit you best.
Top 3 Safest Affordable Motorsports Helmet
Featuring a durable high-pressure molded carbon shell, this helmet manages to be both lightweight and ultra-tough. With its advanced ‘Venturi’ airflow system, it boasts plenty of breathability while keeping dust, water, and smoke from penetrating into the helmet. Its multi-layered custom bead line aids with both low and high-velocity impact protection.
The helmet is able to fit snuggly for a variety of different head shapes and features design elements meant to wick away moisture and eliminate fogging.
Weight: 4.76 lbs.
Homologation: Snell SA2015, FIA 8859-2015
Made from carbon/Kevlar composite, the GT5 GT0 is a surprising ultra-lightweight, featuring the smallest shell but still manages to be super durable. The helmet delivers exceptional comfort, with a multi-density interior form-fitting and a sophisticated ventilation system to enhance airflow and reduce heat and humidity. Its other notable highlights include its noise-attenuating ear muffs and a new, innovative visor locking system.
Homologation: Snell SA2020, FIA 8859-2015
Packing plenty of both style and substance, the Bell RS7features everything that you would want from a dependable motorsports helmet. It will provide an ultra-plush comfortable fit around your head and is designed to enhance airflow while at the same time keeping heat, humidity, noise, and dust at bay. If you want a safe motorsport helmet on a budget, this helmet should definitely be considered.
Weight: 3.5 lbs.
Homologation: Snell SA2020, FIA 8859-2015