Horse Life, Reviews

It’s Helmet Time!

All the helmets arrived last week, and after them sitting on my dining room table, I finally got around to trying them on.



My needs were simple:

  • Removable/washable liner
  • Ventilation
  • Fit my Cambox
  • Not make me look like a complete idiot.

That last one was probably the toughest criterion. I have a long, oval face and my head is a bit on the small side, so hats/helmets tend to make me look very mushroomy.


And I’m not nearly as cute as Toad


I ordered the following from SmartPak during their International Helmet Awareness sale:

  • OneK Regular; Reg: $206.95/Sale: $165.56
  • OneK Long Oval; Reg: $206.95/Sale: $165.56
  • 2 Miss Shields in 2 different sizes; Reg: $499/Sale: $449.10
  • Samshield Shadow Matte; Reg: $439/Sale: $395.10
  • 2 Charles Owen Pro IIs in 2 different sizes; Reg: $219.95/Sale: $175.96

First I tried on the CO XC helmets but couldn’t even get them on my head. My CO AYR8 is a size 7, but the tape measure determined that was a lie (which turned out to be a lie. Keep up). So I ordered the 6 5/8 and 6 3/4 and both were too small. Oh well. I had just ordered those on a whim as a possible XC helmet, but neither met the ventilation/removable liner criteria anyway.

Charles Owen Pro II:


Then I went to the Miss Shield.

I wanted to like this one because it’s supposed to have excellent ventilation, plus the built-in sun visor is cool. Unfortunately, my face shape is NOT conducive to the Miss Shield.

H12 YyIPQDsj


Samshield Miss Shield:


Then it was the OneK in Long Oval. This version is supposed to be MADE for people like me, as it’s a little longer and more narrower than the regular.


Uh. No. It felt like it sat a bit too high and was more perched on my head than anything else.

Now I was starting to get a little bit desperate, as there were only 2 boxes left.


OneK vs Samshield: the final showdown. Can Samshield, the odds on favorite take the win?

So I tried on the regular OneK and I swear angels sang. It felt snug, but not tight, and it was comfortable. It felt RIGHT.

H5 OneK.jpg

But I wasn’t about to declare my eternal love just yet, because I’d saved the best for last, the Samshield. I’ve probably used their configurator a dozen times and just knew this one was going to be perfect.




Hard nope on that. It just looked plain weird. It fit ok, but I sort of look like I NEED to be wearing the helmet, like for medical reasons,  vs the fact that I WANT to wear a helmet. A little disappointing, but it is what it is.

I mean, it even came with these VERY helpful instructions.


Turns out you’re NOT supposed to hold the chinstrap together in your mouth. Who the hell even KNEW THIS? Why didn’t someone tell me?


Samshield Shadow Matte:


So I went back to the OneK to try to find something wrong with it, because that’s what I do.

Con: It seems to attract fingerprints that don’t just wipe right off. This is from putting it on and taking it off once.


I had to use dish soap and water to make it clean again. So that’s a little annoying.


Con: The Cambox fits, but just barely. With my CO, it was a bit more inconspicuous, now it’s pretty in your face like, “HEY I MIGHT BE TAPING YOU AT ANY MOMENT SO WATCH YO’SELF.”


Pro: there are a ton of vents and the helmet has a lot of good reviews in regards to ventilation.

Pro: the liner is removable!

You can also order a spare one to always have on hand, or to help size the helmet, which I found a bit weird at first. Where most helmet manufacturers use exact sizing (6 5/8, 6 7/8, 7, 7 3/4, etc), OneK has 3 “shells” in medium, large and x-large. Which means that you can change the liner if their helmets don’t come in your size.  For example, if you have a tiny head, you can get an x-small or small liner to change the fit of the medium shell, and so on and so on. It’s a cool concept, and I’ll probably end up buying a liner for Child #1, since his old helmet is way too small but he doesn’t ride enough to make purchasing another one worth it.

To make sure I didn’t get a headache, I hung out with the helmet on for about 1/2 hour watching TV. Kaiser didn’t care because #couchislife


But Adele was a bit more concerned:

The final test is to ride in it, which will happen tonight, but so far it appears the OneK Defender is the winner!



31 thoughts on “It’s Helmet Time!”

  1. i have the oneK suede defender with the sunglasses and love it i often forget i still have it on when packing trailer up and always go oh yeah i need to remove this. That is a good sales point FORGETTING IT IS ON YOUR HEAD HA. It is pretty cool (airy not fashion statement) too….i love it. I dont have the finger print issue but i do have to worry about it getting dirty (it was a sale item on Tack of the day a few years back) so i just bought a cheap cover. It does the job. So i suggest if all the other boxes tick just get yourself a cover.

    I honestly look like a moron in all helmets. I always envy people who look okay in them. Love your photos added to enhance what you look like LOL…especially Toad 🙂

    PS that is a lot of helmets to have only ONE tick possible. HA HA HA

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Right?! There are so many people that just walk around with their helmets on and look great. As soon as I’m done riding, I always take it off because #bobblehead.

      Good to know the vents work! I was dying in the CO all summer.

      I thought for sure I’d end up with more than ONE helmet fitting me. Alas, not to be so. Just goes to show how weird my head is. I was getting worried at the end that none would fit!


  2. I love how those One Ks look on everyone–such a classy looking helmet! That last Samshield looks like a German soldier helmet, and LOL so many jokes can be made there.


  3. I had a Samshield and after a fall, replaced it with my OneK, which is now nearly 2 years old. I use it EVERY time I ride including shows or schooling in the rain. The Samshield was super ventilated, which was nice, but now I realize was more shallow on me than my OneK and not in a good way. Next year, I might have to invest in a OneK skull cap 🙂


  4. good luck with the test ride! helmets are one of those things that are so individual. i love my one K defender tho and expect to get another when it’s time to replace!


  5. Angels sang with the One K when I was looking for helmets a few years ago. There’s something about it. It doesn’t sing for everyone but when it does… it’s love. Also I have a CO XC helmet that I gots fitted at last year’s AEC’s. Whoever sold it to me was really helpful and went through all the XC helmets with me and explained why one fits and the other doesn’t. Unfortunately the CO XC helmets didn’t fit consistently within the same size so it would be really hard to just buy one without trying it. I ended up with the Pro Jockey (I think?) which of course had the least amount of vents in it and I had to get it a size bigger than my “normal” size. But the angels sang and I bought it. And I Love it. So there’s a chance you’ll find a XC helmet if you want one! It just might not be the size you’d expect 🙂


    1. Yeah, I’ll take whatever fits! I definitely don’t need an XC helmet in the slightest. But with the mega sale figured what was the harm in seeing how they fit. I probably wouldn’t have kept it anyway though, because after trying all these cleaners and helmet deodorizer for the AYR8 I just need something I can throw in my washing machine!


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