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
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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!