Helmet Fit: Protect Your Melon

9 Aug
Wearing a helmet is so very important.  Finding a helmet that fits properly is just as important. Safety should never be an area that you mess with. So, we want to help you figure out how to determine if the helmet fits!! Different styles of helmets, even within the same brand, can be shaped to fit different sized heads. The two most common shapes are oval and round. We recommend trying on a few different brands and models to find what fits your head the best. If you can’t do that, let’s go over a few basics to help you know when you have found your helmet soul mate!

Head Shape

Let’s start by determining the shape of your head!! If you don’t have your head shape figured out then you are going to have a rough time finding a helmet that fits!! There are two basic head shapes, round and oval. So let’s start there!!


An oval head shape means that your head is longer front to back and a bit more narrow from side to side. A good rule of thumb to determine if the helmet fits is to check and see if there is space on the sides of the helmet above your ears, it is probably too round for you and you need to go with a more oval shape.




Having a round head means that your head is pretty similar is length and width giving it a shape closer to a perfect circle. Now, there’s a very small chance that your head is perfectly round but if you try on a helmet and there is space between your forehead and the helmet it is probably too much of an oval shape for you.


Too Big? Too Small?  Just Right?

Ok!!  Let’s talk about whether the helmet actually fits or not!!

Too Small!

You want your helmet to snug to your head. However, if a helmet is snug but is sitting more on top of the head instead of sitting down on the head and cupping your skull it is too small.

This helmet is too small and is propping on this rider’s head.

This helmet is too small and is propping on this rider’s head.

Too BIG!!

If the helmet is too big your melon is going to bounce around in there and that is a no go! If the helmet is too big you will notice it “wobbling” around on your head. It will slide around easily, and you will notice the harness sticks out away from your cheeks. The helmet will be too low on your forehead. You can tell by how it is too big if it touches your eyebrows instead of sitting just above them.

Too Big

This helmet is too big and wobbles around on the rider’s head.

Just Right!!

Ok, so you think you have found your helmet soulmate!  Awesome, but let’s make sure it checks all the boxes!!

When a helmet fits it should be quite snug, so that even if you bend over it will not slide off of your head. A good rule to follow is that the helmet should sit comfortably about an inch above your eyebrows.

If you gently rock the brim or front of the helmet up and down, it should gently move the eyebrows and forehead. Rocking the helmet from side to or shaking your head “no” should not cause the helmet to slide.

Good Fit

This helmet fits nicely. It rests comfortably just above the eyebrows and is level from front to back. The chin strap is snug, and the harness fits nicely around the rider’s ears.

The straps on the side of the helmet should meet just below your ears, and the chinstrap should be snug but not too tight. Many times riders will have their chinstraps dangling below their chins, but this does nothing to keep the helmet on your head and compromises the safety your helmet is supposed to provide.

Loose Chinstrap

This chin strap is too loose and will not keep the helmet securely on this rider’s head.

What Size Do I Choose?!

Helmet sizing corresponds to the measurement of the circumference of your head measured at its widest point. To measure your head, use a flexible measuring tape and wrap it around your melon about an inch above your eyebrows. Heads up! Make sure the measuring tape is laying flat to get an accurate measurement .

Sizing can vary from helmet to helmet so be sure to check each manufacturers’ size charts! 

helmet sizing

An example of a general sizing chart.  Reference each brand’s size chart for the most accurate information to the helmet you are trying on!

Need Some Customization?

There are brands that come with interchangeable liners that can help to alter the shape or fit of a more generically-built helmet to suit your head. This can be really convenient if you’re having a hard time finding a helmet to commit to.  It also comes in pretty handy when you want to take your liner out to give it a good wash. It can get stinky in there.

Whether your liner comes out or not a good hat cleaner and hat deordorizer is always a good option to keep things from smelling funky in there.

We really like the hat cleaner and deodorizer duo from Charles Owen. The cleaner will keep your helmet squeaky by digesting any dirt, sweat or grease from the inside of your helmet, ensuring it remains clean and pleasant to wear.  Add a spritz of the Charles Owen Deodorizer to help keep your riding helmet smelling fresh as flowers in between washes. The deodorizer kills odors and bacteria in the lining and leaves a pleasant citrus fragrance. Citrus is a much better smell then the old sweaty helmet funk smell…I know you know what I’m talking about.

No worries, we didn’t forget about the interchangeable liners! We have some helmet recommendations for you that incorporate those really convenient liner systems!

One K offers a few helmets that come with the interchangeable liners making it convenient to fit! It also has some other really great features that are made to appeal to those seeking everything a helmet could possibly offer, wrapped in a package that traditionalists can appreciate. One K has the best of both worlds!onekdefenderhlmt

The Defender series comes in a multitude of styles including the Defender, Defender Suede and the Defender Bling which features hand placed crystals to add a little sparkle to your attire.

The Defender series all feature:

  • Polycarbonate and advanced ABS composite outer shell
  • Injection molded shell design
  • washable, quick dry, moisture wicking, anti-microbial liner (Yessss!)
  • Stainless steel mesh
  • Comfort padded harness with synthetic suede lining, hook and loop adjustment and Fastex buckle
  • Two side, two front, one back and two center stripe vents


The KEP Italia from Fabiano Mitchell is another great helmet with the interchangeable liner system!

KEPhelmetThe KEP Italia Cromo Riding Helmet and the KEP Smart Riding Helmet are a part of a leading brand for technology, safety, design and comfort for equestrian helmets. The superior quality of KEP Italia’s products is endorsed by champions of each discipline and certified by FIVE International Safety Organizations: CE VG1 01.040 2014-12, SEI/ASTM: F1163, KITE MARK, IC MARK EN1384, PAS015: 2011 KITE MARK.

KEP Italia helmets are designed and manufactured in Italy with special attention to detail to keep the rider’s head safe and cool all while looking great for schooling or showing.

The harness strap is made entirely of soft and washable anti-allergy artificial leather. The strap has 5 connection points to provide the helmet with greater stability. The safety rivets (Nichol free) are applied using a particular and specific system to avoid the direct contact with the skin.

The removable internal padding features Coolmax for optimum comfort and maximum breathability. KEP helmets also feature a flexible visor to prevent breakage in the event of a fall.

Still not getting that perfect fit? Getting some fitting tape is another great option for some customization for any helmet!!  There is not a helmet out there that is going to fit your head to 100% absolute perfection. If you have found a helmet that is as close as you can get give us a call and we can send you some fit tape to help you customize that helmet! 1-800-506-5344!

The Hair…what about the hair?

Whether you wear your hair tucked up into your helmet or not is a personal choice, but it can affect the fit of your helmet. You should try on and select your helmet based on how you typically wear your hair when you ride.

We recommend wearing a hair net to help your hair fit neatly into your helmet and give you a polished look!

We won’t let you leave without some good recommendations on hair nets we love!

onenkotThe “One Knot Hairnet” was designed so that the one knot can be tied to the back with their matching hair band, leaving “no knot” on the riders forehead. This design makes it more comfortable once the riding helmet is put on.


RWR No Knot require no pins and no knots! YAY!! That is going to make everything under your helmet so much more comfortable. Oh, and did I mention really, really, really easy?? Simply pull on and pull up and your done!RWR hair net

There you have it!! Now, you are a helmet fit expert!! However, if you do have any additional questions about helmet fit we would love to hear from you. For a full selection of helmets to keep you safe, to fit your head and to fit your riding style visit www.vtosaddlery.com. Better yet, we would LOVE to see you in the store to help fit you for your helmet! Visit our in store location at 115 Miller Street Broadway, Virginia 22815! Safety first!  Always wear your helmet!

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