For some, the proper helmet to wear when riding their ATVs/UTVs would be a black one. For others, it might be a helmet with a camo pattern to match their clothes and their ride. Still others would only consider buying a helmet if it is pink.
They would all be wrong.
The proper helmet to wear when riding an ATV/UTV (or bicycle or motorcycle for that matter) is the helmet that fits properly — without exception — no matter the color or style. Helmets that fit poorly do you little good when it comes to protecting your noggin.
How do you pick a properly fitting helmet? Picking one is pretty easy, really.
First, you have to measure your head. The best way to do that is to get one of those cloth seamstress tape measures — for guys, it’s like one that your mother used to measure your inseam each year when it was time to buy new school clothes.
You measure the largest part of your head — that would be around your forehead, about the width of two fingers above your eyebrows. Make sure the tape goes above your ears.
Do this three times to make sure you get the measurement right. If you get three different measurements, have a friend help you. If the tape measure also measures in centimeters, be sure and write down that number, too. That’s because a lot of helmets are manufactured offshore and the measurements there are not in inches. This is a starting point. Remember, this measurement alone is not usually enough to pick a properly fitting helmet, but it is a good start.
Second, start trying on helmets. You’ll find they all fit differently, even if they are the same size. That’s because your head and mine are not shaped the same. Find a helmet that fits your head shape. Try on different sizes to see what fits and feels good on your head. Push up and down on the helmet, it should fit snuggly against your head, the cheek pads should touch your cheeks and there shouldn’t be any gaps between the helmet and your temples — otherwise it won’t protect you in case of a crash.
All of this is somewhat time consuming, but it is for a good cause — keeping your brains inside your skull should you ever have an accident! With that in mind, most folks agree it’s worth the time to find the right fit.
Once you find the right fit, the rest is easy and fun. Pick a style you like and a color that matches anything you want it to match. The color choices and exterior designs are endless in today’s market.
But the best fitting helmet won’t do you any good if you don’t wear it. As a doctor friend of mine once told me, “I can fix broken arms and legs, but a broken noggin is really hard to ever make right again.”
Any part of that you don’t understand? I didn’t think so!
Shop The Sportsman’s Guide for an assortment of ATV/UV Helmets and Goggles!
Tony Dolle has been writing about and working in the outdoor, entertainment and manufacturing industries for the past 35 years as a journalist, marketing, public and media relations professional and as a resource user (hunting, angling, cycling, sailing, photography to name just a few). He’s been nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for his work as a news reporter, has been president of several national, regional and state professional media organizations and has worked tirelessly to promote the conservation of the nation’s natural resources. He is Executive Vice President of Windward Communications — a company that specializes in successfully changing the marketing status quo for businesses. He can be reached via e-mail at email@example.com.