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With so many options available, figuring out how to choose an ATV helmet can be tricky. Fortunately, we’ve got some thoughts to help you decide on the right ATV helmet for you.

Whether you call it a skid lid, a brain bucket or a hard hat, an ATV helmet is one of the most important pieces of safety gear you should own. The only thing that should come before it is common sense, which would tell you to wear a helmet. If you want to know how to choose an ATV helmet, is really pretty easy as long as you know the basics of what to look for.

Minimum Standards

Any helmet you should consider should have the minimum safety standards, marked with a DOT-Certified sticker on the back. DOT, or Department Of Transportation, means it meets the minimum requirements of safety to keep your melon intact should you happen to suddenly meet up with the ground, or other hard object in an unexpected manner. If your ATV helmet doesn’t at least meet these standards, don’t use it. Get one that does.

Fit

One of the big considerations when deciding how to choose an ATV helmet is fit. Find your size by measuring the circumference of your head one-inch above your eyebrows and around the largest part of your skull. Once you get that number, convert it to a standard hat size and then determine which ATV helmet size you need. The helmet should fit snug, but not hurt. You should not be able to feel the helmet slide around or wiggle when you move your head.

Style

There are several styles of ATV helmets to choose from. The most common is the motocross full-face helmet. These have a chinbar that comes across the front of your face to protect it from impacts. Open face helmets cover the rear of the head, but do not provide any level of protection for the face area. There are also full-face helmets designed for street motorcycle use. These have a fully-enclosed face with a flip-down shield for the eyes. Any helmet is better than no helmet as long as it is certified, so pick the style of ATV helmet you like best and wear it.

Price

When it comes to deciding how to choose an ATV helmet, you don’t have to spend a fortune. There are many ATV helmets that fill any budget. However, there is an old saying – if you have a $10 head, wear a $10 helmet. The more you spend, the more protection and ventilation you have, usually with a noticeable weight savings as well, as higher-end ATV helmets are made from space-age materials like Kevlar and Carbon Fiber. Set your budget when choosing an ATV helmet and find the right one. The same applies for kids’ helmets.

New – Always new.

Never, ever buy a used helmet. Helmets, regardless of how much they cost, are designed for one impact. The foam material inside the shell is designed to crush and disperse that impact, and it only works once. But that one time is enough to save your life. You can never be 100% sure that a used helmet has never been involved in an incident, so don’t risk it to save a few bucks. And if you have an accident, have your helmet inspected before you use it again, and replace as needed.

Wear It

Going through all the trouble of figuring our how to choose an ATV helmet is worthless if you don’t actually wear it. Put a helmet on every time you ride, even for short rides where you think you’ll be fine. It is then when you’re most likely to have an accident. Always wear a helmet!