Fitting a Snowmobile Helmet Properly
Riding a snowmobile can be a fun way to spend time outdoors during winter. However, accidents might occur because of the nature of snowmobiling and as aggravated by the weather conditions or the unpredictable terrain.
Injuries in the head are common to snowmobile accidents, but riders can be better protected if they wear a properly fitted snowmobile helmet every time. Here are some ways to ensure that your helmet fits properly.
Measuring Your Head
Before heading to the store, take a measurement of your head, so that you have an idea of the size you’re looking for. Wrap a tape measure around your head and at least an inch above your brows. Take note of the circumference so you can refer this to the store’s sizing chart.
Trying on the Helmet
Beyond styles, colors, and designs, you can best decide which helmet is perfect for you by trying it on for size. Make sure that you’re wearing the balaclava or ski mask when you’re fitting helmets since you’ll be wearing the same when snowmobiling. If your measurement falls between two sizes, ask to try the largest and smallest sizes in your category.
Once you put on the helmet, it must feel snug all around but not hurt, poke or dig into your head. It should also not tilt like a hat. If the gear too large for you, you will sense the helmet move when you bop your head up and down or to the sides.
Try opening and closing your mouth as well to feel for any movements. If it helps, chew gum when you’re fitting a brand new snowmobile helmet.
Checking for the Helmet’s Fit
If the helmet doesn’t move when you bop, proceed with the rest of the checks. Before clasping the straps to your chin, you should make sure that the following features are present so that you’ll know the helmet is snug and stable:
- There shouldn’t be any space on the pads’ inner lining and your brows.
- A gap shouldn’t exist between the pads on the brows and the temples.
- The cheek pads should press on your skin comfortably upon contact.
- The top pad must rest firmly on your head.
- Your vision should not be obstructed when you’re looking up or down, or left and right.
If you can insert your fingers inside the helmet, it’s not snug enough so you’ll need a smaller size. If you place your hands to the sides of the helmet, try to rotate or move it up and down while your head remains motionless. Does it slide off easily?
Testing the Retention Mechanism
Now, try to clasp the chin strap of the helmet to test for its retention. With your helmet still on, place your hands on the back of your head and try to push the headgear forward. Do the same on the chin guard area but try to push the helmet backward. If it comes off so easily both times, you need a smaller size.
The Tighter, the Better
Do these tests more than once and remember, like shoes, a helmet needs to be broken in. Eventually, it will fill out the shape of your head and loosen quite a bit. In this case, it is better to buy a brand new snowmobile helmet that’s slightly tight to give it some room for adjustments later on.
If it’s loose, you would feel some noise and wind blowing when you’re riding on the snowmobile. However, if it’s too tight even after it you’ve broken it in, you will experience some headaches.
Shopping for snowmobile helmets? Browse through Westshore Marine for quality products or contact us for expert guidance.