With sponsorship from Jacqueline Mars, USHJA, USEF, USEA, we have rated a total of equestrian helmets using the STAR evaluation system. Our impact tests evaluate a helmet's ability to reduce linear and rotational acceleration of the head from a range of head impacts a rider might experience. Helmets with more stars provide a reduction in concussion risk for these impacts compared to helmets with fewer stars.
infoUnderstanding the rating system
Our ratings are an independent and objective assessment of helmet performance for consumers, free from manufacturer influence.
We rate each equestrian helmet based on the results of 12 impact tests in our laboratory. A pendulum impactor test rig was used to assess these equestrian helmets. We measure linear and rotational acceleration for each impact, which are correlated to concussion risk. These helmets have passed American standards (ASTM F1163, SNELL E2016) and/or European standards (VG1 01.040, PAS 015).
We test the helmet’s front, side, and back at two impact energies based on industry standards for equestrian helmet performance, advanced video analysis of equestrian events, and peer-reviewed equestrian research. The lower and higher severity test conditions represent the range of impacts that could result in concussions.
Each lab helmet impact is weighted to contribute equally to the average helmet's overall score. We compute concussion risk from each impact test's peak linear and rotational acceleration values. Each risk is then multiplied by its weighting factor and then summed together to calculate an overall score. The overall score estimates the number of concussions the average person would sustain if they experienced identical impacts to those tested in the lab. A lower STAR score indicates better helmet performance. See the technical documents for complete methodology for these ratings.
A lower score indicates better helmet performance.
The score values in these ratings are not comparable to score values in our helmet ratings for other sports. This is because there are differences in test methods, impact conditions, risk calculations, and impact weightings specific to each sport.
Cost shown is the price of the helmet at the time of testing.
*Any player in any sport can sustain a head injury with even the very best head protection. This analysis is based on data trends and probabilities, and therefore a specific person’s risk may vary. This variation is likely dominated by genetic differences, health history, and impact factors such as muscle activation.