Manufacturer: Charles Owen (View all products by Charles Owen)
Model: AYR8 helmet (View all AYR8 reviews)
Category: English Chaps/Boots/Helmets
Purchase: From Broken Horn Saddlery in Baldwin Park, CA for about $300.
Likes: Lightweight; vented (but not too obviously so); harness is soft, comfortable, and well-placed; fits deeper on my head than the GR8 (the GR8 looked very perched on me, like a kid's helmet - the AYR8 was slightly deeper - enough to make a positive difference); the black-on-black looks the classiest, IMO - from a short distance it is virtually indistinguishable from the GR8.
Dislikes: More of a "wish" than a dislike: I find that broader brims are more flattering on more people, so I wish that this helmet were available with a Wellington style (or GPA style) broader brim. That said, the shorter brim it is a very traditional and distinctively Charles Owen look, and it is attractive as is.
Quality: Seems to be beautifully constructed so far, though I've only been riding in it a couple of months. Laces on the harness have stayed tied, easy ergonomic buckle has not given me problems, the design feels impeccable - no pressure points or anything (though obviously when buying a helmet the fit is key and this will vary for each person and design). Charles Owen helmets have an excellent reputation and I don't see anything yet that would indicate otherwise.
Summary: Great helmet for schooling and the black-black could easily pass muster in the hunter ring as well. I find it extremely comfortable, and I spent over two hours comparing all helmets at the tack shop with a money-is-no-object/status-is-not-important attitude trying to find the best fit and decent looks. It does get a little dusty/linty but this brushes right off. Overall, I highly recommend and would definitely purchase another AYR8 if I took a header in this one.
Author: Rusty Rider
Usefulness Rating: 2.5 out of 5.
10 reader(s) voted.
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