Model: Protege Helmet
Category: English Chaps/Boots/Helmets
Purchase: I bought this helmet at VTO Saddlery which is normally priced at about $38 but during the holidays they had a 20% off sale. I currently own a troxel and tipperay sportage helmets. Which the later cost a lot more than the Ovation helmet.
Likes: The helmet has a gloss finish. The styling seems to be a cross between the troxel style that has a helmet sizing dial at the back and the Tipperary sportage helmet that is cut so it covers more in the back of the head and is more head hugging and slim looking on your head. I really like this helmet better than the Troxel because it does not look like a big bubble sitting on my head like the Troxel does. I had problems with fit on the Tipperary Sportage helmet because it kept tipping in the front and there was no easy way to make it fit snuggly and comfortably on my lopsided roundish head. I also hated the fact that there was little padding and the padding was not easy to remove and wash nor could the helmet be adjusted to fit except for using pads velcrod onto the inner sides. The Ovation fits great. It is the best fitting helmet I own. It looks substantial in its material. The outer plastic looks substantial. The inner side has substantial padding that comes out, which is good so you can air dry or wash the sweaty pads. The inner shell looks better built than both the troxel or tipperary. I was surprised that the quality of this helmet looked so good compared to the more expensive schooling helmets I had previously bought. It is well vented. It really does look as nice on a round headed person as it does on the model that is usually shown wearing it. It has become my favorite helmet to ride in for comfort, security and styling when I trail ride. I get a lot of compliments on it. In fact, I went back and bought one of every color at VTO Saddlery.
Dislikes: This is an amazingly great deal. I have found nothing that I don't like about it. Even the price was great. Ok, so this helmet is not a $300 show helmet, but it is not meant to be. If you don't like the looks of the Tipperary sportage you probably are not going to like the looks of this helmet. Also if you don't like the adjustment dial in the back of the Troxel, than you may not like the dial on the back of this helmet.
Quality: I was surprised at the quality and construction. I was expecting at this price to get something that looked cheaply made; was not well padded; I would sweat like a pig in it, would not fit; would keep slipping or tipping on my head while riding. Boy was I wrong. This helmet looks more substantially padded than either the Troxel or the Tipperary sportage, better vented, and the outer shell looks thicker and the dial adjustment and padding really keeps the helmet in place on my lop sided shaped roundish head. Sizing: I wear a small in a Troxel, am on the border between the small and medium Tipperay Sportage and the Ovation Protege small fit just right.
Summary: This helmet was the best buy I have ever made in a schooling helmet. I have almost been afraid to tell anyone how much I paid or where I got it on sale, because everyone thinks I am wearing a far more expensive helmet and I get so many compliments on its look. Regardless of the compliments, I wear what is comfortable and what is going to fit well enough and be sturdy enough to protect my head because I tend to fall off my horse when going at high speeds on the trail and the horse spooks. So far, I have had many broken ribs and other body parts, but my head has come out undamaged and my helmet has never cracked or looked damaged beyond some surface scuffing after a fall. The helmet has stayed put on my head without shifting after a full side impact where I flew over the horse's shoulder and landed on my shoulder, side and head. Note, I do replace my helmets after a fall regardless and the great thing is that it is no longer so expensive to keep buying replacement helmets and still look and feel good wearing them.
Usefulness Rating: 2.5 out of 5.
6 reader(s) voted.
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