Sportage Helmet
English Chaps/Boots/Helmets

Manufacturer: Tipperary
Model: Sportage Helmet
Category: English Chaps/Boots/Helmets

Purchase: I purchased my Tipperary Sportage in navy blue at Calabasas Saddlery (Calabasas, CA--near LA) for a little over $75. I was riding in a very old ill-fitting International helmet that I had been meaning to replace when I had a bit of a scary fall. Since the helmet did not fit properly, it shifted completely to one side of my head and left the other side exposed in the fall. Luckily, I was not hurt. I did decide it was time for a new, well-fitted hat.

Likes: I went to the tack store with the intention of purchasing one of the GPA helmets--I was under the impression that they fit very well, and I had decided that a well-fitting helmet was worth its weight in gold. While there, I did find a GPA that I like quite a bit and I ordered it in the color I wanted (for around $375). In the meantime, I needed a helmet to wear while I waited for mine to arrive. I decided to try out a lightweight, inexpensive schooling style hat that would keep me cool in the hot LA summers. That is how I arrived at the Tipperary Sportage. After trying the completely unstylish standard Troxels, I saw this one and gave it a go. Well, let me tell you... First of all, this is EASILY the MOST comfortable, well-fitting hat I have ever had. And normally I have a lot of trouble finding a hat to fit my head shape properly. It fits snugly and feels comfortingly secure, but it is also incredibly comfortable. I don't get a bright red, itchy forehead from helmet pressure after my lessons anymore and it never moves around. Second, this is the BEST VENTILATED hat I have ever had. I can't even begin to describe the difference between riding in a traditional helmet with limited ventilation and this one--it has definitely made a difference in my comfort level during long lessons in the sun. Third, it is sporty AND good-looking. The navy blue compliments my eventing vest well and it doesn't look cheap. Forth, it is REALLY WELL PRICED. Dover is selling it for just under $63, and I am sure that price is probably pretty standard. That makes it a helmet that doesn't hurt the wallet as much to replace after a bad knock. And since any hard hit to the helmet means a replacement, that is a strength indeed (especially for eventers!). I really couldn't be happier with my Tipperary Sportage, and I would recommend it to anyone.

Dislikes: Perhaps the only downside to the Tipperary Sportage is that it IS a very sporty style that might not be at home in a hunter show ring or at a more formal show (though I think it would be fine for cross-country or schooling shows). That said, the styling is actually very cool and well-done. Just not very "formal." Also, I would have designed the brim a bit longer for more protection against a nose break in the even of a fall.

Quality: Overall, the construction and quality are EXCELLENT. As you can read above, the helmet does not look cheap and the construction is very sturdy. The helmet's outer material is a hard, shiny plastic with a hatching-type pattern to it. The hat has plenty of ventilation slats throughout and is extremely lightweight. It is lined with a thick, comfortable foam with a soft black lining and has a stylish light tan leather and nylon adjustable chin piece. The fit of the hat is a bit longer in the back in order to cup and protect the rear-back portion of the skull.

Summary: A fantastic helmet at a great price. Stylish, comfortable, and affordable--I will get this hat again when I need to replace the one I have now, and I would recommend it to anyone.

Rating: 5

Author: T. Donnelly

Date: 2007-06-07

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