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8 Best Horse Riding Helmets for Hot Weather Relief

horse-riding-helmet-hot-weather
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Written by Marie A.

Finding the best ventilated horse riding helmet is no sweat with our top-rated riding hats.

From the extreme sunlight to the extra sunscreen required, hot weather riding is typically a bigger challenge than riding in any other season. You may even be tempted to neglect your safety and ditch your riding helmet. But, you don’t need to skimp on safety in order to regulate your body heat. With a few key features (e.g. wide brim visor helmet), you can stay calm, cool, and safe.

In this article, we discuss the 8 best summer riding helmets:

Key Considerations

When choosing a summer riding helmet, keep a few things in mind. (Or, skip to our first helmet.)

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A helmet is a MUST, even in hot weather.

  • Ventilation: Put that solid velvet riding cap away for winter, and focus on helmets with maximum ventilation and air flow.
  • Visor: Consider the width, angle, and style of visor that works best for you.
  • Interior Sweat Band: Look for a quality moisture wicking liner or band so you don’t get sweat in your eyes or retain excess heat while riding.
  • Fit: Make sure your helmet fits snuggly, especially when wearing your favorite riding sunglasses.
  • Upkeep: Lean toward helmets that are easy to clean and highly adjustable (e.g. removable inserts, chin strap).
  • Reviews: Reading customer reviews is a must before any important purchase. (That’s why we provided quick links to reviews below!)

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Stay even cooler when you wear one of our 9 best horse riding breeches for hot weather.

8 Coolest Horse Riding Helmets

One K Avance Wide Brim RGS Helmet

Tired of squinting while you ride? You’ll love the One K Avance Wide Brim model, which features (you guessed it) and ultra-wide visor to shield your eyes.

In addition to its wider brim, the front, side, and rear vents help keep you cool.

One-K-Wide-Brim-Helmet

Click to see it on State Line Tack

PROS:

  • Wide brim protects you from the sun’s glare and harmful rays.
  • Well-placed ventilation for heat relief.
  • Washable, quick-dry, moisture-wicking, anti-microbial liner.
  • Comes in “round” and “oval” shape options.
  • Rose gold accents are lovely, or you can choose the navy model without them.

CONS:

  • It’s a higher price tag, although you likely won’t regret it.
  • If you’re used to smaller visors, the wide brim may take a little getting used to.

Read customer reviews on State Line Tack

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Troxel Low Profile Sierra Western Helmet

The Troxel Sierra western style helmet is sure to turn heads. With a low profile, it doesn’t give the “bubble head” appearance that other helmets sometimes do. Troxel is a trusted name for helmets, and this model is a great example of why.

The mesh covered vents add a wave of cool air circulating through the Air-Channel technology.

Click to see it on Amazon

PROS:

  • Proprietary Air-Channel technology helps beat summer heat.
  • Lower profile, which makes it sleeker.
  • Lightweight.
  • You can comfortably wear prescription glasses and sunglasses with this model.

CONS:

  • Somewhat challenging to keep clean long-term.
  • Does not have a removable visor.

See customer reviews on Amazon

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One K Unisex Defender Protective Riding Helmet

When it comes to riders with larger heads, the One K Defender helmet is tough to beat. It’s made for men and women, and it comes in “sizes” like “oval” and “long oval” for folks whose heads don’t fit well in a traditional round-style riding helmet.

Mesh inserts are also strategically placed for maximum heat relief in the summer.

Click to see it on Amazon

PROS:

  • Vents in the front and on the sides of the helmet release heat.
  • Liner is washable, quick dry, and anti-microbial.
  • Comfort padded harness.
  • Composite outer shell, meaning it’s really tough.

CONS:

  • Parts of it are made of suede, which can be tough to clean.
  • Smaller heads may not fit as well.
  • Potential for color bleeding if not washed properly.

See customer reviews on Amazon

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Learn more about picking the right riding outfit in our blog What to Wear Summer Horseback Riding.

IRH Elite Extreme Helmet (Matte Black)

With its Cool-On lining that wicks moisture off your head, the IRH Elite helmet is a great choice for everyday summer riding. This helmet also sports a low profile, and is an “easy keeper” when it comes to maintenance.

Plus, you can also wear this one comfortably with a ponytail so your neck stays cooler.

Click to see it on Amazon

PROS:

  • Very easy to keep clean.
  • Large front, lateral, and rear ports allow maximum air intake.
  • Able to wear it with a ponytail.

CONS:

  • Limited color options.
  • Visor is not removable.

See customer reviews on Amazon

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Troxel Spirit Performance Helmet

Not only does the Troxel Spirit helmet look cool, it’s made for keeping your head cool without sacrificing protection. This helmet is a cool take on Troxel’s classic design, and it comes in sizes small enough for young riders, as well as older ones.

While the vents aren’t as large as some other models, they are sufficient for the majority of summer riders.

Click to see it on Amazon

PROS:

  • Certified by American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) and Safety Equipment Institute (SEI).
  • Flex tip visor.
  • Removable headliner for washing.

CONS:

  • Colors may appear slightly different from online appearance.
  • Size measurements can be tricky, so you may want to get two sizes and return the one that doesn’t fit as well.

See customer reviews on Amazon

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Ovation Deluxe Schooler Helmet

As far as a first riding helmet, the Ovation Schooler is a good one. This helmet is suitable for adults and youth. Because it’s a low-profile helmet, it doesn’t give the appearance of having a “mushroom head” as some others do.

The Schooler model also features high-flow vents to keep you cool.

Click to see it on Amazon

PROS:

  • Easy to clean.
  • Removable visor and great ventilation.
  • Suitable for riders of all ages.

CONS:

  • The chin buckle may loosen a bit with use.
  • Sizes run a little small.

See customer reviews on Amazon

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Preparing for a trip somewhere warm? Learn what to wear horse riding on vacation.

Troxel Sport Schooling Helmet

If you’re looking for a basic riding helmet, the Troxel Sport is the best value. Coming in among the least expensive on the list, this helmet offers safety, ventilation, and everything you need in a summer helmet. If you have more of an oval shaped head, this is a particularly great choice.

It features seven large vents for maximum heat relief.

Click to see it on Amazon

PROS:

  • Seven cooling vents.
  • ASTM/SEI certified.
  • Removable, washable liner.

CONS:

  • Basic construction and design.
  • Non-removable visor.

See customer reviews on Amazon

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TuffRider Starter Horse Riding Safety Helmet

When it comes to diversity, the TuffRider Starter helmet suits children and adults, alike. It’s made to be durable, from its outer shell to the stainless steel mesh on the ventilation areas.

Coolmax is also built into the liner, which means you’ll stay dryer for longer in the heat of summer.

tuffrider helmet

Click to see it on Amazon

PROS:

  • Vents provide superior ventilation and moisture management.
  • ABS outer shell, which means it’ll hold up well around the barn and in case of a fall.
  • SEI certified.
  • You can wear it with a ponytail. 

CONS:

  • Padded chin strap may feel bulky if you’re not used to it.
  • The adjustable dial can be a little annoying to adjust if multiple riders share one helmet.

See customer reviews on Amazon

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Hot Weather Horse Riding Tips

Click to see it on Amazon

Make sure the rest of your outfit is built for the warm weather. From comfy tees and fishing shirts to breeches with built in cooling elements, there are plenty of things you can find to help you beat the heat.

Be sure to keep both yourself and your horse hydrated, and pay close attention to how much sun you’re both getting.

Wear light breeches and shirts to keep cool. A paddock boot can also be a cooler option compared to tall boots.

If your horse has a white nose, you may want to opt to use sunscreen for him, as well as yourself.

Horses prefer cooler weather, so be sure to watch yours for signs of exhaustion and overheating.

Consider adding electrolytes like these to your horse’s daily feed.

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Stay even cooler when you wear one of our 9 best horse riding breeches for hot weather.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How often should you replace a horse riding helmet?

Research suggests you replace your equestrian helmet every five years, and even sooner if it’s involved in a fall.

Learn more in our article about how often to replace a horse riding helmet.

Q: What do you do with old horse riding helmets?

Most people throw them away. Others use them for decoration or Halloween costumes.

Do not resell (or buy) any helmet that is older than five years or has been involved in a fall.

Learn why in our article about how often to replace a horse riding helmet.

Q: What is the difference between a horse riding helmet and a bike helmet?

The main difference is the areas that are protected between the two helmets and the level of impact it can withstand. In a horse riding helmet, the back of the head is the main place where the protection is offered. This is because most horse related injuries occur there.

Riding helmets are also made to take harder impacts because the height of a horse is significantly taller than a bicycle leading to a more serious head injury. (Hooves can also strike you in a fall.)

A bicycle helmet is NOT suitable for equestrians!

Q: What is a horse riding helmet made of?

Some are made of a PVC outer shell while others are carbon fiber. Still others are composed of manufactured plastics. The liners also differ from model to model and company to company.

Q: How much are horse riding helmets?

The prices vary, and this list provides several price points. However, with the higher price comes the added benefit of knowing that the helmet you’ve chosen has been built to last and with the highest safety standards and latest technology.

Q: How should a horse riding helmet fit?

A helmet that’s sized appropriately should sit snugly on your head and cover your skull with no place having more pressure than another.

It should be a snug fit. There shouldn’t be any gaps between the helmet and your head, and your skin should wiggle when you move the helmet side to side with your hands.

Q: How should you clean horse riding helmets?

Typically, you can wipe your helmet down on the outside with a damp cloth and remove the liner inside for washing. However, some require special instructions.

Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Q: Why don’t Western riders wear helmets?

Many do! Western riding has traditionally used a cowboy hat rather than an equestrian helmet. Unfortunately, many Western riders still choose not to wear helmets.

See our article about Why Western Riders Don’t Wear Helmets for more information.

Q: How do you measure horse riding helmet sizes?

Most helmets adhere to the same sizing as cowboy hats or provide specific size guides on Amazon or State Line Tack.

To measure your head, place a tape measure around the widest part, typically about an inch above your eyebrow. Compare that to the helmet sizes of the model/brand you’ve chosen, allowing room for adjustments if it’s an adjustable helmet. You’ll also want to be sure you know your head shape (round or oval).

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Helmet shopping for a young child? See our article about the 5 Best Horse Riding Toddler Helmets.

Beat the Heat

While summer weather is typically beautiful, and you have more free time to enjoy it (unless you have kids, which is a different story), high heat comes with the territory.

Beat the heat factor as best you can by staying hydrated, wearing sunscreen, choosing cooling attire, and wearing a summer-savvy helmet!

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About the author

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Marie A.

Though I love all horses, Arabians are my all-time favorite breed! I'm raising an Arabian filly and riding and showing my gelding on the Class A Arabian Circuit. I also enjoy going to horse racing and following the latest industry news.