Gear Riding

7 Best Lightweight Horse Riding Helmets on the Market

Ranch Class
mm
Written by Nancy G.

Feather Light & Fitted Right

When the going gets hot, equestrians reach for their favorite lightweight helmet. This article provides a breakdown of what to look for when you’re shopping.

When choosing a lightweight riding helmet, first make sure it will fit correctly. Helmets made with ABS material will minimize weight. Go for options with vents to increase airflow. Brands like Troxel, Tipperary, One K, and Charles Owen all offer great options in a range of prices.

There are options available for all disciplines, from jumping, dressage, and Western, to choices for trail riders and beginners.

Feature photo courtesy of Angie Misaghi

Riding Helmet Basics

Choosing the best riding helmet can be confusing. You need the right combination of size and style. Plus, it’s important to feel like you’re choosing a safe brand.

Opt for companies with ASTM or SEI certified helmets for maximum safety.

Common Materials

Helmets can be made from lots of different materials like:

  • Moleskin
  • Velvet
  • Rubberized plastic
  • Hard plastic
  • Leather
  • Nylon webbing
Riding helmets

Photo Cred: Canva

Helmet Sizing

The safest helmet can’t do its job if it doesn’t fit correctly. To ensure the best fit, always measure. Use a soft measuring tape and wrap it around the widest part of your head.

Lightweight Helmets: What’s the Difference?

Wearing a helmet when it’s hot can make riding miserable. You may even be tempted to ditch the helmet altogether, but there’s an alternative—a lightweight helmet.

Pros of a Lightweight Helmet

They’re made with lightweight materials, like high-density ABS, and often include vents for improved airflow. These types of helmets are often less expensive, too.

Cons of a Lightweight Helmet

Some people think lightweight helmets look less polished. Depending on the brand, the fit might not be as secure as with a heavier, high-end helmet.

Best Lightweight Riding Helmets

Category Product Price Point Reasons to Love It:
…for Jumping Tipperary Sportage Helmet $$ Range of sizes and colors, low profile
…for Dressage Charles Owen AYR8 Plus $$$$ Microfibre suede for a polished look
…for Western Troxel Sierra $$ Rugged look, headliner is washable
…for trail riding One K Avance Wide Brim $$$ Provides coverage from the sun, wicks moisture
…for cold-weather Ovation Deluxe Schooler $ Fits adults and kids, high-flow vents
…for hot weather TuffRider Starter Helmet $ Suitable for kids and adults, adjustable dial
…for beginners Troxel Spirit Performance $ Fun design, perfect for small riders

Best Lightweight Riding Helmets

Tipperary Sportage Helmet: Best for Jumping

Enjoy all the classic features of a Tipperary helmet, plus the benefits of a top-notch ventilation system.

tipperary helmet

Click to see it at Amazon

PROS:

  • Made from high-density, lightweight ABS material
  • Reflective band for safe rides in low light
  • Soft leather
  • Slim visor
  • ASTM and SEI certified

CONS:

  • Can be a little uncomfortable with glasses or sunglasses

See it at Amazon

Charles Owen AYR8 Plus: Best for Dressage

A low-profile design combined with an elegant microfiber finish makes this helmet a clear choice for dressage riders. It fits perfectly and offers fantastic breathability.

charles owen helmet

Click to see it at Amazon

PROS:

  • 12 central ventilation slots for maximum breathability
  • Two fits (round and regular)
  • Elegant design
  • Removable, washable headband
  • ASTM certified

CONS:

  • Very expensive (but a worthwhile investment)

See it at Amazon

Troxel Sierra: Best for Western Riding

The low-profile design with nylon and leather is perfect for Western riders who want a low-key, rugged look. It’s designed for all-day comfort and works for both men and women.

Sierra troxel helmet

Click to see it at Amazon

PROS:

  • Mesh covered vents = waves of cool air
  • Sleek design
  • Affordable
  • ASTM and SEI certified

CONS:

  • Material makes keeping it clean difficult
  • The visor is not removable

See it at Amazon

One K Avance Wide Brim Helmet: Best for Trail Riding

A combination of lightweight, durable material with comfort padding and a wide brim creates the perfect helmet for trail riding by providing maximum sun protection.

one defender helmet

Click to see it at Amazon

PROS:

  • Wide brim
  • Composite outer shell
  • Two different shapes for the best fit
  • ASTM certified

CONS:

  • Pricey

See it at Amazon

Ovation Deluxe Schooler: Best for Cool Weather

The high-flow vents on this helmet don’t just keep you cool. In the winter, they also help release excess heat. Plus, the low-profile design leaves room for earmuffs.

ovation deluxe schooler

Click to see it at Amazon

PROS:

  • Fits kids and adults
  • Removable visor
  • Easy to clean
  • ASTM certified

CONS:

  • Sizing may run small

See it at Amazon

TuffRider Starter Helmet: Best for Hot Weather

This helmet is the ultimate choice for staying cool. Vents combined with a washable Coolmax liner will help you beat the heat.

tuffrider helmte

Click to see it at Amazon

PROS:

  • Adjustable dial for the perfect fit
  • ABS outer shell (lightweight and durable)
  • Straps are easy to adjust
  • Stainless steel mesh
  • Detachable brim
  • SEI certified

CONS:

  • The padded chin strap can feel bulky/uncomfortable

See it at Amazon

Troxel Spirit Performance: Best for the Beginner

Not only does this helmet offer a fun design, it’s also lightweight and comfortable.

troxel spirit

Click to see it at Amazon

PROS:

  • Headliner is removable and washable
  • Visor
  • Fun design
  • ASTM and SEI certified

CONS:

  • Some customers say the online and in-person colors can vary slightly
  • Getting the correct size is tricky

See it at Amazon

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the lightest riding helmet?

Any helmet made with ABS material will be very lightweight.

Q: What is the most comfortable riding helmet?

The most comfortable helmet is the one that fits YOU! Charles Owen and One K both offer different helmet shapes to ensure maximum comfort.

Q: What is the lowest profile riding helmet?

If low-profile is your thing, then check out helmets by Tipperary or Troxel.

Q: What kind of helmet is best for riding?

Any helmet that is ASTM or SEI certified (or both) is best for riding.

Parting Thought

Next time summer rolls around, you’ll be prepared to beat the heat with a lightweight riding helmet.

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About the author

mm

Nancy G.

Nancy loves retraining off the track Thoroughbreds and working with her dogs!