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Old 01-08-2014   #1
Read_N_Run's Avatar
Niwot, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 750
Let's talk helmets

Do you have a favorite helmet for rafting? Something that you can wear for long periods of time without constantly thinking "get this off of me"?

I'm in the market for a new helmet and want to hear from the masses.

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Old 01-08-2014   #2
DoubleYouEss's Avatar
Silverthorne, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 577
Sweet Strutter and the WRSI Current

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Old 01-08-2014   #3
cataraftgirl's Avatar
Sandy, Utah
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Jun 2009
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There's been another thread going about using bike or ski helmets for kayaking or rafting. Most folks recommend against anything but a water certified helmet for kayaking. Mostly because bike helmets aren't designed for multiple impacts, and depending on the design they might not offer enough protection.

I never wore a helmet while rafting and neither did most of the folks I rafted with. I tried on and even bought a few, but I couldn't find one that fit correctly or didn't give me a terrible headache within 20 minutes, so I went without. Season before last, I got bounced around on Devils Tooth rapid on a fall MF trip. Smacked my ear and got a goose egg. I decided that maybe I should find some sort of helmet I could live with. I stumbled across a Nutcase bike helmet. It fit my size 21 inch head, had a nice adjustment system, and didn't give me a headache. Plus is wasn't butt ugly. I know it's not a water helmet, but I figured the best helmet is the one you'll actually wear. Nutcase does make whitewater helmets. They look just like the bike, but have different foam.
"We are all visitors to this time, this place. We are just passing through. Our purpose here is to observe, to learn, to grow, to love....and then we return home."
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Old 01-08-2014   #4
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portland, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 2,188
Helmets go on in any of the major Rapids class 3 or above. should probably wear it all the time but lot of times we don't.

I always say a bicycle helmet is better than no helmet, or a cracked skull.

We run some of the bell rafting helmets and other than the little soft foam liners eventually falling out or breaking down they held up pretty well -- and I've never taken an impact.

We also wear our helmets whenever we are scouting a rapid or lining a boat through the rapids, because you can always slip and fall on one of those gigantic rocks.
Hey, if you want me to take a dump in a box and mark it "guaranteed", I will. I got spare time.
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Old 01-08-2014   #5
fat guy in a little boat
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FtC / Rancho del Rio, Colorado
Paddling Since: 8AM
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 378
had a predator lee that i loved. most comfortable helmet i've ever had, but the backstrap just broke.
picked up a sr t-dub pretty cheap. feels pretty good whilest sitting on the couch. i expect it'll feel just as good once i finally get it on the water.
sr's backstraps feel way more burly than predators too

All I need are some tasty waves, a cool buzz, and I'm fine.
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Old 01-08-2014   #6
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 69
I've got one. It may not be the most comfortable helmet on the market (I also really like my Sweet helmets) but for style points, it's hard to beat.

Where Is Baer ?: Big Baer Cowboy Helmets
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Old 01-08-2014   #7
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Moab, Utah
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WRSI current helmet
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Old 01-09-2014   #8
Preacher of the Profit Paddling Since: 1990
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The right helmet is the one that fits your head the best. Folks on the internet can only works for them. Only you knows what fits you the best. Try on a bunch and find what fits you, gives you good coverage, and meets your price limits. Then remember that a helmet only works if it stays in place. Comfort is one thing and beging secure is step number two. Hard shell helmets deflect better than plastic, and padding needs to rebound to work more than one time.
I love to dance, but who needs the music- It throws me off.
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Old 01-10-2014   #9
Old Guy in a PFD
Tucson, Arizona
Paddling Since: 1967
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 1,022
Never wore helmets. Anyone who dared to show up with one would be summarily razzed out of the county. That's just the way it was.

Only head injury I ever dealt with was a school group. Some of the kids went off to climb a ridge (wearing, I might add, their climbing helmets that they refused to wear on the river cause, you know, they might get dirty or wet) and one of them came back with a 4" gash. Turned out he had his helmet on his belt, and the wits above him thought "We ought to throw rocks off this cliff cause you know, that's what kids do when they find rocks."

Threw a couple butterfly bandages on it, dumped some Hydrogen Peroxide on it just so he'd know how stupid he was, strapped his helmet on him and told him if he took it off we wouldn't feed him anymore, and made the idiots who threw the rocks stay up with him all night. Which, it turned out, was not viewed as punishment by them.

Anyway, everyone was happy

Not to say I wouldn't wear one now; since the good old days, I've stayed sober long enough to understand how stupid I was back then.............

Naw, I wouldn't wear a helmet even today.
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Old 01-10-2014   #10
Louisville, Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 520
My Petzel Elios has been my go to lately. I like that I can fit a ball cap under it, that it can hold a headlamp, and it is light. I have figured, good enough for rock climbing, good enough for whacking my head on a rock in the river.

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