The Charles Owen AYR8 Helmet

Posted on April 3, 2015 at 8:20 AM

First, always wear your helmet. No, always wear your helmet...

    Spring means ventilated helmets. If you've ever finished a ride with hair looking like an angry mongoose, you know what I'm talking about. Supposedly, ventilated helmets solve this problem. The Charles Owen AYR8 claims to be one of the most head-friendly helmets available, so I gave it a try.

    Pros: The padding is thick enough to give a wearer a very secure feeling, especially those who have long, oval skulls. Before I tried this helmet, I had never had the feeling of my head being so securely held on all sides by any brand of helmet. This helmet is a top choice among professionals, and while such a vital safety decision should never be based on corporate sponsorship, the fact that this model is used by several top-ranked riders in hazardous conditions is a plus. The drawstring in the back allows for a customized fit, and the design of the harness will accommodate a ponytail.

    Cons: The ventilator panel doesn't really generate the strong breeze over the head that the advertising claims. There is more ventilation than on un-ventilated models, and I think that were Charles Owen to add more vent-holes, the strength of the helmet would suffer. The foam inside the helmet takes about 8 minutes to form to the individual shape of your head. That is not really a Con, but it makes for an interesting few minutes during which your head is a bit squished.

    I give this helmet a strong BUY rating, even though the list price, at $421.00 may seem high.


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