Through speaking with countless RZR riders over the years as well as first-hand, trailside, observations of our own, we here at Everything Polaris RZR have noticed that a lot of guys and gals don’t wear any head protection when ripping it up on their side-by-sides. Some Polaris RZR owners think that helmets are superfluous; after all, why would you need a helmet when you have an aftermarket seat, a high quality five-point harness, and a roll cage stronger than the golden gate bridge? True, running proper UTV safety accessories is a definite must, but it’s not enough. If you’ve ever rolled a side-by-side before (or any vehicle for that matter), you probably know how it feels to head-butt a side support beam. And unless you’re some kind of powers ports masochist, this is likely an experience you wouldn’t want to go through again.
Be it a full-face skid lid or a half-shell brain bucket, unless the metal plate in your head from your last rollover gives you enough protection, wearing a UTV helmet when riding is worth considering at the very least. If nothing else, an RZR helmet with goggles will help keep mud out of your eyes if you don’t run a windshield. And if you ride with your family, proper protective measures should be your highest priority. So without further ado, lets delve into the best helmets for side-by-side racing, hill climbing, and general riding.
Best Children’s UTV Helmets
Although your own CPU might run a bit slow after years of bumps, whoops, jumps, and hard turns, your kids’ or grandkids’ brains are full of endless potential that is worth protecting. However, be very careful when choosing a youth helmet for your little co-rider, as full helmets (and even half shells in some cases) can be too heavy for their necks to support. Depending on their age, those bulky motocross helmets are likely too large. And if you do find one that fits, these types of helmets often sit too close to their collar bone and can cause serious harm on impact. Furthermore, while booster seats can help, safety belts and harnesses tend to cross children at head height, lifting up their helmets and putting their heads in a precarious position.
For children under the age of ten, as long as they are strapped down in a proper car seat, a light bicycle or ski helmet is the best option. In addition to helmets, neck braces and HANS (head and neck support) devices like those worn by NASCAR drivers are also advised for children. Even the lightest of helmets and the smallest of fender benders can cause whiplash. Thus, the small foam pillow styles of neck braces and supports are a great way to provide that extra bit of support needed to prevent broken necks and pinched nerves. If Dale Earnhardt wore a helmet with a neck guard, surely it must be a cool thing to do. Even those go-kart type neck rolls are better than nothing, especially when the your child’s safety is on the line.
While protecting the neck is important for riders of all ages, as children’s necks develop in their teenage years, full-face helmets become a more appropriate option. Still, though, a lighter youth-style helmet is advised as it will not only put less strain on the neck, but also fit better. The Youth Sector Shear Helmet by Thor is one of the better options on the market. It comes in a variety of colors and styles for the most expressive of youth, is ventilated with a nose guard to prevent mud, dust and debris from entering, and most importantly, it’s ABS shell and dual density EPS impact dampening lining is DOT / ECE 22.05 approved, meaning that protection is guaranteed.
Best Adult UTV Helmets
So you’ve got your children protected, now it’s time to protect your own dome. When you’re not rocking your double beer can holding hardhat with a two-to-one suction straw, the Trekker Helmet By Fly Racing is a quality yet low-price option for riders of all skills and abilities. And if you’re buddies give you crap for wearing a helmet, take solace in the fact that you won’t be the one getting head trauma. We’ve spoken with too many riders whose lives were saved by helmets. When you roll your RZR at 60MPH, the stock cage bends inward and becomes pear shaped, and your head hits the ground, you might get knocked out, but you won’t pull a Humpty Dumpty and have your dome become a broken egg.
Many riders wear the Moto X helmet just to keep mud out of their eyes, and the O’neal’s helmet with the quick detach goggles works great for such purposes as well. FLY Racing makes quality UTV helmets, but when it comes to lightweight, leading edge, helmet technology, few companies can rival the SE4 Composite Baja Helmet by Troy Lee Designs. Constructed using the latest composite manufacturing techniques, the cost of this helmet is a small price to pay for superior protection. People talk about spending over $1500 on a sound system and never bat an eye, so why be a penny pincher when it comes to helmets? Blow your budget on safety gear and save up for the rest.
Speaking of stereo equipment, why not kill two birds with one stone and get an in-helmet audio system. The Rugged Radio Helmet Kit pipes your favorite tunes directly into the helmet. A good helmet will muffle the sound of even the best in-cab stereos, and if you can squeeze ear buds in while your helmet is on, you’ve got yourself a helmet that is too big for your head.
Life Is All About Choices
Some RZR owners are religious about helmets, never riding without one. These same riders are likely to do the same thing in cars — not even backing out of their driveway without wearing a seatbelt. It only takes one wrong move to create a catastrophe, and if you’ve been in, seen, or heard about UTV accidents, you’re likely among the crew of aforementioned riders who never don’t wear helmets. Sure it may sting a bit to have your hard-earned pay prized from your wallet for a helmet, but if things take a turn for the worse and you end up rolling your buggy, you’ll have zero regrets. Because in the end, would you rather be a few hundred dollars poorer, of have a fence post enter your skull? Whether you rock a half bucket or a full face, be it on a dirt bike, Harley, snow machine, or quad, UTV helmets are literal lifesavers.