Not all kayaking applications require the service of a helmet. Most of the time, these headgears are just used whenever dealing with extreme rapids and whitewater rivers. These terrains have a lot of physical obstacles that are deemed to be harmful. If you are not careful with them, injuries can be sustained.
Your head has to be protected at all times if you are coursing through these routes. If you want to experience the thrill without sacrificing your safety, I do recommend that you get the best kayak helmet. They have a rugged construction that can withstand impacts from hard objects. This specialized design is quite necessary to ensure that you will always be free from deleterious head accidents.
These helmets are always part of my kayaking checklist whenever I hurdle a challenging adventure. Aside from having personal floatation devices and life vests, any of the following helmets should elevate your survival while you are on the rapids. Check them out!
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- Best Kayak Helmet on the 2022 Market
- How To Choose The Best Kayak Helmet
Best Kayak Helmet on the 2022 Market
1. Gath Gedi Helmet with Peak - Editor's Pick
2. WRSI Trident Composite Helmet - Runner-Up
3. NRS Chaos Side-Cut Kayak Helmet - Budget-Friendly Pick
4. Sweet Protection Strutter Paddle Helmet - High-End Option
Any whitewater kayaker would want their helmet to be extra rugged and durable. The reason for this is simple: they don't want their head to suffer from severe concussions due to blunt impact. The Gath Gedi Helmet is the very first option that came into my mind when setting for this qualification. This gear has an effective defence against strong force coming from collisions and crashes. It can withstand these punishments without breaking.
The helmet has been designed to closely fit the head of its wearer. It also comes with a snugly lock so that it will never escape from your head even if you are going to do explosive movements. Furthermore, this item features a fully convertible design. It can be augmented with visors, peaks, and er protectors. You will definitely enjoy the ergonomics of this helmet without feeling too burdened by its weight.
I am a bit ambivalent when it comes to the WRSI Trident Composite Helmet at first. But upon testing this unit, I suddenly changed my mind. Even if it has minor setbacks, the helmet is still a great option for kayaking. I can say that its main selling-point is durability. For demanding applications, this helmet will never break on you. After all, it features a carbon composite exterior shell. Meanwhile, the EVA foam liner on the interior elevates the comfort that you feel while wearing this gear.
Aside from the exterior shell, there's a subshell that has been installed on this item. Specifically, the shell has been made from polyurethane and was placed to dissipate the strength of impacts. It also features the proprietary Interconnect Retention System so that the helmet will remain in your head even if you are facing strong hydraulics. This system adjusts itself so that the helmet won't be pushed back by rushing waters.
One of the best choices for an affordable kayaking helmet is the NRS Chaos. With the notorious reputation of NRS as an impeccable manufacturer of outdoor gears, I was not surprised anymore if their helmet is highly appreciated in the kayaking community. This gear feels comfortable and light on the head. It is not like those helmets that are too bulky to be carried. But despite this, you can guarantee that this item can negate shock and impact.
Specifically, this item has its shell crafted from a highly rugged and durable ABS plastic shell. It can mitigate the force of blunt hits so that your head will remain safe throughout your ride. It also comes with a dual-density EVA foam lining on its interior for optimal comfort. There are openings on the top surface of this helmet for increased breathability. That's something that you will appreciate especially if you are going to kayak on hot conditions.
Of course, you will definitely need a helmet that can have a sweet performance on the water. When it comes to that, the Sweet Protection Strutter Paddle Helmet is one good option. This one is specifically designed to conquer fierce rapids. It has a rugged construction, thanks to the combination of carbon fiber and injection-moulded thermoplastic. As many have touted, this helmet is shatter-resistant. That's something that you should consider at all times.
Aside from these feats, the Strutter Paddle Helmet provides comfort to its user. The interior features an EPP foam liner. Apart from giving convenience, the foam also acts as another shock-absorbent layer. It can handle harsh blows and high-energy crashes without damaging your head. If you are sailing on rough waters, this capability is really helpful. There are also vents on the helmet for quick water drainage.
The Bern Unlimited Watts EPS Summer Helmet is an option that you can label as versatile. It is not only suitable for kayaking but any other sports. It can be even used on land-based recreations, too. Although I don't recommend this item on the technical or rough water kayaking, it still suitable for standard touring adventures. This helmet has a decent rigidity, albeit not as sturdy as most of its counterpart. However, if you are looking for a lightweight helmet, then this one should be a great choice.
You have to know that this particular helmet features a thin construction. The exterior shell, which is made from polycarbonate, is notably slimmer than other kayaking helmets. Some people have qualms about this design. But if the application does not involve scary situations and uncertainties, the lightness and toughness of this helmet should be able to satisfy you.
How To Choose The Best Kayak Helmet
I have been kayaking for quite a while now. Therefore, I am quite aware of the changes that take place in this activity. Even the gears that we are wearing today are not yet widely accepted or available five to ten years ago.
In fact, kayak helmets are still not that common a decade ago. But right now, I have seen an increasing demand for this item. As a result, several outdoor manufacturers started to create specialized helmets for this particular application. This gave paddlers a variety of options to choose from.
But don't ever think that all helmets are made for kayaking. Furthermore, not all kayak helmets have the same specification. Choose the wrong one, and your adventure will not be as safe as it should be.
Here's a guide on how you can choose a good helmet for kayaking.
Fit And Comfort
The fit of a kayak is an important consideration that you should consider at all times. There is no such thing as a wrong helmet size. It is always up to you to decide if a particular helmet fits your head.
The fit of a helmet is dependent on different factors. First, the helmet should be able to cover the entire base of your skull. Second, it should be able to extend and cover your ears. Third, the helmet should be able to protect your forehead. Lastly, the front region of the helmet should extend a little farther than the base of the nose.
If these things are present, you can ensure that your helmet can fully protect your head. Wearing a helmet that is suitable for the shape and size of your head is pivotal to protect yourself from injuries. Rapids can easily remove helmets that don't have a snugly fit. Once your head gets exposed, you are already susceptible to serious injuries.
Once you have guaranteed that the helmet can cover the vital regions of your head, you need to inspect the padding on the interior. There are two functions that these paddings perform: comfort and impact absorption. A helmet that is only tough is not enough. It might not break, but if it can't mitigate the force of the impact, damages can still be sustained. These foams must be able to curb down the energy of every physical contact in the helmet.
Of course, comfort should come next in the equation. Kayak helmets that have perfect fit and padding can provide comfort to your head. After all, it is quite annoying to wear helmets that are too loose. They can cause you to lose focus on your paddling, which is pretty irritating indeed.
Alternative, you should look for helmets that have a mechanism for adjustments. They can further optimize the tightness of the helmet to your bed. Most of the time, these systems are installed on the back of the gear. They work by preventing the helmet from rolling around.
Next, we are going to talk about retention. You see, kayak helmets should come with retention straps. They are the ones that help in keeping the helmet locked in place. In choosing the straps, make sure that they feel comfortable on your part. They should have an adjustable mechanism so that you can equalize them without the need for configuring the placement of helmet in your head.
Furthermore, these straps have to feature webbings. It would also be great if there are anchor points on both of the sides of the helmet. Take into account that the rivets must be able to take punishment.
The durability and ruggedness of a helmet are quite pivotal, especially if you are going to use them on technical water routes. You don't want to entrust the safety of your head on something that is flimsy and fragile. As much as possible, the helmet should be shatterproof. That's the only way to keep your head and skull from being damaged by impacts and collisions.
Today, kayak helmets can already be made through different materials. Kevlar and ABS plastics seem to be the most conventional choice. Meanwhile, composite polymer and carbon fiber are said to be the toughest. They are also commonly opted because they are lightweight and hard at the same time. If these materials are present at once in a particular helmet, you can already expect that such helmet is expensive.
Take note that standard helmets don't have that much strength to withstand punishments. However, they have a price that is difficult to turn down. Of course, a synthetic composition does not come cheap at all. In the long, you'll realize that investing in them is not a regrettable decision.
There are different helmets that can be used for kayaking. The cream of the crop has been listed on this guide already. I hope that you can make them as a reference for your future choices. They are the best kayak helmet today, after all.
I do recommend that you take this amenity more seriously. Don't ever think that hard objects are no longer present once you are in the waters. Whenever the terrain you are seeking is full of unexpected elements, you should bring a suitable helmet. Once you wear them, there's already a guarantee that you can finish your adventure without any injuries and damages.
That's it for now. If you have questions or suggestions, feel free to drop them in the comment section below.