The Ultimate in Safety
Ever wonder what makes your Charles Owen helmet so safe? Charles Owen has carefully selected the best materials to compose the safest helmets possible. All components are manufactured in the Charles Owen factory in Wrexham, United Kingdom. From the outermost layer to the inner liner, each part of these helmets has been made out of the finest materials to give you the ultimate in safety.
The Outermost Layer
The outermost layer of the helmet must be functional and fashionable. This part of the helmet comes in a variety of finishes from the popular microfiber suedes, velvets, and also leather looks. These fabrics are stitched directly to the hard shell of the helmet. This guarantees that the cover will not pull away from the shell. Most manufacturers use rubber-based glue, which can start to peel away from the helmet. Charles Owen’s use of stitching guarantees a longer life for your helmet.
The Second Layer
The next layer of the helmet is the shell. Most of Charles Owen’s helmet shells are made out of fiberglass, while a few basic models are from injection molded plastic. The shell has two purposes: to disperse the force taken on impact and to protect the rest of the helmet if dragged. The shell is vital in protecting your head if a horse was to roll on you or if you were to fall on a sharp object like a jump post or rock. This part of the helmet also protects your head if you were to receive a concentrated impact of a stud. Some standards in safety helmets do not consider this, but Charles Owen takes this possible source of injury into account.
Expanded Polystyrene – EPS
The layer underneath the shell is the expanded polystyrene, or EPS. This part of the helmet absorbs the impact of the fall, protecting the brain from bruising itself in the skull. This layer is made out of thousands of beads that are filled with tiny air bubbles. This popcorn-like material is aged for two weeks before multiple pieces are welded together to make one piece of EPS. Each impact causes the contained air bubbles to burst. Because this layer absorbs the energy from the fall, it is important that every helmet is replaced after impact. If the helmet was to have another impact in the same location, the bubbles would have already burst and would therefore not be available to absorb the energy from the impact.
Inside the EPS is the inner liner. This part contains the comfort padding and sizing foam. The liner is composed of fabric and foam that makes for a custom fit to your helmet since the foam molds to your head over time. This part of the helmet requires the most precision since each helmet size only varies by 1/16 of an inch.
The harness is another essential part to the helmet, as it must keep the helmet on the head so the other parts can do their appropriate job. Charles Owen uses reinforced nylon with a soft edge, soft leathers and suedes for the harness with either a quick release buckle or a hook and loop closure system. Each type of harness has been designed to minimize slippage and to hug the base of the skull for the best stability.
From Production to You
Charles Owen prides itself on quality and workmanship. From the outermost layer to the bubbles of EPS, each helmet takes about three weeks to make. Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of what makes your Charles Owen helmet so safe!
Source: Santos, Danielle. Behind the Badge: Helmet Materials. Charles Owen & Co. 1 January 2012. http://charlesowen.com