I'd tried both the One K and an IRH on at Dover in April, but honestly couldn't remember enough about the experience to make a decision. Thankfully, free returns make ordering helmets fairly painless. I excitedly donned my show coat and dove in!
The Options: One K Defender & IRH Air 10
IRH -- Very similar to the Charles Owen look, which I love. The big vents make it more attractive then the competitively priced COs. However, the vents are kind of hidden behind the padding in the interior, making me wonder how effective they really are. The harness is a little cheap, but the back part of the helmet is really nice and padded.
|One K. With silly face. You're welcome.|
IRH -- At first I thought this helmet fit great. It was slightly snug, but not so tight I worried my head would explode. My head touched the top of the helmet, which is usually a sign of okay helmet fit. However, I later noticed the back of the helmet wasn't making contact with my head. Almost like there was a ton of extra space back there. I didn't like that, even though the rest of the helmet fit well.
One K -- I have an obnoxiously small head. (6 5/8", guys. I'm basically a child. It's even hard to find baseball caps that get small enough to fit me.) I ordered the One K in small; though, I would have preferred to order an extra-small, a size listed on One K's size chart but not actually sold anywhere. As expected the small size was a little too big on me. It would probably fit perfectly with my hair under it, but (sorry hunter princesses) I prefer to exercise my right as a Dressage Queen and ride with my hair in a ponytail.
Luckily, One K makes exchangeable liners in extra small. I zipped off to the local tack shop and picked up a tiny liner for $20 and snapped it into the One K. With the smaller liner, the helmet was a perfect fit. I didn't have the same issue with the weird gapping at the back of my head that I had with the IRH. Success!
IRH -- I love the look of this helmet. It's classy and would look really fantastic in the hunter or the dressage show ring. The deep black of the crushed exterior is lovely, and the vent is very understated and on trend. I think this helmet is the most flattering to my face, but from the side it's a little less flattering and a little more mushroom-shaped. I like it, but have some reservations with the fit. Plus, the liner is built in to the helmet, making washing it nearly impossible. As I sweat more than my horse, this is a bit of a problem.
|Mushroom in action!|
The back of the One K comes down further than the IRH, which limits my ability to sport a really awesomely bouncy pony tail. My ovation has a ponytail hole, which is basically the best thing ever. I will miss it. The lower back on the One K actually makes it feel much more secure on my head, and I know that more protection back there is a good thing. The IRH kind of felt like it wanted to pop off. The One K feels more like it's suctioned to my head. My hair will be grossly plastered to my neck, though.
|Aww yeah! Side view!|
|What do you mean kelly green isn't the usual color for DQs?|
|The stretchy bag is pretty nice, too.|