It’s an essential purchase but what should you spend? Do you need HANS? Does it need to be approved by someone?
To buy a helmet you must first know your size. To do this, hold a tape measure around your head, above the ears and take the measurement in centimetres, your size will be determined from that. Next, your choice of helmet goes down to what activity you are taking part in. If you’re reading this, it’s probably karting but buying a helmet with HANS posts is advisable if you plan on moving into car racing anytime soon. If you are competing in MSA karting, then you will need a SNELL or MSA-approved helmet. If you are racing in Arrive and Drive or Clubman events then any full-face helmet should do. If you are in doubt on what helmet you need contact the series you are racing in.
Now your age. As of January 1st 2013, any driver under the age of 15 years must wear a Snell CMR-approved helmet in any CIK or MSA event. This rule was brought in because adult helmets are often too big and heavy for a child, increasing the risk of injury. However, it doesn’t mean that these helmets are only for kids. Anyone can wear one, if anything it is often cheaper to buy a CMR helmet because it is not VAT applicable.
They say you can’t put a price on your head but we can: here are some of the best helmets we found for under £350, though some honourable mentions come in the form of the Arai Sk6 and Ck6 although these come at the more pricey end of the market.
Stilo ST4F CMR Kart Helnet.
This popular Stilo ST4F helmet is constructed from Kevlar and Carbon making it extremely light, at only 1200g. Coming in a matt-black finish with its radical and unique shape, this helmet is sure to get you noticed.
Sparco WTX CMR Helmet
This Sparco WTX features superb peripheral vision due to its large aperture and excellent ventilation thanks to large air intakes.
Koden KDF05 CMR Karting Helmet
This Koden helmet is composed from lightweight fibreglass, and features an efficient air ventilation system and quick release visor if a quick change is needed. Its ‘raw’ unpainted finish looks the business.
Bell KC7 CMR Kart Helmet
Made from the same mould as the RS7 worn by F1 drivers such as Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean. The KC7 CMR features 14 air vents, providing unparalleled ventilation. It also features a 2mm DSAF (Double Screen Anti-Fog) visor which stops the visor from steaming up in wet and cold conditions.
OMP GP7 Helmet
This OMP GP7 is constructed from a composite shell. Fitted with a fully-adjustable visor mechanism, the inner is made from soft-knit Nomex for comfort. There is also a Kevlar chin strap for durability.
Click here to read our full karting helmet buying guide.