Bell Full Throttle BMX helmet recall: What’s a good replacement?

April 15th, 2013 xsportsblog Posted in BMX, Helmets No Comments »

Bell Sports has recently recalled the Bell Full Throttle BMX helmet. This was a full-face kids BMX helmet that was sold exclusively through ToysRUs. The Consumer Product Safety Commission has more information about the recall. Product recalls like this offer parents a conundrum. Bell is a great brand. If you’re new to a sport or the child in your life is getting into a sport with which you’re unfamiliar, it makes sense to go with a well-known brand from a store you know. And if you’re looking for a BMX helmet for a child, it makes sense to buy one at a toy store.

But did you know that a number of helmets that aren’t listed as “Kids’ BMX Helmet” or “Youth Helmet” will likely fit your child? Some manufacturers make helmets that are sized small enough to fit a small child’s head even if it doesn’t say “Kids” or “Youth ” in the product title. XSportsProtective has created an entire Kids’ BMX Gear page, including information on Kids’ BMX Helmets.

If you’re looking for a replacement full-face BMX helmet for your child, we have several suggestions. For instance:

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How to Measure Your Child’s Head for a Helmet

April 2nd, 2013 xsportsblog Posted in Helmets 1 Comment »

How to Measure Your Kid’s Head for a Helmet

You know that your child needs a helmet for biking, skateboarding, skiing, snowboarding (the list goes on and on). The question is: How do you find the right size helmet? Proper helmet fit is critical to protecting your child. No matter how well-designed the helmet is, if it doesn’t fit right, it won’t protect the way it should. It may even come off during a crash or collision. Children’s helmets are not sized according to age. There is just too much variation in the size and shape of little kids for age to be a reliable measure of head size. One eight-year-old could fit an adult “Medium” while another child the same age would need a child’s extra small. Always size a child’s helmet by measuring the head circumference, not by the age of the child.

Measuring your child’s head (or anyone else’s head) for a helmet is pretty simple. Simply take a tape measure and wrap it around his or her head, about an inch above the eyebrows, keeping the tape measure level all the way around. Use the centimeter side of the measuring tape to get a more accurate measurement. If you don’t have a measuring tape, take a piece of string and wrap it around your child’s head, about an inch above the eyebrows. Mark or cut the string so you get an accurate measurement. Then lay the string down next to a ruler to see how long it is (in centimeters).

The right-sized helmet should fit snugly, but not so tight that feels constrictive. It should sit level on your head about one or two finger-widths above your eyebrow. If it’s perched on top of your child’s head or if it’s so snug that it leaves a line on his/her forehead, then the helmet is too tight.

You can customize the fit and sizing of a helmet either through fit pads or a dial-in adjustment on the back of the helmet. (For instance, Giro helmets feature a number of dial-in fit systems, which you can learn more about on the XSportsProtective website. If your helmet uses fit pads, it will probably include them in three varying thicknesses–very thin, medium, and very thick. The pads easily Velcro in and out of the interior of the helmet.


A Properly Fitted Child’s Helmet

You’ll know that your child’s helmet fits properly when it:

  • Fits snugly but comfortably
  • Does not wobble or slide around
  • Rests level on the wearer’s head, not perched on top of the head, tilted back, or resting on the eyebrows
  • Feels secure

Whether you’re looking for a kid’s skateboard helmet, kid’s BMX helmet, kid’s ski or snowboard helmet, or other sport-specific helmet, the same measurement principles remain.

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Do you need an extra large bike helmet?

March 19th, 2013 xsportsblog Posted in BMX, Helmets, Mountain Bike No Comments »

We’re moving back into bike season. Whether you’re into mountain biking, BMX, or road biking, you know you need a good bike helmet before you get on two wheels. But if you happen to have a really big brain (and thus a big noggin), it can be difficult to find a bike helmet that fits well. Not every bike shop carries extra large bike helmets, and it’s difficult to know which makes and models do come in extra large helmet sizes. Below, we’ve compiled a list of big (above 63 cm) and kind of bi (61-63 cm).

Extra Large Bicycle Helmets (above 63 cm)

Kind of Big Bicycle Helmets (between 61-63 cm)

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Should you rent a helmet?

February 5th, 2013 xsportsblog Posted in Helmets, Skiing, Snowboard No Comments »

Should I Rent a Ski or Snowboard Helmet?

There are some sensible arguments in favor of renting a ski/snowobard helmet. For instance, if you’re flying to a resort, bringing your helmet with you on the plane can be kind of a drag. It’s easier to rent a helmet rather carry it with you, right? Conversely, if you’re just getting into skiing or snowboarding and aren’t sure if you’re going to stay with the sport, it may seem more cost effective to rent a helmet. However, the reasons against renting are far more compelling than mere convenience.

  • You don’t know the helmet’s historySki helmets are typically constructed with a very thin, rigid acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) or other high-impact plastic exterior shell and a protective inner liner typically made of stiff expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam. The thin foam padding that rests between the EPS liner and your head is designed to make the helmet fit comfortably but does not have protective qualities. In a crash or collision, the force of the hit is dispersed across the surface of the helmet, sometimes causing it to crack. The EPS liner acts to protect your skull by absorbing much of the energy of the crash. After a collision, the helmet may look undamaged, but its protective capacity could be compromised. You don’t know if a previous wearer took a hit or two or whether the helmet’s protective capacity has been compromised.
  • You don’t know how old the helmet is. Most helmet manufacturers recommend replacing a ski helmet every three to five years. How old is that rental helmet?
  • You don’t know how a rented ski or snowboard helmet has been stored or cared for. There are a number of environmental factors, such as the conditions in which it was used and stored and even chemicals skin lotions, that can compromise a helmet’s protective capacity.
  • The Ick Factor is strong with this one. We all joke about how gross bowling shoes are. Consider that a rented helmet is kind of like wearing a bowling shoe on your head. Ick.

If you decide to rent a ski or snowboard helmet, do yourself a favor by taking a few minutes to inspect it closely before handing over your rental fee. Check out this page if you need some tips on How to Inspect Your Helmet. If you see anything in a rented ski helmet that makes you question its capacity to keep you safe, don’t rent it. Give it back to the clerk at the rental desk, tell him or her why you don’t want to rent it, and ask for another. Or take the plunge and buy a new ski helmet. We only get one brain–it just makes sense to protect it.

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Eight reasons to wear a ski helmet

January 16th, 2013 xsportsblog Posted in Helmets, Skiing, Snowboard No Comments »

The first thing to know about ski helmets is that you really ought to wear one. Head injuries account for an estimated 10-15% of all ski injuries. However, a recent study concluded that general head injury can be reduced by up to 35% by using a ski helmet. This figure rose to 59% for children under 13. While ski helmets have become more and more common on the slopes, some skiers (and snowboarders) still don’t wear them. For those skiers, we have Eight Reasons to Wear a Ski Helmet:

  • Once the snow has been packed down from multiple runs, it’s icy. Skull + ice = concussion
  • Even when you fall in powdery snow, you never know if there’s a rock or a log lurking just below the surface
  • Ski helmets not only protect your head; they help keep you warm
  • Ski helmets come with their own venting systems; it’s a lot easier to cool down than it is to warm up
  • A ski helmet will keep your spouse from worrying about you so much
  • Many ski helmets are audio equipped, so you can listen to your favorite music while you ride the chairlift
  • Modern ski helmets are super light weight, have excellent venting, and fit well using adjustable fit systems
  • With all of the great-looking ski helmets available at, you’re sure to find one that’s just right enough for you
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Sledding helmets? Yes, sledding helmets

January 10th, 2013 xsportsblog Posted in Helmets No Comments »

In a quick straw poll of the XSportsProtective staff and our attendant family and friends, we didn’t find anyone who ever wore a helmet to go sledding as a kid. We’re based in Northeast Ohio, and all of our staffers grew up in areas with snowy winters. So why are advocating for sledding helmets? After all, we didn’t wear them. For that matter, we didn’t wear bicycle helmets or ski helmets either. Now we can’t imagine sending anyone out on a bike, skis, or snowboard without a helmet. Advances in technology that have made bicycle and ski helmets so lightweight and comfortable that any old arguments about not wearing them are moot. The fact is, if you’re in an accident, a helmet can help prevent or minimize trauma to the head. Head injuries are nothing to mess around with.

A study from the Center on Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, found that more than 20,000 U.S. children and teens are injured in sledding accidents each year. When you consider that sledding is only possible a few weeks a year and only in certain parts of the country, that’s a significant number. And those are just the injuries that made it to the emergency room. What’s most troubling about the research study is that a full 9 percent of injuries were traumatic brain injuries.

We haven’t seen any helmets marketed specifically as sledding helmets (there is certainly no set CPSC safety standard for sledding helmets). The jury is still out the best type of helmet for sledding–ski helmet, bicycle helmet, or hockey helmet. A children’s ski helmet can both protect your child’s head and help keep him or her warm while sledding. While a standard, multi-vented bicycle helmet won’t do much to keep your child warm while sledding, it will offer significantly more protection than no helmet at all. You can find kids’ ski/snowboard helmets and helmets for kids’ helmets for biking, skateboarding, and other sports on the XSportsProtective website.

None of us can protect our kids from every eventuality simply putting a layer of padding or a helmet on them. To that end, we’ve compiled the following list of Safe Sledding Tips:

  • Know where you/your child are going to be sledding. Try to find a hill that you’re familiar with. Are there drainage ditches, drains, poles, or other obstacles that might be hidden under the snow?
  • Walk the hill before you sled down it so everyone in your party knows where there might be bumps, icy patches, or other rough spots.
  • Nobody has pulled off a successful brain transplant. Wear a helmet.

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Snowboard protective gear essentials

January 8th, 2013 xsportsblog Posted in Helmets, Informational Resources, Snowboard No Comments »

Snowboard season is here. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced shredder, it never hurts to check that you have the right protective snowboard gear. To help you out, we’ve made the following quick video:

And when you’re ready to “>shop for new snowboard protective gear, be sure to check us out.

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POC snow helmets up close and personal

January 3rd, 2013 xsportsblog Posted in Helmets, Skiing, Snowboard No Comments »

We’re big fans of POC gear. And why not? POC uses innovative technologies to design and manufacture comfortable, protective gear that is always beautifully designed. We have two new videos up that give you a closer look at three great POC ski/snowboard helmets:

Check out the videos and read more about each helmet on the XSportsProtective website. No matter what POC helmet you choose, you’ll be protected by some of the most cutting edge helmet technology in the business.

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Do I really need a women’s ski helmet?

November 27th, 2012 xsportsblog Posted in Helmets, Skiing No Comments »

What’s the difference between a women’s ski helmet and a ski helmet?

When you’re shopping for a new ski helmet (or snowboard helmet), you might see some helmets listed as being designed for women, while most of the other ones are just, you know, ski helmets. Asking “What’s the difference?” is a legitimate and necessary question. Somewhere along the line, most female athletes have encountered sports equipment “designed” for girls or women and ended up being shoddily made or lacking some of the more advanced features of the equipment our brothers got. Or you ended up swimming in a Men’s size “small” or trying a Youth size “Large” and hoping the pads or helmet will fit. Fortunately, manufacturers have gotten the message that women and girls want equipment that fits our body sizes but isn’t inferior in quality.

Women have a smaller head size, on average, than men. Other than that, there is no significant difference in the skull shape or scale between men’s and women’s heads. Any differences you might find between a helmet marketed as a “women’s ski helmet” and one that isn’t are almost entirely aesthetic. The shape, protective technology, and basic features of a women’s ski helmet are identical to those marketed as unisex ski helmets. Women’s ski helmets differ in the graphic treatment and, occasionally, in small issues of comfort, such as fuzzy fleece covering on the ear flaps as opposed to flat fleece or a wider color palette.

If you’re a smaller woman (or just have a smaller-sized head), a ski helmet for women will probably fit you well. But remember that there are plenty of ski helmets for women that aren’t marketed as such. Be sure to measure your head and check helmet sizing carefully before you purchase your ski helmet. Find the ski helmet with the features and look you want. Then find your proper size. To make it easier for you, you can browse all of XSportsProtective’s ski helmets or just women’s ski helmets. The one you want is out there; let XSportsProtective help you find it.

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Giro snow helmets for 2013

November 7th, 2012 xsportsblog Posted in Giro, Helmets, Skiing, Snowboard No Comments »

Snow season is here. Resorts are opening, and skiers and snowboarders are getting their gear ready for a new season. Here at XSportsProtective, our ski and snowboard gear is ready to go. If you’re in the market for a new ski or snowboard helmet, check out our new videos that highlight the Giro Montane, the Giro Lure, and the Giro Battle. Not sure if you need a new ski helmet or a new snowboard helmet? We can give you some advice on that too.

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