Hello friends! I am on the hunt for a new helmet. The One-K is three years old, and while that is well within the life-span of a helmet, it is starting to look a bit sad. Also, I have no back up helmet laying around for A. Riding in Terrible Weather and B. if I fall off. So, I am looking for some input from all of you! (Keep in mind, my head fits pretty well in a Samshield and about perfectly in a One-K)

1 – Trauma Void™ EQ3™


Who doesn’t love new technology in equestrian sports? Who in eventing doesn’t love new SAFETY technology?

Enter the Trauma Void. Top Safety Results, and Modern Look. Sounds like a home run!

Buuuut I know other One-K wearers who they just didn’t work for. (looking at you Centered In the Saddle)


2 – Charles Owen AYR8® Plus Helmet

COGYR8.JPGSo technically, the study linked above references the Charles Owen AYR8® Leather Look helmet as a “Good Choice”. Buuuuuut I don’t think that one has a removable/washable liner, and after having that feature in a Samshield and my One-K… I just cannot live without it.

The CO is classic for any ring/venue/english discipline. And I think they are flattering on most people. HOWEVER, I am not sure this would come event remotely close to fitting my head.

Honestly… I think that might be it. I could always get another One-K, and I REALLY like my One-K. I could even get the Defender with fun colors. Is there anything that I am missing that I should seriously consider? This is a BIG decision people! 🙂

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  1. Ashlyn

    I currently ride in a Samshield and LOVE it. It is totally worth the money for me. I wouldn’t choose another helmet for myself other than Samshield if money was no option. If I’m in a budget, One K would definitely be the way to go.

    Charles Owen helmets definitely don’t hold up to the standard that Samshield has set for me. Why? Because they are hot and most don’t have the removable liner.

    Have you thought about KASK helmets? They seem to be really popular with the horse twitter community. I’ve never tried one personally, but maybe they are worth the hype?

    1. Emily

      Yeah – I could NEVER get a helmet without a removable liner now. It is a game changer. I would say that my One-K fits me slightly better than my Samshield. but I do LOVE the look of the Samshields.

  2. draftmare

    I had a One K for many years, several One Ks actually, and I thought the fit for me was good until I tried on the CO GR8 and realized how much better the fit for a helmet could be. I had the same feeling about my instructor’s Trauma Void. I now own one of each. So moral of story being if the One K fits you really well, the COs and TVs may or may not. Definitely buy one from some place you can return it to without a huge hassle.

    1. Emily

      Yup! I have a couple of Dover gift cards to burn, and they now do free shipping (on orders over $75) and free returns on sized items! There is a store ~1hr away from me… but that would require me to wait and plan.

  3. Sarah (threechestnuts)

    I had a GR8, a OneK, and now a Trauma Void. My GR8 fit really well (but stretched out), I thought the OneK fit until I started getting pain, and then I got the Trauma Void which fits SO WELL. Seriously. If you’re interested in the Trauma Void, order one and see if it fits? You can always return it if you can’t try one at a local tack store. Interestingly enough, I recently tried a bunch of Charles Owen’s on and the only one that fits my head is the GR8. All the others are just too deep, regardless of size so???

    1. Emily

      Interesting! I think I HAVE to give the Trauma Void a try… even if I end up with something else.

  4. hellomylivia

    My AYR8 Plus does have a removable liner, so check that off your list. That being said- my AYR8 fits my head PERFECTLY but the Samshield and One-K did not fit me that well. So the difference in fit might make that a tough one for you.

    1. Emily

      Hmmm yeah. I have tried COs in the past (like 6+ years ago) and they didn’t fit my head… but I cannot remember what model I tried.

      Can we ask why CO doesn’t make ALL their helmets with the removable liners now? haha

  5. Kristy B

    Whatever fits the best.

    You HAVE to try these one. And it is worth the waiting and planning and going into a store vs shipping time etc to try on as many helmets as you possibly can. They all fit so differently. And you might think it fits pretty well until you put something on that feels like it was made for your head.

    CO’s fit differently depending on the model. And you can get more of their helmets with the removeable liners.

    I rode in a CO for years, then went to a OneK and figured out too late that it was a terrible fit. Well having a giant head makes helmet finding hard. I had like 3 options. I’ve had a Kask for nearly a year now and I adore it. It is freaking amazing. But also probably out of the price point you are wanting to be in.

    Honestly, you have to try them on. I have refused to sell helmets to people coming in for Samshields because they straight up DO NOT FIT. It makes people mad, and we lose a sale, but I am 100% NOT comfortable selling you a helmet that will pop off if you fall off or even bend over!

    1. Kristy B

      My vote is for the CO though – if it fits. I think they look nicer, and fit a broader range of heads then the TraumaVoid.

      1. Emily

        Definitely on my list to stick a fancy CO on my head!

    2. Emily

      That’s great advice. I want to see what my local tack shop has in stock… I feel terrible shopping with them, since I have Dover gift cards to burn and will have to use them to purchase. ..

      Maybe I’ll suck it up and drive the hour to the closest dover to try all the options.

      1. Kristy B

        If you state that you are only looking right now, I don’t see them being too bothered with helping you! I never am even if I can tell they are going to go elsewhere.

        I’ve had a teenager cry and scream (even though their parents agreed with me) when I refused to sell a helmet to them that didn’t fit. That was fun…

        1. Emily

          oh my! I would probably buy SOMETHING out of guilt hahaha (gloves, hair net, etc) because I really do like to support my local tack shops.

          1. Kristy B

            heh….well they only had gift cards with them. Which they then left in the store, and never came back for !!!!

          2. Emily


          3. Kristy B

            As mean as it is….I do agree lol.

  6. Amanda C

    I’d try them both and see which one fits better. I liked how the AYR8 looked on me and it fit decently but god it was hot and heavy as actual fuck. Those little vents are a cute joke for a Texan. The TV fits me a bit better, is a bit less attractive, but cooler.

    Both are good, safe brands and solid choices.

    1. Emily

      Ugh. I am concerned about the lack of vents in the CO in KY. It does get super humid here, and I am not someone who functions well in the heat to start with.

  7. Brianna

    I just recently got a trauma void helmet. Love it so far! Although I can’t say how they fit compared to the one-K as I’ve never had one of those…

    1. Emily

      Glad to hear from someone who owns (and loves) the TV. Keeping it top of list. 🙂

  8. Stacie Seidman

    I haven’t tried the Trauma Void yet, but I’m super interested in them because of the new technology. I’m kind of hoping all brands will adopt that since I do prefer the look of the Samshield for showing.
    I have a Charles Owen GR8 and an AYR8. I like them both, but will agree with the above that they are much hotter in warm weather. I also have a Samshield and (maybe several…) One K’s. I think I have a fairly versatile head size as they all fit pretty well for me. I think the Samshield fits me the best though.

    1. Emily

      Yes! I am really hoping to see the MIPS technology in more helmets in the (near?) future. Looking at the MIPS website, there seem to be a TON of bike & snow boarding helmets with the technology… but I guess they have some kind of contract with BOT for the moment.

      As with most things, I bet this will come down to fit.

  9. Heather Dunn

    I loved the fit of my AYR8, I’m okay with the fit of my One K Defender, and had a big pressure point on the top of my head after wearing the Trauma Void for only a couple minutes. Unfortunately the only way to tell if a helmet will work for you is to try it on! Such an individual fit for everyone.

    1. Emily

      Yup! That definitely seems to be the consensus. Put the helmets on and fling your head around for a bit to see how you “feel” about it! hahaha

  10. the_everything_pony

    One you don’t have on here that I’ve been eyeing is the IRH IR4G – the one with the leather harness. I put that helmet on my head for giggles one day at my local tack shop, and I have never had a helmet fit so wonderfully on my head. It looks to have good air vents, a bit similar to Samshield it looks like, and the liner is removable. I absolutely loved the fit, and the navy matte was gorgeous. Buuuuuuut I also like the new safety technology of the Trauma Void tho, so I’m not sure which one to get. Probably both and then see which one fits me the best lol.

    I think most of these helmets are carried by RW, so if you’re not sure, I’d say buy them, try them on, then return if you don’t like them. RW thankfully makes that super easy – almost like going to a tack store to try them lol. But yeah, I think it just depends on what fits your head the best!

    (If you wanted to look at the IRH helmet: https://www.ridingwarehouse.com/IRH_IR4G_Helmet_-_Leather_Harness__2_Liners/descpage-IRH4G.html)

    1. Emily

      Oh! Thanks for putting the IRH on my list! I love the look (and the price point!)

  11. Centered in the Saddle

    Is there a place you can go try on different models? I was really disappointed that the Trauma Void doesn’t fit me. Like, I still think about it sometimes and I get slightly jealous when I see people wearing them on Instagram, haha! It’s really tough to know. The OneK’s are so comfy on my head! But for shows I do have Charles Owens (a skullcap for XC and an unknown model that my teammate bought, didn’t really like, didn’t return quickly enough, and gave to me for free #score).

    1. Emily

      Yeah… I am trying to figure out if I can make the hour (and a half) drive to Dover to try on a bunch of models. I have a dover gift card, so will have to purchase through them.

  12. Holly

    OneKs and Samshields fit me best – I really wanted a TV and found they just don’t fit my head AT ALL. It was a sad day. CO has never fit me super well either and I can’t remember if GPAs fit me or not. I also find 99% of COs wayyyy too hot for me – my head will sweat in a helmet when it’s 20 degrees, much less in the middle of summer. Honestly, I’m sticking with my two brands that fit until I find something better that comes along.

    1. Emily

      Yeah. That’s what I’ve heard. OneK and Samshield heads just aren’t TV friendly. ???

  13. martidoll123

    ugh i am waiting to see what you end up with since both of us love our One-Ks and the fit of them. I love the Trauma VOid and would love one but I would need to drive at least 2.5 hours to get to the Dover store outside Nashville to try one on. I really don’t feel like ordering one in the mail knowing I would have to return it most probably (even if it is free to return). I have a large odd shaped head. The OneK fits me perfect. UGH…..so many choices.

    SO waiting to see what you end up with . Considering the little I ride nowadays i probably can eke another year out of my One K (even if it may be pushing the 3-4 year mark, but no falls and it lives in the house not the barn nor my truck)….

    I wish we had a local tack store. SMH we have a western one I THINK over past Memphis but haven’t heard of any others. Sob…

  14. L. Williams

    Since ditching Troxel completely in 2009 I’ve been exclusively a Charles Owen wearer (I have an oval head) with my favorite being the AYR8 Leather Look – I did recently get a samshield and despite people telling me it’s for rounder heads it fit great (I think it’s because of the removable lining). Of course if you can make it into a tack store to go try stuff on that would be best (and also purchase from them since they will help you fit).

    But I also think the Trauma Void looks so cool!

  15. Mulling it to Miller

    I have the Charles and do love it, which is saying something since I didn’t start wearing a helmet until about 4 years ago??

    1. Emily

      We shall see if we can get one on my head! hahaha

  16. eventerinprogress

    My next will definitely be the EQ3 Lynx.

    I don’t suit a Samshield though, and I cannot justify getting a KEP when it doesn’t offer me any greater level of protection for the outlay, nor can I afford to replace it if I was to fall off 3 days later.

    1. Emily

      I am officially old enough to be of the mindset that “pretty is as pretty does” when it comes to helmet hahaha. I’ll pay for protection… but not so much for style.

  17. KC Scott

    I love the OneK and so wish I had found it earlier (I was using CO for awhile). I tried the Samshield but I looked absolutely ridiculous in it, which I was totally ok with because of that crazy price tag. Looking forward to see what you end up with!

    1. Emily

      Thanks! I really do like my OneK, so something would really have to come along and top that for me to even consider it.

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