How To Get Helmet Size and Fitment Right

Out of all of your racing gear, your helmet is arguably the most important piece of safety equipment. Proper fit plays a crucial role in how well your helmet will protect you in the event of an accident. A great fit also ensures your comfort, and more comfort means less distracted (read: safer) and more enjoyable driving.When sizing a helmet, there are two important things to get right:

  1. Choosing the right size auto helmet
  2. Evaluating the helmet for the correct fitment

These may seem to be the same thing, but they are not.

Let’s get you in a comfortable helmet that fits well!

There is No Universal Road Racing Helmet Sizing

The first thing to know is that there is no universal road racing helmet sizing. DIfferent road race car helmet brands have different sizing – an Arai size L may be an HJC size M, for example. So you’ll need to measure your head, and then compare your measurements to the manufacturer’s helmet sizing chart. Or better yet, reference the combined size charge we created below. But let’s start with the basics.

How to Measure Your Head

To measure your head, you’ll need a tailor’s tape measure (more flexible than a regular tape measure) or a piece of string and a regular tape measure.

  • Wrap the tailor’s tape or piece of string around the widest part of your head (typically just above the ears and about 1/2 – 1 inch above your eyebrows. It should be taught but not super tight.
  • If using tailor’s tape, note the measurement and compare it to the manufacturer’s size chart.
  • If using a piece of string, measure the length of string with a regular tape measure or ruler. Compare the measurement to the manufacturer’s size chart.

Don’t have a tailor’s tape measure? Shoot us a note and we’ll send you one on the house.

In Between Sizes?

If your head size is in between a helmet brand’s size, it’s better to choose the larger rather than the smaller size. You’ll never want a too tight helmet, but differences in face and head shape may mean that the larger size fits just fine.

You could also choose to order two sizes to compare and contrast, and return the ones that don’t fit. Our No BS Return Policy gives you 30 days to complete the return for a full refund, with no restocking fees.

Picking a size

Motorsports helmets come in all sorts of configurations and there is no generally standard sizing like there is for shoes. The sizing is more like t-shirts, with small, medium, large, etc labels and like clothes, different manufacturers have different interpretations of what a given size actually is when measured in inches or centimeters.

For example, with a head size of 54 cm, you can be S, 2XS or XS depending on the manufacturer. That’s a wide range, so to help you key off a measurable number-based fact, i.e. your head circumference, below is a chart to show you what size you will likely be for each brands.

We do say ‘likely’ because different heads are of different shapes and fit and feel can be subjective. The great thing is that with our industry-leading no-BS 30-day return policy, you can always ship a helmet back if it doesn’t fit. Or better yet, just order a couple of sizes and ship the one that doesn’t fit back for a full refund.

Helmet size chart


How to Evaluate Correct Fitment

Now that you have your helmet, there are a few specific things to look for when you try it on besides it “feels too big” or “feels too small.”

New helmets should feel slightly tight, with the interior coming into contact with most of the head, but not so restrictive that it causes any pain. There shouldn’t be any “hot spots” — places where the helmet’s interior puts pressure on specific points of the skull or face — but the helmet shouldn’t move around freely. With time, a helmet adjusts to match the shape of the your head as it breaks in and loosens a little. However, it should never become loose enough to easily turn from side to side.To thoroughly evaluate fitment:

  • Put the helmet on — it should be a little tight as it goes on over your head.
  • The helmet should sit on the head evenly with the eye port’s upper edge just above the eyebrows and offer good peripheral vision.
  • The helmet shouldn’t touch the nape of your neck.
  • The chin strap should fit snug but not too tight to cause discomfort or choking. Securely fasten the chin strap and try to roll the helmet off your head. If the skin on your forehead moves slightly, that’s the sign of a good fit.
  • Put a finger between the helmet interior and the head. If it easily fits, try a smaller size.
  • Some helmet models allow a change in the cheek pads for better fitment, so consider this when checking for proper sizing.

If the helmet appears to fit well per the above guidelines, we still suggest wearing it for 10-15 minutes to ensure there are no hot spots, which sometimes don’t present themselves immediately.

Our No BS Return Policy is Here for You

If you’re concerned that you’re in between sizes, or want to compare and contrast several helmets, you may consider ordering more than one and returning those that don’t fit. With Torqued’s No BS Return Policy, we’ll never charge you a restocking fee, and will accept returns for a full refund within 30 days.

Tim Trampedach

Managing Director, Blacktop Ventures

View all posts by Tim Trampedach →

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