I have been wearing a GPA First Lady to ride in for about 4 years. I have liked the fit and style, and of course the incredible ventilation. But the current recommendation is to replace helmets every 3-5 years, considering especially whether the helmet has been exposed to extreme temperatures.
I suspect we have extreme temperatures in Texas.
I started combing around for helmets, wondering whether I’d stick to GPA or switch up. This timing rather serendipitously coincided with a fall — after which I decided I’d stretch my dollar and order both a Trauma Void and a Charles Owen. The Charles Owen is maybe shipping soon? After hitting a sale over Labor Day weekend, the Trauma Void shipped quickly, and I have been riding in it for the past month or so. It’s been a wet month, but I feel like I have finally enough rides on it to evaluate it.
First, I like the way it sits on my head. I ordered a 7 1/4, and the shape of the Trauma Void and the shape of my head work together. I like the leather look chinstrap and brim. I ordered the smooth black style, and now I want the smooth brown style, too. The helmet feels secure on my head. I can do the whole “hunter hair” thing without an issue. (I have thin hair, though.)
The liner is removable, although I haven’t removed it yet. It’s fairly thin and only lightly padded, but soft. If I remove it to wash, I’d probably just hand wash it.
The helmet also pairs well with an Equivisor (the GPA First Lady didn’t really work with the Equivisor on me). As winter approaches, my need for an Equivisor will dwindle to one or two days a week, so maybe that’s not even a consideration for some of you.
I have zero complaints about the Trauma Void. I don’t have personal experience with how it performs in a fall, maybe it’ll stay that way, maybe not. Horses are unpredictable like that, so I plan to always wear this helmet or another to ride. For the foreseeable future, it’ll be just this one I’m wearing. Luckily it’s comfortable and ventilated enough to where I don’t feel my brain cooking in the heat.
The price of this helmet is well within reach of most equestrians, I would guess, considering the cost-per-ride: it’s extremely affordable. Let’s say I have this one for another 4 years and I ride on avergae 4 days a week … it’s less than $3.50 a day to protect my head. (Okay, I admit, check my math — it’s not my strong suit.) Ultimately I bought this Trauma Void from Dover, because one of their Labor Day promotions was spend at least $200, get a $100 gift certificate. I needed to buy fly spray and stuff like that anyway, so that was the most convenient deal for me. Dover only carries black, but other tack shops have the navy and brown, too. seem to be ~$250 across the board, but sometimes ~$199 in a good sale.
To sum up: get one.