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Helmet size for a teenage boy - ok to buy a larger size?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

Hi: I am taking my 14-year old nephew for a ski trip.  I want to buy him a helmet,  I asked him to give me a measurement of his head circumference.  He gave me different #: 57 cm., 59 cm... So I don't know how he measured it.  Anyhow, realizing the boy is still growing, is it OK to buy a helmet that is larger than his head size (anticipating he may wear those ski mask underneath) Or it is best to fit snug?  What is average head circumference for men?  What is helmet size most people go w/, size M or L? 

post #2 of 19

generalizing but at 14 his head should be done expanding. 57cm should be a Medium in most helmet sizing and if he's not racing you should be able to find a helmet with an adjustable helmet liner

post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 

Thanks for your reply. So it's better to get a 57 cm size? (not 59 cm)? Because b/w 57 cm and 59 cm, that's one size difference (M vs L). 

post #4 of 19

When buying a helmet it is a good idea to go to a shop and try on several from various manufacturers.  Disregard the sizing and buy one that fits and is comfortable. 

post #5 of 19

As you mentioned in the other thread, he's coming to Whistler from Hong Kong next winter.  I would suggest that you wait and pay the extra money that it takes to wait for him to show up and buy at Whistler so that he can try them on at a shop.  Some of us have round heads, others oblong, etc.  I've found that some brands don't fit me at all and others are just fine.  Having a helmet that fits well is quite important.  Don't skimp or get ahead of yourself. Wait until you have his head available for fitting, and then buy.

post #6 of 19

A helmet that is too big is only going to be helpful for simple dings.  To work properly, it needs to fit properly.  The best thing to do, as mentioned, it to have him try it on.  If for whatever reason that isn't possible a head of time, get him to measure it again (works better if someone else does the measuring) and you might want to give him instructions how to do it.  Most helmet manufacturers have instructions on their website.

 

Many places also rent helmets now so you might want to check to see if that is an option where you're going.

 

Have fun,

 

Ken

post #7 of 19
Thread Starter 

Got it. Thanks for all your reply.  much appreciated.  I will wait for him in Whistler and get him a helmet. I figured it is a good investment considering his head will no longer be growing.  

post #8 of 19
Quote:
 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by fosphenytoin View Post
 

Thanks for your reply. So it's better to get a 57 cm size? (not 59 cm)? Because b/w 57 cm and 59 cm, that's one size difference (M vs L). 


I'm assuming you're talking about size ranges, and 57 is within the medium size, whereas 59 is within the L size range? 

 

My head is on the fence between medium and large, at least with Giro, but I found the medium was nice and snug (i.e., good) whereas I was swimming in the large and had to max out the internal sizers to make it as small as possible.

 

But, as others say, you're probably better off just forgoing avaialable online discounts and paying to buy when he arrives.

post #9 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by fosphenytoin View Post
 

Got it. Thanks for all your reply.  much appreciated.  I will wait for him in Whistler and get him a helmet. I figured it is a good investment considering his head will no longer be growing.  

 

Yea, it is defintiely the right idea to try on helmets for fit before buying.

 

Another option if you are set on buying on the internet is to buy from somewhere with a simple or fixed rate return policy.  

Then you can buy several different models and sizes and then paying the $6.99 to return most if not all the items.

post #10 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by raytseng View Post

 

Another option if you are set on buying on the internet is to buy from somewhere with a simple or fixed rate return policy.  

Then you can buy several different models and sizes and then paying the $6.99 to return most if not all the items.

And drag all of this stuff from wherever they are to Whistler and back?  I can just see it at the border: "That's right, sir, we're just bringing this into the country to try them out and then we'll be sending all but one back.  This is a gift, but not for someone staying in Canada."  It would make for a big piece of luggage too.  Talk about a pain.   :nono:

 

Just buy it when you get there.  There is a huge selection and you only have to purchase one once.

post #11 of 19
Huh? You'd only drag 1 helmet on the trip. You try then out all at home before the trip. Youd ship directly the giftee and tell them to follow the return instructions.

Once you wear a helmet on mountain its yours. Just like if you walk in a pair of ski boots out of the shop, they are no longer resellable as new No place is going to give you full credit for a sweaty helmet thats put into use even once. Trials and returns are only for fitting and if youve never used it. so there's no additional benefit from an on mountain purchase.

The aspect of surprise of a wrapped gift in person is already lost anyway.
post #12 of 19
I suppose I dont know the details of the travel plans.
So yea just buy at whistler if its the rendezvous point which seems to be the OPs decision already. smile.gif
post #13 of 19

When you buy a helmet you have to make sure that your not only looking at the size in inches.  The helmet must be sitting deep on his head.  Preferably it has an adjustable sizing system so you can tighten the helmet to his head.  When a helmet fits properly it shouldn't slide around on his head, when slightly moved  up and down it should pull  on his eyebrows.  Make sure that the helmet is sitting an fingers with above his eyebrows and that it is comfortable.  It is very important to have as snug a fit as possible, otherwise it wont be protective. 

post #14 of 19

To  clarify,  it is not safe to buy big.  A snug fit is a safe fit. 

post #15 of 19

all the tips above are correct

and please please please do not wear a toque under your helmet

post #16 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by waxman View Post
 

all the tips above are correct

and please please please do not wear a toque under your helmet

 

Agreed about the tips all being correct. Protecting the brain isn't a place to scrimp. Proper fit is key to proper protection.

 

@waxman I presume (a dangerous thing to do on Epic :o) you are referring to a nice knit hat shouldn't be worn under a helmet and I agree. I use a thin, fleece helmet liner to control warmth and don't feel it degrades the safety performance of the helmet.

post #17 of 19

helmet liner is fine, i am referring to the "trend" of putting a helmet on top of or over a toque (usually a floppy rasta style one it seems) 

that being said i'm from the great white north and have skied in some stupid cold conditions (Mt. Tremblant with a windchill that was supposed to be close to -65*C, Lake Louise -30*C etc) and have never felt my head needed more than the helmet for warmth

post #18 of 19

Thanks for the clarification, @waxman. My helmet is of the bicycle style with slots in the rigid material and little flaps to adjust for ventilation. Most of they time the flaps closed is warm enough, but on those sub-zero (F) days it doesn't always cut it.

post #19 of 19

got it.

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