Samshield Shadowmatt Helmet
Retail Price: $410
What I Paid: $328
Purchased: April 2014
After a fall I decided I needed to replace my trusty IRH ATH SSV helmet, and I went for broke and purchased two: one for schooling and one for showing. I used IRH’s replacement policy to snap up another IRH ATH SSV, but I knew I wanted something a bit nicer for the show ring. I went to a local tack store and tried on ALL THE HELMETS. Charles Owen’s just sat on top of my head, and fit absolutely horribly; My trainer detests the GPA Speed Air vents for amateur hunters so… that didn’t leave me very many options. I was skeptical about the Samshield brand at first, since at the time it was still relatively new to the scene, but it had all the features I was looking for: plastic or leather (not velvet), subtle air vents and a removable/washable liner. As soon as I put it on, I was in love; this helmet fit me perfectly.
The profile is great for my head shape, and even the slightly more forward harness is comfortable on me. The vent provides enough air circulation to keep be a bit cooler than other helmets I’ve worn, and I can occasionally even feel a slight breeze. It’s easy to keep clean (it is after all, plastic) and the liner is very easy to remove and wash: it just snaps into place! You can also buy additional liners to rotate them, but I haven’t had a need for that yet, although it’s nice to have the option.
Try it, love it, buy it! I highly recommend the Samshield brand helmets! While I don’t think the Samshield’s shape will be a perfect fit for everyone, I do think for some of us it’s a hidden gem; if you don’t fit into Charles Owen, and you don’t want to spend $600+ for a GPA, I highly suggest you take a gander at Samshield. Remember, fit is the most important aspect of a helmet: it’s there to protect your noggin, and it can’t do that if it’s not fitted properly. I think the style and design of this helmet is perfect for equitation, hunters and dressage; it’s got a little bit of a modern twist with the plastic facade and sleek air vents, but the overall look is traditional enough for even the pickiest of trainers.
One other factor to consider is the replacement policy, which I admit isn’t as generous as IRH. However, it is reasonable and doesn’t bother me since I plan to only wear the helmet for showing thus reducing the chances I’ll ever need to take advantage of it.